And Business is Good

And thus the last Terran is eliminated from this starleague. Last week’s top story was (T)TY’s inability to break (Z)Dark’s ZvT, and so SKT’s famed Zerg will face off against his team mate (P)Classic in the semifinals. This week, we have another two quarterfinal matches coming up, the first another team kill. The winners of these two matches will have to play against each other in two weeks. The losers will have to wait until 2017.

Solar vs Dear

It was supposed to be simple. (Z)Solar was supposed to be in a slump. The Samsung Zerg was supposed to be nothing but a speed bump for the others. Going 2-1 against both Super and ByuN, however, he’s now in the quarterfinals again, and there’s a very real possibility that he’s able to replicate his success from the first season. After making it out of his group, he’s been again focusing on online cups, where ByuN has been able to find a pale shadow of the revenge that the Terran must desire. Now the Zerg is up against Dear, who’s been looking extremely promising as of late. Solar’s largest problem really stems from his overall performance: his online results are good, though not excellent, and his Ro16 success might just end up being a fluke. He’ll be looking for a way to exploit SSL’s apparent inherent unpredictability, and the fact that team kills tend to be extremely hard to gauge correctly.

While (P)Dear hasn’t always been the top pick to advance in the starleagues, he’s now gunning for the trophy in both GSL and SSL. There’s a very good chance that he’ll be the only player to reach the quarterfinals in both leagues this season, a feat absolutely worth of respect and accolades. Of course, by now he’s a familiar face in the top four, and there has to be something unsatisfying about losing steam what seems like every single time. What he has going for him is strong results in the PvZ match up in 2016, especially compared to Solar’s lackluster performance against Protoss. His challenge will be his lack of recent offline games against Zerg. He was taken down by ByuL in Code S, but Dear in turn took down ByuL in the next group. The Samsung Protoss might not have the most strategical style, but his execution is still top notch, hopefully enough to give him the needed edge. The road to any championship is paved with the shattered bones of would-be challengers, and Dear again has a chance to show that he’s more than a challenger. Now he just needs to capitalize on that chance.

Patience vs Zest

It’s been mentioned before, but bears repeating: (P)Patience didn’t have to go through the grueling Challenge event to get to the round of 16. He was seeded directly thanks to his performance in the first season. Even better, he managed to secure a spot in a group of three Terrans, giving him ample opportunity to refine just one match-up. He took full advantage of this, finishing first in his group, taking down both Cure and TY. However, his PvP is a different ball game entirely. He played two matches against Dear in his Code S group, managing to take only one map, and thus eliminated from the other individual league in the round of 32. He did take down SKT’s Classic in Proleague, but that was all the way back in early June. Since then, he’s been beaten by sOs, Stats and herO in Proleague.

Now he’s going up against (P)Zest, and while the Titan is best known for his monstrous PvT skills, Patience’s results betray a real struggle in the mirror match up. The two did meet in Proleague earlier this year, with Zest the victor. Patience’s Afreeca practice partners include Billowy and Super, not exactly known for their starleague prowess either. Even so, there is still some hope yet. His decision making is top notch, and he’s known for his analytical skill. If he keeps a cool head, reads his opponent, and manages to navigate the extremely volatile currents of the modern PvP metagame, he might have a chance.

In the other corner, we have the Last Titan, KT Rolster’s Zest. Last week, in what was supposed to be yet another moment of triumph, Zest was instead eliminated from Code S by none other than the legend himself, TaeJa. Normally such bizarre results are reserved for SSL, not GSL, so maybe today will continue to be opposite day, and the results will be utterly predictable. In short, Zest has the experience and the right mindset (and compared to Patience, the results), but he’s not invincible just yet. Even so, with another GSL title off the table, it’s SSL where he’s looking to cement his legacy. The Afreeca Protoss might manage to spring a single trap, but once again we come back to that one old famous saying (you know the one), and Zest should be the obvious choice to advance.


Solar 2-3 Dear
Patience 1-3 Zest

(P)Dear and (P)Zest advance to the semifinals!