GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 8 - Day 2 Battle Report

Published on 06/08/2019 00:43 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

Let's have a minutes silence for our fallen Zerg and Terran comrades folks. Lest we forget them who tried to stop the Protoss evil, but were felled by their vicious timing attacks, cannons and storms. It was a great first day of the round of eight, with two high quality matches featuring four S-tier players. Sadly though two could only advance, if you missed the day or want a re-cap, my report is here.

The result leaves us with zero Terrans remaining, with only one Zerg player left to stop the tide from Aiur. It will place a lot of fans in Dark's court today but will it even matter? I'm very excited for these games today, let's check up on the updated round of eight bracket.

One Protoss is guaranteed in the final.
Credit - Liquipedia.

Our two matches today are from the 'weaker' side of the bracket, although I think they are a lot more captivating when it comes to the stories revolving in them. With PartinG and Dark playing though, I think the possibility of an extremely fast GSL day is very likely.

We'll start our player introductions with Hurricane, who makes his first round of eight appearence in the GSL. Here was his road;
R32: 2-0 Solar, 0-2 Classic, 2-1 Solar.
R16: 2-1 FanTaSy, 0-2 Classic, 2-0 RagnaroK.

Dare I say it, Hurricane has copped a bit of a backlash from making it to the round of eight this season. With a recent outpouring of hate toward Protoss, Hurricane has found himself target, people wondering how seemingly a perennial round of 32 player could make it this far. He has played extremely well though, playing some amazing PvZ in particular to suprisingly advance out of his round of 32 group, before beating two very solid players in FanTaSy and RagnaroK to make it here tonight. Whilst his PvZ has impressed me, his PvP has not. Two 0-2's against Classic coupled with a 0-3 loss to PartinG in super tournament sends me bad omens. He's looked extremely shaky in this matchup and I can easily see a world where he goes down 3-0 again tonight. In fact the last time he won an offline PvP series against a GSL level player was at IEM in February, beating PartinG 2-1.

His opponent, PartinG, is in a similar place to Hurricane. Lets have a look at his road to the round of eight;
R32: 1-2 Cure, 2-0 DRG, 2-1 Cure.
R16: 2-1 GuMiho, 2-1 soO.

Now I just said how Hurricane's PvP looks shaky but PartinG's PvP is an unknown. Having played no mirror match ups this season, we have only the 3-0 win against Hurricane in Super Tournament and a handful of games from the Chinese team championship. There he has lost to Trap 2-0 and drew to Zest 1-1. Beyond that we are staring into darkness, with once again PartinG's PvZ and PvT the tools that have brought him here.

It will be PartinG's first GSL semi-final since 2012 if he wins, whilst it would be Hurricane's first ever. I predict PartinG to sweep it though, 3-0.

herO represents the villain in this part of the production, being the Protoss that could extinguish the Zerg swarm for good this season. How did he get here?

R32: 2-1 KeeN, 0-2 Trap, 2-1 KeeN.
R16: 2-0 Impact, 1-2 Trap, 2-1 SpeCial.

I think it's safe to say that herO is the underdog for this clash against Dark. However for me, this thought process simply focuses on how good Dark has been. herO has had an easier run to the round of eight, avoiding some massive names and just making it out of both groups in second, through tight 2-1 victories. He is the timing attack master though and in this PvZ meta, it should meet his playstyle perfectly. My question is though, will Dark give him the opportunity to even hit a timing push, or will roaches be up in his base before then?

The last survivor, Dark is our last player. Let's have a look at his record;
R32: 2-0 DRG. 2-0 Cure.
R16: 2-0 Patience, 2-1 INnoVation.

I'm going to throw this out there now. We're going to have a Classic vs Dark final, with Dark winning 4-3. There we are, I've said it. If we compare Dark's run to herO's we can see the difference in form. Dark has dropped only one map and advanced from the group of death in a somewhat comfortable first position. He's looked deadly all year and has had the results to back it up. I'm super excited to see his play tonight, purely based off the fact he mentioned 12 pool is the best build in the game in his round of 16 interview. Was it all a mind game or will we see some aggressive zerglings tonight? If I was herO, I'd be very worried.

I see no upset here, Dark to advance 3-0.

Hurricane vs PartinG – PvP.

With a semi-final place on the line, both players had to be feeling the pressure going into this first map. With the rules on proxies torn up and rewritten over and over again, PartinG went for a proxy robotics facility as our big boy looked to get aggressive. Hurricane was playing the defender here, with a shield battery on the low ground. PartinG pressured but let two adepts into his main, with action happening everywhere as our aggressor tried his hardest to bust into the main of Hurricane. With the warp prisms swirling around the base both sides lost workers, with PartinG now six workers behind. PartinG was down and Hurricane took a natural, forcing PartinG to go all in and try and brute force his way into the natural. He was down three immortals to one though, his shove meeting an immortal wall, PartinG losing his army and handing the first game to Hurricane.

If you ever see something like this, you just know it was a chaotic game.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

A crazy map one lead us into our second map on Turbo Cruise 84. A proxy pylon by PartinG lead into a second proxy pylon with a stargate, as Hurricane went for a three gate robo build. PartinG waited for two oracles but Hurricane pushed with his heavy stalker count. PartinG lost a gateway but his oracles couldn’t find many probes, leading to a stalemate which saw our game enter a passive minute. PartinG was the first to budge on a natural, with our Player One man up almost 10 workers by the eight minute mark. PartinG went to push but was halted by the slow fields, as Hurricane waited for a disruptor. He got to the base eventually though, resulting in a fight which saw Hurricane hold well. Sensing his army was weaker, PartinG retreated to his base and seemingly just had to hold, Hurricane on 19 probes to over 35 of PartinG. It was a close and even fight but eventually PartinG’s immortal count went to 0, Hurricane’s beautiful attack sending him 2-0 up.

With PartinG on 48 probes to 19, he just had to hold this aggression.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Thunderbird was our map three, with both players going for their second pylon on the map. A double twilight threatened the possibility of dark templar vs dark templar, but Hurricane went into blink. With a late robotics Hurricane looked to be in danger, but a unit wall plus a forcefield saw Hurricane defend against the cloaked assassins. It was a tight hold and both players went into naturals after this, with a forge by Hurricane indicating he wanted to play the longer game. With both players on 40 workers we were in strange territory for PvP. PartinG, despite starting +1 cancelled it and pushed out, moving into a Hurricane shielded behind disruptors and shield batteries. The attack went woefully, Hurricane trading extremely well to send him into a commanding advantage. Hurricane’s dark templar killed off another 14 probes and PartinG’s grave was written, Hurricane dodging a couple of disruptor hits to run through the army of his opponent and taking a surprising 3-0 victory.

Hurricane 3-0 PartinG

Hurricane advances to the semi-finals.

Dark vs herO – ZvP

Thunderbird features a big wall at the front, with herO going for an off-standard huge wall at the front. With Dark going for a quick three hatch, it was the complete opposite of the 12 pool that Dark mentioned in his round of 16 interview.  With a robotics pumping out immortals, herO was going for a big timing, moving out with two immortals. Dark had stopped on 40 drones but seemingly had nothing for the attack, herO looking scary until his prism stepped too far onto creep, sniped out of the air by queens. The push was dead and it was now Dark’s turn to pressure, moving his roach ball forward whilst droning hard at home. herO then opted into an off meta strategy, double disruptors being made. Meanwhile in Zerg territory, swarm hosts were on the way. herO kept pressuring but a zergling run by and nydus let Dark into the Protoss base. herO pushed and took a good fight, but it wasn’t good enough with his economy in ruins. Our Protoss player actually evacuating probes to Dark’s base. The writing was on the wall and Dark took a 1-0 lead shortly after.

Dark, slayer of warp prisms. Credit - AfreecaTV.

herO’s map pick was Kairos Junction, with Dark attempting a hatchery block. It failed however, the drone staying around to see the robotics first from herO. A swell of zerglings saw Dark’s economy stalled, our Zerg player often behind on workers to our Protoss player. herO’s wall took the title of least effective wall 2019, as zerglings ran through not once but twice, both players in a stalemate situation and stuck on low worker counts. Dark continuously pumped roach zergling and herO seemingly had to just sit tight to be safe, but a strange move out saw his army surrounded and destroyed, herO just managing to ferry three immortals to safety. Dark took the advantage and pushed, killing the cybernetics core before retreating. A curious herO made the same mistake again though, following Dark onto the map oncemore. History repeated itself as the zerglings surrounded herO and biles wiped out his army, Dark taking the map to send him onto match point.

Big whoops. herO moves out and sees his army engulfed.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Two quick 3-0’s seemed to be on the cards, as we entered King’s Cove with a cybernetics core before  nexus. A stargate saw a shake up of tech, a chaotic opening few minutes saw two adepts surrounded, before two oracles went on the offensive. herO continued to pump out oracles, making four. He then added on double robotics to pump out immortals. With heavy investment in air and ground herO continued to pick up drone kills, before moving out at 8:30 with a massive immortal count, backed by sentries and stalkers. Dark had moved into hydra zergling baneling to counter, utilising baneling drops to try and counter the army. It was a crazy fight, herO spreading well but unable to fully conquer the hyrdalisk count. After eliminating that many immortals Dark went on the counter and without any splash, hydralisks danced around herO’s third for us to see another clean sweep and witness our final Zerg player advancing on to face Hurricane in the semi-finals.

Dark 3-0 herO.

Dark advances to the semi-finals.

Game of the Day: PartinG vs Hurricane Game Two.

Series of the Day: PartinG vs Hurricane.

GSL Code S continues with Semi-Final #1, Classic vs Trap on Wednesday the 12th of June at 18:30 KST.

All stats courtesy of @CodeSFacts on Twitter, Aligulac and Liquipedia. All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV.