For most viewers, the night began with a groan, but I was hopeful. Hopeful that somehow this TvT would not last as long as the previous Persona TvT.
Upmagic begins with a depot followed by getting his gas and a barracks. Shudder begins as yellow at twelve while Upmagic spawns orange at the three o'clock position. Shudder orders an early SCV to the center of the map and constructs a proxy barracks beneath the dark swarm there.
Shudder attempts to show Up a magic trick of his own.
Shudder scouts in all the wrong directions, but he shows off his artistic talent by creating a swastika in the minimap. One of Shudder's marines meets a scouting enemy SCV underneath the dark swarm on Upmagic's ramp. The two units fondle one another for a bit under the secrecy of the swarm before going their separate ways.
Knowing that he could be on an early defensive, Upmagic makes a bunker at his main to defend against any incoming marines. Seeing this, Shudder builds one as well, just outside of his enemy's base. However he deems his bunker useless as it is abandoned. Meanwhile Upmagic floats his first factory just outside his main onto the lower ground, anticipating that the bunker might have become a problem he wanted to be able to send out retaliation. An incoming Barracks spots the lonely factory and after producing a single vulture, it returns home. The vulture manages to get blocked from Shudder's main by the beginnings of a supply depot and eventually has the honor of being destroyed by an opposing vulture.
Each player builds multiple factories and Upmagic advances Vultures to create a wall beneath the dark swarm on Shudder's ramp. Shudder brings in a tank and sets it to siege mode which sends all of the vultures stampeding away like a herd of wildebeests that just spotted an animal molester. Upmagic continues using the map to his advantage, diving in and out of swarms when most effective and harassing units; while Shudder ignores the unique map features and imagines that he is playing TvT on Lost Temple.
Upmagic devises a way to get around the hindering swarms between him and his opponent by flying around them. He drops at the back of Shudder's main. Shudder holds the first one off but an army looms just outside his base. Upmagic goes for another drop, but this time at Shudder's natural expansion. Reinforcements from the main eventually clean up the dropped units, but not without substantial losses.
A third drop for Upmagic into Shudder's main assaults the factories. The drop is successful in both dealing significant damage and causing a distraction as he pushes up the middle of the map with the rest of his army, forcing Shudder's retreat. Upmagic, with a maxed out army, continues to crush Shudder's puny resistance. Upmagic slaughters the opposition as Shudder finally makes dropships, but all they can do is fly around confused, unable to find any units to ship.
"Sir, I don't think there's anyone left to evecuate."
After getting handled by TheManiaMST, July is off to face off against another CJ Terran player and quite arguably a much better one.
Iris begins in the six position while July spawns at twelve, sending his overlord toward the nine spot. Both players assemble early back-nat expansions, followed immediately by a spawning pool and a pair of barracks for July and Iris, respectively. July creates a second expansion at the nine o'clock natural as his overlord discovers that Iris did not begin at that site.
July continues to move up the tech tree as he evolves a lair and morphs a spire. Iris makes another two barracks and prepares for the inevitable mutalisks as he constructs an engineering bay and turrets to follow. July's mutalisks fly toward Iris' base ready to cause havoc, but even my little sister would put them to shame when it comes to harassment. They soon flee and lure a marine/medic group toward the expansion at seven.
Drugs are the key to victory.
The mass of marines march toward the location as July makes a couple of lurkers and sunkens. Iris commands his troops forward where they begin to decimate the freshly hatched lurkers and make quick work of the defenses there. The mutas are able to pick off a few extra units but are unable to contain the rage of Iris' marines as they raze July's expansion.
July starts a retaliation by pushing with lurkers, zerglings, a couple defilers and his remaining mutalisks. Tanks, backed by a science vessel and marines stifle the advance. Iris doesn't let himself get pushed around, he pushes back. Iris continually assaults any of July's attempts at re-expansion, crippling any attempt for July to get back into the game economically.
Ultralisks rampage forward, but their plus one armor is no match for the Berserker Terran as he eliminates them and keeps July from expanding once more. A dropship sneaks behind July's natural expansion, which just happens to be where his hive is located. None of the swarm is in reach of the hive and it explodes in a bloody mess before the intruders are sliced into a similar bloody pulp. As that army falls about a million science vessels come knocking with military support right at July's front door, apparently they ignored the "no soliciting" sign.
It's not the size of the army that counts, it's how you use it.
Jaedong finally made it to the OSL. In his first match he will attempt to keep the terran players from sweeping the day, if he fails, it would be left to Rock in keeping the terrans from a clean sweep.
Darkelf starts at the two spot and Jaedong will initiate his plans over at the eight position. Darkelf begins with a depot into twin barracks; Jaedong builds a spawning pool into a nat hatch. A third hatchery goes up between the two bases. As he does, Darkelf decides that the time is right for him to expand to his natural as well.
Marines, medic and firebats move through the middle of the map ready to assault Jaedong. However, he is prepared with a trio of sunken colonies and a freshly finished spire, and mutalisks are already on the way. The mutas come out at just the right time and wipe out the terran units with ease. They are then given a mission: to ceaselessly harass the enemy.
The mutas take out some workers and turrets, scaring the surviving SCV's away from Darkelf's natural expansion. The harassment allows Jaedong to advance to lurkers as well as secure the expansion at the ten position. Darkelf is taking serious losses at home and decides to take the battle to Jaedong's newest expansion in hopes of distracting and damaging him enough to catch back up. A defense of lurkers from Jaedong keeps the damage dealt to the swarm at a minimum.
A science vessel and defiler are each out for their respective armies. Darkelf seems nervous about going in, willing to retreat at the sign of any action from Jaedong. Jaedong maneuvers behind the terran forces and gets a dark swarm up, preventing Darkelf from being able to pull out. Darkelf is forced to push further into the zerg swarm while Jaedong ravages him at his natural expansion. Darkelf is forces to thrust his army in too deep and Jaedong makes him blow his load.
The zerg swarm is not satisfied and continues forcing itself upon the smoldering heap of Darkelf. Darkelf decides that he has had enough. Jaedong takes off his headphones, leans back and has a smoke.
Jaedong's ZvT is sex.
Is Rock worth all the hype he got as he smashed through the OSC? Will Flash get revenge from the smashing he received there? One of these two players will greatly increase his chances of advancing, the other will have to face an uphill battle to get out of the group stage.
Rock starts things off at the Genosky location; Flash is dealt the position of Gaema Gowon. Flash gets a depot first and then moves to build a refinery and barracks. Rock elects to fast expand at his natural. Flash moves right along into a factory as Rock makes a cybernetics core and a second gateway.
The beginning to what could be the strangest game this OSL.
Flash builds a bunker right outside of Rock's expansion followed by initiating an SCV rush. A few marines accompany eight SCV's in their trek to demolish Rock, with vultures soon behind them. Flash uses the opportunity to expand to his own natural and begin a second factory. Rock sneaks in a proxy gateway and robotics facility near Flash as the bunker lays waste to the nexus at his own expansion. Next comes the support bay for reavers at that same proxy, just as some dragoons take revenge upon the offensive bunker and a few marines.
With a shuttle out, Rock decides to make another attempt at expanding. Only this time, to avoid any further shenanigans from Flash, he does so on the safety of the island at six o'clock. His first reaver drop shortly thereafter exterminates a pair of tanks as well as quite a few SCV's at Flash's expansion.
Flash discovers the proxy near his base and ensures its removal. Instead of defending it with his all of his reavers and shuttles, Rock lets it fall, managing to pull of a slightly less successful reaver drop at Flash's main. In the meantime Rock did manage to rebuild the expansion at his natural.
Flash had little trouble rolling over the proxy and moves straight on up to continue the attack. It appears that Rock is too busy making carriers on his little island and therefore not able to adequately defend himself at home. His natural falls, a second time, forcing him to reveal his two measly carriers in a pitiful counterattack. He carelessly loses one and then must consider whether or not his old manly chin might have been a good luck charm.
You're going to need a few more than that if you expect to win.
I hope it was an enjoyable read. If I get positive responses I'll likely write more battlereports in the near future.