STX Soul Innovation vs AZUBU Symbol
Game 1 – Cloud Kingdom: Innovation decided to open game 1 with a standard fast expand while Symbol played a bit greedy and went for 3 Hatcheries before Spawning Pool. The greedy opening paid off as Symbol was able to gain a slight lead in the early game. Innovation tried some Hellion harass, but Symbol already had Roaches out and was able to shut it down. Symbol tech’d up into Infestors and put on some heavy Baneling/Infestor/Zergling aggression. Innovation played very defensively and was able to harass Symbol with drops, killing his expansions throughout the game. Innovation was finally able to build up a big enough bio army and was able to push through for the win, taking game 1. Innovation leads 1-0.
Game 2 – NEO Planet S: Both players opened up standard in game 2; Symbol with a Hatchery first and Innovation with a 1 Barracks expand. Both players played defensively throughout the early game, taking quick third bases while continuing to tech up. Symbol took a fourth base while going into Infestor/Ultralisk/Zergling and was able to hit a timing that put Innovation behind. Innovation tried to hold on and actually looked like he might be fighting his way back into the game for a little bit. However, Symbol continued to keep up the aggression and, unlike game 1, was finally able to overwhelm Innovation forcing a GG. Symbol ties the series 1-1.
Game 3 – Whirlwind: Innovation decided to go with an interesting build in game 3, straight into mass cloaked Banshees. Symbol was having none of it though and attacked an unprepared Innovation with a Baneling/Zergling timing that was able to do too much damage before the Banshees could drive them off. Innovation did eventually defend, but after assessing his damages he decided to GG. Symbol takes the lead 2-1.
Game 4 – Daybreak: Innovation decided to play safe with a fast expand into quick Banshee. Symbol decided to go for a Baneling/Roach/Zergling all-in but a well timed scan revealed the strategy to Innovation and he was able to prepare a strong defense that held off the attack. Innovation gained a small lead from it, but Symbol was able to delay Innovation’s third with some proxy Creep Tumors. The game transitioned into the mid-game with both players tech’ing up and slowly building their armies. Innovation’s army movement was much better though, allowing him to take some great engagements. Innovation was eventually able to wear down Symbol’s army to take the win. Innovation ties it up 2-2.
Game 5 – Icarus: Icarus is a map that has seen a lot of all-ins its short time in the GSL. Today was no exception. Symbol decided to go for a Roach and Nydus Worm all-in. Innovation held off the first wave and then the second. But with Symbol planting another Nydus Worm at his back entrance and constantly making Roaches, eventually Innovation was overwhelmed by the multi-pronged constant Roach aggression. Symbol advances to the semifinals with a 3-2 victory over Innovation.
Final thoughts: We came into this round with the belief that Innovation was the best Terran in the world, and if any Terran had a chance at winning this season, it was him. While that all still may be true (we’ll have to wait and see how Taeja does tomorrow), Symbol’s ZvT was just too much for him tonight. The first player to advance is a Zerg and we come one step closer to everyone’s fear of a ZvZvZvZ semi-finals.
StarTale Curious vs SKT T1 Parting
Game 1 – Daybreak: Game 1 started with Parting going into a standard Forge fast expand vs Curious’ quick 3 Hatchery opening. Both players were very passive throughout the game; Parting was able to get up to 3 bases without a major attack and Curious up to 4. Curious decided to be the first aggressor, going into mass Mutalisk play which ended up working out decently. He was able to kill quite a few probes and keep Parting on 3 bases while securing his 4th and 5th bases. While Curious was harassing with his Mutas he tech’d up into the dreaded Brood Lord/Infestor/Corruptor army. Parting was finally able to establish his 4th and 5th bases and the game evened out in supply, with Parting transitioning into a Carrier/High Templar/Void Ray army, but Curious’ had a much bigger bank and was able to slowly siege up and whittle down Parting’s army forcing a very late game GG. Curious leads 1-0.
Game 2 – Bel’Shir Vestige: Both players opened similar to game 1; Parting with his FFE into Phoenix play and Curious with his quick 3 Hatchery into mass Mutas. Parting was able to scout the Spire in time but made a questionable decision to go for Fleet Beacon and Phoenix range upgrade instead of High Templars like he did in game 1. This would cost him as Curious was able to take out quite a few of Parting’s Phoenix early and then proceed to dominate the map. Eventually Curious’ had too many Mutas and was able to engage Parting’s severely weakened army to take the win. Curious leads 2-0.
Game 3 – Akilon Flats: Akilon Flats allows a relatively safe third base, so we saw both players expand to 3 bases quickly. Parting tried to go for a 7 Warpgate timing attack, but Curious was well prepared with his Hydralisk/Zergling army and defended quite easily. Curious then counter-attacked and was able to kill off Parting’s third base, forcing Parting into a very dire situation. From there, Curious was able to go into his mass Mutas that he’d been using all night and it worked for him again. He was able to force Parting into a base trade and won it quite easily. Curious advances to the semifinals with a 3-0 victory over Parting.
Final Thoughts: Curious seemed well prepared against Parting tonight. He played very passively in game 1 and forced quite a long game even though he could have finished it much earlier. This seemed to break Parting’s spirit for the rest of the series as Curious was able to dominate with his mass Mutalisk play. I don’t think anyone saw this one coming, but Curious has put himself into a great position to finally make his first GSL Code S finals.
Semifinal day 1 preview – Symbol vs Curious
Next Thursday we get night 1 of the last Wings of Liberty GSL Code S Semifinals. Our two winners from today’s group, Symbol and Curious, will face off to determine who will advance to the Code S finals. Both players have been playing great the past few weeks, Symbol at 11-8 on the season while Curious has a much better record at 11-3. Going into next week Curious will undoubtedly be the favorite; his ZvZ is his best matchup, while it’s by far Symbol’s worst. However, Symbol has been known to win when not expected to, so we’ll have to see if he can pull something off against Curious.