GSL Round of 32, Group B Battle Report
GSL came flying back to us last night as we were treated to Group B of the Round of 32. With it being the first day of three continuous GSL broadcasts, it seems Valentines Day came a week early for us Starcraft fans.
Featuring no Terran players, Classic, Trap, Losira and TRUE battled it out for another two spots in the round of 16.
Although he has a had a somewhat quiet off season, Classic comes into this group as favourite, having been one of the top Protoss players of last year. He is joined as favourite to advance by his Protoss counterpart Trap from Jin Air Green Wings. Aligulac shows Trap to have a 62-26 series record since Blizzcon and although he also did not qualify for IEM, he is surely expected to reach the round of 16 ahead of the Zerg players.
Our Zerg players TRUE and Losira, whilst they have the potential to upset, are not expected to. Neither player made it out of the round of 32 last season and both players have not posted substantial results in a long while. TRUE beat streamer TOP to make it to the round of 32, whilst Losira beat Chinese Protoss Cloudy. Losira has also run into Trap twice in pre season, losing to him 2-0 in the GSL qualifiers and 3-2 in the IEM qualifiers.
The night started with Classic and Losira receiving the NesTea award, having played in 10 consecutive GSL seasons, before we jumped into Classic vs TRUE to kick off the night.
Classic vs TRUE - PvZ
Game one saw a quick fire opening, with Classic opting for a proxy stargate in an attempt to catch Losira off guard. Whilst spores were not ready for the oracle, a mis-micro by Classic saw two oracles kill only eight drones, losing an oracle in the process. TRUE, in what was to become his signature build for the night, opted to stay on 44 drones went for an all in. He pulled the queens, along with roaches, ravengers and lings for an all out assault on Classic's base. As the all in was heading Classic's way, his archon drop hit the main and found no resistance. In a sloppy and uncharacteristic decision, Classic pressed forward with the archons, as the all in teared through his own base. Although the archons came home eventually, it was too little too late and TRUE surprisingly took map one.
Kairos Junction saw map two of this best of three start of very typically, Classic with a stargate in his main, Losira opting for a quick three hatch play as he did in the first game. However after the oracle phoenix, Classic instead opts for a glaive adept timing as TRUE once again tries for his 44 drone all in. It is this time met with a wall, and TRUE is forced to back off, pulling ahead with a 10 drone lead. TRUE would not relent the aggression however, cancelling Classic’s third. In what was to be a decisive movement, another attempted third cancel saw Classic’s army move down a ramp, exposing a weak point for TRUE to step up and wedge in between the bases. Classic could not come up the ramp, and had to settle for a base trade, being over 50 army supply down at the 13 minute mark.
Classic, in what was a genius move, settled the top right base, with TRUE in the bottom left, with both player on seven workers a piece. TRUE could not engage into the base with only two narrow choke points, while a prism with two immortals wrecked havok on an army that could not shoot up. After four minutes, the dust had settled and Classic took the win.
The deciding map took place on Cyber Forest, with a potential shock on the horizon in only the opening game. However the map was sadly not as epic as the previous. A change in build by TRUE saw him go into +1 zerglings while faced off against a glaive pressure build from Classic. The 12 adepts caught TRUE without roaches and only zerglings and he quickly crumbled, allowing a seemingly below par Classic through to the next round.
Classic 2-1 TRUE
Losira vs Trap - ZvP
Port Alexsander saw Losira face off against Trap in their opening match. In a difference from the last series, Trap opened up with a double stargate phoenix play. Although Losira cleverly scouted it, he was unable to prevent losing six drones to the initial assault. A small roach counter was gobbled up by the phoenix, leaving Losira to try out a nydus play in an attempt to take the map. A lot has been said about the new nydus since the change, with many Protoss player struggling against the build, especially while playing two stargate phoenix. In an impressive defence play by Trap however, he holds the worms at his third and his main and made it look easy.
Map 2 saw another two stargate phoenix play by Trap, thankfully mixing up the meta from the standard archon drop. The build was once again scouted by Losira but this did not stop him losing a number of units back at home. Around eight drones, four queens and four overlords went pop to the phoenixes. Roaches were skipped by Losira in this game unlike the last, with the Zerg powering forward into hydralisk technology. A push at eight minutes with hydralisks saw a very rare event happen, a drone pull. You heard me right. A drone pull. In something I have not seen in years, drones joined the front line and when a wedge was made between the second and third, hatcheries were placed to somewhat block the Protoss army. Hydralisks chewed through Trap's base, to see another decider take place.
Automaton featured for the first time in the night as a quick three hatch by Losira met a double oracle play into an archon drop by Trap. A fairly uneventful early game saw the double oracle do little damage and saw some nice moves by Losira, cancelling the third of Trap not only once but twice. A roach push by Losira did little as he prepared a spire follow up. The muta switch is read like a book by Trap however and the nine mutas become little more than paperweights as Trap began to build momentum, as well as a great army composition. In another beautiful defence, a double pronged attack by Losira Is swatted away by Trap, who wins the fight on both sides. Trap stalls the killing blow until a couple of minutes later, rolling over a helpless Losira under the cloak of a mothership.
Trap 2-1 Losira
Classic vs Trap - PvP
Our winners match saw a mirror match of the Protosses. An oracle opening by both players saw tiny amounts of damage exchanged, with both players having solid defence. In a surprise move, Trap went into the blink disruptor style against the much more normal immortal chargelot archon style of Classic. Although Trap engaged well and got even trades against Classic, all it took was one decisive fight with all of the disruptors lifted by phoenix and Trap found himself 1-0 down in the winners match.
In another slow paced game we saw an oracle opening by Trap face off against a twilight council – blink build from Classic. Both players threw down forges and built up, but another decisive fight by Classic steamrolled over Trap and we see Classic, as expected advance straight into the round of 16.
Classic 2-0 Trap
Losira vs TRUE - ZvZ
Map one saw us head to Port Alexsander, with both players opting for hatch first builds. Both TRUE and Losira both headed into an early lair after waling off, with TRUE going into mutalisks. Whilst it’s rare to see a ZvZ without a ling bane skirmish, this had none, with Losira replying to the mutalisks with a nydus build. An initial nine mutalisks headed across the map, only to see TRUE’s main base fall to roaches and queens via the nydus. Then began an awkward leap frog, with Losira having to utilise the nydus to defend his own base from the mutas and continue the push on TRUE’s side of the map. Eventually TRUE lost his natural and the overwhelming roach count from Losira gave him first blood in the losers match.
TRUE’s map pick was surprisingly Kings Cove, the largest map in the pool. Both players opted for hatch first builds again but in this game the ling bane skirmish proved fatal for Losira. With a monstreous baneling hit just as he was trying to transition, TRUE pounced and provided a swift killing blow, zerglings massacring drone lines in an instant.
We went from the largest map in the pool to the smallest for game three, with Cyber Forest being the decider for these two players GSL hopes. We once again saw hatch first by both players and quick third bases. Losira assumed the position as the aggressor, with a roach timing followed up by lings. However his push quickly went sour, the initial 8-10 roaches getting caught and surrounded by TRUE, with the PSISTORM Gaming player 30 supply up by seven minutes in the game. Despite some smart counters by Losira, the supply gap would not be slimmed, with TRUE pushing a minute later to move on to the deciding match against Trap.
TRUE 2-1 Losira
TRUE vs Trap - ZvP
The deciding series saw another ZvP, the third of the night. TRUE again began with a quick three hatch opener, whilst Trap went into an archon drop after stargate. With TRUE only on zerglings, some great distraction play saw the archon drop delayed. Further distraction play saw TRUE tech into mutalisks but once again Trap, seemingly without scouting intel figured out the tech switch and heavily countered with phoenix and shield batteries. Similarly to game one against Losira, Trap showed great defence, this time against the hydralisk, baneling, zergling composition brought out by TRUE. With a couple of great fights a lead was established for the Jin Air Green Wings player and he built on it. A late mutalisk switch from TRUE couldn’t turn the tide, and Trap’s armada rolled easily forward onto creep to be on match point.
Kairos Junction was the pick for the second map, and normal openings were had by both players. TRUE had seen a 44 drone all in almost beat Classic on this map earlier in the night and it was time for TRUE to test it out on Trap. The big moment occurred when Trap’s warp prism flew right in the path of four queens, with the queens gunning it down (luckily without the archons inside). This gave the attack a lot more momentum and after a long drawn out engage, TRUE was able to just about overwhelm Trap and send it into a decider.
The deciding match saw once again similar openings as both players opted against something crazy to end the night on. A quick three hatch build yet again from TRUE was met with a stargate into archon drop from Trap. TRUE lived and died by his spire play all night and this game saw him go back into the tech, despite the poor performance on the previous map. Unsurprisingly, Trap once again read TRUE like a book and set up the perfect defence. Undeterred, TRUE committed harder into mutalisks, but at nine minutes thirty, Trap was ahead in supply and the writing was on the wall. A base trade ensued, but it was only going to end one way. TRUE tapping out the gg, and Trap moving on to the round of 16 alongside Classic.
In his interview, Trap said he felt like he made a lot of mistakes,
“I came with much confidence today, things went as I expected, but it didn’t go as well as I anticipated in practice."
Trap 2-1 TRUE.
Qualified to Round of 16: Classic, Trap
GSL Code S continues on February 8th with Stats, Gumiho, Cure and ROOT's very own MC, at 18:30 KST.
All stats courtesy of Aligulac and all pictures from AfreecaTV and GSL.