Content of the article: "GSL Code S 2020 S2 | Ro8 | Day 2 | Rundown"
With one side of the early bracket done after some truly one-sided matches went down, it's now time to turn our attention to the final two series before we enter the Semis.
And what better way to open up than a rematch between the reigning Code S Champion TY and the fan favorite he dismantled last Season along the way – who's arguably the current best Protoss player – in PartinG. When it comes to scenarios like these it's hard to even care about seeding considering it's a series you're dying to see again, so the only real question going into this was whether history would be repeating itself or the trickster slash PvT extraordinaire could come up with something to topple the giant in his way.
As for the last series, the luck of the draw resulted in a PvP clash between two of the other contenders for strongest Protoss player, namely the Living Legend Stats eager to earn some more glory before it's his time to go and the Rising Star Trap who's made a name for himself on the Jin Air team. History had chosen a side in this particular clash a long time ago, yet with the usual volatility of the matchup and Father Time being the ultimate opponent it still felt like there would be a chance for the upset here at least.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead, Obviously
TY put his foot down on PartinG's throat – in a video game, of course – comprehensively outplaying and outpacing his opponent to leave absolutely no doubt who the better player is between the two right now as the Champion heads towards a Code S Double Crown.
It was then Stats coming in hot for his B O Y S, completely annihilating Trap in what felt like record time with an utterly decimating showing in the mirror that felt like watching a Singleplayer speedrun as opposed to a professional competitive match.
| TY < 3 : 1 >
PartinG | ★★☆☆☆ | One-Based-God
- Golden Wall | Chaos was on the menu right away as TY put down the proxy Factory and Starport while PartinG was mining out the backdoor minerals to hide virtually all his buildings on the other side of the map, with the Robo and Dark Shrine being the most notable ones. Pretty much oblivious aside from the fact he didn't find an expansion, TY focused on his own play and executed it brilliantly when three Hellions unloaded inside the Protoss main around 03:45 earning him 15 Probe kills. At virtually the same time, PartinG unleashed his DTs and started kiting Scans with the help of a crucial Warp Prism, quickly making up the worker difference in addition to tearing the entire Terran base apart before a Viking could come out to help. From there TY tried to float over to the Gold base, however the lack of permanent detection meant all PartinG had to do to close this was wait out the last bit of energy and then finish things off with his invisible assassins.
- Deathaura | TY changed things up a bit by blocking his opponent's Nexus and only proxying the Starport eventually after that while the main differences from PartinG were to slow things down slightly by warping in some Stalkers for early harass with the Prism before the DTs would be ready. That particular delay and a forced recall when Hellions once again arrived uncontested inside the Protoss base at 03:55 made it so not only did 17 Probes go down but this time there would be no opportunity to return the favor, with a single Raven coming in from the safe proxy location a bit later as the final nail in the coffin seeing as the DTs were already failing to have an impact before then.
- Ever Dream | The full wall from TY during the opening was telegraphing the continuation of one-base shenanigans, while PartinG opted out of the chaos by finally going for an early Nexus. In addition to his trusty Hellions the Terran was also massing up some cheeky Marauders with Concussive Shells for an even deadlier attack, which got put on a timer when a Hallucinated Phoenix arrived to see everything. From there PartinG immediately spammed out a few Shield Batteries and queued up an Oracle and Void Ray, defended his two bases the best he could around 03:55 and although 13 Probes ended up going down the late CC made up the difference. At that point things were more or less even as PartinG decided to take his units across the map circa 05:25 and almost immediately lost everything with this overextension as the Terran had more than enough to hold and chase down the flimsy Protoss force. The attempt to transition after that critical lapse of judgement felt futile and thanks to a single Viking clearing the way for three full Medivacs around 07:25 the game came to a close as TY unloaded everything with his mini doom drop and gunned down the inferior smaller army in his way.
- Pillars of Gold | The block on the potential Nexus came in again here from TY, however PartinG still took his expansion anyway only slightly further away, uninterested in any more one base plays himself. On the other hand, the Terran not only put down a proxy Starport again but this time it got scouted and almost shut down cold before it could finish building. TY then switched things up again as he went for a regular Hellion runby with the Liberator followup and to PartinG's credit next to no Probes went down, so the Terran had to play catch-up economically with his delayed CC. After reaching this pretty comfortable position, the Protoss went into his signature Blink pressure, however TY's defensive setup looked immaculate so he took next to no real damage from it. What's better after that another Liberator got sent across the map to turn the worker difference around for the Terran and so both players could realistically go into their third bases from there. Things started heating up again as PartinG's two Colossi push arrived at 10:00 yet the defense again felt impenetrable and even better at the same time a squad of Marines simply jogged into an undefended Protoss mineral line across the map to gun down an additional 16 Probes. With that fiasco going down the Terran had everything he needed to end the game, with TY balancing Infantry, Tanks, Vikings and Ghosts to absolute perfection as he finally left home and set up a deadly outpost around 13:15 that PartinG completely failed to break, at which point no amount of Storms could make up the ridiculous supply difference, meaning the game was basically over even if it did take a FanTaSy amount of time for the Protoss to tap out which is always understandable on match point.
| Stats < 3 : 0 >
Trap | ★☆☆☆☆ | Humiliation
- Eternal Empire | Stats went for an early Nexus and Trap also put down his own immediately after a quick Robo, so no shenanigans were to be had in this particular PvP. From there both players looked keen on a longer game with some admittedly cheeky Adept attempts by the Jin Air Protoss to pull a fast one on his opponent, which essentially failed as the two were basically even in supply going towards a third base. Almost perfectly mirrored for the majority of the game, Trap finally decided to turn on the aggression when he slowed down his Nexus in favor of an extra Immortal and Prism with his attack at 07:30 which turned into a mess of Force Fields and tight micro, where Stats would not only come out on top impressively thanks to the magical Shield Battery and a timely upgrade lead, he would then immediately chase down the enemy Protoss army and completely swallow it whole seemingly out of nowhere to end what felt like a completely even game that would inevitably go much longer than this.
- Deathaura | The roles then got reversed as Trap opted for the faster expansion while Stats went harder on the Robo as his later Nexus came up. In spite of that setup and likely thanks to a cheeky pressure on the other side of the map early on, Stats got way ahead in Probes without having to kill any and also put down his third Nexus ahead of the enemy Protoss. Trap then had to come up with a way to come back so he went for a Robo Bay and the plan was to set up Disruptor plays, yet even with no particular reason to be aggressive at that point considering he had every type of lead in the game Stats simply tore into his opponent regardless around 08:30 with a perfectly timed +1 attack that ended the game on the spot in devastating fashion.
- Ever Dream | Pretty much the same thing was coming in from Stats early on, Trap on the other hand finally had enough of the mirror seemingly and decided to PvZ up the place with some Glaives Adepts. Even though the Jin Air Protoss did everything he could to sneak those slippery units in, Stats showed absolutely perfect defense and deflected every attempt by the Adepts, eventually chasing down and flanking them with a supremely confident Warp Prism play at 04:40 which took all the wind out of the Jin Air Protoss player's sails – if there was even any left before then – so at that point the Afreeca Protoss just waltzed across the map and finished his hopeless opponent, seeing as Adepts don't shoot up.
And we thought Wednesday was one-sided…
- Maps of the Night – In terms of quality, I have to go with Pillars of Gold from TY for his extremely solid calculated play in the only game where PartinG managed to realistically prolong the battle beyond the early stages. Instead, if you just want to enjoy some chaos unfold, Golden Wall between them was the wild ride of the day especially considering it was the opening map of a highly anticipated rematch.
Finally, here are some of my closing thoughts on each player:
- TY once again enters the Playoffs with a bang, that GSL badge on his shirt is about to have some company. What could have been a hotly contested rematch turned into a glorified showcase of the Terran Champion's power and preparation, perfectly picking his opponent apart even more convincingly than he did last Season on the way to lifting the trophy. I would say from here on out – after this additional confirmation caster-player hybrid TY is showing no signs of slowing down when it's crunch time – unquestionably it's his Code S Championship to lose, finally having earned the trophy once TY can be summed up best with the following quote: "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve".
- PartinG got bopped pretty hard aside from his cheeky DT win, I definitely expected to see more by him with lower pressure in the Ro8 and especially after that terrific showing he had against INnoVation. Today was a lot more of a comprehensive defeat than the last time these two met, there was little and/or weak adaptation from the Protoss to the continued one base plays by his opponent and also it felt like he never found an opportunity to show off what he's actually good at i.e. control, tactical plays and clever builds – TY never let him, superseding his attempts at every turn. Here's hoping this won't demoralize PartinG too much, it was definitely an unfortunate first Round draw to get the defending Code S Champion after winning your Group.
- Stats came in favored to win this Ro8 match, not absolutely dumpster his opponent on every level. I'm a strong proponent the scoreboard is rarely if ever trustworthy, however this particular 3-0 doesn't even do it justice as the games were… not pretty, which is saying it lightly. Lets put it another way, on this particular day it feels like if these two had to play a Bo9 instead for some reason Stats would have won the first five maps and then asked to play the other four anyway to keep styling. Beyond flawless performance in the mirror that gives me some hope for an exciting Semifinal up next, regardless of the lopsided player history matchup shared with the reigning Champion.
- Trap is going straight back to bed, what an absolute nightmare, at least when it's not a mirror in the back of your mind you can bullshit an excuse or two to yourself. We didn't even see a single real proxy tonight, this was the most straight up beating in a PvP we've seen someone suffer in what feels like forever, especially this deep into the tournament. I'm sure everyone's aware this is nowhere near Trap's day to day level, however in this particular instance the Jin Air player and/or coaching staff really dropped the ball, turning what was always going to be a difficult match to win into nothing short of a humiliation I hope he recovers from.
As always, if you think differently or have something interesting to add, feel free to do so in the comments below.
Catch you on Wednesday for what's likely going to be a better mirror in the initial Semifinal between Rogue and DRG, where the two will finally have their first real series in Legacy of the Void for the right to represent Zerg in the GSL Final and opportunity to become the third ever player for that race to lift two Code S trophies.
Thanks as always for reading & see you when I see you! (:
- GSL Code S 2020 S2 | Ro16 | Group D | Rundown
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- GSL Code S 2020 S2 | Ro24 | Group D | Rundown
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