20 Sep 2012

GSL Season 4 - Round of 16 - Group D

Well maybe yesterday's group was the RO16 group of death, but today's group was pretty damn sick as well.

IM_Seed (reigning GSL champion), StarTale_Life (best playing zerg in this season's GSL so far), IM_Happy (very deadly Terran who won his group easily in the RO32) and TSL_Symbol (one of the absolute most scary zergs throughout the last 6 months).

Seed and Symbol were probably the favorites but that didn't mean it would be an easy task for them.

The first series of the day was between Seed and Symbol.

First set was on Cloud Kingdom and Seed tried to do a big 2 base push with a voidray/sentry based army.
Symbol however was able to snipe Seed's single forward pylon and Seed decided to take his third instead. So it ended up going very late game, with Symbol eventually taking the victory after using neutral parasite on Seed's mothership. This enabled him to use a vortex on half of Seed's army and thus pick the two halves apart one at a time winning Symbol the set.

Second set was on entombed valley and Seed did a big push with a lot of blink stalkers and sentries and was able to take the game with superb blink micro and force fields.

Third and deciding set was on daybreak. Seed used good phoenix play to harras and eventually when they had a big engagement around the 20-minute mark Seed threw down perfect force fields and took care of Symbol's infestors with his phoenixes and from there on his army was much bigger and he took the game and the series.

Seed vs. Symbol = 2-1

Second series was between Happy and Life.

First set was on Abyssal city. On of the great things about Life's play is his movement on the map with zerglings and once again he constantly moved around with them always posing a threat with potential run-bys and so forth.
Around the 20 minute mark Life sneaked a big bunch of banelings into the mineral-line of Happy's third and took out almost all of the SCVs.

This on top of some other good harassment gave Life the lead he needed to get the perfect Broodlord/Infestor composition that he adores so much. When he finally attacked, Happy's army was crushed and Life thus took the first set.

Second set was on Entombed valley. In many ways it was a lot like the first set and Life once again controlled the map and was able to get up to his infestors and broodlords.
Once again he crushed Happy in the big engagements and was finally able to push up Happy's ramp with broodlords and banelings/zerglings streaming in, and Life thus took the series in dominating fashion.

Life vs. Happy = 2-0

The third series was between the winners Seed and Life.

First set was on Antiga Shipyard. They both got up to three bases and then Life decided to push at Seed's third, after having lured out a lot of forcefields first. This attack dealt some damage but was in no way devastating

Seed then went for a big counterpush not really having lost that many units. Having already taking his fourth in the center, Life felt he had to engage and defend at the center.
For this engagement Life had a lot of Infestors, but not enough support for them, and Seed's Colossi melted the infested Terrans and Seed took the game.

Second set was Abyssal City.
Life went up to three bases and Seed went for a stargate and some 2 base aggression. He placed a pylon below Life's main and then flew in with a voidray, which enabled him to spawn zealots and sentries on the high ground in Life's main.

It was a really cool move that could have almost killed Life if Seed had been effective with his forcefields on the ramp. It was certainly his plan to forcefield the ramp and prevent Life's reinforcements from helping out, but he missed them and Life's was able to bring queens and roaches from the natural and deny Seed's agression.
Life then went for a big counterpush, which Seed could not defend against having invested too much in the attack. Life thus took the set.

Third and deciding set was on Entombed valley. Seed went for some early two stalker agression  at Life's natural while expanding, and we've seen Seed take out a queen or drones with this before but it didn't really do any damage in this game and he was forced to return home

Generally Life just has a cool way of always putting lots of different kinds of pressure on and in this game he did a ton of overlord drops. Seed was ready with stalkers most of the time though.

Life really loves building spines while getting his perfect infestor/broodlord force. Around the 19-minute mark Seed pushed at the spines, but Life's finished enough broods in time to defend and Seed was forced to retreat. On top of that all the roach drops had bought Life time to recharge energy on his infestors which is a pretty cool style of delaying the opponents push.

Instead Seed invested a lot in some warp prism-drops but Life was on top of things with his infestors and the drops didn't do much damage.

Life however was able do some very cool infestor drops which was a lot more succesful, with the infested terrans taking out tons of probes.

Eventually the game went into a basetrade scenario in which they both did massive damage at each other's bases. But Life had tons of spines everywhere and Seed used quite a lot of army supply dealing with them.
Having cleaned up most of Seed's buildings, Life then returned home to his base with his superior army and took care of Seed's army.
So Life ended up taking first place in the group and OMG that kid is nasty good.
And he is born in 1997! Crazy shit...

Life vs. Seed = 2-1

Fourth series was between the losers of the first two games, Symbol and Happy, fighting to avoid elimination. We weren't able to watch this series but Symbol took the series as most people had probably expected he would.

Symbol vs. Happy = 2-1

Last series of the day was between two of the most promising new players this year, Seed and Symbol and it was a fucking epic series with both of them battling their hearts out to stay in code S.

First set was on entombed valley and wasn't actually that great a set, and at this point we actually felt pretty sure that Seed knew exactly what he needed to do in order to take out Symbol.
Especially after having taken the first series of the day against him.
Anyway Seed looked quite dominating in this first set and was able to control it throughout. He eventually pushed at the exact moment before Symbol got his Broodlords out and Seed thus won the game.

Second set was fucking insane and it was definitely the best game of the day in our opinion.
The game was on Daybreak and most players seemed keen on playing a long game from the start and they both got up to a good 4-base economy.
They both did try different kinds of harass though including a fantastic immortal drop by Seed that took out Symbol's greater spire (which was in the midst of an upgrade)

From here the game went into a classic split map situation. Seed tried engaging at different areas but was never really able to truly push on Symbol's infestor heavy army and was constantly forced to retreat again.

After having pushed Seed's army back a bit Symbol went for some big harassment with broodslords from the space attacking into Seed's main doing quite a lot of damage.

Seed then tried to counter harass by doing a really nice double warprism harass in Symbol's main which also did a lot of damage. (the double warp prisms were needed to get past Symbol's massive amounts of spores)

None of their harassment was game ending though and at this point Symbol had about 50 spines on the map. Seed decided to push at Symbol's base in the top left corner since Symbol only had around 9 spines there and Seed was able to snipe it. Symbol did retake it immediately afterwards though.

At some point Seed decided it was time for some real action and he pushed at Symbol's center base.

Symbol didn't like this at all so he decided to do a big counter attack with his brood lords once again into Seed's main.

Once again though their big attacks weren't gameending and both armies retreated after doing some damage. Around the 35- minute mark there was a constant threat of a big engagement between Symbol's infestor/broodlord army and Seed's carrier/mothership army, but none of them dared engaging entirely.

Instead Symbol went for another big push with broodslord into Seed's main, this time deciding to continue the attack and not retreat and he took out Seed's entire main easily.

Around the same time Seed decided to counter push with a big bunch of stalkers into Symbols' main which they were also able to take out rather easily.

Symbol had taken out Seed's main and headed for Seed's natural where Seed had been forced to return with his main army to try and defend.
This resulted in a really cool and big engagement that included a vortex that Symbol managed to avoid really well.

Symbol however, had placed a nydus in Seeds main and was therefore able to bring all of his infestors which allowed him to land superb chain fungals on Seeds army.

This meant Symbol came out on top of the engagement that left Seed with only two carriers while he himself still had around 15 broodlords.
This resulted in a small and cool broodlord chase by the two carriers.

They both had great economies though and Seed decided to to remax with voidrays/stalkers/zealots.
whereas Symbol remax'd with broodlord/corrupters and a TON of infestors.
When the final engagement finally arrived Symbol threw out an infinity of infested terrans that took out Seeds army completely and Symbol claimed an epic set that had been nearing the 50-minute mark.

The third and deciding set was on Cloud kingdom and a bit anticlimactic as it wasn't as exciting as the second, and included a few mistakes on both sides.
But at this point both players were probably somewhat exhausted.

Symbol did a big 3-base roach push at Seed's third while it was building. Seed had a lot of sentries and Symbol was able to take all of them and get Seed to cancel his third giving Symbol a big lead.

This allowed Symbol to take his fourth and get a lot of infestors out.
Seed retook his third and later as he tried securing a fourth he also went into a heavy carrier production.

He definitely must have wanted to show Blizzard that their choice to keep carriers in Heart of the Swarm after all isn't a bad idea.
At this point Symbol was at five bases and although Seed tried to deny symbols fifth with warp prisms he couldn't do it. Symbol controlled the map too well and when Seed instead tried to take his fifth Symbol denied it.
Symbol then went for a big broodlord push at Seeds natural, but Seed was able to chase away the broods with his carriers

From here they both got the exact composition they wanted, Symbol with a corrupter/broodlord/infestor army and Seed with a carrier/mothership/archon/templar army.
When they eventually engaged in one final battle Symbol just crushed Seed's army. Mainly because of a neural parasite on the mothership and chain fungals on all the carriers.
And with that Symbol had pulled off a massive comeback and knocked out the reigning GSL champion.

Symbol vs. Seed = 2-1

All in all an epic day with two zergs advancing, neither of whom will be stopped easily.
In fact we feel pretty sure that most players in the world would rather date Cthulhu for a year than face one of these two players right now.

1 comment:

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