GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 16 - Group B Battle Report
It's Saturday my dudes and you know what that means? Group B of the best damn competition in the world, the GSL. Group A started us off right with some amazing tight series and another underdog tale, if you missed it my report on that group is right here.
We have the exact same race composition in every group of the round of 16, so it's no surprise to see two Protoss, a Terran and a Zerg fighting it out once more. With two spots on the line tonight, there is like always, everything to play for.
Player One's PartinG and Newbee's Dear represent the Protoss tonight, while PSISTORM's GuMiho and Chivo's SoO are representatives of each others races, our first matches will see GuMiho vs PartinG, while Dear and SoO will play after.
PartinG is well, PartinG. He's cheeky, able to pull out anything and everything and shock us all with his creativity and emotion. This is his third successive GSL since returning to the Starcraft scene and the 2012 world champion has been improving every season. He's in the round of 16 for the first time since his return today and whilst he is the underdog, I am by no means counting him out. He has shown good flexibility in beating all races in recent months and I'm confident he will have some aggressive builds to show us today.
He faces GuMiho in the opening match, with our Terran player hoping to continue the consistency and flair that has made him a fan favourite over the years. A second place finish at Super Tournament perhaps makes up for his 'disappointing' last place at this stage of the GSL last season (although, he was in a group with TY, Rogue and soO). This mech meta may benefit or hinder GuMiho but I expect pretty much only mech from our towel Terran, such is his love of the playstyle. He's hard to call, I predict either complete domination or a woeful demise.
In the other match we have a PvZ, with soO representing the fleeting amount of Zergs left in the GSL. SoO is another strange player to predict, despite his amazing IEM run, he hasn't impressed me in many other tournaments for me to consider him a big contender for a semi-final spot. A round of 16 loss in GSL, Super Tournament have come alongside a nervy round of 32 group in this season (where he also lost to his opponent today, Dear). SoO has been vocal about his problems with Protoss and for our sakes, I hope he managed to fix his problems.
Dear is my last player to introduce, but by no means is he the least. He has looked extremely good in 2019 and is a player on the rise. Although his PvP has seen him drop out of both Super Tournament and IEM, Dear looked scary in both season one and the round of 32 in this season, beating Creator and soO there to advance in first. Expect some solid play from our Newbee of the evening.
My pick is for Dear to advance in first, with GuMiho out in second. Let's hope for some good games!
GuMiho vs PartinG – TvP
With PartinG sporting normal glasses this time, all eyes were on if this might indicate a change of playstyle. The answer was a straight no, with PartinG moving into a very meta build, the ‘maxpax’. With a pylon, pylon and then gateway in the middle of the map, PartinG looked to get super aggressive, sending a zealot straight into the face of our Terran player. Another zealot followed with two stalkers behind, PartinG expanding behind this aggression as GuMiho went into a cyclone to counter. The build is meant to cancel the command centre but GuMiho held well, the game normalising from here with PartinG holding an eight worker lead. A follow up blink attack saw another big trade in workers, both players sustaining equal losses before evening out once more. GuMiho broke his pin and looked for trades whenever he could. He was unable to pressure onto PartinG’s bases with the constant threat of the blink stalkers though, forcing him to retreat back into safety.
The game past the ten minute mark here, GuMiho holding firm against the aggression and gaining a supply lead with some great small trades. Another five minutes past, both players holding firm on their bases and moving into the super late game. Battlecruisers fired up for GuMiho, tempest for PartinG. It looked like we were going to get an epic but PartinG’s pressure yielded only results. He gained a supply lead before taking out a key base, before looking for the killing blow. The blow was dealt swiftly, winning the map without barely having to defend on his side of the map.
There was no MaxPax in our second game, standard meeting standard with a three gate blink facing off against a 1-1-1. Gumiho opened safe, a high ground command centre with a cyclone. The blink stalker dance caught two cyclones but not much else, GuMiho utilising landed vikings in a meivac to provide an extra damage boost. Four more barracks went down as GuMiho looked to take a third. Both players stabilised until the eight minute, GuMiho pushing as PartinG swung into the main. A big warp in was defended well and GuMiho moved into a relatively undefended Protoss base. PartinG hadn’t had enough time to prepare, his army easily swatted aside to see us into a decider.
PartinG started the third game as he started the first, weirdly. A 12 pylon lead to an extremely quick gateway and cyber core. Adepts were the name of the game, but GuMiho had gone into concussive and another barracks and defended well. He pushed from there and killed nine probes in a fantastic move, PartinG caught without a shield battery. The old saying goes ‘when behind dark shrine’ and PartinG obeyed. It was a desperate move but PartinG showed his class, baiting out two scans for an observer before the dark templar came in to an undetected base. GuMiho caught scanless, PartinG advancing onto the winners match.
GuMiho 1-2 PartinG.
Dear vs soO – PvZ
soO opened up with a pool first and went for a very early lair, our Zerg looking to get aggressive very quickly. A pure zergling nydus was afoot and Dear had no idea, reacting seconds too late to see endless zerglings pouring out. Dear couldn’t hold with his unit set, giving soO a quick game one.
soO wasn’t messing around. Eighteen drones in a roach warren was thrown down and six roaches were pumped out. Dear scouted a couple of empty mineral patches but didn’t prepare, soO busting in to see Dear fighting for his life with two immortals and a prism. We’ve seen some incredible things happen with two immortals and a prism and the S tier units showed their worth once more, eventually holding off the flood with his natural still intact. It was then a weird juggle, Dear looking to push with his immortals in a prism, soO countering everytime said units reached his base. soO went into mutalisk tech from here, eventually cranking out the flying beasts on the 10 minute mark. The prism and immortals went down. Dear had made enough stalkers to hold on but a simple move out would see him surrounded by zerglings. soO cheesing his way into the winners match.
Dear 0-2 soO.
PartinG vs soO - PvZ
With both players exhibiting aggressive tendencies, this match promised to be a slugfest. We saw nothing too crazy from our first game, a robotics with sentries indicating towards a classic soul train from our Protoss player. The push commenced with only a single immortal but it was shut down, soO shooting down the prism and sandbagging the rush. From here it was easy mode, soO pushing with ravengers to take the game. PartinG looking very unhappy with himself as we went into the second game.
Our second map saw a classic PartinG cannon rush. soO forced to cancel his natural and starting a robotics facility. Has had popularized this build but PartinG had elevated it to new heights, performing it in the GSL multiple times now. With a city of cannons and batteries guarding the robo, an immortal and a warp prism were chrono’ed out in speedy fashion to pressure soO. An immortal found amazing worth backed up by a shield battery and from here it was an easy game, immortals juggling around to even up the series.
We’d seen quick games from both players, soO starting off our decider in a strange fashion, soO taking his initial natural at his third rather than the normal natural base. Another immortal sentry push was on the cards here from PartinG, playing the same exact build as the first map. He pushed again, using a beautiful set of forcefields to lock half the army up the ramp, before engaging on some straggling units at the third. PartinG kept his prism alive this time, dodging the queens and with another warp in, moving ahead in supply. soO seemed like he was so close to a hold but it was not to be, PartinG warping in consistently to send him straight into the round of eight.
PartinG 2-1 soO.
PartinG advances to the round of eight.
GuMiho vs Dear – TvP
In a common occurrence this season, we saw yet again the two slight favourites of the group facing off in the elimination match. On King’s Cove to start us off, Dear went into a stargate to start us off. It was scouted however, Dear quickly cancelling and replacing it with a robotics facility. It was the little advantage GuMiho needed but could never predict as he pushed out with a rag tag group of two hellions, a reaper, a marine and a marauder. In what seemed like a pseudo LOTR fellowship GuMiho was straight into the mineral line of Dear, slaughtering 12 probes. GuMiho wouldn’t relent with the aggression, a reaper and a banshee combined for even more slaughter. Two tanks came next in another rag tag push but Dear again had nothing and tapped out, GuMiho on track to continue his GSL journey. Dear on the other hand, looking extremely bummed out.
Thunderbird was our next destination with Dear’s tournament life on the line. Things went wrong once again though, a lack of wall allowing ten hellions to come in and kill ten probes. GuMiho was confident and took a third command centre before a third nexus. The game moved passively from here, both players choosing to power up, GuMiho assuming a 20 supply lead by the 8:30 mark. A drop into the natural forced a good trade and GuMiho was making all the right moves, now over 30 supply up on his Protoss opponent. GuMiho went for the jugular a minute later and despite a good counter by Dear it was simply too much army for GuMiho, Dear crumbling out 0-4 today in devastating fashion. GuMiho fights on.
GuMiho 2-0 Dear.
soO vs GuMiho – ZvT
soO was not messing around, putting pedal to the metal with another roach warren off only 21 drones. With GuMiho full walling and going for a battlecruiser build he had little fight against these roaches and they broke through the Terran wall with ease. A banshee came out eventually, but the damage was done, our towel Terran down to only 12 scv’s. soO on the other hand sat on 37 and was in full control in this game. It was soO’s game to win and he wanted to win through mutalisks again, looking to counter the mass or banshees GuMiho had created. The banshees pressed and killed queens, but the mutalisks popped, intercepted the banshees and ended the game. SoO relaxed as ever as he sits one game away from the round of eight.
Turbo Cruise ’84 was to finally make it’s debut in the GSL here, the small map which features slow fields dotted around the map. We weren’t going to see a normal game sadly though, GuMiho going for a three barracks proxy. It was scouted by soO though, who pulled the drones. Only one barracks would complete and for GuMiho it was the end of his GSL season two run. This group was seriously on a speed run.
soO 2-0 GuMiho.
soO advances to the round of eight.
PartinG and soO advance to the round of eight.
Game of the Day: PartinG vs GuMiho Game One.
Series of the Day: PartinG vs GuMiho.
GSL Code S continues on Wednesday the 29th with Trap, SpeCial, Impact and herO
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Aligulac, Liquipedia and Code S Facts on Twitter.