GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 32 - Group G Battle Report
Welcome one and all to our seventh group of the round of 32. We have blitzed the round of 32 this year, in only two weeks dreams have been crushed, realised and most notably upsets have been commonplace.
Yesterday we had yet again an amazing group, with some equally bizarre and fantastic series. One half of our foreign hope sadly could not make the round of 16 but there were some great series, check out my wrap of that group here.
It leaves us with a slightly skewed race dynamic, with seven Protoss players now advancing, compared to three Terrans and only two Zergs. I may be a Protoss player but boy do I hate PvP, for my sake I hope we reach a more equal balance by the end of it.
Dark will look to inact sweet crushing. Aside from Dark we have the returning DongRaeGu (DRG), Jin Air Green Wings Cure and Player One's PartinG. Despite two of the names here, I can assure us all we are still in 2019, rather than 2012.We continue with group G today, in which Zerg flag carrier
Dark has to get out. Simply put here I cannot imagine a world where Dark does not advance today. The man is truly scary, enjoying a rich vein of form at the moment where he looks destined to reach the semi-finals of any tournament he's in. Semi-finals of the GSL last season, semi-finals of IEM, quarter finals of WESG are all accomplishments. His only tarnish came in Super Tournament, where he lost narrowly in the first round to eventual finalist GuMiHo. Sure Rogue went out 0-4 and anything can happen but I can't see it. He also starts off with a match against DRG, which realistically should be an easy win. I'd also like to point out that since the start of 2019, Dark has a 69% win rate in ZvZ.
DongRaeGu is back! Competing in his first GSL Code S since season one 2016, the former GSL, IEM and MLG champion probably could not have picked a worse first match. I often say some players are an unknown quantity but DRG is that in a nutshell. He qualified for GSL beating ROOT.MC and claimed a win against Bunny in the first day of the qualifiers but apart from that there isn't much to go on. Aligulac also shows him only playing three ZvZ series since the start of the year so we're really in the dark here ladies and gentlemen. In comparison he has played 23 series against Protoss and only won eight, so lets hope he meets Cure rather than PartinG.
Cure made it into the round of 16 last season and in my mind there is no reason why he can't do it again today. In my mind the second strongest player in the group, it would do him a world of good to get some consistent higher place finishes. A semi-final appearence in 2016 being his last appearence beyond the round of 16. In my mind a consistently underrated player, he starts off his journey today against the tricky PartinG. A 52% win rate against Protoss makes it his weakest match up and it will for sure be an even, tight match.
Big boy PartinG makes his third consecutive appearence in the GSL today, with the Player One man establishing himself as Code S material once more. One would say he's coming in hot as well, a semi-final place at Super Tournament nothing to shrug at. He did only beat Ragnarok and Hurricane however, in my mind making a semi-final place sound a little better than it was. I still expect interesting things today though, he has the ability to cause chaos and excitement in any match he plays.
My predictions for today are Dark leaving quickly in first, whilst Cure moving out in second.
Dark vs DRG – ZvZ
Our opening match started with a cheese, Dark going for a 13/12. A baneling nest followed and Dark put the pressure on straight away. Despite us seeing Rogue die instantly to this build, DRG put up a better fight, holding with minimal drone losses. Dark didn’t relent, applying constant pressure as more zerglings and banelings flooded DRG’s side of the map. It was dicey and DRG was always in the game with his natural but eventually Dark tipped the scales, taking only one good fight to see the zergling count flood the drone line, giving Dark a quick 1-0.
Port Alexander was our next map, with both players opening hatchery first. It signalled a slightly more economic start than our map previous. Identical builds were seen, both players with zergling speed and a baneling nest. DRG hit an earlier lair and melee attack just before Dark put a handful of pressure on. The old zergling / baneling squabble ensued with DRG losing out, two massive baneling hits sending him down 20 supply. The game didn’t end here however but Dark was ahead in every way. Mutalisks of DRG met a nydus network of Dark and soon queens were popping out on DRG’s suide of the map. A massive roach count forced an evacuation of DRG’s third and the game followed soon, DRG sadly but expectantly going down 2-0.
Dark 2-0 DRG.
Cure vs PartinG – TvP
A full wall by PartinG opened us up here, who then went for a proxy robotics facility. Adept pressure was followed by a warp prism. The prism elevatored units into the main but was gunned down in a big mistake. Both players ended up on equal workers but Cure a base ahead after the aggression. A dark shrine was the next step as PartinG continued to pin, shaving off workers whenever he could and eventually he took the worker lead off two bases. A chargelot archon push was to follow the dark templar for PartinG, throwing himself on top of Cure and destroying over 15 workers. It forced Cure to lift his natural before he eventually cleared the Protoss force. Cure built up and eventually moved out from here, but the push was flattened by storms. With no third base Cure was on a clock but two upgrades ahead. His main floated to his third but PartinG continued to apply pressure, eventually breaking through with big storms and a swarm of zealots.
Game two saw Cure go into aggression, a quick tech lab into concussive shells for Cure. It was scouted by a hallucination though, PartinG building two batteries to force the Terran home. Disruptor drops were next in PartinG who picked off initially a marauder and four scv’s in his first two shots. The disruptors did minimal damage however, Cure then looking to drop heavy to stretch PartinG out. The drops did once again a small amount of damage, before Cure went into ranged liberators to counter the heavy robo strategy of PartinG. The liberators were a perfect counter, the range giving Cure an easy time in defending and engaging onto the Protoss army. Cure then pushed with his crazy liberator count, killing the fourth whilst both armies traded heavily. PartinG’s heavy stalker count was the only thing he could do against the liberators but stalkers do not scale well into the game, Cure reaching five bases and being up 20 supply by the 15 minute mark. Our Protoss continued his aggression but kept losing out, Cure eventually moving forward to make it 1-1.
Both players had looked in control of their games and it felt like it could go either way in this final map. Three gate with a robo felt passive but a push from Cure would get completely decimated, PartinG taking the initiative and the edge with a very safe strategy. Colossi were warped in by our player, as another drop was denied to send PartinG 30 supply up. PartinG looked for the killing blow but couldn’t find it, Cure taking good fights to see him almost pull level on supply. Again PartinG postured to crush through and this time was decimated, vikings separating the colossi and infantry crushing through the Protoss army. It was now Cure’s time to attack, wedging himself up the ramp in PartinG’s natural. It turned into a base trade with Cure sitting on two bases while Cure demolished all the infrastructure in the main. You always wager on a Terran in a base trade and Cure showed us why, winning out 2-1 to advance to the winners match. PartinG sitting with his head in his hands.
Cure 2-1 PartinG.
Cure vs Dark – TvZ
Our opener here saw Cure head into a quick third command centre into a quick fusion core. A battlecruiser was then made as Dark went into a quick nydus network with only zerglings and queens. With worms at both ends of his bases, Cure was decimated, losing over 30 scv’s and with it the game. Trust Dark to bring the quick games, Cure’s inventive and somewhat greedy build being punished.
Game two saw a quiet opening four minutes, both players moving into a standard game with standard openings. That was until Dark went for another nydus. Cure killed off 11 drones before the nydus came in again and Dark was relentless, cancelling a third and forcing a lift off from the natural. With creep spreading across his main and natural Cure was once again in trouble, stuck on a single base. Cure eventually cleared the worms and pushed but met a wall of 13 queens. Transfuse is apparently a good spell, spines flying out to send Dark sprinting into the round of 16.
Cure 0-2 Dark.
Dark advancing to the round of 16.
DRG vs PartinG – ZvP
It was the battle of the old timers, as PartinG did PartinG things in game one with a cannon rush. It cancelled the natural, before PartinG continued the aggression with a proxy robotics. PartinG began to siege with an immortal and prism but DRG went for banelings, busting through and reducing PartinG to only 1 worker. PartinG had to win with his three immortals and a prism. With DRG low on effective units, PartinG sniped the main, and continued to cause massive damage. DRG had no way to kill the immortals and eventually he was reduced to nothing. GG.
With GSL Cobalt for map three, I for one hoped that this match would extend to the decider. We’d see no cannons this time. A robotics first led to immortal production, followed with a dark shrine. It was a strange build, a third nexus made before the four dark templar warp in. They were supremely delayed but extra deadly, PartinG sniping a hatchery and causing 1.1K minerals of damage for 0 on the other side. It was a crushing at this point, a massacre as dark templar continued to cause havoc and picked off drone after drone. DRG went for a massive roach counter but it fell flat on it’s face, forcefields and immortals crushed through to send DRG out without taking a map, PartinG moving onto face Cure once again.
DRG 0-2 PartinG.
PartinG vs Cure – PvT
We’d see the exact same maps for this rematch, as PartinG once again went for a full wall. A prism was made in the main this time, as PartinG went for a dark shrine and charge alongside it. Seven gateways were added but scouted by Cure, PartinG was to hit hard off two bases. Two prisms flew in with archons and zealots and wrecked Cure, PartinG taking a quick 1-0. It was a sharp and sudden build which seemed very powerful against the common Terran opening, if you can avoid the counter pressure. Cure looked muddled in his chair after, wondering what had just hit him.
With some genius and cheesy builds tonight, PartinG had propelled himself into match point here. There was a big blink timing on the cards in this match, PartinG proxying a battery and a gateway. A mine drop caused some solid damage but his blink attack hit a wall. The big blow came from Cure though, a mine drop finding a 14 probe motherload. It rocketed Cure ahead in supply as PartinG went into a desperate dark shrine. Cure sat pretty and defended though, gaining a 30 supply advantage. Cure pushed from here and was able to push through, overwhelming supply from our Terran seeing us yet again go into a game three.
Game three saw Cyber Forest once more, last time here PartinG threw game three against Cure. As we saw a normal three gate blink build from our Protoss. Cure was once again going for a standard 1-1-1. It was a lovely passive game, PartinG going into colossi once again. A push from Cure on the seventh minute was our first taste of action, the raven crucial to disable the colossi. His attack stalled and baited out time for a double drop but both attacks dealt minimal damage. Cure landed his third as we advanced, both players sitting on a very even basis in our final game. PartinG looked to attack once again, sending a prism into Cure’s main. Cure dealt with it well though, keeping himself alive. PartinG was relentless, continuing the aggression and with a prism in the back dealing damage.
He had worked himself into a 30 supply advantage, Cure sitting in a very defensive position behind liberation zones. Our Protoss had a fifth base coming up whilst Cure just established his fourth, a fleet of tempest just sitting at home waiting for the perfect time. Cure managed to push out but found himself lower and lower in supply. PartinG pulled him back, the tempest chipping away until gg was called. PartinG finishing the night with a perfectly played standard game.
PartinG 2-1 Cure.
PartinG advances to the round of 16.
Dark and PartinG advance to the round of 16.
Series of the Day: PartinG vs Cure opening series.
Game of the Day: PartinG vs DRG game one.
GSL Code S continues Saturday at 13:00 KST with sOs, SpeCial, Ragnarok and TY
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Liquipedia, CodeSFacts on Twitter and Aligulac.