GSL Code S Group A Recap
Welcome to another season of the GSL Code S; in fact,; in fact, the last season for Wings of Liberty ever! This season we’ll see what is effectively the cream of the crop, with big names such as MVP, Nestea, MC, Parting from the ESF world and some KesPA folks such as Ty and Innovation. We’ll also get a chance to see how a couple of foreigners go, with HuK and Stephano both making it into Code S.
In this first and final WoL GSL Code S for 2013, a few changes have been made to the map pool, looking to provide some excitement and new strategic situations for the players (looking at you Icarus) and of course, you as a viewer. To find out more about the changes, feel free to check out the details here.
Code S Group A
- Set 1: CreatorPrime (P) vs LG-IMByuL (Z)
- Set 2: Symbol (Z) vs StarTale_Life (Z)
- Set 3
- Set 4
- Set 5
- Final Results
Set 1: CreatorPrime (P) vs LG-IMByuL (Z)
ByuL is a first timer in Code S, earning his spot through the up and down matches. It’ll be interesting to see how he goes, he and Stephano were the only rookies getting into Code S for this final season. All of the other players have been in Code S at least once before; we’ll see if ByuL is able to stay calm under the pressure (because we all know Stephano definitely will).
Creator is a common sight lately in high level leagues, finishing with a top 8 seeding from last season in Code S, and this attempt will be his third. Widely considered an extremely well versed Protoss player in every single matchup, he will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. He has the added bonus of only needing to prepare for PvZ matches in this group; whereas his opponents will need to prepare for the extremely volatile ZvZ matchup along with ZvP.
DUCK EXPECTS: 2:1 Creator
Game 1: GSL Cloud Kingdom
Cloud Kingdom, a common battle arena for many matches over the past half year or more both players opening up quite standard, with Forge/Nexus from Creator, and Pool/Hatch from ByuL. I suppose it’s a little safer than normal; but better to be safe than sorry.
Creator opts to open up with a Stargate branch from his ForgeFE, warping in a Void Ray and 4 Phoenix shortly after and attempts to put some pressure on with these early air units.
As he ventures across the map, he cleans up the Watch Towers on the way to make sure ByuL doesn’t have as much map vision as he’d like along with 2 Overlords on the way. ByuL meanwhile has been playing quite passively, picking up Spire and Infestation Pit tech behind his minimal aggression, and moves to take his fourth while Creator has secured his third off an intriguing Stargate/1gate expo.
While ByuL expands to his fourth, the early Void Ray of Creator is still alive and kicking. It finds the fourth and gets the beam kicking however unfortunately a Queen arrives in time alongside a Spore Crawler that is able to plant itself down because of the decent creep-spread from ByuL’s tumours. The Void Ray escapes, but has taken the fourth base down to half health.
Creator in a very powerful position, he’s sitting on 3 bases fully saturated, and while ByuL has his power tech out (and Hive is morphing) he still isn’t able to get out Broodlords. Creator knows this timing window will close soon and his 8 gates start switching over to warp gates…
Creator pushes forward with a single Colossus, and quite a large force of basic gateway units (alongside roughly 9 sentries) and attacks the fourth of ByuL which quickly crumbles because of the earlier damage done by the Void Ray.
Instead of attempting to push up the direct ramp to the third, Creator pulls back because of a large Infestor count alongside Roaches linking up with his extra Colossus, Archons and more Gateway units then proceeds down the backside of the top left of the map, and proceeds to annihilate ByuLs third with relative ease.
With no Broodlords and some decent Forcefields, ByuL is forced to tap out in game 1.
Game 2: GSL Daybreak
Again very safe, and standard openers from both players, with a Pool/Hatch from ByuL and a Forge FE from Creator. Both of these guys keeping things safe and sound in the opening minutes of the game.
Creator is the first one to make a bold move after the initial forgeFE he then takes a third base very quickly, sitting on only 1 gate, his army comprising of 1 stalker and a sentry. A daring economic play from Creator, this is a particular build that only Oz has used consistently and interestingly it seems to only be used on Daybreak. Creator moves his nexus-building probe up the “lane” of the third base and constructs a very old-school style wall off with 3 gates and a couple of pylons, guarded by 2 cannons.
With ByuL’s initial scouting lings he has seen the quick third and immediately you can see his need to switch into DRG/Stephano style heavy ling/roach pressure. While his third hatch is only partly populated by drones he cuts drone production at around 48 workers and swings into full scale Roach/Ling.
ByuL sends a splinter force through the front entrance to the natural of Creator, but then sweeps up and into the third, while another Roach/Ling group pushes straight through the outer defences of the third base. Creator is stuck in what looks to be an almost impossible situation where it looks like his units and the third base are all going to die… Until…
The beautiful Forcefields cut down the angle of attack for the roaches and lings, and miraculously Creator survives the attack with almost no real losses. ByuL continues the pressure but is unable to get any real damage done, and thus attempts to restart his drone production back at home.
Creator, knowing that his opponents economy and production will be much lower than it normally would be at the 12 minute stage, decides to go for broke. Throwing down 4 gates to go to a total of 9, Creator pushes out for a 1/0/1 upgrade timing push against his slightly depleted opponent.
ByuL valiantly attempts to defend his fourth and third bases but there is no hope. He is forced to tap out and finish the set with a 2-0 victory to Creator.
Creator wins 2-0
Set 2: Symbol (Z) vs StarTale_Life (Z)
Symbol is now in his 4th Code S tournament, and is sitting in the booth with a very impressive ZvZ win/loss 34 wins and 16 losses. He has been extremely close to taking championships but seems to have them snatched away from him at the last moment. Can he take care of the ST prodigy Life?
Life has been an absolute monster as of late. Like many of the Korean Zerg “rising stars” that have come up the ranks, his wins have been quite pretigious, and certainly well earned. This will be the last WoL Code S, and he’ll certainly be hungry to fight the title of “the final best player of WoL” can he continue his own impressive ZvZ ratio of 30 wins and 12 losses?
DUCK EXPECTS: 2:0 Life
Game 1: Neo Planet S
Life opens up his ZvZ with an 8pool, going for some early pressure with being too insane about it. Symbol meanwhile goes much more standard, Pool into Hatch. Of course Symbol eventually sees the lings bounding across the map and looks to try and defend given that he went for the pool/hatch style.
Interestingly Symbol lets the hatch finish despite the early 8 lings of Life putting quite a large dent in the health of the structure. Symbol did attempt to pull some Drones with his own defensive Lings but miscalculated and lost all the Lings without keeping the hatch alive. Luckily, Symbol did pull off some nice micro and kept all the pulled drones alive, so he was even in Drone count despite losing his hatch.
After that initial attack, Symbol went for a counter-offensive against Life, but of course by that time, Life already had a queen out to protect his own natural which had just been established, and no damage was done.
Life begins his own counter-attack, pushing out 15 or more Lings, and with his speed finishing up they fly across the map to try and stop Symbol from re-establishing his natural, but this was thwarted by a couple of beautifully placed Spines and 4 Queens.
Life finally begins to push for a more tech-based assault method, and after his Lair finishes at 10 minutes, opts to build a Spire and start stockpiling gas for the Mutalisks he’ll soon start morphing. Symbol has much slower tech due to the heavy pressure placed on him, and given that his gas was quite a lot later too it has hindered him. His Lair is only just starting up around this point and thus his defense against the soon approaching Mutalisks will be Queens and Spores alone.
The first Muta’s pop out for Life, however he hasn’t gone too heavily for the flying prawns, instead only using the initial 8 to poke around the map and retake some map control, killing Overlords and stray Lings that Symbol had left out on the map. He also adds more Roaches to mutas are out for Life but doesn’t over-commit to them, only 8 in total. More Roaches are also on the way with upgrades also being added in, and with Life’s Mutas commanding the map along with a decent ground presence, he is able to take a third while keeping Symbol from taking one himself.
Symbol recognises he’s in a tight spot, and as what seems to be a last-ditch attempt to salvage the game, sends his Roaches across the map to try and do some damage while his Hydralisks attempt to morph. Unfortunately given the large economic lead and the Mutalisks providing fire support, Symbol gets next to no damage done, and is thus in a very precarious position.
Symbol attempts to add Hydras and even a few Infestors to his army, but it is all too little too late. The worker count is in Life’s favour, as is the army count. Life pushes in with superior upgrades on his Roaches and essentially brute forces his way into Symbols natural, who is forced to GG.
Game 2: GSL Daybreak
Again Symbol goes for a very safe Pool/Hatch build, while his opponent goes for a much greedier Hatch/Extractor/Pool opening. This will obviously give Life much faster Ling-speed and a slightly nicer economic base.
Once again Life shows his true colours bringing over 20 very quick Lings with speed to the forefront of Symbols natural and this is seen by Symbol; though perhaps too late. He attempts to get 3 spines up with a Roach Warren attempt to help out the simcity with a Queen on the ramp, but it isn’t enough. Life busts through the Queen, and Symbol even attempts a very nice Drone block to try and keep the Lings from getting into the safety of the main; but they slip through regardless, and with 6-8 Lings inside the main, taking down over 11 Drones.
Symbol was eventually able to clean it up with some Roaches coming to the rescue… but at what cost. The Drone count sits at 42 for Life, and 19 for Symbol. Life has 2 bases nicely saturated and is bringing in gas and even goes towards picking up a third base.
Life throws down the Spire after his Lair completes, then adds in 9 Mutalisks once the morph is complete. With a supply count sitting at 70 to 160, Life is easily able to crush through Symbol’s meagre defenses and takes the set 2-0.
Life wins 2-0
Set 3: CreatorPrime (P) vs StarTale_Life (Z)
DUCK EXPECTS: 2-1 Life
Game 1: GSL Daybreak
Standard openings as expected on this large macro map, we see a ForgeFE against a Hatch first expo.
Things get a little bit odd, when Creator checks the third base and finds no attempted hatch at the third of life at the 6 minute mark.
Roach/Ling 2 base play coming out of Life, Creator has twice seen that there is no third but he hasn’t prepared any extra defence no extra Cannons, and goes for Warp Prism first instead of an Immortal.
The Roaches and Lings stream out across the map from Life, Creator still seemingly unsure of exactly what was going on. When the units of Life arrive at the front door, Forcefields are thrown down in a brave attempt to hold back the Swarm, but it’s too late. The wall starts to fall apart, Probes attempt to come to the aid of the sentries and one sole Immortal, but it is too much. Creator dies to what was effectively a completely invisible 2 base Roach/Ling bust.
Game 2: GSL Cloud Kingdom
Very standard openings from both players, with Creator again going for a ForgeFE, and Life picking up his Hatchery before Pool. Interestingly Life takes 1 of his gas inside the main very early, and a quick 5 minute Lair is morphing for Life.
Meanwhile for Creator he proceeds to the Stargate and goes Phoenix first, opting to have the scouting ability available asap. The Stargate isn’t scouted, but soon after the first air units pop out of course Life is aware of the play coming out of Creator. Life has his own air units up his sleeve though soon after the quick Lair had finished morphing, Life threw down a Spire in an attempt to get quick Mutalisks out to possibly thwart any chance of the extremely common Sentry/Immortal build that is used quite commonly on this map.
Creator is in an extremely safe position to deal with Mutalisks, with 4 Phoenix out however he makes an extremely questionable decision, and decides to throw down a second Stargate. Many Zerg players upon seeing 4-5 Phoenix will automatically opt-out of getting any further Mutas. Life is one of these players, with his tech change coming swiftly; getting an Infestation Pit down as quickly as his economy would allow. Creator has decided that the Mutas were no bluff, and continues double Phoenix production for quite a while, picking up roughly 9 Phoenix to deal with a measly 8 Mutalisks.
Upon realising that he has drastically overreacted to the possible Muta threat, Creator decides that a push is in order, and sets up a very odd force. Stalkers (only a few) Sentries, many Zealots and all of the Phoenix from up in the sky head towards the third base of Life. Unfortunately for Creator, this riff-raff of units is quite effectively countered by one unit; the Infestor. Creator does his best to lift as many of the Infestors as he can, but it’s too difficult to maintain control of the fight. With Roaches and Lings on the ground to deal with, his Phoenix being brought down from the sky by Fungal and Queens at the third, Creator gets very little done with his push apart from several worker kills.
Creator attempts to pick up his third base, which is of course now far behind where you’d normally want a third to be taken, and with Life already on a high count of Infestors to assist his Roaches and Lings, things look grim for the possibility of Creator keeping the third.
Life pushes into Creators third and takes it down. However, on the retreat almost 9 Infestors are waddling home with no escort and Creator was lucky enough to catch almost every single one, taking Life’s Infestor count down to 3.
Despite having this great advantage, Creator was unable to break through the fortified third base of Life, with Spines, Roaches, Lings and slowly more Infestors coming to the aid of the base. Creator is left with nothing, and is forced to tap out.
Life Wins 2-0
Set 4: Symbol (Z) vs LG-IMByuL (Z)
DUCK EXPECTS: 2-0 Symbol
Game 1: GSL Daybreak
Yet again being very safe, Symbol goes for 15pool into Hatch on the large macro map Daybreak. His opponent ByuL takes a Hatch/Pool/Gas setup to start up his game. Symbol goes for a very quick Roach tech, skipping Banes completely. ByuL has other plans, and places down the defensive Baneling Nest, and both players play relatively passively, pushing up towards 40 Drones.
ByuL then makes the first real “move” of the game, taking a very quick third base far before Symbol does, attempting to start up an economic gap. Behind this ByuL is also getting his Lair and Roach Warren. Continuing on this passive style, Symbol doesn’t take his third for quite a while, instead focusing on upgrades for his roaches, and making sure his economy on 2 base is set.
Symbol finally attacks after seeing that he’s far behind in eco and actually snipes the third base of ByuL, a beautiful hit by him considering he saves almost all of the Roaches that attacked.
ByuL attempts to get Infestors out to deal with the ever-growing Roach army of Symbol that now has 2/2 upgrades. Unfortunately due to the attempted third, and much quicker Infestor tech, ByuL is far behind in the upgrades and Roach count, sitting at 22 to 40 at one stage.
Symbol takes advantage of his numerous Roaches and begins multi-pronged attacks into the main, natural and third base of ByuL effectively forcing a splitup of ByuL’s already smaller forces. The pressure from all of these attacks is too much for ByuL to be able to handle, and he has to GG.
Game 2: GSL Cloud Kingdom
Both players follow a similar style of opening, Pool/Hatch, however Symbol as always isn’t getting his gas as early as his opponent, and ByuL starts building up his gas count that will no doubt contribute towards Zergling Speed.
Speedlings coming out from ByuL, both players with Baneling Nests, and with an engagement in the middle ByuL takes the advantage but not for long. Symbol gets defensive banes in operation and is also pumping out some roaches to commence a counter-strike on his low-tech opponent.
Symbol pushes into ByuLs’ natural with a Roach-Bane force ByuLl with almost no proper defence (roachs or spines) falls to the low cost but strong force early on in this game.
Symbol Wins 2-0
Set 5: Symbol (Z) vs CreatorPrime (P)
DUCK EXPECTS: 2-1 Creator
Game 1: GSL Icarus
Pool/Hatch from Symbol, being safe as always, and Nexus FE from Creator, wanting to pick up that slight economic lead.
6 early lings from Symbol which have a look at the front door but are unable to penetrate they then head to the back to attack the rocks that lead into the backyard natural base.
Stargate opening for Creator, while Symbol moves across to take a third base. Symbol picks up an early 10 Roaches and some Lings taking advantage of the rock back door busts it down with lings and gets offensive in the main as Creator accidently moves his defensive units from the wall-block, and thus Lings/Roaches get inside the main and do some medium damage, only a few Probe kills, but kills regardless.
Symbol goes for a slightly odd Hydra/Roach style, with Ventral Sacs being researched for drops. Creator grabs his third and secures it with a combination of Immortals and Gateway units.
Symbol prepares the drop but it is spotted by an observer of Creator and with a flurry of lasers and destroyed Zerg units, the drop is completely annihilated before any real damage can be done.
After the massively failed drop attempt, Creator pushes across the map with DT/Zealot/Stalker/Immortal and cleans up Symbol with swift justice.
Game 2: GSL Cloud Kingdom
Standard ForgeFE from Creator, and again a Pool/Hatch from Symbol, being safe as always.
+1 weapons upgrading straight away for Creator, then Robotics Facility following that up to allow him to get out a Warp Prism for some triple-sentry harass. Interestingly this wasn’t the end of the plan. That was just phase 1. Phase 2 involved the Dark Shrine that was sneakily building in the back corner of Creator’s base.
He proceeded to attack Symbol’s third with a “normal” Zealot/Sentry push aiming to kill a Queen, maybe a couple of Drones along with that. of course this attack wasn’t able to get a large amount of damage done because of the investment in the Dark Shrine but it didn’t matter. Symbol was completely unprotected against Dark Templar that soon warped in. Weirdly Creator didn’t attach multiple mineral line with the 3 DTs he warped in instead went straight for the third base Hatch and took it down.
Symbol’s response to this is also something slightly left-of-field, he researches Overlord speed and Ventral sacs. Along with a weirdly timed baneling nest, he is able to sneak into the natural of Creator with a large contingient of Banes and Roaches with don’t get a great amount of damage done, but they do clean out a few Probes and few stray units. Symbol continues to macro up more and more units and brings them to the front line with another drop this time dropping everything straight down on Creator’s Stalkers, Immortals and Sentries. Creator was unable to take the hits given that his spending was slightly behind because of the investment in DT tech and DTs themselves, and thus is forced to leave the game.
Game 3: Akilon Wastes
Pool/Hatch from Symbol, ForgeFE from Creator, everything continuing on as it normally does. Third base from Symbol also very quickly as standard upon seeing a Protoss ForgeFE, and Creator doing the same build as game 2 it seems, with +1 Weapons on the way, and a Twilight Council in the back. Creator is changing things up a bit this time, Chronoboosting his +1 weapons out quickly and also researching Blink for his Stalkers.
Symbol meanwhile is getting Roach/Ling speed and an Infestation Pit so that he can head to Hive tech as quickly as possible, or perhaps be ready to defend against an Immortal/Sentry all-in which looks to be quite a viable build on this map.
Creator begins some more mind games head across to his third base with what looks to be a very standard force of a couple of Immortals and some Sentries, but he has other plans. Once Blink and +2 Weapons have synced up nicely and are getting close to completion, Creator pushes out with a very large Stalker/Immortal/Sentry/Zealot force, and heads towards Symbol’s fourth.
Creator cleans up the third base and pushes into the natural after busting through the rocks but Infestors come out just at the right time for Symbol, and he is able to throw down a few fungals to slow down the approaching Protoss army, which nets him more time for more Infestors and more Roaches.
The game then turns into an amazing display of patience and disipline (not to mention amazing blink micro from Creator) with a large Stalker vs Roach/Infestor battle the the natural of Symbol. This battle continues for almost 10 minutes, with Creator doing his best to keep every single Stalker alive but after seems like an eternity of tension filled moments, Symbol forces back Creator as his Stalker count starts to deplete. This is effectively game over for Creator as his main is mined out, and he has no third at all.
With no way to counter the Infestors, Roaches and Infested Terrans, Creator is forced to GG
Symbol Wins 2-1
Life and Symbol advance to Ro16.