Code S RO16: Group C Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown.
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PartinG <Cloud Kingdom> TheStC
PartinG <Antiga Shipyard> TheStC
PartinG wins 2-0!
MarineKing vs TaeJa
MarineKing <Atlantis Spaceship> TaeJa
MarineKing <Cloud Kingdom> TaeJa
MarineKing wins 2-0!
PartinG <Metropolis> MarineKing
PartinG <Entombed Valley> MarineKing
PartinG <Daybreak> MarineKing
PartinG wins 2-1 and advances to Code S RO8!
TheStC <Metropolis> TaeJa
TheStC <Daybreak> TaeJa
TaeJa wins 2-0! TheStC drops to Code A RO24
MarineKing <Entombed Valley> TaeJa
MarineKing <Dual Sight> TaeJa
TaeJa wins 2-0 and advances to Code S RO8! MarineKing drops to Code A RO24
One Man Balance-Wrecking Crew
– PartinG defeats TheStC and MarineKing to advance in first place
MLG Spring Arena proved to be just a minor bump in the road for Startale's PartinG, who brushed off the jet lag and poor performances he picked up in New York to show why he is the best Protoss vs Terran player in the world. Faced with two tough Terrans in oGs.TheStC and MarineKingPrime, PartinG showed his mastery of the match-up and defeated the pair by a combined score of 4 – 1, advancing to the quarter-finals as first place in his group.
The match against MarineKing was one that had been anticipated for weeks, with many fans thinking PartinG had been robbed of a victory over MarineKing at the GSTL grand finals when the referees declared a re-game after an untimely disconnect. While the flames of rivalry had been considerably dampened due to PartinG and MKP's rather public friendship, it was still a must-see match pitting the two best TvP and PvT players against each other. The two friends did not disappoint the fans, quickly dealing with TheStC and Liquid`TaeJa to set up the much anticipated winners' match.
While the series was not the closest two had ever played, it still ended up being an excellent display of PvT skill. In the first set on Metropolis, PartinG went for a fast expand into some very standard 4-gate pressure – something MarineKing seemed to have in mind when he went for his FE into marines and siege tanks. However, MKP did not count on PartinG's jaw-dropping stalker micro, which allowed the nimble walkers to pick apart a Terran army that was slow to get both concussive shells and siege mode. PartinG was able to do an enormous amount of damage for a very moderate investment, and was even able to take his third base in the meanwhile. MarineKing was allowed a last ditch attack after one wasteful, overconfident attack from the Protoss forces, but PartinG was simply too far ahead and cleaned up with chargelots and storm.
A cheeky five-probe rush in the second game on Entombed Valley seemed like it would gift PartinG an easy 2 – 0 victory, but MarineKing proved his mettle by fighting back to even the score. After scouting out a command center-first expansion, PartinG sent several probes forward to delay the building SCV. With his marines coming extremely late, MKP was forced to cancel his command center and re-build it later after he had made enough infantry to defend himself.
At that moment, it looked like PartinG had taken a large lead, but the sacrificed mining time of five probes made the situation surprisingly even. The game played out in a fairly normal fashion after the rush, with MarineKing hitting a stim and medivac timing while PartinG tried to delay until he had storm. This time around, PartinG's micro wasn't up to the occasion, and some poor force-fields were used against him as MKP's marine heavy composition plowed through the gateway units to force a GG.
With the deciding game being held on the macro-friendly map of Daybreak, PartinG decided to put all his chips on the table. Parting went up to seven gateways for a massive two-base all-in, while MKP went for a similar marine-tank strategy from Metropolis. This time, MKP had siege mode in time, but it ended up making no difference at all. Though he had been expecting some pressure, MKP was not ready to deal with a total all-in attack. Before MKP knew what hit him, the mass of gateway units cut through infantry and tanks, and walked into the main to camp the production facilities. With no chance of winning, MKP was forced to concede his very first series defeat to PartinG.
PartinG looked overjoyed to win, and even allowed himself to be a bit cocky. In a post match interview, PartinG mentioned that he "eats Terrans for breakfast," and that he would "take the Protoss presidency" from SK_MC.
– TaeJa edges out MarineKing for second place
With TheStC eliminated after his consecutive proxy-banshee builds failed against Liquid`TaeJa, two regally named players were left to play for the last spot in the quarter-finals. The situation seemed grim for TaeJa – Earlier in the night, MarineKing had convincingly defeated him 2 – 0, winning with superior play using both bio and mech compositions. However, after suffering defeat at the hands of PartinG, a different MarineKing entered the booth for the final match.
The first game on Entombed Valley saw both players build very similar marine-tank compositions after slightly different openings. As both players positioned and postured – looking for a way to gain a small advantage in a tense situation – MarineKing decided to commit to a fatally reckless attack. The marines in his brave charge were quickly turned to hamburger, and he was forced to declare GG very soon after.
The second game on Dual Sight told an oddly similar story. Both the prince and the king built up large marine-tank armies off of two bases, delaying their thirds considerably to make sure their armies wouldn't fall behind each others'. When the time came for the two players to make aggressive moves, a familiar Dual Sight scenario occurred as the two armies bypassed each other completely by taking two different paths across the map. A base trade situation seemed inevitable, as TaeJa army arrived in MKP's natural just as MKP's forces crossed the line-of-no-return.
Instead, MarineKing made the disastrous decision to rally his forces back to try and clear out TaeJa's army. With TaeJa's tanks already in place, a marine massacre occurred as MarineKing ended up attacking an entrenched position at his own natural. Having received the donation of MKP's entire army, all that remained for TaeJa was to walk up into MKP's main and receive the GG.
Team vs Team & King vs King
– Where do they go from here?
PartinG and TaeJa face the unfortunate prospect of semi-final battles against their teammates. While fellow StartaleQ housemate NaNiwa lies on the same side of PartinG's Ro8 bracket, TaeJa might very well face Liquid`HerO in a battle between Liquid aces. That might be looking too far ahead, since more importantly, they will learn their RO8 opponents tomorrow. SK_MC, MaruPrime, FXOz, and ST_Squirtle are up in Group D, and TaeJa and PartinG will both be facing players from that group. If PartinG were to face the only Terran in Maru, a semi-final spot would be virtually assured. TaeJa might prefer Maru as well, considering his victories over TheStC, NSH_Jjakji, and MarineKing this tournament. On the other hand, viewers might want him go up against a Protoss player, as very little PvTaeJa has been on display lately.
For TheStC and MarineKing, all hope is not lost. By being knocked out in the RO16, they are directly seeded into the final round of Code A, where they need only a single best of three series victory to return to Code S next season. Even if they should lose, they will still have a chance in the Up/Down matches.
TheStC will face the winner of GhostKingPrime vs FXOTree in his match, with GhostKing being the likely winner. While TheStC's decision to go all-proxy against TaeJa was perplexing, if he returns to playing the solid mech style that got him to the RO16 this season, he shouldn't have much trouble against either Terran.
On the other hand, after having his own Code S dreams crushed, MarineKing has been made to play spoiler to the hopes of another king. The King of Code A, SlayerS_YuGiOh (played in all eleven Code A tournaments), will likely defeat oGs.Lure and go on to face MarineKing. YuGiOh has grown slowly but steadily better in the last few months, and wouldn't look out of place in the Code S RO32. Unfortunately, he will probably have to try his luck in the Up/Downs as MKP will be furious at himself and eager to seek redemption.
Game of the Night
– oGs.TheStC vs ST_PartinG - Game Two
What would a night of PartinG PvT's be without at least one game where he made the match-up look stupidly imbalanced? TheStC looked as good as MarineKing, Polt, Jjakji and crew for the first 20 minutes of the game, abusing the firepower and mobility of MMM to cause PartinG no end of trouble. Wolf and Artosis were pretty much calling the game as over when TheStC had a twenty supply lead and had just discovered PartinG's hidden fourth base. However, one mis-rally and a moment of indecision from TheStC later, PartinG was suddenly back on top, with undying zealots swarming marines while lightning crackled overhead. "F*** storm," "f*** warp-ins," and "f*** armor zealots" were all in play.
Code S RO16: Group D Preview
The Protoss President
All eyes will be on the incumbent SK_MC as he tries to keep pace with the opposition candidate in the upcoming Aiur elections, Startale's Parting. PartinG was able to impress last night by beating MarineKing and getting out of his group in first place. After the games, PartinG sent out a challenge to MC, saying he wanted to face MC in the RO8 so he could claim the position of Protoss president for himself. It might have been a brash challenge from the youngster – MC has survived a few dozen 'new Protoss hopes' in his career.
MC was able to get to the quarterfinals last season, but was taken down by Genius in a one-sided series, and had to go through his usual routine of traveling to an international tournament to find an alternate way of filling up his bank account for the month. After taking first place at the IEM World Championship and gaining $35,000, MC is back in Korea to continue his quest to join Mvp and Nestea in the club of players with three championships.
While Nestea and MVP went into slumps, and were outdone by DongRaeGu and MMA respectively, no other Protoss has been able to surpass President-for-life MC by taking a championship for their race. It's been over a year now since MC was able to defeat July in the March finals and only two other Protosses in that time have even made a GSL final, and both failed spectacularly on the grandest stage of all. Now, finally, with the appearance of Parting, armed his mastery of the PvT match-up, MC might actually have found a credible challenger.
But before he can think about how to deal with PartinG, the two-time champion will first have to get out of a group with two other strong Protosses and the youngest player to ever play in Code S. If you think this is going to be an easy group for MC, you're incredibly mistaken. Yes, he was able to get his choice and picked the highly inexperienced fourteen-year-old Maru, but after watching him in his Ro32 against Hero, you can tell that the kid has the talent and composure to take down MC. MC's PvT hasn't been the best lately and has been one of the main reasons he hasn't been winning as many foreign events in the past few months. He lost to Virus in the first round this season, and if thinks it'll be a walk in the park against Maru, he'll be on the brink of elimination before you can say "electoral college."
Then, when comparing his PvP against the other two players, there might be trouble as well. Oz and Squirtle are both confident in their mirror match-up, and Squirtle was even the player to eliminate MC from IPL4. MC used to be the best PvP player on the planet by a huge margin, but those days are long gone. Squirtle and Oz have both shown better results than him lately, it's going to be a tough task for MC to get out of this group.
MaruPrime is a popular kid. During the group selections, several players were joking that they wanted to be the one to pick Maru, but MC, the player with the second overall position in the draft, made sure to take advantage of his early pick. On the surface, it seems like an easy choice. He's a barely turned fourteen-year-old kid in his first Code S season, and he had to make huge comebacks against both Gumiho and Hero to get out of his group. With his lack of experience and shaky performances in the RO32, it was no surprise players were lining up to take him on.
But, the thing that cannot be discounted or looked past, is that even though he had to fight back from deficits to get out of the group, and showed impressive composure in the process. You have players, who even after playing in the GSL for over a year, still cannot win a series after falling behind in the first set. In Maru's case, he seems to almost thrives on being down a game. At the tender age of fourteen, when others wilt under the pressure, he rises to the occasion and actually plays better in spite of being a map away from elimination.
Maru might be the most dangerous player in this group. What does he have to lose? MC, Oz and Squirtle all have heavy expectations on their shoulders to do well in this group, and even if Maru goes 0 – 4 and goes down to Code A, people will still be applauding his momentous achievement of getting into the Ro16 at his age. With all three Protosses already seeing him as the weakest in the group, and his propensity to perform under pressure, the stage is almost perfectly set for a startling upset.
Don't forget that he lives in the same training house as the best TvP player in the world and plays a similar style to him in the match-up as well. Couple that in with him only having to practice one match-up and one match-up only, Maru is ready not only to make it out of the group, but continue his path down the Royal Road as the youngest player in Code S history.
The Wizard of Aiur
"PvP is pure skill. Pure micro. If anyone thinks they can win using luck, I will play you and I will beat you."
So, Mr. Oz, here is your chance to prove not only your skill, but that your bold statements about PvP are indeed correct. You have been put into a group against two strong PvP players and if you want to get out of this group, you will have to beat at least one of them in a best-of-three series. You've made a name for yourself by having one of the best PvP records, so if there was ever a group to prove your true skill, this would be the one.
After his semifinal appearance in November and almost making the finals over eventual champion Jjakji, Oz hasn't been able to make it back to that point and is searching for the magic that got him so far in that tournament. He's always highly ranked or touted as one of the favorites going into the foreign tournaments he's entered, but he's never been able to deliver with a high finish except for the MLG Winter Arena. At IPL4 and the Winter Championship, Oz performed below expectations and wasn't able to live up to the lofty goals some people put upon on.
This group will more than likely fall on if Oz can PvP his way out of it. He's said time and time again that he can beat anyone in PvP, and Squirtle is one of the better PvP players in the world, so he'll be able to prove his talk in his first match of the night. In the case of a match-up against Maru, Oz did happen to beat Fin and Polt in the RO32, but a match against the cheesy Prime Terran seems close to a toss up.
Now it is the time for Oz to make us forget the names Parting, MC, Squirtle and Hero, and prove to us that
Presidential analogies are stupid he's been the real Protoss hope all along.
Instead of hyping him up, let me just show you ST_Squirtle's results in the past two weeks:
He's not only racked up an impressive win-loss record, but look at who he has beat. Polt? MarineKing? Nestea? Leenock? MMA? It's a murderers' row of players who have not only done well in the GSL, but have gotten to finals and have proved to be consistent players in Code S. Squirtle was one of the final two players picked during the group selections and for good reason after looking at his hit list for the past two weeks.
Squirtle made his name in Las Vegas for beating Terrans and Nestea, but PvP might actually be his favorite and best match-up. He was already able to beat MC at IPL4 and with his 75% win-rate PvP, and Squirtle even rivals Oz for the spot of best PvP player in Korea. A lot of people might be picking Oz as the easy selection in the match between the two players, but Squirtle could very well take him out.
In his PvT, Squirtle has now become the player known for his two base colossi pushes. While his teammate Parting has become synonymous with storms and high templar, Squirtle has used his powerful timing attacks and use of the colossus to the best of its abilities to win his games against Terran. Just like PartinG's storms, Terrans know the colossi are coming, yet still can't seem to stop them. If Maru can take it to the late game or stop the two base timing attack, he can beat Squirtle, but that's easier said than done. Just ask half of the Terrans in Code S.
Outlook and Predictions:
With a rookie in his first season and PvP's everywhere, this is the hardest group to call out of any in the round of sixteen. You would think that MC should be the heavy favorite against Maru, but the kid has risen to the occasion every time he's been called upon, and MC's PvT hasn't been very strong recently. With Squirtle and Oz, it really is anyone's game. Both are great at PvP, and in a match-up that can always go either way, it would be easier to literally flip a coin to see who will come out ahead. I have to say that I like Maru in this group. All three Protoss have their weakest match-up against Terran, and Maru will have taken advice from Creator and MarineKing – two excellent players on each side of the match-up – for the past two weeks and should be prepared thoroughly for this group.
Maru > MC
Squirtle > Oz
Maru > Squirtle
Oz > MC
Squirtle > Oz
Maru and Squirtle advance.
Bañe-ata by shiroiusagi.
Writers: Fionn and Waxangel
Graphics and Art: Meko.