GSL May is off to a surprising start, with results from Group A flipping the proverbial bird at anyone who thought they knew how to predict this thing. Would Groups C and D be as surprising? Let’s find out.
HongUn – 6 o’clock
Kyrix – 9 o’clock
HongUn – Nexus first into forge
Kyrix – Speed first into expand
Recap: Kyrix scouts HongUn’s opener and takes a super fast third. Both players macro for several minutes, with little action aside from scouting. Kyrix builds up a large army of roaches and HongUn opts for stalkers, researching blink and +1 attack while taking a third. The two engage in the middle of the map. Kyrix has the numbers advantage and forces HongUn to retreat to his natural, where he uses his building placement and force fields to combat the larger roach army. Kyrix takes out a forge while it’s researching an essential +1 attack upgrade. He reinforces with lings and more roaches, but continues to be pinned among the buildings and force fields at the natural.
Kyrix pulls back and regroups, taking out the debris to gain access to HongUn’s third. He continues to attack, alternating between the third and natural with roaches and lings. HongUn slowly crumbles to the pressure, unable to get a critical mass of colossi. The third falls and Kyrix takes out HongUn’s Cybernetics Core. HongUn GGs as Kyrix takes a 4th.
The Lesson: 3 base Zerg Macro, when left unchecked, remains superior to Protoss FE
LosirA – 11 o’clock
Genius – 3 o’clock
LosirA – Speed first into expand
Genius – Gateway/Core wall in with 2 gas
Recap: Genius goes 3 gate expand while LosirA scouts around the map with speedlings. LosirA builds ~7 spine crawlers at his natural, which Genius scouts with a hallucinated phoenix. LosirA hides an infestation pit in a random corner of the map while faking hydra tech. Genius somehow accidentally scouts it with another hallucination. LosirA macros up a ling/infestor force which he uses to poke and prod at the natural. Genius counters with a stalker/colossus army by pushing out into the middle of the map with cannons and taking a third. LosirA morphs a TON of banelings and tries to very fancily neural the colossi, fungal the stalkers, and hit them with the banelings. It sort of works but the neural runs out on the colossi and LosirA doesn’t have the energy to keep it going. Genius manages to push LosirA back with some remaining stalkers and his 5 relatively unharmed colossi. It’s now 3 base to 3 base.
Artosis keeps commenting that LosirA’s strat is amazing but I completely disagree. Genius marcos up more stalkers and easily takes out LosirA’s third. LosirA counters beautifully with a baneling drop that takes out a ton of probes at Genius’s natural. It’s not enough, though, as Genius pushes into LosirA’s natural with a ton of Colossi and stalkers. LosirA again neurals the colossi and uses his speedling/baneling army to take out a ton of stalkers. The neural runs out though and LosirA has nothing left except a few infestors with no energy. Genius starts pushing the natural with his colossi and a small reinforcing group of stalkers and LosirA GGs.
The Lesson: Infestors vs Protoss are overhyped, they don’t have infinite energy.
LosirA – 9 o’clock
Kyrix – 3 o’clock
LosirA – 16 hatch
Kyrix – 8 pool
Recap: You may think these openers speak for themselves, at least I did. Kyrix pulls his drones and rushes with his initial six lings, producing two more sets as followup. He arrives when LosirA’s pool is only 20% done. LosirA immediately cancels the hatch at his natural and proceeds to buy time with his vastly superior drone count. Kyrix is winning the fight, but appears indecisive as LosirA runs some of his remaining drones away, allowing the pool to finish. The canceled hatch provides him with a huge pool of minerals and he manages to build up a large quantity of zerglings which Kyrix simply cannot handle, despite attempts to surround the eggs. LosirA cleans up the rush and Kyrix GGs. Interesting game.
The Lesson: Slow lings can be distracted, just don’t panic.
HongUn – 9 o’clock
Genius – 6 o’clock
HongUn – 3 gate 2 gas
Genius – 4 gate
Recap: Tasteless and Artosis serenade us with cute stories about girlfriends and family members while the two Protosses prepare for the inevitable early confrontation. HongUn tries desperately to stop Genius’s 4 gate, but gets a sentry out just slightly too late. It’s simple math from there as Genius works his way into the base with his superior production, HongUn GGs before he can get another warp gate going. HongUn is eliminated from group play. Genius advances to the Ro16.
The Lesson: 4 gates are still better than 3.
LosirA – top right
Kyrix – top left
LosirA – 15 hatch
Kyrix – 8 pool
Recap: Kyrix tries the exact same all-in. Artosis comments that he’d like to see him throw down a spine crawler in LosirA’s base and I agree. He elects to go for more lings instead. LosirA catches wind of the all-in a bit earlier, canceling his hatch and throwing down a pool. Kyrix targets the pool but LosirA attacks his units with the drones. Kyrix attacks the drones, allowing the pool to finish. LosirA immediately begins production of 6 lings. Kyrix wins the fight against the drones, which withdraw, allowing him to finish off the pool. He doesn’t have enough left, however, to handle the broodlings and zerglings as they spawn. He loses just about everything and, despite taking out the pool, is forced to GG.
The Lesson: If at first you don’t succeed, it’s not always a good idea to try again.
MVPGenius – 2-0
IMLosirA – 2-1
ZeNEXKyrix – 1-2
HongUnPrime.WE – 0-2
Nada – bottom left
MKP – top left
Nada – 1 rax tech lab into reaper
MKP – Maka rax!
Recap: MKP uses his maka rax opener to pressure the hell out of Nada, who barely holds on by pulling SCVs and ninja-ing up more production buildings. Both players have gone for early CCs but MKP is the only one able to take advantage, gaining a huge early supply lead. The game finally normalizes when Nada gets his first tank out, forcing the early pressure to end. Nada tries to drop his way back into the game while turtling up with tanks and turrets, a plan that yields some small success. MKP, however, is taking a far away expansion in the upper right, a move that’s highly conducive to his more mobile army of marines, marauders, and medivacs.
MKP roams around the perimeter of Nada’s base for a while, looking for moments of weakness. Nada takes out the rocks for his third and MKP charges up into his nat. Nada’s defenses are strong, though, and he gets the better end of the engagement, forcing MKP to retreat. Supply counts have evened out considerably as Nada gets his third up and running. Both players take 4ths and max out.
Nada moves out and the two engage briefly in the middle. Nada’s army is superior, though, and forces MKP back. MKP has yet to take advantage of his more mobile force. MKP continues to directly engage Nada and continues to get beaten back by his tanks. He is, however, simultaneously expanding throughout the map while Nada has only taken a 4th. MKP finally does manage to flank Nada and takes out a sizable chunk of his army, but he gets pincered by Nada’s reinforcements. It looks like MKP is trying to play like a Zerg, trading armies and remaxing quicker with cheaper, better production while taking the map.
Nada, however, seems to understand this and immediately pushes towards the heart of MKP’s production. He takes out his initial natural and begins slowly sieging his way toward the main. MKP continues to take the right side of the map and starts rebuilding his production facilities. Nada throws down several CCs in the bottom right of the map.
MKP decides to base trade and abandons his main, loading up into medivacs. Both players have bases all over the map and Nada has a strong supply lead. He moves into MKP’s main and takes it out while MKP’s infantry hit him all over the place with drops and stim harassment. It’s not enough though as Nada has PFs and left a substantial defense force in his main. Nada maxes as MKP tries desperately to rebuild his infrastructure in the top right of the map. Nada pushes out and MKP simply doesn’t have enough to stop him. MKP GGs. Great game by Nada.
The Lesson: If you go for a mobile army, use your mobility.
Zenio – 11 o’clock
Alicia – 3 o’clock
Zenio – Speed first into expand
Alicia – Gateway/Core wall into 3 gate expand
Recap: Zenio goes for a hidden third in the bottom left of the map while Alicia techs to stargate. Alicia uses a small air force of a VR and two phoenixes to scout around and poke Zenio’s base. He does not find the third and Zenio comfortably takes a macro lead. Alicia finally finds the third with a few phoenixes and immediately moves out to the middle of the map with a mixed gateway force. Zenio engages and gets his roaches picked apart by forcefields. He retreats and regroups.
Alicia starts a third near the middle of the map and sends his stalkers down to take out Zenio’s third. Zenio has, however, begun making a hatch at a location closer to his natural and elects to counterattack with a roach/hydra force. In a bizarre turn of events, Alicia pulls back from Zenio’s hidden base, leaving only three stalkers, Zenio pokes the front of Alicia’s nat with lings and realizes it’s too fortified. Both players pull back and timidly engage each other in the middle, but neither ends up losing a base. Alicia is now up to three bases and has colossus pumping while Zenio establishes his 4th after fending off the three stalkers. Wacky.
Alicia builds up a nasty stalker/colossus ball and the two players attack each other’s expansions. Alicia sends a small pack of zealots down to Zenio’s third, which take it out. Zenio, however, takes out Alicia’s third, forcing him to retreat before he finishes off Zenio’s 4th. Zenio maneuvers around the middle of the map, taking some damage from the colossus and buying some time to get out some corrupters. The two finally engage in an epic battle in the middle as Alicia uses a small pack of units to take out Zenio’s 4th. Zenio does take out all the colossus, but can’t finish off the stalkers and GGs.
The Lesson: Well placed force fields can make up for an early macro deficiency.
Nada – bottom
Zenio – top
Nada – proxy rax (at the base on the left of the map) into CC
Zenio – speed first into expand
Recap: Nada’s proxy is scouted by an overlord, who spots an SCV leaving the left area of the map. He produces a single marine and begins floating it back to his main. He uses the marine to kill the scouting overlord. Artosis and Tasteless comment that this may have been intention. If it was this shows just how well these two oGs teammates know each other. Nada techs to blue flame hellions as both players macro up. Nada pushes out with a pack of hellions and marines but Zenio is fortified up with a spine crawler and a small ling/bane/roach army, forcing a retreat. Nada switches to siege tech while Zenio takes a third on the right side of the map.
Zenio takes the gold as well, which Nada scouts with his hellions. Nada macros up an absolutely terrifying army of thors, tanks, hellions, and marines off two bases and begins pushing for the gold. Zenio expertly delays him by threatening counter attacks with his significantly smaller but more mobile force of speedlings and banelings. Nada appears indecisive but Zenio, for some reason decides to attack into his push and gets obliterated. He has, however, build up a decent clump of roaches near his gold. It’s not enough though as Nada pushes into the gold with his still very scary mech heavy army. Zenio elects to counterattack but Nada is well fortified at his natural.
Nada pulls back and takes out the gold rocks. He uses a small marine/tank force to take out Zenio’s 3rd, but Zenio is double expanding again and has teched to mutas, which he’s using to take out stragglers in Nada’s army. Nada moves a CC to his gold and attacks Zenio’s new gold base, taking it out. Zenio takes a substantial army and counterattacks through the back hallway to Nada’s natural, doing a top of damage but not taking out the CC, which is barely saved by SCV repair and Nada’s returning army.
Nada’s oh so late 3rd is paying dividends for Zenio, who has a substantial supply lead. Zenio continues to poke between the gold and the natural using the hallway, taking advantage of Nada’s lack of mobility while throwing down more hatches. Great play. Nada turtles up and the two engage mid map in a relatively even trade (which favors Zenio due to efficient reinforcing). Nada remacros and the two engage again, with Zenio coming out on top but unable to push through the PF at the gold. Nada remacros desperately.
Nada drops one hatch with several marines while attacking another with a small ground force. He manages to get one with the ground force but his drop is cleaned up. It’s now 4 base to 3 with both players controlling the gold and Zenio remaining nearly 40 supply ahead. Nada again attempts to push the gold, and Zenio uses the opportunity to counter, instantly taking out Nada’s gold with banelings and hitting the natural with speedlings through the back hallway. Nada does manage to take out Zenio’s gold.
Nada floats his main CC to his gold and continues to push, attacking Zenio’s base to the left of his natural. Zenio tries to counter the new gold but Nada has left a pack of marines and tanks to defend it. Zenio loses his expansion. Tense game. Zenio tries to distance mine the gold but Nada’s army moves in. Zenio doesn’t have enough to stop it despite some late infestor tech, and GGs to the slow push towards his natural. Zenio is eliminated from group play, Nada advances.
The Lesson: Counter attacks can get you right back into a game, but they can backfire just as easily.
Alicia – bottom
MKP – top
Alicia – Proxy stargate
MKP – 4 barracks into CC
Recap: Alicia’s proxy is scouted, prompting MKP to go heavy heavy marine production. Alicia produces a VR and tries, unsuccessfully, to poke around MKP’s base. He backs off and macros up a stalker/sentry force, which he uses to pressure MKP’s natural after taking an expansion of his own. MKP gets sliced and diced during numerous confrontations by amazing forcefield play. Though no single engagement is decisive, Alicia comes out more and more ahead with every small fight.
Alicia forces a huge fight at MKP’s natural, which he appears to dominate initially but turns into an even trade after his sentries run out of energy and stim finishes for MKP. MKP did have to pull some SCVs, however, giving Alicia a solid edge. For a few moments Alicia appears to consider a 7 warp gate all in, but he instead retreats to nurture his economic advantage.
Alicia takes a third and continues to macro and upgrade. MKP builds up a large marauder heavy force and pushes down toward the third. They two maneuver indecisively around each other and Alicia finally attacks with terrible positioning. MKP exploits it and gets the better end of the battle. He’s forced to retreat by reinforcing gateway units, however, and Alicia’s third does go up.
MKP floats his main CC to the gold while Alicia starts producing high templars. MKP begins pumping ghosts to counter this. Alicia scouts the gold and pushes out with a gateway/HT army. A tense battle ensues involving EMP, storms, archons, and a ton of marauders. MKP does manage to hold the first wave and Alicia pulls back. He’s not done yet, though, and pushes in again after producing a few more rounds of units. MKP tries valiantly to hold with his marauders but eventually buckles under the pressure. He GGs as Alicia moves on to his natural. MKP is eliminated from group play, Alicia advances.
The Lesson: Constant pressure is a viable Protoss strategy in PvT, forcefields aren’t just for defense in the early game.
MKP expertly micros a gold base marine rush against Zenio on Metalopolis. His splitting against the defensive banelings proves again why he’s the king of the marines. He takes the game.
Alicia DT rushes Nada on Metal, who manages to hold on and turns it into a longer TvP. Alicia eventually beats him in the economy game, forcing him to GG when it’s 4 bases to 2.
SlayerS_Alicia – 3-0
oGsNaDa – 2-1
MarineKingPrime.WE – 1-2
oGsZenio – 0-3