Code A Ro24: Day Two Recap
Match results from Live Report Thread by Shellshock1122.
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MaruPrime defeats EG.JYP.RC 2 - 0 to earn another chance at Code S glory
In what has been a strange departure from the usual pairings in the ultimate round of Code A, this match was only the second where both players had Code S experience. Of course, neither Maru nor JYP could be called members of the Code S elite. Maru was the kid who cheesed; JYP was the quasi veteran that lost to Terran.
This particular match made a good case for a return to the JYPvT standard. On a fundamental level, his play is not objectionable in the same way one might categorize Oz’ PvP. It is more a question of shakiness, of nerves getting to him and of lacking conviction in his play. While he was able to overcome these issues against SuperNoVa in Code S, where he relied on a healthy mix of cheese and passive macro play into harass tactics to advance from the round of 32, Maru taught us a lesson about how it's hard for anyone to change their true colors.
In both games, Maru played a heavy macro game combined with early pressure, the kind of situation JYP has struggled to deal with historically. Going up to three bases early in the first game, Maru was able to get a sizable economy advantage as his marine harass inflicted damage on JYP’s worker line. He then defended the two base all-in admirably, retreating his third the moment he knew the attack was coming and secured the victory. The second game was an illustration of how to beat Protoss late game. Freely amassing bases, Maru was able to collect a huge ghost and viking based army. Harassing with nukes and maintaining solid map control, he simply outlasted the Protoss and never allowed him any chance of a favorable engagement.
Maru is facing another opportunity to impress in Code S. While his trajectory has not been one of a rocket launch, he has shown an ability to improve after he gets knocked down. With further improvements, he could be a challenge for any opponent. On the other hand, JYP is back to his usual spot in GSL purgatory, a welcome sight to those wanting a more stable, consistent world.
The Federation Strikes back: ST_Curious and TSL_Polt dismantle KeSPA's STX_Mini and 8th_Terminator
Curious and Polt are both players one expects to see in Code S. Apart from Polt’s win in the Super Tournament, the two usually brings rock solid performances that don’t quite make it to the round of eight, but are staples of the GSL. Of course, this has been a season where staples have been removed mercilessly by KeSPA players (and Sparta).
For Curious, the games against mini were another confirmation of his solidity in every round before the Code S Ro16. In game one he faced little to no resistance from the STX Protoss, pouncing on gateway units with his lings early on and never looking back from his advantageos position. The second game was decidedly scarier however. mini opened with Stargate for the second time, but on Cloud Kingdom he decided a two base attack would be the best way to get back into the match. Following the book on how these things should unfold, it came down to a prolonged attack on the Zerg’s third base. It looked like mini would be able to crack the defenses. However, he seemed unable to both micro the void ray/gateway attack against the queen, ling and roach composition of Curious, while still keeping up with warp-ins and chrono boosts. While he was able to kill off the third, Curious retained a game winning army size and mini’s attempts to transition into the late game were crushed.
Polt meanwhile had the easiest route to another season in Code S. He never once looked threatened by Terminator, getting clearly ahead in the early game twice in a row, and the solidifying and extending that lead in the midgame. In short, he was a clear level above his opponent, and showed a return to form in his TvP, making the Protoss look silly for thinking he ever stood a chance.
For both Polt and Curious, it has to feel good to show that they still are a step above the average GSL competition. Polt’s TvP has not looked at its finest as of late, but here he took out his opponent with ease. Curious had a slightly tougher day on the job, but he once again proved himself an excellent gatekeeper between Code A and S, even with KeSPA players being added to the mix.
Terminator and mini were the clear disappointments of the day. While for Terminator it seemed a confirmation that he might not be ready for Code S, mini was shockingly poor considering his rather impressive play in previous rounds. Time will tell whether this was merely a hiccup or whether there are more systemic issues for the Protoss to figure out.
Samsung_RorO's superior engagements earn him a 2 – 0 victory over MVP.DongRaeGu
The final matchup of the day was likely the most anticipated. DRG came to Mokdong having just secured his OSL final ticket in its inaugural SC2 season while RorO booked his ticket to Battle.net 2012 World Championship Finals through a fifth place finish in WCS Asia.
One of the definitive lessons of seeing KeSPA players coming into the player pool is that their Zergs know a thing or two about ZvZ. DongRaeGu was the unlucky recipient of the most clinical lessons in WCS Korea, where Effort defeated him in one of the most technical ZvZs we have seen so far. Back then, it came in the form of a seemingly endless low economy ling/bling war where Effort’s micro and army control simply took him from a disadvantageous position to victory.
While the lesson was different this time around, the series still had an eerie sense of déjà vu. DongRaeGu was able to gain advantages early on in both games. While Effort’s micro was what was impressive in WCS Korea, in Code A RorO displayed engagements that were far superior to DRG's.
The first game was a rather messy affair, both players holding clear advantages at different times in the midgame but failing to capitalize and making incorrect decisions. In the end, as it looked like DRG was staging a real comeback, RorO simply decided to trade as efficiently as possible over and over and over. In a series of four battles it looked like they were DRG's to take, RorO went from behind to even, even to ahead, and ahead to taking a 1 – 0 series lead.
Game two was more of the same, albeit with a more dominating opening for DongRaeGu. RorO decided to attack with lings early on, but through mis-micro and DRG’s stellar baneling defense, he was trading himself into poverty. The MVP ace expanded upon his lead through making RorO repeatedly cancel his third while getting mutalisks while the Samsung Khan Zerg still was teching up to infestors. Consistently a base or two down, RorO faced nigh impossible odds. However, he kept his upgrades going as his only edge, and once again he had a long series of trades that went in his favor through good positioning and some terrible wastes of infestor energy from DRG.
RorO has looked like the real deal for some time. DRG must have felt like he would have easily beaten just about any other Zerg given the same circumstances. Given the relative staleness of the Korean Zerg scene, RorO should be an exciting addition to Code S.
DRG meanwhile must have suffered from having to focus on his OSL match against MC the day before. Lacking dedicated preparation time and the mental fatigue from having faced his Protoss nemesis, he likely came into this match in a worse condition than what one would expect for a general GSL match. In the end, it is hard to criticize DRG harshly for the play he showed; against a lesser opponent he would probably have won 2-0. Up and Downs are never fun, but there is nothing to suggest that DRG isn't perfectly capable of making his Code S return.