25 Sep 2012

Recap of GSL Code A RO 48 (MaNa, NaNiWa and Flash)

Today there were some highly anticipated games in the GSL code A, round of 48.

The only two foreigners in GSL at the moment, NaNiWa and MaNa, both had to play to try and keep their place in GSL.

On top of that Broodwar legend Flash had to play his first regular GSL match, which had naturally also spawned a lot of high expectations

MaNa vs. asd

MaNa won the first set on Antiga Shipyard with a very effective 3-base push with perfect storms eventually winning him the game.

In the second set on Entombed Valley asd made some good drops early on and eventually a very deadly all-in push with Marines/Tanks/Banshees/SCVs that took out MaNa's natural and contained him in his main with asd building bunkers at the natural.
MaNa tried to break the contain but couldn't do it, so asd took the first set.

The third and deciding set was on Ohana and ended up looking a lot like the second set.
When asd pretty much did the exact same all-in push he once again managed to take out MaNa's natural and contain him in his main. MaNa tried to break it with immortals and eventually colossi but was more careful than in game 1 this time realizing that he probably wouldn't be able to break it.

MaNa scouted with his phoenixes that asd had moved his mainorbital to his natural, and since MaNa himself was completely mined out he knew he had to do something quickly.
So MaNa decided to sneak all of his army out of his main with a single warp prism and go for a basetrade.
This might have worked better if asd hadn't scouted it as quickly as he did, but asd saw it and went into MaNa's main with all his army quickly taking it out.
At the same time MaNa had no difficulty either with taking out asd's main

So at this point Mana's only structure was an assimilator that he had placed down in asd's original main.  The only structures remaining for asd were a couple of buildings that were flying in different directions on the map. MaNa found the orbital and took it out eventually giving him vision of asd's remaining flying structures.

In the end asd's army was simply a lot bigger though and asd played carefully as he slowly moved towards MaNa's single remaining building.
MaNa tried to take out asd's remaining structures with his phoenixes but asd could simply land the buildings and as MaNa lost his last Colossi he could do nothing but GG and realise that his days in GSL were over for now.

asd vs. MaNa = 2-1

NaNiWa vs. Mini

First set was on Ohana with Naniwa spawning in the top and Mini in the bottom.

Naniwa went: Gateway - assimilator - assimilator - cybernetics
Mini went: Gateway - assimilator - cybernetics - assimilator

This naturally meant that Mini's cybernetics was quicker but that Naniwa had more gas.
From there they went something like:

Naniwa:  Gateway - Robotics - Expansion - Gateway - immortal - blink
Mini: Gateway - Twilight - Blink - Expansion - Gateway - Robotics

Mini then tried to do some blink harassment in NaNiWa's main, but he was ready for it and Mini lost a few of the stalkers putting NaNiWa a bit ahead in army supply.

From there Mini went into Colossi tech but instead of adding his own robotics support bay NaNiWa decided to throw down 3 additional gateways and go for a big push to try and kill Mini before he got too many Colossi out.
Initially the push from NaNiWa did well as he managed to catch one of Mini's immortals with good forcefields at the ramp to the natural.

At this point though Mini had already gotten a few Colossi out and NaNiWa tried different approach-angles to see how he could best try and break Mini's forces. Eventually it led to a rather close engagement which Mini managed to win with good Colossi control.

NaNiWa tried to retreat with his remaining attack forces but Mini chased after him and took out two of NaNiWa's immortals. This gave Mini quite a big lead in army supply and NaNiWa frantically threw down another robotics facility to try and catch up in Colossi.
But Mini knew he was ahead and he didn't wait long before he pushed and when he did his higher Colossi number won him the final engagement at NaNiWa's natural thus winning Mini the set.

The second set was on Daybreak with NaNiWa spawning in the top right and Mini in the bottom left.

Both players pretty much went for the exact same "two gateways and two stalkers into robotics " build.

They both got a few more stalkers out and NaNiWa then managed to catch and take out one of MiNi's stalker out on the map.
This caused NaNiWa to go for some pressure at the ramp to Mini's main. Unfortunately for NaNiWa though, he overextended a bit and Mini caught some of NaNiWa's stalkers on the ramp.
This gave Mini a supply lead as they both took their natural expansions.

Mini then went for some warp prism with double immortal drops and throughout the entire game he actually used his warp prism beautifully. First he dropped a few times in the main.

Then he dropped at NaNiWa's third forcing a cancel on it, while he himself already had his own third finishing up.

Mini also managed to use the warp prism to get map control by dropping the immortals by the watch tower every time NaNiWa tried to claim it with a zealot.
Mini then dropped in the main again and then at the natural and then in main again every time only doing a of damage and escaping just in time, which must have been pretty damn annoying for NaNiWa

Both player's had gone up to double robotics but by constantly harassing NaNiWa, Mini had gained a good lead in his Colossi number and overall army supply.
This allowed Mini to take his own fourth and at the same time go for a deadly push at NaNiWa's third. With Mini also having Archons to tank damage it never really got close and Mini took the set and the series knocking NaNiWa out of code A.

You can say what you want about NaNiWa and the somewhat strange behavior he has shown at some times, but you have to respect the fact that he risked everything and went to Korea this year to try and battle the best SC 2 players in the world at the center of the Starcraft scene.

With this in mind it's quite understandable that NaNiWa was absolutely devastated after his loss.
This guy has truly sacrificed a lot of foreign tournaments this year to try and prove himself it Korea and now he is out of the GSL and after losing this series he must be wondering what in the world he is supposed to do now.

Mini vs. NaNiWa = 2-0

Flash vs. Killer

The first set was on whirlwind with Killer spawning in the top left and Flash in the bottom left.

Killer went for a big 2 base Colossi push and as he moved towards the natural base of Flash it did not look like Flash would be ready for it at all.
However, in a matter of seconds Flash starting building additional bunkers while repairing the ones in the front beautifully with his SCVs.
Eventually he was able to do an impressive hold until he got vikings out and with them he was able to deny Killer's push.

Killer had invested A LOT in the attack and when Flash went for a big counter push Killer was behind in army supply.
When they engaged the vikings of Flash took care of Killer's Colossi while the stimmed bio army massacred Killer's ground forces and with that set 1 went to Flash.

Second set was on Cloud Kingdom and the game quickly developed into a pretty weird game as Killer went for a proxy robotics facility and Flash went for a proxy starport.
Flash scouted Killer's proxy robotics with the hellions he wanted to drop in Killer's main, but he lost one of the hellions in the process.

Flash still dropped in Killer's main though and actually managed to kill quite a lot of probes with his two hellions mainly because Killer was supply blocked for a while and unable to warp in units to defend.

At the same time Flash had been able to set up a good defense at home. So when Killer tried to get something out of his proxy play, and push up the ramp to the main he had to way of doing damage as Flash already had sieged tanks on the high ground.

From here the game stabilized a bit with both player's taking their natural, but with Flash being quite a bit ahead after their opening agression.
Killer though had sneakily placed down a dark shrine and with this managed to catch Flash completely off guard by sending two DTs to the main and two DTs to the natural.
Flash had to bring his army all the way back from the middle of the map and while doing so took a devastating amount of damage.
From this point on Killer was in too big of a lead and when they finally engaged Killer took the set easily with Flash probably thinking "DTs are for noobs!".

The third and deciding set was on Entombed Valley with Flash spawning in the bottom right and Killer in the top right.

They both went up to three bases relatively fast and without getting bothered.
From here the game turned into a game of big engagements.
There was never really anything sneaky going on and the game was just decided by who positioned and controlled their units the best in the engagements.
And Flash did so in their first engagement, mainly by doing great damage to the Colossi with his perfect number of very well positioned Vikings

From this point on Flash was in a bit of a lead and as the game continued with a lot of big engagements  they both seemed to control their armies really well and quite carefully.
But after every engagement Flash simply managed to come out a bit on top and stay ahead in army supply. At the same time Flash took his own fourth safely while taking out Killer's fourth numerous times, and eventually Flash just got further and further ahead and Killer was rolled over in the final engagements.

Flash vs. Killer = 2-1

There were also some other series today that we unfortunately did not get to watch, but according to Wolf and Khaldor the Maru vs. EffOrt games were really nice as well.

Anyway, all in all not a great day for foreigners in Korea, but a good day for all those people arguing that it's only a matter of time before Flash will be able to dominate the SC2 scene as he has done in Broodwar.