AHHH!! It’s the Pringles Man!
First up this week was and rA and Xellos. Nal_rA is coming off a strong performance last season where he was stopped only in the finals by Savior (who has already advanced to the semi’s this season). Xellos is on a comeback tear, and is trying to get over a disappointing loss last week. Nal_rA definitely had history on his side, having a record of 6-3 vs the Perfect Terran. The map order for this series was Longinus, Peaks, and Arcadia. Let’s see what happened.
Game 1: Longinus
Faceoff, rA vs Mr. Happy (imagine rA playing high...)
Xellos dropped his CC at 7, while rA took control of the eastern territories at 3. There was nothing proxy from either player to start, unless you count a nexus on 14/18 for rA. Xellos was blissfully unaware as he walled in and scouted in the wrong direction. With two depot’s and a barracks, Xellos thought he was safe from intrusion, however rA cheated his probe through the wall with a little magic, shocking the announcers.
Xellos had a somewhat uninspired response to the protoss fast expansion, starting a second CC of his own and clogging up the protoss choke with mines. As rA waited patiently in his base, mining from both geysers and teching up, Xellos expanded again to his mineral only. His apparent unconcern for what rA was doing soon bit him as a dt drop in the terran main found no scan or turrets. The dt’s ran amok, however rA was unable to land a knockout blow. He also looked surprised to see the second terran expansion, so he quickly took another gas expo in the north.
As both players danced around each other, avoiding a direct engagement, the map’s resources were slowly claimed; Xellos working along the bottom and rA along the top. rA controlled both chokes leading out of the terran expo, and delivered a fine backhanded slap with a devastating storm drop which killed every natural scv. With Xellos still not moving out from his lower left landhold, rA teched to carriers. His plan almost backfired as he lost most of his army to a movement by Xellos, so he rapidly dropped more gateways in his main.
Something smells like fried chicken…
With Xellos running off three expo’s and pushing towards the protoss main, it was now or never for the Dreamer Toss’s air force. He brought out the first two blimps and promptly lost one to 1-1 goliaths. While his mix of air and ground was keeping Xellos honest in making goliaths, rA could do little about the CC’s being planted like trees up the west side of the map. With three more expo’s in the offing, Xellos was looking to bury the protoss in macro.
Sensing this loss of map control, rA took his land army and growing number of carriers north, finding the defenseless expansions and forcing Xellos to chase after him. With a nice pincer of land and air, rA crushed the terran army and sent Xellos back to his main. His carriers finished the job up north, and his pinpoint storms bled Xellos for every step outside his base. Now with a significant resource advantage, it was a simple matter for rA of massing and waiting out the terran players own minerals. Xellos attacked with his final army, but carriers ruled the day, and he typed GG after losing his final army.
Nal_rA 1:0 Xellos
Some nice play by rA, who got away with a fast nexus with no harassment. PvT is starting to look like ZvT at the pro level these days. His timing for swinging north was impeccable. Had he waited any longer, it would have been a 6 base terran. *shiver*
Game 2: Peaks of Baekdu
Facing elimination from the tournament, Xellos needed his A game for the match on Peaks. He started in the north and was forced to gas first with rA’s scout bearing down on his geyser. With the terran wall up, Xellos started his second CC quickly, and rA followed suit, expanding after his first dragoon.
The machine shops on Xellos’ factories ground away with upgrades as rA dropped two stargates and a beacon in his main. His quick second gas was about to pay dividends if Xellos did not scout it in time. As Xellos expanded to the 11 corner, he seemed unaware of what was being built in the protoss main. To this point rA’s main tactics had been to prevent Xellos’ vultures from gaining too much information on his troops and movements. It had worked, because when Xellos made his first push towards the south, he was taken completely by surprise. His tanks and vultures all perished to the early carriers, and the balance of the game tilted heavily in Nal_rA’s favour.
”Fire UP damn you FIRE UP!” “Uhh.. sir.. these tanks don’t fire up…” “DAMNIT!”
With a non-existant terran army, nothing stopped rA from charging up the terran ramp with his dragoons and finishing the job. Xellos fought until he was broke, and then typed GG.
Nal_rA 2:0 Xellos
Despite the war they just went through, these two are still good friends from their days as teammates. After the game rA went over to Xellos, put his arm around him, and they watched the replay together. GG’s.
Good friends never die… except to carrier rushes.
The second series this week featured Silver, the up and coming zerg, against Kingdom, the veteran protoss and new SKT1 captain after the departure of Boxer. Kingdom has shown fine form lately, already beating Silver once to kick off this round of 8. The winner or this game earned the privilege of facing Jju in the semi-finals, while the loser would head home to the survivor league.
Kingdom looking good with the captains mantle...
Game 1: Blitz
Kingdom opened left with a pylon outside his main which looked to be a fast expansion. While Silver dropped his natural hatchery, Kingdom shocked everyone by proxy gating THREE!! times outside the zerg choke. Every drone came offline for Silver as he battled the pylon before the gates warped in. As Silver’s lings popped, Kingdom had units to play with, and the micro war was on. Kingdom trashed drones whenever he could while also reducing the ling force of Silver. For the longest time it looked like Kingdom had pulled it off, however an all-in move by Silver’s lings and drones defeated the weakened zealot force. All of a sudden the tables were turned, and Kingdom was cannoning his main mineral line.
With things secure at home, Silver had worked up to three hatcheries and whored drones safely. Kingdom teched in his main base, but an overlord was ale to see everything, and Silver prepared for the speed zeals with sunks, hydras and lings. Kingdom had nothing to attack, and Silver soon ended it with a massive amount of hydralisks.
Art of proxy…
Silver 1:0 Kingdom
Balls. BIG BALLS, from Kingdom, however he was unable to seal the deal against the pylon killing drones. Very entertaining though.
Game 2: Longinus
With one protoss already through, Kingdom desperately wanted to make it as well, if only to set up a possible rematch of the MyCube 2003 OSL (my god has it been 3+ years!?!). However, he was already down by a game to Silver, one of the few PandC members to be doing well this season. Well, except for some guy named NaDa in the OSL.
Kingdom warped in a pylon at his natural choke at 3, while Silver pooled first at 6. Kingdom beautifully prevented the zerg natural expansion for days with a probe and then a pylon. Back home he warped in a nexus behind his choke followed by a gateway. Silver, already behind thanks to the harassment, took a no-nonsense approach to things and started a fearsome three-hatch hydra pump.
As Kingdom teched to +1 speed zealots, he had little idea of what was coming down the pipe. Once he saw the wave of hydralisks though, he quickly dropped a wall of cannons. He was about 5 seconds too slow though, and lost all of his fast expo probes as well as his land army. With reinforcements coming from three hatcheries back home, Silver was able to roll over the expansions and end this one fast.
Silver 2:0 Kingdom
Silver kicked serious ass this game, sending out a warning to all FE protosses that the build was vulnerable, and they better watch out.
So, the final four have been decided. In the upcoming weeks, look forward to the following:
Jju vs Silver
Nal_rA vs IPX
As always, follow the entire tournament as written by the TL.net scribe, jkillashark. You can find his great work here:
Have a great week, the OSL is back on Wednesday.