GSL 2019 Season 3 Round of 32 - Group B Battle Report
We are underway for season three! With the all important final season of GSL underway, the next three weeks will make or break some players Blizzcon dreams. With Maru and Dark already confirmed from GSL and soO from IEM, the race is on for the remaining five spots. The current standings are below;
With 4000/2000/1900 points on offer for the top four, a high finish is vital for some names in that pack. Names like INnoVation, TY, GuMiho and Rogue. Our Jin Air player made his first vital step yesterday, advancing from his round of 32 group alongside SpeCial. If you missed yesterday's group, my report on that group is right here.
Today we have a returning legend, alongside our season two champion and two players who if they get eliminated tonight, can effectively kiss their Blizzcon dreams goodbye. Those players are Bomber, Dark, RagnaroK and sOs.
We'll start with our champion, Dark. You know those movies where there's an alternate reality where everything is opposite? Even in that opposite world, Dark still makes it out of this group. He just has to, personally picking Bomber as a first match should steer him quickly to the winners match. From there his form should easily carry him past RagnaroK or sOs, with Dark looking almost untouchable this season aside from a couple of close encounters with top opposition. Expect some aggression, Dark isn't afraid of getting dirty.
He plays Bomber in the first match, with our returning legend personally hand picked by Dark. A very daunting prospect for someone playing his first Code S since season three, 2015. A legendary year for then Red Bull Bomber saw him win three premier titles, but it will remain to see what kind of performance he can bring tonight. Wins against MaSa and TRUE to qualify show he can still beat good players but this group may be just a tiny step above his skillzone.
RagnaroK is Chivo's recent new starcraft recruit, leaving PSISTORM to join the team that also boasts soO, Cham and MCanning. A solid year for RagnaroK saw him just miss out on the round of eight by only one map last season, with a round of 12 finish at IEM showing his pedigree. He's a man just looking for that first deep run, constantly on the cusp of being that talked about name. Recent losses against FanTaSy, Cure and Creator however make me less than confident and I hope he can show good games tonight.
One of the early casualties last season, sOs will be hoping that he doesn't exit the tournament in the same unceremonious fashion as he did in season two. A recipient of the NesTea award tonight, he said in his interview that the elimination last season has made him stronger. For the fans sake I hope he's right and I can't wait to see what our maniac has up his sleeve. Like other Jin Air players he has been fairly inactive since last seasons exit, likely helping his teammates or simply resting and practicing.
I predict Dark to comfortably advance in first, whilst a tense final match between RagnaroK and sOs will see the Jin Air player scrape through.
Dark vs Bomber - ZvT
Our champions first battleground this season was Thunderbird, as Dark started out in classic Dark fashion with a 13/14 gas and pool. The early zerglings hit Bomber hard, with our legend having to cancel his low ground command centre. Bomber was playing greedy though, a third command centre off only 20 scv’s meant this game was approaching the weird territory with Bomber going into ultra economy mode. A passive few minutes followed, however Dark paused on 44 drones and went into a lair. A nydus with mass Zergling was to follow. Classic Dark. The nydus worm went unchecked and it all went very wrong for Bomber very quickly. Tanks dying immediately to see creep spread across the base of our Terran. Dark taking the first map in dominant fashion.
A hatch-gas-pool moved us into map two, with Dark pushing into a quick roach warren off 21 drones. Dark wasn’t messing around in this series, with eight roaches, flanked by lings flowing across the map. Bomber had made three hellions and a viking, he was in trouble. Eighteen scv’s died, stimpack was denied as fire spread around the base of Bomber. Dark watched on with popcorn, pressing the d key to see him double the worker count of his opponent. From here Dark was in complete control, a small push from Bomber tried to do something, but roaches crushed through to give Dark a quick 2-0 in our first series.
Dark 2-0 Bomber.
RagnaroK vs sOs – ZvP
A hatchery block started us off here, as RagnaroK took his natural at his third. A stargate came out from sOs, with our Jin Air player moving into phoenix, followed by a twilight council and glaives. His glaive adept move out was defended well by purely zerglings, RagnaroK taking a great trade to see multiple adepts die. sOs followed up this adept attack with an immortal-warp prism blunt force attack. As we saw yesterday, adept shades were the killer rather than the big all in itself, shades spreading RagnaroK thin and killing off over 20 drones. It left RagnaroK with a laughable amount of drones, with the immortals shredding through what he had left to give sOs a brutal lead.
Thunderbird saw a cheeky fake pylon by sOs, before our player went into twilight, robo and charge. Five gate charge was followed by a dark templar shrine, with RagnaroK able to full scout through a cheeky zergling. sOs’ push was then slapped down, the warp prism sniped out of the air to let RagnaroK freely drone, before moving into a spire. Mutalisks failed to make a big impact, as both players sat back, RagnaroK maxing on roach, ling, bane and looking for engagement after engagement to wear sOs down. Banelings went rolling up the ramp but traded inefficiently, as sOs moved into early carriers. RagnaroK’s economy was booming though, and another assault was to soon follow. sOs once again held with only a few carriers, his now weak army barely clinging onto this game. The clinging didn’t last a third wave of roach-ravenger-corruptor-baneling though, seeing us move onto a third map.
Acropolis saw sOs bring out the cannons. The fake pylon came down but it was not a fake this time. Three cannons would warp in, killing the natural of our Zerg player. A nexus was warping in on the other side as RagnaroK expanded to his third, the game would stabilise from here with RagnaroK slightly behind. A warp prism moved out to harass a few minutes later, as RagnaroK went for a cheeky proxy spire, extremely close to sOs’ base. Eight probes fell to the mutalisks, as sOs was caught without anti-air. Our zerg player in control from here, moving into a lurker den with the freedom of map presence on his side. A push from sOs at 10:30 saw him move onto creep, but without detection he was forced into a retreat, with RangaroK cancelling the fourth of sOs with a wicked counter. As brood lords entered the fight RagnaroK pushed, once again denying the fourth before pulling back. It was supreme late game for both sides, corruptors, infestors and brood lords completing a scary force for zerg. Not much happened from here for the next few minutes, both players assembling the perfect force and moving around strategically, with only a few small skirmishes taking place.
Twenty minutes had passed now, with my ears enjoying the fabulous commentary of Artosis paired with GSL newcomer, Creighton Olsen. A base each was exchanged in the 23rd minute, with RagnaroK building some momentum with his mass of free units. The big fight was upon us though, 25 minutes in saw the two big armies clash. It saw RagnaroK take a crushing victory, with neural parasite proving it’s worth to entangle the air army, with broodlings and infested terrans crushing through the other units. A follow up with gateway units saw a similar result, with blood now in the water for our protoss. The game soon followed, with RagnaroK showing some amazing late game control to manhandle the man from Jin Air.
RagnaroK 2-1 sOs.
Dark vs RagnaroK – ZvZ
Our winners match ZvZ saw identical openers for our first couple of minutes. An earlier baneling nest for Dark was the first variation, as the three minute mark saw 18 zerglings in the production tab for our champion. Ling-bane wars was to come. RagnaroK was up 10 workers but the trades went in Dark’s favour, our Gosu Crew player rapidly taking the advantage in the war. From here RagnaroK seemed to give up the ghost and Dark’s zerglings swarmed, sending us into a quick second game.
RagnaroK has a 0-6 ZvZ record in GSL and that unwanted record seemed to be on the verge of continuing here. A 12 pool from Dark offered a speed run attempt for Dark, as the aggression continued well into the night. A baneling nest indicated Dark was going for the throat, seeing his zerglings pounce onto the natural of RagnaroK. We saw the natural change colour from orange to red and then into non existence.
Dark couldn’t find the kill but had full control once more in this game. Our Chivo player went into a nydus network but seemed to accidentally cancel the building halfway to completion forcing him to restart the building. Dark seemed to have the game but the roach nydus play proved too strong, Dark making a huge mistake in skipping roaches for quicker mutalisks. He couldn’t produce enough flying beasts in time though, RagnaroK managing to burrow into the main to take a surprise victory in our second map.
Our decider saw us on King’s Cove, with hatcheries first giving us the possibility of a macro game. Just kidding! RangaroK smashed out around 20 zerglings off 26 drones, moving into some severe aggression. He looked to kill the third of Dark but was eventually denied, Dark taking a slight advantage in the units lost tab. Roaches were next for both players, both content to sit on the three base safety of King’s Cove and mass up.
The next few minutes saw just that, with roach corruptor for RagnaroK meeting pure roach-ravenger of Dark. Burrow and burrow-move also hit the upgrade tab as Dark looked to utilise nydus worms at the same time as pushing onto the map. The nydus was key, giving Dark superior numbers in two seperate fights to see an insanely quick one-two punch. RagnaroK lost in the main and at the third, seeing Dark advance through to the round of 16. No upset today.
Dark 2-1 RagnaroK.
Dark advances to the round of 16.
sOs vs Bomber – PvT
Our losers match saw a PvT, with these two players meeting for the first time in LOTV. Thunderbird was our opener, with all of us hoping to a lot more of what Bomber could be capable of. sOs went into a stargate for phoenix, with Bomber opting for the standard 1-1-1. No real damage was done in the opening five, as sOs looked to move into colossi and a third, while Bomber added on a third of his own, as well as more barracks and stimpack. It was still passive until the ninth minute, with Bomber going for a massive attack. It hit hard, but the colossi count was too high and the infantry too clumped, giving sOs a great trade. sOs then moved onto Bomber’s side of the map and it was all over in an instant, sOs taking a seemingly easy 1-0 map lead.
Map two saw a proxy gateway, with Bomber once again facing an aggressive strategy in a test of his skills. He responded well though, a command centre on the high ground and a bunker keeping him safe, before our Jin Air player went into a robotics facility and immediate prism. The prism moved over on Bomber’s side and did considerable damage, before sOs moved into a dark templar shrine, adept glaives and five extra gateways. sOs was going for a big attack. It tore Bomber apart, adepts everywhere to end Bomber’s returning GSL run. A PvZ rematch for the final it is.
sOs 2-0 Bomber.
RagnaroK vs sOs – ZvP
A pylon block once more by sOs started us off here on Acropolis. It was the map we saw super late game on earlier, would we see a similar long game in this rematch? A normal three hatchery timing by RagnaroK met a robotics opening by sOs, who went straight into a warp prism and three additional gateways. It was going to be a big gateway all in by sOs, with a big ball of sentries, stalkers and zealots pressing on the third. RagnaroK had not slouched though, pumping out roaches and more off 44 drones. The attack was slapped down with ease, sOs in big trouble in this initial game. Our Protoss player didn’t expand from here, instead moving into one big do or die push, with zealot legs and immortals to back him up. The attack stepped onto creep and was swarmed. Roaches reigned supreme to see RagnaroK on match point.
New Repugnancy saw sOs with no natural wall, with our Zerg player moving into an offensive hatchery. The hatchery finished and the creep spread onto the map but no units were to be made, with this game taking us into a very strange direction. Adepts continued to roam and glaives was researched by sOs, with RagnaroK playing ring around the adept with his zerglings and droning up behind at home. A full scout saw RagnaroK take the edge with information, moving into roaches to deal with the mass of adepts. sOs couldn’t commit and with RagnaroK on an equal amount of workers, felt like he could retreat and head into a double stargate.
It seemed like a crazy move but it caught RagnaroK sporeless, adepts distracting the queens whilst the oracles zapped drone after drone. Over 20 went down and RangaroK went for a desperation nydus, tunneling into the main of sOs. Our Jin Air player had nothing to stop the queens and roaches from destroying his base.
Two round of 32 exits in three seasons this year for sOs. His Blizzcon dream surely over now.
RagnaroK 2-0 sOs.
RagnaroK advances to the round of 16.
Dark and RagnaroK advance to the round of 16.
Game of the Day: Dark vs Bomber Game One.
Series of the Day: RagnaroK vs sOs opening series.
GSL Code S continues on Saturday the 6th of July at 13:00 KST with Hurricane, Scarlett, Cure and Stats.
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Aligulac, Liquipedia and Code S Facts on Twitter.