Code S Ro32: Group E Recap
Results from Live report thread by Dodgin.
+ Show Spoiler [Results] +
TaeJa vs. MaNa
TaeJa <Ohana> MaNa
Taeja Wins 2-1!
MMA vs. Mvp
MMA <Whirlwind> Mvp
Mvp Wins 2-1 and breaks the curse!
Mvp TaeJa <> Mvp
Taeja Wins 2-0!
MMA MaNa <> MMA
MMA Wins 2-0!
MMA Mvp <> MMA
Mvp Wins 2-0, Mvp > MMA in 2012?!
TaeJa and Mvp advance to Code S RO16!
TaeJa <Ohana> MaNa
Taeja Wins 2-1!
MMA vs. Mvp
MMA <Whirlwind> Mvp
Mvp Wins 2-1 and breaks the curse!
Taeja Wins 2-0!
MMA Wins 2-0!
Mvp Wins 2-0, Mvp > MMA in 2012?!
TaeJa and Mvp advance to Code S RO16!
Taeja takes another step toward the Terran throne
- Liquid`TaeJa defeats mouz.MaNa and LG-IM_Mvp in dominating fashion and moves onto the Ro16
Taeja started off the night playing against Mana and showing excellent form. On Ohana, the game started passively on both sides, with Taeja going for his signature three orbitals into victory while Mana went for a double forge and robo bay. Taeja took the econ lead with a well placed scan which allowed him to land his third cc faster than usual. Eventually, Tajea was able to make that small advantage a decisive one by sniping an obs. This led to a 5 medivac drop in Mana’s main, drawing MaNa's forces away while a separate infantry force destroyed MaNa's third. Mana tried to come back by double expanding and using his better upgrades to defend, but Taeja’s army was too much and he killed both expos to end the game.
MaNa got quick revenge in game two, scouting out and forcing TaeJa to give up on his double-rax strategy. TaeJa tried to transition into triple orbitals after that, but Mana just went for four-gates and killed TaeJa off quickly.
In the final game, Taeja opened with rax gas into a hellion drop, followed by an expansion. After dealing some minor probe damage with his drop, TaeJa pulled back and consolidated his forces for an early bio, medivac and hellion push to trade for some of MaNa's sentries. TaeJa continued to stay aggressive, looking to force an end to the game while MaNa rushed up to templar tech. Mana tried to be aggressive with his storm and blink stalkers to stop TaeJa's attacks, but good dodging from TaeJa allowed him to kill MaNa's army and take the series.
TaeJa proceeded to face Mvp in the winners match, who had advanced after overcoming his arch-rival MMA in the initial matches. The first map was Abyssal City, where Mvp had just recently lost a long GSTL game to Jjakji. Mvp opened with a proxy marauder build, but Taeja scouted MVP’s main with an scv and was able to get a bunker up in time to deflect the pressure. Mvp followed by trying to go up to his usual 3 cc into mech build, but Taeja put on relentless pressure with small armies. A small 1/1/1 style attack did decent damage to begin, and then four hellions followed up to kill all the SCVs in Mvp’s natural and third. Taeja then attacked again and caught a crucial tank out of position. Things continued to spiral out of control for Mvp from there, and TaeJa eventually rolled up his advantage in to a 1 - 0 lead.
The second game on Daybreak saw a TaeJa go for a rare mech build to match Mvp's mech, turning the game into a TvT straight out of 2011. As both players skirmished in the mid game and slowly went to a split-map scenario, TaeJa pulled ahead slightly with faster tech and better upgrades. Taeja was able to transition to sky Terran, while also getting raven upgrades faster. The balance shifted heavily in TaeJa's favor when Mvp was out goaded out of position, allowing TaeJa's hellions to kill all but 18 of Mvp's SCVs. Eventually Taeja was able to put together an overwhelming sky Terran force, forcing the GG from Mvp and securing passage to the Ro16.
- LG-IM_Mvp defeats SlayerS_MMA twice, breaking the GSL TvT triangle
Though the MMA > Mvp > Polt > MMA relationship held for much of 2011, Mvp showed things had changed drastically in 2012 by defeating MMA twice to make his way to the Ro16.
The first match between came on Whirlwind, and easily stood out as the best game of the night. As the players spawned at diagonal spots, they both open into reactor hellions with Mvp winning an early skirmish. Given the distances on the map, both players transitioned into the mid-game with three orbitals, the difference being that MMA had a better economy and faster upgrades, while Mvp had a better army.
After the two Terrans were done setting up, the game turned into a match of speed chess all across the map. It was a clash of two different military doctrines: MMA wanted a mobile infantry force that could attack expansions, cut off reinforcements and threaten a flank on any of Mvp’s forces out on the map. On the other hand, Mvp wanted a stronger tank based army that would be unassailable once set, and could clear up and control large sections sections of the map at a time, and keep centralized control for Mvp.
The game was extraordinarily complicated. There were no less than 23 major attacks and counter attacks initiated by both sides, with MMA constantly counter attacking and taking out expansions, while Mvp was making heavy pushes, defending and taking out armies. Eventually, a hidden base for MMA along with his constant denial and harassment of Mvp’s economy allowed MMA to secure an advantage over MVP. The final nail in the coffin came when MMA finally hit the jackpot, catching eleven of Mvp's tanks unsieged in the middle of the map. With no SCVs, orbitals or army, MVP was forced to gg.
Here is a battle report of the entire game for those interested:
+ Show Spoiler [Battle Report] +
1st move: MMA postures around mid and catches MVP slightly out of position and sieges third. Is pushed back by MVP
2nd move: Both armies move in tandem from MVP’s natural choke to his third choke. MMA’s one marine stops MVP’s 4th from landing. MVP’s drop cancels 4th from MMA. MMA hides base in bottom right quadrant.
3rd move: MMA lands his overt 4th, but MVP’s marines are there. They get cleaned up. MVP double expands in two directions, one towards top right, other towards bot right. Fight in the center turns bad for MMA as tanks get drawn in by siege fire while MMA is multitasking drops.
Clash in the center. MMA maneuvers around MVP’s right to circle and kill MVP’s siege line. MVP has tanks on the left circling and flanking MMA’s siege line. MVP stims in once he sees on bio support and takes center, while MMA’s flank clears up most of the bottom half of army. MMA loses center control, less tanks but more medivacs.
4th move: MVP expands in the bot right quadrant natural, next to MMA’s hidden. MMA marches south and kills MVP’s 4th base. MVP’s central army marches south and clears up army, but misses medivacs. MVP takes another expo top right quadrant main.
5th move: MMA has another army take center. Leaves tank to hold the line as he clears up MVP’s base in bottom right quadrant natural with large marine medivac group. MVP takes sacrificial tanks in center.
6th move: MVP attacks MMA's third. MMA counters by taking our reinforcements in center and moving to kill MVP’s army.
7th move: MVP moves from 3rd to 4th and kills pf there. MMA tries to flank and catch army, but is slaughtered.
8th move: MMA’s expansion in top right quadrant natural forced to lift. MMA catches MVP’s tanks in top right quadrant unsieged. Has center control. Lands a drop on MVP’s 4th in top right and moves army to kill MVP’s bot right 5th. MVP’s army with no map sight cannot react in time.
9th move: MMA uses southern army to push MMA’s third, but is caught in sensor tower range and cleared up by MVP’s main army.
10th move: MVP goes across map and kills MMA’s third again. 4th of MMA gets harassed by a three marine drop. MMA leave some army to hold the line while his main army counter attacks.
11th move: MVP’s army moves top right quadrant and takes out MMA’s pf in the natural. MMA’s northern army pins MVP’s main army to the north, and MVP’s southern army must defend MVP’s 4th as well.
12th move: MMA’s southern army kills MMA’s smaller marine auxiliary force in bottom right quadrant, keeping the bottom right hidden and still unscouted. MMA moves northern army out with his southern army and blitz MVP’s third. MVP’s southern army responds and flanks MMA’s northern army, turning a bad position good for MVP.
13th move: MVP’s northern army rejoins his main now that the pin is gone. MMA combines his two smaller armies to reform his army in the south and now both position in the center. MVP pushes out his southern army and forces MMA back again, with MMA losing some more tanks in the center.
14th move: MMA’s tanks cannot unsiege or else they die, so he leaves a token marine medivac force in the center with his tanks and splits off a majority of his units to march north once again. MVP does a medivac drop and busts through half of MMA’s line, but MMA’s tank line still holds. MVP expanding all top right quadrant.
15th move: MMA has retaken 3rd, 4th and 5th. MMA’s Northern marine force cancels and kills 2 of the 3 bases top right. MVP takes out remnants of center army except for a small marine medivac force in bottom floating over space.
16th move: MVP pushes towards MMA’s center right. MMA reinforcing with his new army.
17th move: MMA’s northern marine force kills the last of bases in the top right quadrant for MVP. At the same time, the remnant marine medivac force drops and kills MVP’s scvs transfering to a new fourth. MMA deflects MVP’s push to center right, and MVP sends small tank force to take out bottom right.
18th move: MMA clears tanks in bottom right with a 2 medivacs, 2 tanks and 8 marines. MMA pushes with his northern marine force to MVP’s 4th. MVP clears it out and takes map control in the center. Also clears marines in his new bottom center base.
19th move: MVP does death push towards MMA’s main intersection that connects his natural 3rd and main mining base. MMA splits his army into two, one to defend, and one to counter attack. MVP immediately realizes what’s going on and moves south in parallel with MMA’s army and kills it.
20th move: MVP pushes to center right of MMA. MMA defends with his home army. But has split another part of his army to roam and clear the top right quadrant. It sieges MVP’s center left. MMA’s army stuck in bottom right moves to take out MVP’s main mining base. MVP forced to retreat as he cannot push towards MMA’s defending army.
Final move: MVP finally loses focus and loses 11 tanks for nothing in the center. MVP clears the army sieging his center right, but he doesn’t have the scv, orbital or army size to stay in the game and gg’s.
The second game was on Daybreak was less a battle of ideologies and more of a battle of composition. Mvp went 3 base mech, while MMA put on early pressure using bio medivac. MMA started off with an early lead by attacking Mvp’s natural before all of Mvp’s tech was ready, and was thus able to destroy a lot of Mvp’s SCVs, main army, and force a lift of MVP’s third. He then dropped Mvp’s main and killed more SCV bringing the SCV death count up to 30. However, Mvp had triple orbitals up much faster and was able to stabilize while MMA took a belated third. Mvp eventually moved back out to his third and got the death push going. MMA tried to hold him off with both aggressive and defensive nuking, but eventually lost both his 3rd and 4th bases. At the same time MMA started drop harassment after clearing Mvp's turret ring with a nuke, but Mvp cleaned it up and got a 4th. MMA stuck in the game using clever bio positioning and nuke harassment to keep the economy equal, but he could never amass an army capable of challenging Mvp in direct combat, and eventually had to GG.
The deciding game took place on Antiga, and it was a different kind of game yet again: a savage battle of who could kill more SCVs. Both started with fast gas builds, with Mvp using a 1 gas variant into an expansion, while MMA went cloak banshees. Mvp attacked with a hellion marine and banshee combination, while MMA did damage with his cloaked banshee in Mvp's under-defended base. All said and done, both sides lost equal amounts of SCVs, but Mvp had his natural up while MMA did not. MMA stayed in the game using banshee harassment to even out the economy, but one hellion run by from Mvp made sure MMA's economy was wrecked once more. With Mvp on three bases, with better tech and more SCVs, MMA was forced into a final desperation SCV pull attack to break Mvp. It didn’t work and Mvp moved on to winners match described above.
After losing 0 - 2 to TaeJa, Mvp ended up having to face MMA once more. MMA had come up from defeating MaNa in the losers match, eliminating the Polish Protoss and completing his brutal welcoming party to Code S.
The Mvp-MMA rematch started on Entombed Valley, with MMA going gas first against Mvp’s cc first. MMA started with some marine hellion and medivac pressure while Mvp went for hellions and vikings. Eventually Mvp broke through and secured his natural while getting a third. MMA tried to follow up with a siege tanks, vikings and marines timing attack, but with cute positioning, Mvp was able to hold off with his vikings and hellions for long enough until his own tanks had the siege mode upgrade. Mvp then got his third cc up and went for mech, while MMA went for a hidden third in the bottom right and used bio tank to contain Mvp. Mvp pushed forward inch by inch until he broke out of MMA's soft contain dragging forth SCVs and going for a death push. MMA tried to drop and break the contain, but none of his attempts were successful and he had to GG.
The last game of the night was a rematch on Whirlwind. The two players spawned cross positions again, and MMA opened up with cc first into a rax and gas while Mvp on the other hand went for some marine-hellion aggression before expanding. In the rematch, MVP got a much better handle on how MMA was playing and used aggressive tank-marine-viking attacks to keep MMA’s economy in check. It started with a very early attack when MMA just establishing his third, taking a sizable chunk out of MMA's army and SCV count. MMA hit back with a triple medivac drop that killed Mvp’s engineering bays and some tanks, but it wasn't enough to wrest back control from Mvp. Mvp constantly forced MMA into bad positions, was prepared for all of his flanking attacks, and was generally in position to do damage wherever MMA's army was absent. Eventually, he carved out a niche in MMA's base where he could keep dropping, forcing costly defensive engagements from MMA until the SlayerS ace was forced to GG out.
- mouz.MaNa’s first expedition into Code S
In the losers game of the night, Mana played MMA on Abyssal City. The game started normally with MMA going 1 rax cc. Mana on the other hand went for a stalker opening to deny MMA scouting while teching up to a blink all-in. Unfortunately, MMA was able to scout the lack of a nexus and he played defensively. Mana decided to go for 4 gate blink obs, but MMA got another SCV in and scouted everything. MaNa expanded and tried to transition into a normal game, but having failed to do much with his initial blink opening, he was crushed by MMA's superior bio force.
Game 2 was played on Entombed Valley, with MMA playing economically with 1 rax into double cc while Mana went for the standard 1 gate zealot stalker expand into a 3 gate and robo. The macro advantage from MMA allowed him to get up to 50 supply ahead of Mana without any major engagements from either side. The game came to a head as MMA moved out to attack, and with a good arc, snipes, and some misplaced force fields, MMA was able to crush Mana’s first army. Afterwards, MMA kept Mana on three base while getting up 3 more bases of his own. With some good nuke harass and aggressive sniping, MMA was able to make Mana fall apart and destroy his army for a second time. MMA then ended the game with a barrage of drops and nukes.
Overall, Mana played up to expectations, showing some solid PvT which just wasn't good enough to defeat the all-star line-up of Terrans assembled against him. Going into this group, Mana said he was worried about Korean Terran aggression and his worries proved to be well founded as Taeja dropped to defeat him in the first match of the day. To make things worse, when MaNa tried to play very defensively, staying on two bases for extended periods of time, both MMA and Taeja took strong macro leads by getting their thirds up much faster without being punished.
While Mana did go 1-4, foreign fans don't have to be discouraged. MaNa was placed in what most would consider to be the hardest Ro32 group this season. MaNa hadn't spent much time in Korea before his matches, so he wasn’t been able to fully reap the benefits of Korean training. With time, he seems fully capable of playing at a higher level. Also, none of MaNa’s games seemed to have any major issues caused by nerves, and he was able to take a game off of Taeja with a cute 4 gate timing after seeing Taeja’s 2 rax opener. So with a clear head, and a few more weeks of Korean training, MaNa should be able to go into his Code A and perform well.
Code S Ro32: Group F Preview
Group B: Mionix_NaNiwa, coL.Heart, MVP.Sniper, ST_Squirtle
After MaNa's unfortunate defeat last night, GomTV's Foreigner Week™ continues with a five hour marathon of "Haters Gonna Hate" featuring NaNiwa.
Mionix_NaNiwa vs. coL.Heart
Well, isn't this familiar. NaNiwa comes into a season of Code S sprayed with a fresh coat of drama, haters gathered 'round like moths to a fire, and oddly overshadowed and underrated despite the fact that he's the best foreign Protoss player. If we were to go on past experience, then the inevitable conclusion would be NaNiwa shutting up the haters yet again, with everyone suddenly remembering that Stephano has turned down four Code S seeds this year.
Considering his first opponent, NaNiwa will have a great chance to get off to a good start in his quest to make the Ro8 once more. PvT has been NaNiwa's favored match-up for nearly the entire duration of his stay in Korea, and if he had to handpick his first opponent from the 31 other players in the tournament, Heart would have probably have fallen inside his third choice.
At the same time, you have to think that Heart isn't exactly taking exception to drawing NaNiwa either. As the only ever Korean pick-up by a foreign team that makes you think "wow, that was a really shrewd pick-up of a player that no one expected to be good!" he shares a trait with NaNiwa in being able to manufacture wins out of nowhere, even though he's rarely the popular choice. With an uncanny ability to successfully all-in and base trade combined a fairly decent standard game, Heart is slowly starting to gain people's respect (if begrudgingly).
You have to like NaNiwa in a longer game, but there's no guarantee we'll see a game like that. Heart likes to cheese it up in all match-ups, and he's one of the few players who still has the "I don't care if you know it's coming" 1/1/1 in his arsenal, and it's certainly one of the biggest dangers NaNiwa will face. But you have to also consider the fact that NaNiwa has also shown an affinity for PvT all-ins in various GSL games, and that this series could turn into a sequence of trading early blows.
MVP.Sniper vs. ST_Squirtle
As the ultimate authority on hipster picks, I deem that Life and Rain have become too mainstream to pick as darkhorses. Instead, I declare Sniper as this tournament's true underground underdog.
He has effectively become Mvp's Zerg ace, if not overall ace, going 7 – 1 in the last GSTL and 7 – 2 in IPL TAC3. While team MVP still misses the godly, 2011 version of DRG, Sniper has done a fine job filling his shoes. While most people will know him for his utterly forgettable 1 – 4 elimination from Code S last season (at the hands of SuperNoVa and MC), we're more than willing to put that aside as initiation by fire. He showed he was more than deserving of a second chance, crushing AcE, Gumiho, and Puzzle in the Up/Down matches to earn this Code S spot. This time, he will be better.
Even so, he could have asked for an easier first opponent here. We're in one of those phases where Protoss players and Zerg players are bickering with each other about who is more imba in the match-up, but in any case, Sniper won't be happy to face one of the toughest opponents possible. Squirtle comes in as one of the top Protoss players in Korea, shuffled in some order with Creator, MC, PartinG, and Seed.
With another silver at WCS Korea, Squirtle has supplanted MKP as the de facto King Kong of the Korean scene, and as we all know, no one wants to keep that reputation for long. Already, Squirtle must be looking beyond this group, past the Ro16, and to the elimination stages of the tournament where he can win a championship and prove that there is no jinx.
Match-up wise, this should be a battle of textbook play against textbook play as neither player has really shown much flair except for being really, really good. One quirk Sniper showed in his up/down matches was a preference to go for backstabs whenever possible, which could be the right way to play instead of going head on against the battle micro of a top Protoss player. Sniper did show a susceptibility to well executed all-ins last season when he went out 0 – 2 to MC, though losing to MC's all-ins is not really a surprise for any Zerg. Then again, Squirtle is very good at executing his own all-ins, so don't be surprised to see the Ohana + Immortal all-in combination spell the end for Sniper as well.
Winners Match and Beyond
If you look at this group on paper, NaNiwa seems fully capable of making it to the Ro16 yet again. He was matched up against Mvp, Ryung, and Puzzle in Season Two, while he faced Nestea, Creator, and TheStC in Season Three. In comparison, his current group of Heart, Sniper, and Squirtle is probably the weakest of them all.
However, if you look a bit deeper, there is one factor that makes things trickier this time around. In previous Code S tournaments, NaNiwa had plenty of opportunities to take advantage of his very strong PvP. Puzzle has always been poor at PvP in tournaments, while Creator was still learning the ropes in Code S when he faced NaNiwa. Squirtle is an entirely different story, and will be the first better PvP player NaNiwa has had to face in a long time. Add NaNiwa's weak PvZ onto that, and it's hard to see where NaNiwa will get his second win, even if he beats Heart. His best hope would be to pray that he gets to face Heart twice, and just play complete coin-flip PvP against Squirtle.
Heart is favored against nobody in this group, yet he's the player who can play the most volatile style and can hope to win on variance. Remember, he made his Code A debut by defeating Bomber with two proxy-fact builds, so anything's possible when Heart is involved.
As for Sniper, he's the second best player in the group, bringing solid all-around Zerg play. Sniper's problem is that he's also the least experienced player in the group (I would say Heart's wealth of international experience gives him an edge in the experience department, even though this is his first Code S), and that nerves got the better of him the last time he played in Code S. If he can play up to his team league level, then first place is a definite possibility.
Squirtle is the favorite in the group, having the greatest combination of both pure skill and tournament experience. Even so, there's no easy match for him. Sniper is a very dangerous opponent to take first, especially considering he has drawn the Zerg-favored Whirlwind as the first map in the series. If Sniper is 100%, then Squirtle could very well lose the opening series. If that happens, Squirtle will have to tread carefully. There's no telling what Heart will do in a game, while a PvP is still PvP in the end, best GSL record or not.
NaNiwa > Heart
Squirtle > Sniper
Squirtle > NaNiwa
Sniper > Heart
Sniper > NaNiwa
Squirtle and Sniper advance.
Writer: stuchiu and Waxangel.
Graphics and Art: Meko.