SSL Ro.16 - Group D
Well, what do you know, Solar pulled it off in the end. A solid 2-0 result last week, taking down Super and ByuN, and placing him in the quarterfinals against Dear. Even though he couldn’t reach the Round of 16 in Code S, he’s still in the running for a title and is actually in quite a decent position to make it to BlizzCon.
While Group C was all about rooting for another Zerg to make it to the quarterfinals, this week’s big story is the Terrans. There’s three in Group D, so the ensuing TvTvT will make sure that there’s at least one Terran in the quarterfinals. If all goes as planned, there’s going to be two. Any other result would be shocking to say the least.
Patience’s day will be easy. Well, perhaps not easy, but simple. Well, perhaps not simple, but relatively uncomplicated. He needs to, after all, only practice one single match-up. He didn’t have to go through the Challenger event to get here, seeing as he reached the semifinals of SSL Season 1. Granted, he only had to play against Zerg and Protoss back then, doing well until he met Stats and was destroyed 0-4 in a rematch. Now, to be fair, months have passed, and in the current landscape of competitive StarCraft, that’s aeons.
Last week he lost against Dear twice, dropping out of Code S. He did take down SpeeD 2-1, proving that his PvT is at the very least not hopeless. In Proleague, he’s lost against players like GuMiho and herO, but June victories against Classic and Dark shouldn’t be discounted either. Afreeca’s Protoss is in a weird spot, then. He’s lucky he doesn’t have to go against other Protoss players here, because save for his SSL performance, the match-up has recently been atrocious for him. Everything will just come down to how well he can handle the Terran Trio.
Every single time Cure has faced TY in 2016, he’s come out the loser. Granted, TY is an extremely tough nut to crack, so maybe Jin Air’s Terran should just focus on the other two. After all, barring anything crazy happening, he will advance comfortably just by defeating Reality and/or Patience. What he desperately needs for the group, then, is consistency. He has excellent practice potential with his teammates, he simply needs to turn that into real results.
He’s certainly on the right path so far. Taking down Stats (his second attempt of the day) in Code S ensured him a spot in the Round of 16. He defeated Bomber and soO, and tied against Trap and Hush in the Challenge event. Cure is a strong contender for the quarterfinals, but it remains to be seen if he can make a run deeper than that. We know by now that he can go further.
Reality’s offline stats for the year are slightly misleading. On paper, his performance against Protoss hasn’t been exactly stellar, or even average, but he’s been playing against the cream of the crop. It’s hard to hold a decent win rate when your opponents constantly include players like Zest, Stats and Classic. Of course, his opposition in the group isn’t exactly easy, and Samsung’s Terran isn’t really known for his Starleague prowess.
Online cups and Proleague are a different matter entirely. If he’s been able to finally pick up something from his vast Proleague experience, there’s still a chance that we might see a true contender emerge. He barely made it out of the Challenger event though, so the prognosis for him isn't perfectly assuring.
With all the uncertainty revolving around the Challenger groups, TY’s run was a marvel to behold. His 8-0 result didn’t really leave anything to the imagination, and no one else in the Challenger event was able to match that score. Let’s not forget either that he was in the finals of Code S Season 1, and he’s already in the Round of 16 of the current season. In short, things are looking promising for KT Rolster’s Terran.
Recent losses against Maru and INnoVation still anchor TY to the mortal realm, however. His results against Protoss are very much lagging behind the other two match-ups as well. Even so, surveying the group, TY will find the competition rather barren.
Cure has simply been more impressive than Patience, let’s face it. The Terran’s solid overall performance has seen him successfully navigate the grueling Challenger event and Code S Round of 16. There’s still a chance that it might go either way, unlike TY vs Reality, which should be a given.
For the winners’ match, TY’s excellent TvT should again give him the edge over Cure. Patience should finally find his stride against Reality, while the last match of the group will be a tragic retelling of the first. Cure has been doing better in the two starleagues over the summer, no reason for him to stop now.
Patience < Cure
Reality < TY
Cure < TY
Reality < Patience
Patience < Cure
TY and Cure advance to the quarterfinals!