HyuN: What Do You Do? Bust-a-Roach!
HyuN is the Roach King. Tried and true, HyuN has established his style of using roaches in all matchups despite changes in the metagame. This clearly concentrated effort to consistently make roaches work against all odds is what sets HyuN apart from his fellow Zerg players. In particular, HyuN’s innovative roach timings in ZvT are most representative of his playstyle and have brought him a considerable amount of success.
However, clever all-ins will only take you so far, and HyuN has taken steps to ensure that he doesn’t become too predictable. While his +1/+1 roach timing is his go-to build in ZvT, he does a lot to vary his openings and transitions, and will occasionally throw in a roach/ling play or a roach/baneling bust to catch his opponents off guard. In his series against TaeJa in WCS America, HyuN even utilizes a proxy hatchery strategy. The bottom line is: HyuN likes to take the pressure to his opponent and rarely plays passively or reactively, allowing him to take map control early on and maintain it throughout the rest of the game.
HyuN vs TaeJa G3 on Merry Go Round
Merry Go Round is probably HyuN’s favorite ZvT map. The extraordinarily exposed third base makes it incredibly hard for a Terran player to hold a mid game roach timing, even if they do have tanks out. Time and time again, we’ve seen HyuN just dominate Terrans with roach timings and follow-up roach/hydra timings purely because the third base is too hard to defend. The two things makes this game special is HyuN’s safer opening incorporating zergling speed and overlord speed to scout and maintain map vision, and his smooth transition into muta/ling/bling off of a successful roach pressure.
The game starts with a standard hatch first opening with early speed against TaeJa’s CC first. HyuN’s first overlord is repelled by a marine, indicating a CC first but denying almost all other scouting information. He responds by making an extra set of lings to gain vision around the map and starting overlord speed at 6:00 when he accumulates his next 100 gas. He is able to see nearly half the map by spreading his overlords and prevent TaeJa from hitting any surprise timings. Behind the safety net of tons of map vision and overlord speed, HyuN takes his third base promptly at 6:00 and makes no additional lings when speed is finished.
At 7:15, HyuN is able to get a full scout of TaeJa’s main base using a speed overlord. This scout allows HyuN to verify if a brutal hellbat timing is on the way and whether he needs his gas for upgrades or roaches to defend. In this case, HyuN sees nothing out of the ordinary and continues to produce drones en masse while teching up to lair and starting +1/+1 for his roaches. Ordinarily, if HyuN were doing his “standard” opening focused on his mid game roach timing, he would have been unable to get a proper scout of the Terran main base and would be susceptible to a hellbat timing.
All I do is roach roach roach, no matter what!
Got money on ma mind, I can never get enough!
In typical HyuN fashion, he smashes 40 roaches against the third base of TaeJa at around 11:00. Even though TaeJa already has a tank in position to defend on the high ground, HyuN just pivots and swings in from the south to break the bunker, thin the marine count, and force the lift off. Behind the pressure, he takes a fourth base and adds a macro hatch while spreading creep all the way to the center of the map. After successfully delaying Taeja's third base mining and killing a few SCVs, he starts his spire, baneling nest, and +1 melee/+1 carapace to transition into muta/ling/bling while defending with roach/ling.
After increasing his army count a little more and finishing +2/+2, TaeJa decides he’s ready to move onto creep and pressure the fourth base. However, this move proves to be a disaster. Even though HyuN doesn’t have baneling speed, his strong emphasis on creep spread earlier in the game allows him to take an excellent engagement, despite being down in upgrades (he engages just before +2 carapace completes).
After smashing TaeJa’s attempt to break his economy, HyuN pulls ahead by 30 supply and attacks with a maxed out force with a ton of banelings. This attack breaks the back of TaeJa’s economy and allows HyuN to remax over and over again while TaeJa struggles to take good engagements and keep himself in the game. HyuN’s concentrated efforts to snipe medivacs wherever possible also presents a further drain on TaeJa’s economy and significantly weakens his bio forces.
Most of the game continues on in the same fashion, with HyuN inefficiently crashing maxed out army after army into TaeJa’s forces, hoping to eventually wear him down. An unscouted fourth base on the high ground allows TaeJa to stay in the game for 7:00 longer than he should have, but ultimately, the cascading pressure of HyuN proves to be too much for TaeJa, whose army literally cannot leave his base without walking on creep.
HyuN’s greatest weakness lies in rather sloppy play at times. This has led to quite a few ups and downs for HyuN in the past six months; each time his new builds are successful, they’re looking strong and unanswerable, but once they’re figured out, his success rate drops drastically. Matched up against Innovation, who is the model of good mechanics, HyuN can’t rely completely on clever builds, and his messy engagements and occasional tunnel vision might be his undoing.
He has been doing well in online cups, but his recent live results have been disappointing, leading one to believe that he doesn’t play so well in front of the crowd. On the other hand, Innovation just won GSL by dismantling the undisputed best Zerg live in front of the world. All in all, HyuN is going to have an extraordinarily uphill battle going into Blizzcon, but if he can surprise Innovation with a few roach/baneling busts, (historically, Innovation’s weakest spot HEYO Soulkey!), then he might be able to eke out a win.