GSL Round of 32, Group B Battle Report
Another day, another dollar and luckily for us, another GSL Code S round of 32 group. After an insane and bonkers group A yesterday (read all about it here) we've had just enough time to calm down, relieve some stress and go again for round two.
Group A gave us a pretty stacked group but B will return us to some sort of normality. Only two players in todays group are previous winners of the GSL before. What I'm trying to say is, every damn group in the GSL features some insane quality and as we saw yesterday, anything can happen here.
Today we have our recent Super Tournament finalist and PSISTORM player GuMiho, Team Revolution's Trust, team LP's Impact and the handsome devil himself, Zest, who is representing Ocean Gaming. It promises once again to be a group of intrigue as we see (at least in my mind) three very strong players who could all easily make it to the round of 16.
Starting with the player I believe has the most chance to win the group, we have GuMiho. The innovator, the towel Terran himself has had a fairly strong 2019 so far, with a round of 16 placing at both IEM and GSL season one, flanked by his very impressive Super Tournament run. He had no means an easy bracket in the Super Tournament as well, knocking off both Dark and Stats, as well as PartinG to reach the final. He faces Trust in the first match, which I expect to be our most one sided series of the night. Will we see mech against Protoss once again?
Trust is in a similar position to Armani in this group and I sadly expect him to continue his streak of never making it out of the round of 32 in GSL Code S. He seems to always be just a step off the top level and whilst he won a series last season against KeeN, his back is very much up against the wall. His motivation may come from some of his results this year though, despite any notable top finishes, he has beaten names like Lambo, sOs, SpeCial and fellow group member Impact.
Impact is an easy name to sleep on and he will once again be the dark horse of this group, slightly lagging behind Zest and GuMiho. The Zerg player has been quietly stepping up his game over the past year, steadily improving and making it to the round of 16 in the past two GSL seasons. Known for being quite aggressive, we'll see what Impact is about straight out of the gate as he is thrown into a tough match against Zest.
Now I'm not going to say Zest is a shadow of his former self, but I am slightly implying it. Bring it back a few years, Zest was scary. He was the Protoss, winning GSL's, an IEM and being an ever present at the global finals. He's taken a backseat since then however, a win at HomeStory Cup 16 in late 2017 being his last taste of success. Some would say (I) that he's been overshadowed, names like Stats, Classic and to a lesser extent sOs carrying the torch while Zest has slipped into the background. This is not to say he cannot play however, he as been ever present and reaching the final four in the GSL two times last season. Will this be the season Zest can step back out of that shadow? I certainly hope so but he has to start here today in this tricky group.
My predictions today see GuMiho win the group, while Zest just squeeks over the line to grab second. Let's get it on!
Trust vs GuMiho - PvT
Our opening battle would see a classic TvP, with all eyes on the tech paths of both our Terran and Protoss players. Trust took the early momentum in the map, two adepts chewing four scv’s and four marines as he powered into a three gate blink build. To our dismay more barracks were thrown down by GuMiho as he opted for a two base timing to hit Trust hard. Our Protoss player would not stop the pressure though, blink stalkers blinking in heavy, sniping off two tanks before he returned to snipe the vital stimpack upgrade. GuMiho was then forced into a longer game, Trust with some heavy momentum moving into the mid game. The momentum faltered though, GuMiho utilising better macro skills to assume a supply lead, moving forward to snipe the fourth base of the Protoss. A fight would ensue, both sides trading evenly before heading into a base trade. Both sides would destroy the others base but Trust had the critical mass, over 50 supply up to take the first map.
Another crazy upset was possibly on the cards, the underdog one map up against the group favourite. It would be an identical opener to last game, except in this instance the three adept hit squad met the return of a widow mine. A massive supply block saw Trust fall slightly behind, unable to utilise his strategy to blink into the main. GuMiho pushed off two bases, shelling Trust’s third base. It was cleaned up however, with both players entering the nine-minute mark on equal bases and supply. There would be another couple of stagnant minutes, both players powering up until another trade happened at Trust’s third. It was another even trade, but Trust kept his important units alive and pushed into GuMiho, taking a surprising and clean 2-0 victory.
Trust 2-0 GuMiho
Zest vs Impact – PvZ
With Impact boasting a 9-2 record against Zest, we were hopefully in for a good, even PvZ here. Normal openings from both sides would be disturbed from Impact, an early roach warren leading to a swell of roaches moving across the map. With only 20 drones at home Impact was all in, but Zest was caught with little to no units, roaches easily breaking through to take a quick and simple 1-0 win.
Impact had taken a quick 1-0 as we moved onto our second map, King’s Cove. Zest was not scared from the first game as we saw the exact same opening from our Protoss player. Impact made drones rather than roaches this game however, as the game moved into the fifth minute mark with little blood shed. Sloppy Oracle control from Zest saw him lose his oracle as Impact looked to move into a dropper-lord with zerglings. It would fly into a phoenix and do no damage however, as Impact looked to move into lurkers as both players established a fourth and third base respectively. Zest somehow kept a warp prism alive, as Impact looked to push into Zest’s fourth with lurkers. With a lurker being annoying in his natural, Zest failed to engage into Impact’s army properly, conceding ground and units until he was below 100 supply, gg soon called to send our two favourites into the losers elimination match.
Make that a 10-2 matchscore in Impact's favour.
Zest 0-2 Impact
Impact vs Trust – PvZ
Trust came out firing in the first game, a proxy gateway was made across the map. In a similar strategy to what Protoss do against Terran. Whilst his opening looked normal to Impact soon he soon saw something was up as two adepts shaded into his natural. Four adepts killed four drones and four zerglings as archons were next on the table for Trust. After a strange opening the game seemed to normalise, with both players moving into regular compositions for the match up. Trust looked to push onto creep and seemed to be making progress, until a warp prism snipe saw Impact clean up the push and reset Trust’s immortal count. Impact held the lead from this point on and countered onto Trust. With a massive roach hydra ball Impact pushed into the Protoss, only just faltering before the attack was held. Impact did not relent however, pushing in again to finish off Trust and take a 1-0 series lead.
Game two saw us on King’s Cove, the biggest map. Impact once again showed his aggressive side, stopping on 20 drones for a massive ling flood. In a very short game Trust did not see the zergling coming fast enough and with no wall, the zerglings were free to roam the base of Trust. Probe after probe fell, Impact advancing to the round of 16 without a single loss.
Impact 2-0 Trust
Impact advances to the round of 16.
GuMiho vs Zest – TvP
So our two favourites met in the losers match, with one to go home extremely early. A proxy stargate was to come out from Zest, but GuMiho was alert to a proxy of some sort. A cyclone locked onto the oracle, destroying it without a single scv dying. Zest was in trouble and doubled down on the proxy, making blink and a gateway across the map whilst establishing a third base. Cloaked banshees were the thorn in Zest’s side though, keeping him pinned with cloak and hyperflight rotors. Mech would be the name of the game for GuMiho, holding firm on three bases with a line of tanks. The game slowed from here, both players sitting on four bases and GuMiho used his banshees to great effect, killing off over 20 probes. Battlecruisers was the next stage for GuMiho, as he held tight on what was now five bases at the 15 minute mark. Zest would push the trigger from here though, looking to bust GuMiho. Two command centres fell but Zest traded poorly and with no bank, GuMi god took the first map.
In comparison to his series against Trust, GuMiho seemed like a different player. Had he finally warmed up today? We saw a normal 1-1-1 and stargate openings for both sides in game two. Three oracles were made by Zest as GuMiho went for a small push, oracles flying inyo unguarded mineral lines to kill 15 scv’s. It forced GuMiho all in and his marine-tank-cyclone force rolled into the natural of Zest. Whilst it looked very scary for our Protoss player, Zest just held, flipping the worker count back in the Terran’s favour. Zest then assumed the role of attacker, sending a chargelot wave into two tanks, seeing them shred before his eyes. This was the tipping point of the game, as GuMiho pushed once again, this time with stim, +1 and perfect tank positioning. It was to be too much for Zest, as he exits the GSL without winning a map.
GuMiho 2-0 Zest.
GuMiho vs Trust - TvP
Our final match of the evening saw a rematch. GuMiho once again facing Trust. Having been handily dispatched earlier in the evening, who would emerge victorious and move on to the round of 16.
Three gate was the name of the game before for Trust and he attempted the same build again. This time however the three adepts would not slow GuMiho down at all, as our Terran player went into a single banshee and stim. The single banshee delay Trust’s initial timing was delayed but a single tank warded off our protoss player this time. Little adjustments were made by GuMiho from the first series but once again his two base timing met a solid wall of gateway units. Both players postured from here, before GuMiho hit Trust at his third, showing exemplary control to hit just before psi-storm. He picked off key units and was able to slowly push through, taking the initial lead in this series.
Trust had opened in the same fashion for the past three games against GuMiho, each time our Terran player figuring out more about Trust’s build. He mixed it up in this game however, moving into blink once again but without the initial three adepts. It was greedy by Trust, going into a third followed by two forges. Trust’s build was greedy but on the other side, GuMiho was looking to hit a sharp two base timing. As he hit the third he dropped into the main, however Trust’s earlier forges meant he was able to have a sharp +1 / +1 timing. This was the end of the attack though, GuMiho backing off and establishing a third base. He held the army supply advantage however and he resumed his push soon, trading well and delaying Trust’s fourth. Trust held a big upgrade advantage over Terran and with one bad fight, GuMiho was on the ropes. Down nearly four upgrades, Trust pushed onto GuMiho to cleave through the remaining army and tie up the series.
Our first series to make it past two games tonight and it promised to be an epic deciding match. Trust started cheeky, stealing a gas off GuMiho in the initial stage. Blink would again be the move from Trust, who then moved into an extra six gateways. Trust would look to end it quick. A big blink in began the attack, Trust sniping a tank before resetting to try again. Without high ground vision though he ate one tank shot too many, gaining an advantage. The next wave from Trust came in but a cloaked banshee stopped him right in his tracks. GuMiho surviving to move into the round of 16.
GuMiho 2-1 Trust
GuMiho advances to the round of 16.
Series of the Day: GuMiho vs Trust Deciders Match.
Game of the Day: GuMiho vs Zest Map One.
GSL Code S continues tomorrow at 18:30 KST with Classic, TRUE, Solar and Hurricane.
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV.