Both Lambo and TY chose standard openings to open the day on Blueshift, but TY followed up his expansion with hellions and concussive shell marauders for a quick pressure build. Ferrying out the marauders with a hellion, TY jumped on Lambo's exposed queens, slowing them with concussive shells on gunning them down. Lambo, caught completely off guard, had his banelings cancelled and, as TY's armory finished, hellbats found their ways into Lambo's drone lines. Despite a few last second baneling connections, Lambo had nothing left to hold on and conceded the first game.
The second game began very similarly, but Lambo squeezed in overlord speed to scout TY's base. The Terran had queued up concussive shells again, but cancelled the upgrade and used the tech lab for a raven instead, followed shortly by additional factories. Both players built up their economies for a few minutes, before Lambo decided on swarm hosts to counter the mech play. His pressure worked out very well, as locust waves and corrosive biles kept wearing down TY's army. Falling behind in workers only added to Lambo's army advantage, and after a few favorable trades the Zerg finally pushed into TY, sniping his tanks with locusts, allowing his roach/hydra army to clean up everything else. TY couldn't stop the Zerg army from rolling through his fourth base and into his natural, and tapped out.
Lambo chose a sneaky roach warren on Dreamcatcher after opening with a standard build. TY's hellions saw them in the middle of the map, and he quickly pulled back. Lambo's roaches only found 6 SCVs, and TY simply moved across with his existing set of units to outdo the damage done to him, forcing more roaches to be made and killing drones and a queen. Lambo saw himself forced to all-in, building up a large roach count and attacking into TY's defensive bio/tank setup. Both players traded quite equally, but with TY's liberators disrupting Lambo's economy at home, the Zerg's all-in was quickly running out of steam. One last ditch effort was easily repelled and Lambo became the first player to be knocked out of the WCS Global Finals.
sOs opened his series against HeRoMaRinE with a gas steal on Blueshift, but chose no immediate followup to it as HeRoMaRinE set up a bunker and sOs simply expanded and began his blink research. sOs suicided his initial three gateway units for no damage, then took his third base and double forge off 3 army supply. HeRoMaRinE, scouting the entire base with his reaper, moved out immediately, but was repelled by a handful of stalkers. sOs moved out for a timing attack but had forgotten charge, so instead harassed with his zealots and a prism instead, but found little damage. A series of sloppy aggressive moves from sOs ensued, with an ill-fated attack into widow mines, high ground tanks and a large bio force, while his new warp prism was also shot down after a zealot warpin found only 9 SCVs. sOs still found a few good trades over the next minutes due to his upgrade advantage, but HeRoMaRinE was building up towards a push with ghosts, liberators and widow mines. But since he had never built a fourth command center, that attack was committed and, realizing this, HeRoMaRinE pulled SCVs with it. sOs barely defended with multiple reinforcing warpins jumping into the fight. HeRoMaRinE suddenly found himself too far behind in economy to build up another army to rival sOs' mass gateway units, and sOs ended the game shortly after.
sOs opened with blink and a robotics facility again on Dreamcatcher, but took the gold as his third base. Stalkers kept HeRoMaRinE at home as the Terran geared up for a 2-base attack with mines and liberators. But as a warp prism flew into his mine he was forced to abandon the plan, and sOs instead attacked into him, losing a lot of his army but trading well enough as his fourth nexus, another gold base, and 2/2 upgrades were completing. When HeRoMaRinE finally did move out, his army was far too weak to challenge sOs' and he never even made it to sOs' fourth base before losing his entire army and having to concede the series. sOs kept his BlizzCon hopes alive with that win, while HeRoMaRinE was eliminated from the Global Finals.
Has opened the first game against Dark with a rare gas first, following his expansion up with a stargate and fast oracle, followed by a void ray to chase off overlords, a third base, and resonating glaives and adept pressure. Roaches were ready in time, but Has at home had already built two robotics facilities and continued void ray production. Dark's spire finished and, just as Has moved out for his attack, Dark's mutalisks flew into the Protoss main base. The attack was held easily, and with his economy crippled at home, Has tapped out.
Lost and Found saw Has open with a gateway into forge. Dark's natural finished, but was destroyed by cannons, forcing the Zerg into a one-base roach warren. Has had already preempted this with a stargate before his expansion. Dark used ravagers to destroy the cannons and take his natural, but Has found himself far ahead economically. Dark desperately threw down a spire, but Has added a second stargate and switched to phoenix production when his void ray spotted the mutalisks. Dark's air units found no damage at all, and Has doubled down with yet another stargate and even a fleet beacon—and a second cyber core, for warpgate research. Yes, warpgate research. Four oracles killed Dark's third hatchery with phoenixes guarding them, and Dark's mutalisks were also chased down by Has. Dark found himself stuck massing hydralisks to stay alive against Has' growing phoenix fleet, but the Protoss at home added charge and triple upgrades into his composition. Dark finally all-inned with a huge roach/hydra army, and initially looked to take a good fight, but Has' stasis wards allowed him to take a good enough fight to hold on, and even expand to a fourth base and add storm. He attacked into Dark with a lot of high templar, but Dark's splits allowed him to hang on and even take a good fight against the Protoss' massive upgrade advantage. That victory allowed him to morph a few lurkers and take out Has' fourth base. The Protoss never recovered from there as Dark took up too many powerful positions and, by then, had stabilized his economy completely. Has tried a counterattack and killed one of Dark's bases, but Dark's army meanwhile wiped out everything Has had, and the Taiwanese Protoss was eliminated from the Global Finals as his remaining units died defending his main base.
SpeCial and Nerchio settled into standard openings on Cerulean Fall. SpeCial attempted to harass the Zerg with a liberator and hellions, but Nerchio warded it off with minimal losses. SpeCial put on more pressure with a marine/tank push with his initial hellions and cancelled Nerchio's fourth base. Nerchio jumped on the retreating army but SpeCial escaped with most of it. The Terran switched his attack plan to drops, killing the rebuilt fourth hatchery and 11 drones in the main base. Nerchio found a good trade with his main army, but lost the same hatchery yet again. The Zerg was able to stay alive, though, and as his technology advanced, and vipers and infestors joined his army, he took more and more effective trades, even destroying one of SpeCial's bases. Just as Nerchio seemed to finally be finding his footing in the game, liberators killed 12 drones in the background and SpeCial was finally able to take a favorable fight. Nerchio, battered from the continued harassment, didn't have the economy to keep up with the Terran's army, and was forced out of the game.
Both players opted for standard, conservative openings on Dreamcatcher. The first aggression came in the form of SpeCial's hellions diving into Nerchio's base but killing only three probes. The Terran, meanwhile, was gearing up for a 2-base bio/tank attack. Nerchio was caught off guard and had to abandon his third base as tanks sieged and marines laid siege to it. SpeCial, looking for more damage, sent a liberator to Nerchio's natural while swinging around to the Zerg's fourth base. The liberator, due to a mistake from Nerchio, found 6 drone kills and SpeCial's army overwhelmed the Zerg army, forcing Nerchio to concede the series.
In the first deciding match of the day, TY and Neeb met in a rematch of their first round series. TY stuck to his proxy habits, with a barracks followed by a factory close to Neeb's natural nexus. Neeb threw down a robo in response to scouting the lack of buildings in TY's base. TY opted for the same build Maru had used to defeat Neeb, a marauder/cyclone push. A close fight ensued, with Neeb cleaning up TY's forces but barely losing the nexus. Neeb countered with two immortals but lost one fighting up TY's main base ramp as the Terran sent a banshee across the map. But before it could get to Neeb's base, the remaining immortal returned in a prism and found an essentially empty Terran base. TY's banshee was forced to turn around. The Terran was able to take out the immortal with the help of a raven, but was pinned back for a long time as Neeb's gateway army pressured the front and picked off a tank before retreating. Neeb, at home, took a third base and advanced his tech to charge and a templar archives. TY looked to be in trouble, but then Neeb lost all of his stalkers on the map and the Terran made the immediate decision to bring his SCVs and all-in. Neeb's army was mowed down by TY's marines and tanks, and despite losing most of his SCVs, TY could not be stopped.
TY, of course, proxied again on Lost and Found, but Neeb's probe this time found the proxy instantly, delaying the barracks for a long time. This prompted Neeb to proxy a stargate for void rays right next to TY's main base. The proxy was discovered by TY, but could not be prevented. TY was able to prepare well enough to survive, though. Neeb, behind the proxy, took the fourth base as his second nexus due to an engineering bay block in his natural. TY needed to do damage to equal the game and found it by flying his vikings into the main base, killing 11 probes, while also diving into the expansion with his cyclones and finding a favorable trade before retreating. Both players took some time to breathe and build up, with Neeb adding blink, a forge and a robotics bay, while TY finally researched stim and began tank production and upgrades of his own, eventually pulling his SCVs for a decisive all-in. He distracted Neeb with a cyclone drop in the natural and caught the Protoss army exposed on the map. Neeb realized his fate immediately and wasted no time with his GG. With that victory, TY eliminated him from the Global Finals and secured his own spot at BlizzCon.
The deciding match of Group B featured Zest and sOs, both of whom were 2-0'd by Serral on Day 1. sOs tried to trick Zest by hiding his second pylon, but Zest called his bluff and even responded by hiding a dark shrine. Despite sOs' very late robotics facility he was able to hold on as Zest did not commit heavily to the DT harass, instead expanding and adding a robotics of his own, later getting charge and multiple gateways as well. Dropping zealots into sOs' base and warping in while also attacking the front, Zest was able to win the fight on both fronts and sOs tapped out.
sOs again put his second pylon out on the map on Blueshift, but this time did commit to a proxy stargate. Zest responded with his own stargate proxy. sOs tried to force his adepts into Zest's main base with a pylon at the front, and that tactic distracted Zest from recognizing the threat of the hidden oracle build. When it finally arrived, sOs' oracle killed 12 probes, and even more when a second one joined later. Zest, meanwhile, found no damage thanks to sOs' shield battery in the mineral line. The game was essentially over from there, but Zest stuck around for a while but tapped out when his sentries were picked off by adepts.
Both players kept their pylons in their bases on Acid Plant, with Zest opening with two adepts while sOs chose a sentry and stalker. Zest then threw down a robotics facility and third gateway while sOs opted for a twilight council, nexus and then a hidden dark shrine. Zest's adepts found their way in and saw the twilight council researching blink. sOs cancelled his nexus as Zest's push approached and it killed only a gateway. sOs' dark templar found 6 probe kills, but Zest responded with 8 of his own through adepts. sOs researched resonating glaives and prepared a big attack while Zest added immortals and, after scouting with a hallucination, prepared for the attack with shield batteries and cannons. An extremely close fight ensued, but Zest was able to survive despite losing 16 probes, and perhaps even found himself in a good spot as he had finished +2 attack while sOs had no upgrades at all. But Zest made a fatal mistake, sending two of his archons across the map while sOs only temporarily retreated and came back for another attack. Zest's archons were warded off by a dark templar, and sOs' push this time broke through Zest's defenses and closed out the series in his favor.
ShoWTimE and Dark met in a rematch of their first series. Both players chose standard openings on Lost and Found, with a stargate for ShoWTimE who then chose a second stargate as his midgame technology, hiding phoenixes in his main base. Dark opted for a quick hydralisk den. The phoenixes initially found 9 drones, but Dark was already droning heavily with up to 18 drones in the production tab at one point. He stopped worker production at 60, gearing up for a powerful midgame attack, but upon seeing ShoWTimE’s well prepared defenses, he abandoned the plan and continued to drone, instead looking for another timing with lurkers and banelings. ShoWTimE was caught out of position as Dark forced his way into a powerful position at the Protoss’ third base, and ShoWTimE, trying to defend the base, took a poor fight. Dark pounced on his weakness immediately and collapsed on the Protoss army, taking the first game.
Acid Plant saw the same openings from both players, but ShoWTimE this time chose an archon drop as the follow-up to his stargate. His archons denied Dark’s fourth base but the prism was intercepted and killed by queens immediately after. Dark used his newfound freedom to launch a drop into ShoWTimE’s main base. The drop did little damage but Dark’s army escaped. The Zerg poked with the drop and his army at the same time but ShoWTimE locked down all his expansions and defended comfortably, and even took a very good fight to defend a lurker attack at his third base while already adding tempests to his army. Dark, though, remaxed with roaches and hydralisks and began running at ShoWTimE’s defenses. He found a handful of immortals and sentries first, then dragged the Protoss army away to the fourth base and dove into the natural and main base with another small force. ShoWTimE fell apart to Dark’s aggression, losing his fourth base, 20 probes and expensive units in inefficient trades. A simple remax from Dark was enough to close out the series and propel him to BlizzCon.
Last but not least, Classic and SpeCial met in the last series of the Round of 16 to determine the eighth and final player going to Anaheim. SpeCial chose a reaper proxy on Lost and Found, then hiding the factory in his own natural. Classic’s probe barely missed the factory multiple times and an understandably paranoid Classic chose a defensive 1-base stargate opening. The game stabilized from there as neither player could find any significant damage. Classic chose a third nexus, blink and +1 attack as his midgame setup while SpeCial added tanks and widow mines to his bio army and moved out for an attack. Classic defended the attack without taking big losses, but SpeCial expanded behind it and was able to retreat with a big part of his army. Classic added a robotics bay for disruptors, but lost one of his forges to SpeCial’s drop and had his warp prism sniped on the other side of the map. SpeCial began adding two tanks at a time to his army as Classic transitioned to storm. Stalling the Terran army in the middle of the map allowed Classic to safely take two expansions at once, but one of them was found and destroyed by SpeCial shortly after, along with all 11 probes mining there. Classic took a favorable fight at the same time, though, and both players found themselves at equal supply—SpeCial ahead in workers, but Classic with the stronger standing army. This prompted a very aggressive counterattack by Classic who forced his way in between SpeCial’s natural and outlying bases, then assaulted the fourth and forced it to retreat. Classic almost looked to have broken the Terran defenses but chose to retreat despite his army advantage, and SpeCial found some room to breathe and rebuild. He sent a drop out immediately, but pulled it back upon scouting the lack of a fifth base. The drop came back a few moments later, though, as SpeCial found Classic’s fourth base undefended. This prompted Classic to commit to an attack on SpeCial’s fourth base, but the tank count had by now become so high that Classic’s army was blown to pieces. At the same time, SpeCial’s drop killed 33 probes and the Terran found himself in a winning position for the first time in the game, ahead nearly 40 workers and 30 army supply. Classic still made it a close game, taking an impressive fight in the middle of the map and wiping out all of SpeCial’s tanks, and even equaled the worker count with adept harassment. The two players found themselves fighting over the same mid-map position again, with Classic slowly catching up in supply. Another close fight prolonged the game, but Classic finally felt the economic disparity between them, with SpeCial mining from a fresh base, and made the costly decision to attack the planetary fortress. Despite destroying the expansion, Classic lost a big part of his army and suddenly found himself down 60 supply again. SpeCial started to feel out Classic’s remaining defenses, picking off the Templar archives first, and then committed to a straight up attack when he recognized Classic’s missing army. A short basetrade ensued but SpeCial retreat forced a recall and even the small part of SpeCial’s army was able to take out Classic’s remaining units, putting an end to what was easily the best game of the tournament until then.
SpeCial chose another reaper proxy, again leaving the factory in his main base and delaying the natural nexus with a bunker. Classic chose the same 1-base stargate response, but did not scout SpeCial’s cloak banshee transition. This allowed the first banshee to get 6 probe kills while SpeCial set up a strong position in Classic’s natural, but the Protoss was able to clean up the attack and save his expansion thanks to his immortal. When the dust settled, though, SpeCial still found himself ahead in workers and with a third command center already finished before Classic’s third nexus began warping in. The Protoss chose charge and +1 armor as his followup, adding a lot of gateways to sustain his production. SpeCial tried to poke at the defenses of Classic but found no damage at all. He came back to look for another attack but saw that Classic had storm ready in time and pulled back. The Protoss then began posturing on the map and used his warp prism to zone away the Terran army while stalkers blinked in to snipe liberators. But in that process, Classic steered his prism too far forward and had it shot down by marines. SpeCial pressed forward immediately, landing EMPs all over the Protoss army and melting through the zealot line before taking down the important immortals as well. SpeCial never looked back and continued to rally units forward, shooting down all of Classic’s desperate warpins, finally forcing the GG out of his opponent and booking his ticket to Anaheim.
Day 3 concluded the group stage of the 2018 WCS Global Finals. The tournament will continue with its quarterfinal bracket on Friday, November 2nd.