With IEM Katowice in the books, StarCraft returned to Korea for the first two quarterfinal matches of GSL Season 1. First up was a ZvZ between soO and Scarlett, with Stats and Classic taking the stage right after.
Quarterfinal 1: soO 3 - 0 Scarlett
- Game 1: soO and Scarlett both opened with 13/12's in game one, though neither was able to do any economic damage. Both went into two base spires, with similar timings on their thirds, but the game turned into a stalemate as both players amassed mutalisks. Scarlett made the decision to drone up and attempt to take a fourth base. Still on three bases, and with a much larger zergling count, soO ran his lings into Scarlett's fourth and then her base, while his mutalisks threatened the third base. The fourth died and so did 25 drones in Scarlett's main and natural. Her economy ravaged, she left the game.
- Game 2: Scarlett failed to do any damage with her pool first opening, giving soO a slight economic advantage that he parlayed into faster +1 ranged attack and speed for his roaches. Scarlett droned heavily on three bases, which allowed soO to attack and claim a slight worker lead. Scarlett attempted to add hydralisks to her composition, but soO stayed on roach/ravager, hitting with +2 while Scarlett was on +1. Biles landed all over Scarlett's army as soO went up 2-0.
- Game 3: Scarlett used her early gas to get +1 carapace for her zerglings, but soO, behind almost ten workers, flooded zerglings into her natural, hitting before her speed had finished. Scarlett only lost five workers in the initial attack, but she canceled her baneling nest while soO allowed his to finish which set him up for a lethal second wave. Roaches came out for Scarlett, but there weren't enough. With no hope for a comeback, Scarlett conceded, sending soO to the semifinals.
Quarterfinal 2: Stats 3 - 2 Classic
- Game 1: Classic opted for a faster expansion in game one after opening stalker/sentry. Stats opted for blink and a faster robotics facility. It all turned into a waiting game as both players macroed into chargelot/archon/immortal. Stats was the one that moved out though, taking a fight near Classic's third. He was able to win the encounter, giving him a 1-0 lead.
- Game 2: Stats' proxy robo and gateway failed to do critical damage on Ascension to Aiur, partly because Classic's oracle and adepts forced defensive warpins in Stats' main and killed a lot of probes, weakening the attack. Stats set up a contain with sentries and stalkers, but lost more workers to a pair of oracles which forced him into more aggression instead of attempting to macro. Classic had a void ray and immortal against pure stalker/sentry by then, which made the hold an easy one. Stats tapped out, evening the series.
- Game 3: Classic went for a two base all in with an immortal and a warp prism in game three. Stats held a double digit worker lead and blink when the attack hit, but he was never able to match Classic's stalker count and fell behind 2-1.
- Game 4: Classic and Stats both opened stargate, with Stats going for three phoenixes then an oracle. They combined for nearly ten worker kills, but Classic's pair of oracles managed to kill 15 probes in reply. Classic had a worker lead and a faster third, but Stats had immortals in his composition and a forge spinning while Classic did not. Classic felt forced to attack Stats' third due to his upgrade disadvantage, but +2 finished in time for Stats and, combined with good prism micro, easily won him the fight. With very little left, Classic tapped out soon after as Stats' counterattack destroyed his army.
- Game 5:Three phoenixes and a pair of adepts chipped away at Stats' worker count, who took the more exposed third on Neon Violet Square. Both players macroed up over 130 supply, with Stats making the first move as he crashed into Classic's fourth base with a higher archon count and less immortals. Distracted by zealots running into his natural, Classic lost the fight and his fourth base. Stats gave him no time to recover. A little more pressure broke Classic as Stats took the match 3-2.
soO and Stats advance to the first semifinal on March 14th.
Matches 3 (Zest vs Dark) and 4 (Maru vs sOs) of the Round of 4 will be played on Saturday, Mar 10 4:00am GMT (GMT+00:00)
Recaps by: Mizenhauer