2002 SKY Ongamenet Starleague Semi-finals
[Oops]Reach vs [NC]..Yellow
Today I went to see the semi-finals of the Starleague live. That meant going 5 hours early and sitting on ridiculously uncomfortable benches for the duration of the games. Was it worth it? No chance in hell. Oh well, here are the games.
Pictures of maps here.
Game 1: Gaema Gowun
The game opened with Reach at 2:00 and Yellow at 5:00. Both players sent their first scouts, an overlord and a probe in the opposite direction of their opponents. Yellow went for relatively safe overlord then 10 hatch at ramp build, while Reach went for fast gas after 1 gate.
Even though he was going for a tech build, Reach sent his first zealot to Yellow's base. Alongside his scouting probe, the zealot attempted to kill Yellow's drones, but zerglings came out in the nick of time. Reach kept his zealot and probe running around his Yellow's main keeping Yellow's drones occupied chasing them around. All the while Yellow went about his plan without much trouble, building a 3rd hatch at his natural.
After getting rid of the bothersome zealot, Yellow decided to poke at Reach. Seeing just 2 zealots on the ramp, Yellow attacked with a handful of zerglings. But due to excellent placing allowing a single probe to hit from behind the zealots, Yellow was forced to pull back after losing a fair amount of his early zerglings. A bit later, 2 lings were seen in Reach's base a few moments later, they were dispatched easily with the arrival of a dragoon. How they entered couldn't be seen though.
Meanwhile, both players were selecting their tech. Reach's choice was to go for a Stargate, while also making a 2nd gateway. Yellow's overlords saw this much, and quickly made their escape to minimize losses. Yellow's tech was rather slow compared to Reach's, his gas came at moderate time after his 3rd hatchery, and he chose to react late to corsair tech. Giving up 1 lord, Yellow made went for an evolution chamber and a spore colony at his natural while powering heavily.
Reach made a total of 2 corsairs, which killed a total of 3 lords, 2 very quick and a delay while getting to the 3rd one. Inside his main, a 3rd gateway was being added, alongside dragoon range at the cybernetics core.
Once a satisfactory force had been created, Reach went on the offensive. 3 zealots and 5 dragoons moved out to attack the zerg natural. Yellow had been making 2 sunkens, sensing his vunlerability from powering so heavily. However, they were still morphing from creep colonies to sunken colonies when Reach arrived. His hydralisk den was just finishing at his nat when Reach attacked.
With only a handful of lings, about 8 or so, Yellow was unable to stop this quick attack from Reach. The spore colony at the nat was destroyed as well, letting Reach's corsairs kill the unprotected overlords. After his initial defense was destroyed, Yellow tried to repel the dragoons with fresh zerglings from his hatcheries. However, Reach had been making ranged goons from 3 gates. With excellent goon dancing, defeated the already overpowered zerglings without a loss. Seeing Reach advance up his ramp with over 12 ranged goons, Yellow conceeded the game.
It is hard to say if it was Reach's timing was excellent, or if Yellow was just powering too hard. This game ended far too easily, with everything going Reach's way.
Game 2: Neo Vertigo
After a disappointing 1st game, the 2nd game proved to be much better. Reach started at 8:00, and Yellow started at 2:00. Both players scouted spots next to them first, so there were no fast probe harass tricks that Reach loves to use.
Yellow played the early game like he did on Gaema Gowun, going for 10 hatch at his ramp. Reach's build changed this time, going for a surprising 1 gate 1 forge in his main. With his scouting probe making trouble in Yellow's main, a 2nd probe had come to make a pylon below Yellow's ramp. Reach started a cannon below the ramp, while a zealot came along. Before the 1st cannon was complete, Reach started a 2nd cannon up on the ramp where Yellow could see it.
The first battle of the game would be Reach's 2 probes and 1 zealot, versus Yellow's initial 8 lings and the 5 drones he brought along for support. None of the cannons had been completed when the 2 forces clashed. The cannon building above the ramp fell easily, but it was not so easy to get to the one below the ramp. The 2 probes and the zealot delayed the zerglings on the ramp, buying as much time as possible. The cannon was eventually completed, with a good deal of it's HP down. Yellow's force was too much to handle in the first place, but Reach did a good job of cutting it down as much as possible. 3 drones were killed, as well as most of the zerglings.
Combined with the extras coming from his hatcheries, Yellow sent a total of 6 zerglings to Reach's base. He also expanded to the natural in that time. Reach was prepared at his main, with a cannon building and a zealot. During his failed cannon push, he had gone about starting to tech, making an assimilator. Yellow had prepared gas as well.
With a moderate amount of lings and a sunken, Yellow made many drones while preparing to make 3 hatch hydra. Reach went about his business, securing his ramp with zealots and cannons. His tech path was stargate, then templar tech. As he scouted/harassed with his single sair, Reach took his expansion as well. Yellow started hydra production at a precise time, taking no losses from the sair. He also started on a lair, in preperation for future battles.
Yellow attacked after his speed upgrade finished. He had about 16 hydras, Reach had 2 cannons and a small amount of zealots blocking his ramp. His templar archives had been done for a while though, and it appeared as if a DT would come and force the hydras back any time soon. However, it was a psi storm out of nowhere that pushed the hydras back (thanks to the Ongamenet observer for not catching the templar). Still having some breathing room, Yellow took his mineral only expansion. Reach started making more gates, with his expansion completed.
It didn't take much time for Yellow to start attacking again. This time, it was from a different direction, using a small number of hydralisks to attack the Protoss nat from the low ground. Reach was prepared for this though, with templar and cannons at his natural. After taking a few hits from psi storm, Yellow turned his hydras into lurkers for another attack. Reach was prepared for this too, as he already had a small force of zealots and templars. They went down the ramp to attack the lurkers coming to burrow below the nat. Reach didn't have an observer at the time, but he used his zealots to get at least 1 hit on the lurkers, so they would die to 1 storm. Yellow was not the only one attempting to harass, Reach had snuck a DT into the zerg main. Yellow noticed it quickly though, and finished it off while losing 5 drones.
Having fended off Yellow's initial offensives without many losses, Reach was ready to poke at Yellow. Around 12 zealots, 2 goons, 2 temps, and an observer took off to see what damage they could do. The attack however, ended in an anti-climatic way as the observer ventured too far ahead to die to hydralisks. Not to be discouraged, Reach started to warp in a pylon at his min nat. His troops had forced Yellow back to the middle of the map before they had been stopped. The new units coming from his gates were mostly dragoons now. Reach moved out slightly, only to have to run back to kill some lurkers pestering the pylons at his min nat, using his new observer.
With a force consisting of more dragoons than zealots, Reach attacked again with his 2nd observer. 20 or so Protoss ground clashed with Zerg in the middle. Yellow had been preparing somewhat, having made many lings to accompany his hydralisks. However, they were not speed upgraded, and were forced to run back to the zerg min nat after taking heavy losses. Reach took his min nat while pressing this attack.
Having defeated Yellow once in the middle, Reach quickly continued his attack, and went to attack Yellow's min nat. Yellow had been scurrying to make sunkens after his force retreated from the fight in the middle. The battle at Yellow's mineral nat had the opposite result of the previous battle, with the now speedlings forcing the mainly dragoon force to retreat back after taking losses. Yellow may have had cracklings at this point(zergling with attack speed), though I'm not sure. The observer didn't show Yellow's hive until quite late, and I didn't look at Yellow's screen enough -_-.
A very visible turning point came then. Despite having lost the previous battle, Reach was still being aggresive. After combining with the reinforcements, Reach took his troops out for another push. Taking advantage of his situation, 24 cracklings happily tore down the nexus at the Protoss mineral nat, alongside the beginnings of a defense line there.
Reach takes this group of harassing cracklings down, but hardly gets any time to rest. Reach had not switched into a unit combination that would be useful against zerglings. Yellow pressed his advantage as much as he could, attacking with a large force of lurkers and cracklings. The zealots Reach was able to make in that time were overpowered by lurkers and a lack of enough archon support. Reach was able to survive only through great use of templars, and he had still suffered significant troop losses. The battle had started near Reach's min nat, and Reach had almost been forced up his ramp near the end.
The fact that he was running out of resources at his main hurt Reach badly at this time, he desperately needed another base to continue fighting the cracks coming out of many hatcheries. Reach took his army back up to his mineral nat to expand, only to be attacked by lurker ling again. A lone defiler happily cast plague on the protoss troops as well, but the damage caused was not very significant. Once again, Reach's troops retreated while templars stormed. Reach lived, but he had again lost units he could not afford to lose.
Reach's last ditch attempt came out at this point: 6 corsairs. 3 DTs had been seen coming down the ramp to help during Yellow's last attack, the corsairs made Reach's last gamble clear. Yellow had ignored anti air units, having gone for mostly cracks and lurkers.
It was too little, too late. The sairs and DTs destroyed the fresh expansions at the 11:00 main and nat, but Yellow didn't need them to win the game. He had been playing off his main, nat, and min nat for the entire game, and they were going to be enough. Squeezing gas out of nowhere, Yellow had already assembled a finishing force of ultralisks and hydralisks to accompany his masses of cracklings.
Letting the DTs slice up the hatcheries at 11:00, Yellow took his swarm and overran Reach. Reach put up a good defense at his ramp, but was eventually defeated. Yellow showed some cute tricks and plagued the dark templars to reveal them. GG!
Reach was indeed in a good position, even though he had failed with his cannon rush. After his failed attack on Yellow's min nat, everything went downhill. He was never able to assemble a force that was able to effectively fight Yellow's cracks. They never got to the critical size required to start beating cracks consistently, and he simply never had enough archons. Yellow's continous pressuring deserves credit.
Game 3: Neo Forbidden Zone
Reach started at 5:00, Yellow started at 1:00. He scouted counter-clockwise with his overlord. Reach went for a typical fast robotics facility build order on isles. Yellow on the other hand, went made an overlord, gas, a 2nd hatchery, and then a spawning pool. After that, he surprised people by morphing both of his hatcheries to lairs.
Reach took a probe and a dragoon down with his first shuttle. The probe started to warp in a pylon, but not a nexus. Reach did not hurry to make a nexus, rather he made 3 cannons at his expansion, and 2 in his main while he teched to reavers.
1 lair had started morphing faster for Yellow, and it had been set to research drops. Yellow lowered some speedlings and hydras using slow overlords to the ground below. He also started an expansion at his nat. Reach had a probe scouting the low ground right down from Yellow's main. Seeing the happenings over at Yellow's camp, Reach added 2 more cannons at his nat, while taking a reaver and a goon in a shuttle to Yellow's nat.
Everything went Reach's way, Yellow cancelled his hatchery and returned his forces, while the shuttle came back safely and the extra cannons warped in without trouble. Only then did Reach start to warp in a nexus. Yellow attempted to expand again after Reach's reaver left. Speed finished as well, and he took 3 overlords full of troops to drop Reach.
Reach was prepared, 2 cannons a reaver in his main made Yellow back off after headlong charge. Yellow showed some cute tricks, using his few remaining hydras and overlords like Boxer would use marines and dropships. The hydras made the reavers waste shots as they went in and out of the overlords. A dragoon later chased off the attackers for good.
After this, both player's expansions finished at almost the same time. Reach had made 3 gates on the lower ground, and was focusing on mostly dragoons. Yellow was still going for hydra ling. He had a surprisingly large amount, and went on the offensive quickly after he attempted to drop his main.
Yellow tried to use 3 overlords to make it look as if he were attacking Reach's main, but Reach was not fooled. Yellow commenced an attack on Reach's nat anyway. At first it looked as if Reach would stop it handily, with 5 cannons and 2 reavers, not to mention goons coming out of the gates. However, Yellow microed well, and the reavers were not able to do nearly enough damage as they could have before they died. The 5 cannons fell easy as well. The fact that Reach was reinforcing his troops from the lower ground saved him, as his reinforcements arrived right on the battlefield. Reach repelled the attack with severe troop loss, but not many probes lost.
Both players are given a little respite to rebuild their forces, Reach made the better choice, though with more money than zerg, it would be hard to say any unit mix would have been "wrong". Yellow went for mass ling while making a spire, Reach made reaver/goon. Both players attacked at similar times, meeting near the 3:00 part of the map and seperating momentarily. Reach had around 9 goons, and a reaver/shuttle combination. Yellow had many lings, and was still preparing mutalisks. Rather than futilely fight the reaver/goon, Yellow opted to counter-attack Reach's nat while Reach's goons destroyed Yellow's.
The outcome tilted the game even more to Reach's favor. Reach had sufficient defenses at his nat, allowing him to kill Yellow's zerglings and his nat for free. Also in favor for Reach, he had been expecting mutalisks to pop up sometime, and was using his extra money to make corsairs from 2 starports.
When Yellow showed up with his 10+ mutas, Reach was hardly unprepared. Reach stopped a secret expansion attempt at 11:00, and stopped Yellow's last ditch attack with ease to win the 3rd game.
Yellow's attempts to hurt Reach failed completely this game, Reach expanded very safely and took every attack. With more money than zerg, there was no way Reach could lose.
Game 4: Neo Bifrost
This game was the "gimmick" game that has appeared before in other best 3 of 5 series. Garimto's zealot/cannon rush on Boxer in the 2001 SKY finals, Yellow's offensive hatchery on Boxer during the Coca Cola Starleague, etc....
Reach started at 8:00, Yellow started at 1:00. 2 player map, obviously both players knew where to scout . Reach, knowing his chances on this map were not good (he had lost to Yellow before during the tie-breakers in the 1st round of play), went for a risky strat. And a word from your friendly neighborhood nazgul on why Bifrost is horrid for p v z
"no choke, no high ground low ground entrance, mineral only expansion, VERY LONG WAY, EXPAND BEHIND SO Z HAS EVEN MORE OF A FREE EXPO, etc." "gas expand can be cliffed by lurkers, for which he doesnt even need drop."
A probe went out very early, while a 2nd probe went out to make it look like he was playing in a standard way. The first probe had made a pylon near the 3:00 part of the map, flush against the cliff on the low ground.
In the meanwhile, Yellow was going for a 2nd hatchery in his main, with a disturbingly late spawning pool. Only when his overlord arrived at an empty toss main did Yellow realize something might have been going on. It was a bit too late then.
A zealot and 2 probes ran into Yellow's main before the spawning pool was even done. Yellow reacted excellently, making a creep colony while bunching the rest of his drones together on a mineral patch, preventing the zealot from getting close for fear of getting stuck in a group of drones breaking up.
Still, Reach was able to carefully kill 3 or so drones before the sunken colony completed. When the spawning pool was done, Yellow had the money to morph his creep colony, but only 2 zerglings. With his sunk as defense, Yellow made a few drones and gas. His 2 zerglings infiltrated the toss main, where they were able to kill 3 valuable probes before a cannon completed.
A cannon? Reach would show his plans. 4 of his zealots went to hit the zerg gas, and they succeed in killing it. However, Yellow had already started researching speed, though he was stopped from going lair for the time being. More importantly though, a probe followed the 4 zealots into the zerg main, and after they finished killing the extractor, they went right up the ramp behind the minerals in the Zerg main. At first, Yellow's many speedlings rushed out to attack the gateways left abandoned by Reach. But they were forced to turn back, because of Reach's plan.
With the zealots blocking the ramp, Reach's probe started on a pylon. Initially, Yellow started to make a creep colony in his mineral patches, but opted for another solution. Bunching a bunch of drones together, he sent them up the ramp right, intending to pass them through Reach's zealots and then make them split apart, thus breaking Reach's zealot formation (yes, I know you all know and that I don't need to explain). Reach, knowing of Yellow's motives as soon he saw drones coming up the ramp, pulled his zeals back and unblocked the ramp of his own accord. The zealots were horribly outnumbered, and the zerglings tore them up. They quickly ran back to finish off the proximal gates.
Though the game was considered over at that point, Reach continued to try. He cannoned his main and teched to a reaver drop. Though he did manage to get an impressive reaver drop on Yellow, Yellow had been left to his own accord for a long time while Reach was turtling. He ignored the reaver drop and wiped up Reach using mutaling.
Game 5: Gaema Gowun
Perhaps the best game of them all. The two players returned to the first map. Reach received the 2:00 start again, while Yellow started at 8:00. Neither player tried strange diagonal scouting, and found each other at a moderate time.
The game played out much like game 1 at first. Reach went for 1 gate gas, while Yellow went for 10 hatch at ramp, and a 3rd hatch at his expansion. The difference was that Yellow used a drone to scout, and that Reach used his 1st zeal to block his ramp from scouting instead of rushing with it.
The game flows similarly to game 1 some more, as Reach goes for a starport and a 2nd gate, and Yellow goes for gas a short time after his 3rd hatchery. The first big diversions from the 1st game were when Reach made a citadel of adun, and when Yellow decided to lair very quick.
Yellow saw all of Reach's tech, and went for an evo chamber once again to stop the sair. The spore colony was placed at his nat. Yellow also made a spire as his tech. Only 1 sair came out, and it had minimal success in killing overlords. When Reach came out with 5 speed zeals and a goon, Yellow already had sunkens in place. 5 lings ran into Reach's main after the zealots and dragoon left. It seemed that Yellow had learned a good deal from the first game.
Only at first glance? Zealots coming fresh from the gateways took care of the invading zergling without trouble. Reach did not even think of attacking straight forward. Half the zealots went around the nat, using the hilly area that includes the mineral nat. They invaded the zerg main, which had a building sunken colony. The other half come into the nat to kill the spore colony, which was placed a bit too forward compared to the sunkens. Yellow makes mistakes in sending zerglings to fend off both forces, sending miscalculated amounts at first. Reach is able to kill some lings without trouble, while his sair attacked the now unprotected overlords. The zealots in the main are not able to do that much, damaging the sunken colony and killing some lings before dying themselves.
Yellow's speedlings are finally able to stop this initial harassment. Yellow makes the mistake to think that the harassment was over and send the lings out close to Reach's base. 4 more zealots run in through the back door, and are able kill the newly spawned spire and some drones before zergling arrive to kill them. Fortunately for Yellow, he was saving larva, and was able to make 8 mutalisks. He then went to see what he could do with his mutas, while being forced to make a den.
Reach had added a 3rd gate, and went all the way up to templar tech with an archon. Yellow's mutas leave Reach's base as almost as soon as they came, seeing Reach's archon. Reach made a hasty attack, with 1 archon and a handful zealots. Too hasty, it would have only taken a few seconds to wait for the 2nd archon that was morphing then. Yellow used good micro to get the zerglings in position to surround the archon. The archon falls to concentrated mutaling fire, and Yellow quickly runs his mutaling off. The 2nd archon comes out to join the zealots, but it too suffers a similar fate to Yellow's mutaling, though all but 2 of Yellow's mutas are left this time.
Despite all this seemfully wasteful loss, Reach was still in a good position, having stalled Zerg's tech by killing the spire and forcing a quick switch to lurkers. It bought Reach time to expand, while losing 2 archons but still making more. It was not enough time to install photon cannons though, as Reach had a close call when Yellow's lurkers came out.
Following a 2 muta harassment of the building nexus, 2 lurkers and few lings came to bother the nearly complete nexus. The fact that it was only a few lurkers saved Reach, as his few zealots and archon were able to keep the lurkers burrowed a somewhat safe distance from the nexus.
With the nexus done and the cannons blocking a frontal attack in place, Yellow decided that he had to take control of the cliff overlooking Reach's nat. The first attack on Reach's cliff consisted of 6+ lurkers, and a few hydra/ling. His timing was good, Reach had a few cannons and only melee troops: zealots and 2 archons. Reach's troops fought and brought down as many zerg troops as possible while trying to prevent admission up the ramp onto the high ground. Only a few of the zerg troops were able to get up the cliff, and they were chased off by arriving templars and dragoons before they could prevent probes from mining for too long.
Yellow did not stop with just that attack though, he continued to pound on Reach's cliff with small attacks in rapid succession. He tried 2 more times to assail the cliff, once with a mixture of hydra lurk, another time with mostly hydra, both small forces one after the other. However, Reach was barely able to stop the attacks each time.
After 3 failed attacks on the cliff, Yellow decided to attack a different place. The nat, though having a good deal of cannons was more wide open than the narrow ramp going up to the high ground. A large amount of hydra lurk went in the front door, they were greeted by a showering of storm as had those before them.
Yellow had expanded to his min nat during all these attacks, but had not been able to power to fill it with drones. Reach had stopped to continous attacks, which resulted in Yellow running out of steam, and Reach had going into steady production mode with a resource advantage.
It was not long after Yellow's failed attack on Reach's nat that Reach had made a formidable zeal temp force. 12+ speed zealots a few templars came out, a force that Reach is awesome with. The hydra ling trying to surround this force in the field was absolutely slaughtered by psi storm. However, Yellow had reinforcements coming out of his hatches, and sunkens at his nat, preventing Reach from pressing his attack. However, Reach was out of his base, and being aggresive nonetheless.
Yellow's last offensive went in the form of hydra lurk attack with a large ratio of lurkers. They were met by archons, templars, and zeals in the middle, where the protoss troops won a victory, thanks to storm. Reach continued to press the offensive, making many archons (4!) and adding some goons to his mix.
The game ended for Yellow as the 6 lurkers that could have saved him died in their eggs. As the archons and goons enganged the hydralisks and sunkens, a templar psi stormed the tightly bunched eggs twice, turning them into bloody messes. Yellow did an admirably job of holding out, but the continuing influx of protoss reinforcements compared to his limited zerg reinforcements forced him to concede the game.
This game made me think of HOT-Forever vs Reach in some ways. HOT, like Yellow, aggresively attacked Reach's expansion instead of expanding while playing defensive. Reach was able to defend vs the zerg attacks in both cases, and eventually use poor economic state of the zerg to win. Yellow did do a better job than HOT however, making the game feel quite close.
Elky vs Boxer next week!
I'd have rather have seen a z v t finals, it's just more fun for me. But hey, protoss might win! I suppose I'll be happy with that .