Day 3 of the IGN ProLeague tournament has wrapped up after a great display from players in the losers bracket (aside from Polt and Leenock who played their rescheduled winners bracket match today). Today's games have seen players like Polt, Sleep, Bomber, HerO and many more fighting for their tournament lives to get themselves into the finals on Sunday. A whole new level of meta game has been shown to us by these players today and every game kept viewers and players on the edge of their seats.
Polt, one of the last remaining Terran players in this tournament was forced into the losers bracket by Leenock by losing to him 2-0 in the winners bracket. The matches between the two began yesterday, but were delayed to today because of technical problems.
Fighting the Good Fight
The first game of HerO vs Sniper saw a lot of back and forth between the two players. From the onset of the match it looked like Sniper would easily take HerO out, but HerO was able to put on a good show and really fought for the match. Unfortunately, HerO was unable to win the first game. In some confusing Gold Level play in game 2, Sniper decided to go all Mutalisks, a huge investment in gas on Sniper's part, against HerO’s Stalker/Colossi/Sentry mix which, in the beginning, seemed like a bad move on Sniper's part that would cost him the match. Luckily for Sniper, the Mutalisk harass at Hero’s bases was able to keep HerO sufficiently distracted from the base trade that should have ensued. Sniper was able to get his Mutalisk army to critical mass and easily took down HerO in game number 2 knocking the last Protoss out of this tournament.
From out of nowhere
Bomber vs DongRaeGu was probably the craziest match of the day. There was just so much back and forth, it was so hard to figure out who would come out on top and win the series. DongRaeGu was able to take the first match and there have been so many 2-0 sweeps that it didn’t seem likely that Bomber would come back to win. In the second game Bomber focused on harass. So many of Bomber's drops were thwarted with Banelings and Infestors. Both did a good job of keeping each other off of their fourth and fifth bases. Bomber kept DongRaeGu on his back foot by pulling DongRaeGu all over the map and spreading his army thin. The nail in the coffin in game 2 came with Ghosts and phenomenal EMP placements by Bomber. He was able to tie up the series 1-1. This series went to game 3 where DongRaeGu decided to change it up with Ling/Bling/Muta, a very popular non-Infestor army composition by Zerg players. Bomber was able to keep it together and kept DongRaeGu on the defensive with low economy by continuing with drops. In a great defensive move by Bomber he used sieged tanks and a wall of Supply Depots and was able to hold off the initial Ling/Bling/Muta push. Bomber dominated the large engagements and was able to push back with his army and even threw some Ravens with Seeker Missiles in the fray. Bomber was able to come back and take the series 2-1.
Polt faced off versus Sniper in the 9th round of the losers bracket. In all of their games Polt was able to keep great control of Zerg creep spread with an early Hellion push. Sniper however, was able to keep hitting Polt hard and took out quite a few Tanks. Unfortunately for Sniper Marines/Medivac/Sieged Tanks are just such a good defensive strategy and the overwhelming Marine numbers of Polt were able to hold off the Ling/Bling/Muta push. Polt then turned around and went right on the offensive, keeping sniper off the third and fourth which was huge leg up for Polt. Keeping a Zerg off of a third and fourth base is just so critical since a Zerg is less effective on less basses. Sniper was left in a bad position after Polt won the inital large engagement, Polt was able to push Sniper back and stream in refinfocrments winning him the match. The second game was a mirror of the first, Sniper put his Ling/Bling/Muta army against Polt's Tank/Marine/Medivac army. In an impressive show from Polt and despite heavy harass from Sniper Polt was able to keep himself mining from three bases while simultaneously keeping Sniper off of his fourth. In a surprising comeback from his crushing defeat in the winners bracket Polt takes the series 2-0 giving Terran fans hope that Terran can indeed measure up to the so-called imbalanced Zerg.
GSL World Championship
The GSL world championships saw 5 foreign players, Stephano, Scarlett, Nerchio, NaNiwa and LucifroN, go up against five Korean players, DongRaeGu, Squirtle, MC, Life and Seed. These matches were 1v1 in a best of 1 series.
In game number 1 Seed faced off against LucifroN on Cloud Kingdom. This Protoss vs the lone Terran matchup saw the foreign team start with their worst foot forward. LucifroN got so completely dominated that in the middle of an engagement Seed was able to stop attacking and allowed his Zealots to dance in the middle of the map. Despite LucifroN's desperate attempt to rebuild his army it was completely mowed down by Seed who brought the first victory to the Korean team. LucifroN got completely dominated.
Game number 2 would see a grudge match in a replay of the round 5 losers bracket matchup between Scarlett and DongRaeGu. Both players knew exactly how to come at this game haveing played each other only the day before. Both went for the early expand, both went for the early Zerling/Baneling harass but their builds deviated when Scarlett decided to go Muta’s to give herself the upper hand by harassing DongRaeGu’s mineral lines. In a surprising turn of events instead of investing heavily in the Muta play Scarlett quickly changed to Infestors. Both had a sufficient number of Infestors with great armies to back them up and the game came down to a micro battle in the final engagement. In a surprising display Scarlett was able to come out on top and dominate DongRaeGu in the grudge match and won the game for herself and her team tying the score 1-1.
The third match saw the Zerg player Nerchio go up against the Protoss player Squirtle. The game remained pretty stagnant in terms of engagements but Squirtle maintained the upper hand via vision. Squirtle always knew what Nerchio was building whereas Nerchio was never able to see any of Squirtle's structures. Nerchio was not able to play a reactive game and as a result Nerchio built too many Broolords which are ineffective against Carriers. Squirtle was somehow able to tech up into Carriers and with little air units to defend against Squirtle's Carriers Nerchio was easily taken out. Putting the Korean in the lead 2-1
NaNiwa challenged Life in the third game where we saw a rather clean and stagnant Protoss vs Zerg matchup that saw no cheese and little harass. NaNiwa, who has performed poorly as of late, came into this match with a lot of support from the fans in Vegas but was unable to deliver. In a disappointingly one sided show Life took the match putting the series 3-1.
Team captains Stephano and MC faced off in the last matchup of the night. There is a lot of love and hate between these two players and as a result there was a lot of smack talk exchanged between the two both in and outside of the game. Before the match began Stephano told MC: "Even though I love you in a sense, there will be no gifts today." To which MC responded: "We don’t need the Ace match to win." Meaning the Korean players would win every game and there would be no need for a third match to break a tie game. This Zerg vs Protoss match turned out to be very intense and saw Stephano’s best performance of the entire weekend. Despite the early game being rather one-sided in MC’s favour Stephano had a big enough army, even while supply blocked, to hold of the early harass. There was a lot of trash talk in the middle of large engagements. Stephano began to trash talk:
Stephano: ass kicked?
MC: I’m kicking
Stephano: oh ya you are (sarcasm being implied here)
Stephano :( sorry someones ass has to get kicked
Despite a lot of back and forth Stephano was able to keep MC off of 3 bases and therefore kept him from having a full army. And in the final engagement, there was a GG from MC who left the arena humiliated.
The Korean team came out of day one in the lead 3-2. These matches were hilarious matches that saw players from both sides do unconventional and usually unprofessional things. Overall, despite all the smack talk it seems like all players had a very good time. Tomorrow will see these players face off again in an all kill format to see who can win it.
GSL Code S Final
This GSL final in the last GSL season of this year saw HyuN face off against Sniper in a best of 7 series. HyuN and Sniper are both very new to the scene and have yet to win a Code S final, as a result, GSL Code S will see a new champion this season. But don’t let that fool you, both these players have proven themselves as forces to be reckoned with. HyuN has won 14 straight rounds of IPL fight club the longest streak of any player. Sniper has fought his way through the IPL5 tournament, although he sits in the losers bracket he will face off in the 10th round of the tournament against Polt and has been able to eliminate great players like Sleep, HerO, and TaeJa. With a Zerg vs Zerg matchup (the weakest matchup for the both of them) none of the maps give a race advantage to any one player. Both these players have very high hopes for themselves.
The opening of the first match saw Sniper go for the fast expand whereas Hyun went for a 6 pool with a fast gas and quick Baneling Nest meaning he was going for a quick win. Although Sniper's Overlord was able to catch a glimpse of the impending Zergling attack there was nothing he could do to stop the force from destroying his units. Despite some great micro by Sniper to keep his units out of the line of fire, by the 4 minute mark pretty much every one of Sniper's drones had been killed and with no economy left he was forced to GG.
The second match saw a very different game from HyuN who by early expanding showed us he was in the game for the long haul. Both built up impressive Infestor armies but with more Infestors Sniper was able to overpower HyuN with some good fungals and a good army to support them. Sniper was maxed by about the 13 minute mark and was easily able to dominate HyuN’s army and force the GG at the 15 minute mark. Sniper tied the series 1-1.
Game three saw a return for HyuN to an early harass play style. There was a lot of back and forth of forces and units lost between these two with a little bit of a rocky game for HyuN. Unfortunately for HyuN he was able to get a firm footing in this game and was forced to GG after just 19 minutes of play pushing the series 2-1 for Sniper.
In game 4, with some impressive micro, HyuN was able to tie up the series 2-2. HyuN came back in game 5 to see the series tip in his favour 3-2. Game 6 saw Sniper tie it up 3-3 and the series moved on to game 7. Despite mostly even trades between Sniper and HyuN Sniper was able to out macro HyuN and come out on top with superior supply and army numbers. What started out as a promising series between HyuN and Sniper turned into a slow and predictable Zerg vs Zerg series from both players. Their armies mirrored each other and both players turned to rely on Infestors, Roaches and, Hydralisks. Both traded harass and bases equally but most of their games turned into who could slam their dick harder into the other army. In the end Sniper was able to come out on top and became the new GSL Code S champion.
Tomorrow is ramping up to be an exciting last day of matches. We’ll see the final round World Championship and the IGN ProLeague tournament losers and winners bracket final as well as the grand final. As usual, events kick off at 10am PST.