A strong debut to the Ro16, Group A reserves nothing but quality players. To add to the zest, a zany Group B follows up. Read the preview to the exciting start this weekend of the Ro16 of BSL6!
Group A (starts in )
Group B (starts in )
Group A Preview
The looming presence of Dewalt mentioned last in the Ro24 preview serves as the Ro16's resounding introduction. The podium to showcase his competitive mettle is no less disappointing either with challengers Dandy and Koget. Group A also opens with the fated rematch of the BSL4 finals between Koget and Dandy. Trailing as the least favorite, but with still a chance in sight, is Nemu, who has much to overcome.
Koget vs Dandy
Koget looks to score a decisive win against Dandy, who offraces Protoss to avoid the mirror matchup. Terran is a race Dandy has auspiciously managed to avoid playing versus so far. Now, however, the full breadth of Dandy's skillset must come to the fore.
His undisciplined Protoss lacks finer nuance, and mostly bears his usual brand of tenacious and brute force mechanics. In a competition of pure muscle, that's usually more than enough. Against Koget though, who is one of the most knowledgable players, Dandy stands on a slippery slope. We saw Dandy fall one-sidedly to Koget in the opening games of the BSL5 finals. The series was looking grim until Dandy turned the tables with his unbreakable spirit. Game after game, we saw Koget's shaky nerves make a surprise appearance, causing him to lose through simple early game mistakes.
Whether that's actually Dandy's genius and less so Koget's failing will be revealed in this upcoming match. As long as Koget isn't rusty, expect a one-sided win for the cunning Koget.
Dewalt vs Nemu
This match's plain appearance as a one-sided stomp belies the raging currents underneath that truly denote its unpredictability.
Our featured player, Nemu, is unlike the normal rookie. Instead of being defined by dreadful mistakes and fumbled opportunities, Nemu’s play is shaped by a sharp competitive sense and fortitude that can bear the brunt of competition. However, as a 2v2 player unequipped with a formal knowledge, most wins versus a player like Dewalt will stand on their tactical merit or by large early game advantages.
For the most part, the key to success will be early or mid game timing attacks where Nemu's micro and small-scale tactics can shine the most. However, an experienced player like Dewalt won't fall over so easily, so Nemu will have to bring his A-game in execution. Any less will fall flat and succumb in the long run to Dewalt's macro.
At the same time, I don't see Nemu nearly as motivated as Dewalt who is in Korea playing StarCraft as his job. That is probably the biggest factor as to how well both players will be prepared, especially in an amateur setting like the BSL.
Overall, I see Dewalt winning handily against Nemu.
Winners' Match: Koget vs Dewalt
Before the starter pistol can begin the race, Koget will rush to quickly trip Dewalt. Koget, in my mind, is a capable player who recognizes he needs to subvert Dewalt’s strengths of a standard game and avoid tackling the bull head on.
We’ve seen the breadth of knowledge and flexibility from Koget to attempt different strategies and builds, including an 8 rax, dropship play, and strong mid game pushes. Most of Koget's play for a time was distinguished among other Terrans for his timing attacks.
The one caveat to such play working is Koget having the mechanical form and preparation necessary for getting the builds down to the second. Against a refined player like Dewalt, there are no shortcuts, and simply put, Koget may be outgunned at every turn.
Dewalt is also one of the best in mid game engagements. He has the best army positioning and patience of the Protoss in BSL to dismantle formidable Terran pushes. Then again, they are against lesser Terrans, and Koget may be the one to change that trend if his play is sharpened enough.
Against a well-rounded player like Dewalt, Koget must rely on mind games and specific maps to squeeze out a victory. Such an accomplishment would be the greatest display of wit yet seen in BSL6. Maps good or okay for drops like Kiseyras, Heartbeat, Neo Sylphid, Block Chain, and Benzene can put a wrench in Dewalt's usual macro rhythm. Additionally, proactive strategies like 8-Rax or opening starport to make wraiths in anticipation of reavers can quickly turn the tides as well.
Unfortunately, another one-sided victory is likely to be seen. There's doubt going into the games Koget will come this prepared for a possible winners' match, especially considering how demanding a Bo3 is.
Losers' Match: Dandy vs Nemu
Another bizarre matchup presents Dandy faced against the unorthodox Nemu. As usually seen, Dandy's standard style can be put at a loss when faced with unexpected situations. That is especially the case when his signature build, the +1 5-Rax, is made moot when his opponent doesn't 3-Hatch Muta. Similar to Koget vs Dewalt, Nemu should seek to undercut Dandy's hundreds of hours worth of experience playing vs 3-Hatch Muta.
In that vein, a play along the lines of lurker drops, or even Crazy Zerg feels up the alley for Nemu. His play against Terror certainly failed to impress however, with a ZvT that didn't hit any strong notes that could stand on its own. Versus Dandy, the few paths for Nemu only appear to lead to dismal losses.
Final Match: Dandy vs Koget
Fated to meet again, Dandy vs Koget play once more with even higher stakes.
After a long, stressful day of playing, there's a certain spirit that invigorates Dandy. This is his defining trait as one of the most stubborn and consistent players. For Koget, the thralls of elimination and the unnerving state of rematching a player as strong as Dandy will dampen his courage. This is a rematch of vigor, not pragmatic calculation, and for that Dandy must be given the upper hand.
Going into the matches, Dandy will be quick to learn from the previous match's mistakes. After warming up, adjustments, solid macro, and greater endurance will lead Dandy to victory.
Dewalt and Dandy advance to the Ro8!
Group B Preview
The unique players of Group B offer the widest range of playstyles for the most colorful contrast. Dragon's heavy macro, GosuDark's rustic aggression, Trutacz's micro, and Babo's whimsical play all bring a different style to the table. Among them though, Trutacz is just a hue brighter and threatens a clean sweep of everyone else.
Trutacz vs Gosudark
Trutacz outstrips Gosudark at every turn and can run circles around his play. Superior control, a sharper early game, and a greater affinity to all things ZvP favors Trutacz. An early 2-Gate may be Gosudark's only chance, but that is easily predictable. An open and shut case, expect Trutacz to take this series hands down.
Dragon vs Babo
Dragon vs Babo telegraphs the very straightforward and simple interaction of Dragon simply burying Babo under the back-breaking weight of good macro. Whatever early advantages or attacks Babo can muster will simply be overshadowed by Dragon's highly efficient macro and potent army.
Still, there is an inkling of hope for Babo. Dragon showcased the latest development in his playstyle, the 1-Gate opener, which failed to impress and felt prone to aggression. His play was mostly upholstered by his greater macro. Along that line, Babo can opt for ling aggression for an underwhelming early win against Dragon's toothless 1-Gate. Otherwise, we can expect a followup 3-Hatch Hydra.
In any case, there are few if any opportunities for Babo to punch a hole into Dragon's defenses besides the route of early aggression. He will likely attempt his usual muta/scourge antics anyhow, which will lead Dragon to an early victory.
Winners' Match: Trutacz vs Dragon
Trutacz's aggression, matched by few Zergs, is the perfect candidate to undercut Dragon's strong mid game. Before Dragon can get the macro ball rolling, threats of 3-Hatch Hydra or even 5-Hatch Hydra hide in the dead of night.
The struggles don't end there. Trutacz has showcased a commanding sense of ZvP. We saw Dragon's previous follies of indecisive army movements and inability to prevent Zergs from droning. Good drone timing and ability to outmaneuver protoss armies is more than within Trutacz's reach. In the most easy group yet for a top player, Trutacz is the first to advance.
Losers' Match: Babo vs GosuDark
Babo and Gosudark, two South Americans, come to a head. While Gosudark's antics are slapped to the ground plainly by the hawk-like Trutacz, there's room left to float here. Strangely, there's an aura—an inexplicable gumption and initiative—that Gosudark displayed in the Ro24. He bested Arew, then Jaeyun, and took a game off of Spx with his defining traits.
His mechanics have actually improved, even though his premature 2-Gate opener against Arew was slapped down. And against the all-too-complacent Jaeyun, the 2-Gate stole a quick victory again. Perhaps against Babo, with decent mechanics and a solid 2-Gate, he is capable of an assured win. Just his intuition and performance, while not the best, is a stretch better than players under the pressure of competition. Sprinkle in a little luck with that enigmatic Gosudark charm, and we've got a win.
Final Match: Dragon vs GosuDark
Dragon will be offracing Zerg against our unorthodox protoss, GosuDark. The biggest threat to Dragon's macro-oriented style is falling underwhelmingly to early aggression. Proxy gates, or any assortment of wily attacks, has befuddled Dragon before. Even a 2-Gate can work.
Dragon has also been known to be unnerved by GosuDark's ramshackle style before. With GosuDark's better mechanics, like he showed in the previous round, we can expect a solid followup. With a fair chance of winning, Gosudark is the predicted second player from Group B to advance.
GosuDark and Trutacz advance to the Ro8!