Banner by alffla
Five of the twelve groups have been completed, and the 16'th MST is almost halfway over. The theme of the first two groups did not withhold and Protoss blood was finally spilled. As you all know, two low tier Protoss toppled A class players and advanced flawlessly. But in the recent groups, this was not the case. Zerg finally got a player through to the MSL but Terran dominated the recent groups as their contingency was by far the strongest there.
The group kicked off with Much going up against Baby. Baby went for the FD build and got his nat running quickly. Much showcased great early game dragoon micro picking off marines and diffusing mines. But once the siege mode was complete, he had to back off. Much himself went for a fast reaver and started his expo just after the shuttle left the base. Baby's response was great. He got the e-bay constructed in time and had turrets in key positions by the time the shuttle came. On top of that he showed great micro by keeping some tanks in tank mode and retreating them when fired upon thus reducing the scarab damage by half. It was like watching the Incruit OSL finals again. To add insult to injury much lost his shuttle with reaver as he tried to leave the Terran base.
From there on Baby pushed out and took a close mineral only base while Much, already with a 3'rd running, got arbiter tech and was starting to expand to the 4'th base. As Baby macroed up and bolstered his tank count, he executed beautiful vulture raids slowing down Much's economy. As Baby was adding a 4'th base himself, Much decided to attack into the min-only which was protected by over 20 siege tanks and semi walled off by depots. As, expected, Much's attack failed. While the battle was happening, Baby ran over a dozen vults into the bare 4'th base of Much and targeted the Nexus. Much's defeated army rushed back to destroy them. Baby BARELY managed to take down the Nexus just as the last vulture was dying. If that wasn't enough for Much, the next vulture raid hit his natural hard. Vultures slaughtered many probes and mined up the main ramp. Much did another big mistake by returning his running probes too soon and several more were killed as a mine detonated close by. Well over 20 probes must have died in that raid. At that point Baby had an insurmountable advantage. He was on 5 bases and most likely maxed. For a few more minutes Much suicided some more of his forces in desperate attacks. When Baby rolled out, he swept the map and Much typed out.
Go.go opted for the less common 2 rax fast expansion while Saint chose the ever-so-risky 2 hatch mutalisk build. Thanks to the early 2 rax, go.go had a control group of mnm out by the time the mutalisks spawned. With just 6 initial muta, Saint needed excellent control to make the build pay off. Unfortunately his mutalisk control was horrible. Almost every time he engaged, he would lose a mutalisk. Go.go was able to steamroll the Zerg base shortly after, right before lurker aspect was evolved.
Baby went balls to the wall in this TvT and I respect him for that. I doubt anybody would want both the Terrans to 1 fact FE. Baby proxied a factory on the other side of the map while walling in his main. He then built another factory near his main's cliff (to float it out) and proxied a starport in a 3'rd location. Go.go scouted the starport and it had to be canceled. He was low on units though and go.go made a smart choice by making several marines from his barracks that was landed outside of his base. Along with his first vultures he was able to break the wall-in and bust into Baby's base dealing significant damage. Baby cleaned up the attack with his vultures and ran them toward go.go's main. Go.go, being on 1 factory, had the quicker tech and already had a wraith in the main of Baby who again re-proxied and re-canceled his starport. He made a hasty wall-in with unfinished depots against speed vults, buying time for his tank. Baby was able to break in at the last second, swarming the tank with mines and killing it. However, when the attack was finally cleaned up by vultures, Baby typed out as he was very behind in tech, and had no immediate way of dealing with wraiths in his main.
The losers set saw an epic 45 minute showdown between Much and Saint. Saint opened with a 9 pool and went for a quick double expand. Much did a standard FE adding stargate and templar tech along with several gateways for that ominous zealot/archon push. As Much macroed up and moved out, however, Saint had already over 3 dozen hydralisks out, and was able to stop the push after a minute or so of grappling. Though Much could not do damage to the Zerg 3'rd, he had secured a 3'rd base of his own.
Saint stayed on 3 bases and proceeded to pressure Much's 3'rd with hydralisks. However he was unsuccessful of dealing any economic damage as Much deflected the hydras each time they came in. Saint then Set up a lurker contain around the Protoss natural and dropped the main with hydralurk. Much was on top of things having several cannons there in place and cleared the failed drop. Much comfortably expanded to his 4'th corner base and was geared up for the late game. Saint has also expanded to his top right corner base and orchestrated a massive attack on Much's 3'rd but his army was slaughtered and a sea of Zerg blood was spilled below the wide ramp. Much then pushed out and broke the lurker contain with units from his nat and 3'rd. During the attack Saint expanded aggressively to 4 and 10 below his main. Much marched straight toward the 4'th base but was beaten back by lurkerling along with swarm from the newly hatched defilers.
Much was now taking and cannoning up his 5'th base at 9. After an unsuccessful skirmish by Saint to probe that base, Much marched toward 4 o'clock once more. This attack was well timed as Saint was just now switching to ultralisks and had a sea of zerglings but not many cows themselves. He first though spotted and took out a morphing hatchery at 5 o'clock. As Much charged the base, Saint set up a horrible flank from behind and dozens of clumped lings were erased by psionic storm. Saint meanwhile made a small crackling drop at the Protoss main that dealt no damage and swarmling attacks at the 9 o'clock base which were effortlessly mopped up by storm. All of those zergling could have been in the battle to help defend 4 o'clock which was razed. Tsk tsk.
After the razing of that base, both players were down to one effective mining spot. Much had the 9 while Saint had the 10 o'clock. Saint was able to amass a large ultraling army and barely take out the base while Much storm dropped Saint's mining site. Much was able to re-macro and secure 9 once more. At this point Saint was running out of steam. He spilled enough Zerg blood to fill the entire lowgrounds of Destination. His earlier made 10 was running out of minerals and spawned a hatchery once again at 4. For the next several minutes, the action subsided as Much defended his base. As the protoss ball finally moved out, Saint set up his last defense which had, for some unknown reason, a lot of lurkers. Going up against archons, goons, reavers, and storm, they were slightly more than useless. Much broke the Zerg army and was ready to take 4. A ninja ultraling attack razed Much Nexus at 9, delaying the process of taking 4, but in the end, all was futile for Saint. As Saint was economically dead and couldn't prevent Much from taking 4, he typed out.
Saint has wasted a lot of units during his initial siege of Much's 3'rd and the main drop. At that time he has been economically on par with Much for a while which was his setback in the late game. However his overall decision making and army control was mediocre and Much was able to paint the battle scene with red over and over. Much himself didn't show the pinnacle of PvZ and thus helping the game draw out to such length.
A tired Much sets foot in the jungles of Athena to take on Baby who smashed him in the first game. Being fed up with long games, Much decided clamp down on the opposition early to ensure that the game wont stretch out. Over 70 minutes of playing under a 2 hour span takes it's toll on eighty year old hands. And arthritis doesn't help. Much decides to go for a fast dt drop. A robotics and archive warp in along with 2 gateways and Much is set. Two turrets are built in the main but are unsuccessful and 2 dark templar start tearing up the base. Baby, who went for a 1 fact FE, loses a turret, a tank and 2 depots. Much is not finished though, he runs in 3 dragoons, 1 zeal, and 2 more dts into the natural and takes out a tank along with turrets and scvs, shutting down the expo. Baby is on the ropes but Much eases the pressure and double expands to ensure a game-ending macro explosion.
Baby does the smart choice by teching to starprot and harassing the protoss bases with drops. He simultaneously drops the 3'rd expo with 2 vultures and a tank, and the main with 2 vultures while popping the tank out at the natural. The drops do moderate damage, especially the one in the 3'rd base where the tank had several kills worth of probes. Much didn't flinch and cleared the drops while adding ever more gateways. Baby decided to push into the Protoss natural before the macro kicked in but it was too late and the push got flattened. Baby set up a final defense of tanks and vultures at the central highground ramp. Once those forces died, he typed out.
Go.go advances with ease by running over Saint and Baby in two quick games. His opposition was weak in both games and he was not truly tested. I wouldn't give him much chance in the next stage. Much was the same old Much. Outclassing and outplaying his mediocre opponents, but not showing outstanding, top class play. Saint's play was just plain disappointing, that is all I can say. Baby was completely thrown off in his second game after go.go's attack and made a big mistake with his starport. He was extremely disappointed after his elimination as he probably thought about his failure in a game that should have brought him into a starleague.
Red sniper landed in the bottom left corner of Byzantium while the master of practice games spawned cross positions. While Hwasin went for the ever standard 1 rax FE, Magma switched it up and chose 2 hatch lurker for his opening build. He camped 4 lurkers outside the nat of Hwasin but scanners were complete just in time and Hwasin was able to push out once tanks and vessels were out. Since Hwasin could not do any mnm pressure prior to this, Magma double expanded to his mineral only and 12 o'clock. If he could hold off the initial terran push, he would have great economic superiority.
As hwasin pushed out, he made a sloppy micro mistake by getting his mnm out of position and they took heavy casualties from lurker spines. If that wasn't bad enough, he proceeded to lose most of his remaining mnm as they carelessly ran into a lot of lurkers. The push was dead and Magma has secured 4 bases along with 3 gas. As Hwasin rebuild his forces and moved out again towards 12, swarm was already up and Magma pushed him back once more.
Hwasin has taken his mineral only base but Magma was all over the map expanding to the top left side of the map and 9 o'clock. Hwasin showed more sloppy control as his next mnm army marched out medic-less. Thankfully they survived an engagement with an ultraling army before Hwasin noticed his hotkey fail. Knowing that he was severely behind, Hwasin finally went for dropship harass. He loaded up two of them and headed for the top left bases. But Magma was on top of his game and scourge along with some cracklings nullified the drop. With his nat drying out, Hwasin expanded to 6. At this point Magma jsut overran him with ultraling. As a queen with scourges along with ground troops arrived at the new base, and a CC kill was guaranteed, Hwasin conceded.
This game was similar to the Much/Baby game. Early harass into double expand. Hero, however, proxied his robotics and went for reaver instead of dt. Midas wend FD and had mines planted in front of his natural as he expanded. Hero has decided to get observers before reaver and tried to damage the natural with 2 gate dragoons. He cleared all of the mines and picked off some units but as 2 tanks sieged at the ramp, he was forced back.
As the reaver came out, Midas had just one siege tank hugging a turret at his main as his defenses were at the second base. Hero dropped a goon, and took out the tank with one reaver shot. He proceeded to kill 9 scvs and caused a lot of lost mining time before Midas forced the shuttle out. Hero missed a ripe opportunity to end the game quick, as his shuttle oversaw the returning scvs clup up at one mineral patch, but decided not to risk losing the reaver. Hero walled off his 3'rd base with 4 pylons and a forge ensuring that vulture raids could not possibly hit the drop. Midas' vulture harass was poor regardless as he tired to surround the defending dragoons with mines. In a display of Free-like micro, Hero spread the goons apart minimizing the damage and taking out the vultures.
Midas was very behind at this point, more so than Baby was. He pushed out but the attack was crushed. The heroic reaver landed on top of the tank clump and set off a crucial scarab upon death. Midas' attempt of setting up a 3'rd base was denied effortlessly by Hero. After gathering a larger army, the Protoss crashed the natural ending the game.
Magma spawned a 9 pool with early gas while Hero opted for a standard opening. Magma proceeded with a common 9 pool follow up, the double expand. However, he added a little Savior by triple expanding to his protected corner base. As Magma was drone whoring, Hero sent 3 corsairs and 2 dt into the 3'rd base. One sair was lost to scourge but the lone overlord was taken out. The templar barged in and slashed four of the five workers there and shredded every single egg at the hatchery before overlord speed finally kicked in and the dt were pushed back with the arriving ovies.
Magma now had four bases and spawned a large lurkerling army. He skipped the usual hydra massing and set up for hive tech. A huge lurker field was set up around Magma's 3'rd base. Hero was playing rather passively granting the Zerg 4 unharassed, well saturated mining bases. As he finally scouted the corner base, Hero needed to catch up and decided to take the 10 o'clock base below his main. As that attempt was denied by lings, he chose a safer location at 2. Unfortunately for him, the 3'rd base was late and he was in a deep economic hole.
After a few gory skirmishes, and some faelstroms (if you decide to be Giyom and make Dark Archons for maelstrom, please, for the love of god, make sure you have Templar to storm the frozen units!) Magma was able to break in and take out the Protoss 3'rd with swarm and cracklings. As the Nexus exploded, Hero knew he couldn't possibly win and left the game.
The 1 in base, 1 proxy fact attack seems to be a popular TvT strategy on Destination. Hwasin adds 2 addons to both facts to get mines and siege mode as quickly as possible. Midas himself fast expands and gets an early starport. Hwasin's attack is well timed as Midas has neither tanks nor siege mode. Midas litters his natural with mines but Hwasin sacrifices a marine so his initial 2 tanks could come in. As Hwasin Rallied in vultures and planted mines of his own in the nat, his two siege tanks came in and set up in the corner away from the ramp. Midas was forced to lift the CC and abandon the base.
Hwasin saw the starport and flashing control tower and responded according ly by constructing an ebay and sending an scv over to the contain. He set up a well placed turret just in time 2 wraiths came in. Midas needed to catch up in economy as Hwasin was expanding, so he floated his CC over to 10 o'clock and constructed a dropship to rally scvs. He also made a lot of vultures and mined up the natural from behind thus containing the contain. He spent a majority of his gas on wraiths and dropship and would have an inferior tank count throughout the game.
After a mediocre vulture raid on the natural, the action subsided as both players macroed up. Midas had 2 healthy bases but his natural was still contained and Hwasin was setting up a 3'rd. With his main cut off, Midas was forced to use dropship play. However as his drops behind the natural, and in the main of Hwasin failed, things looked grim for Baby Bear. He finally took out he contain, though with casualties. His unit count was low, and Hwasin simply dumped his entire army into Midas' empty main.
Hwasin fast expands. Hero once again attempts to cripple the Terran early and techs to dark templar quickly while warping in a proxy gateway. Hwasin counters perfectly and has mines and turrets ready before the dt drop does any significant damage. Hero sets up his late expansion and adds even more costly tech, this time building reavers. Hwasin has iron defense and the reaver harass is deflected. Hero is severely disadvantaged after dumping all this money into fruitless early tech. He warps in a Nexus in a corner base with 3 pylons blocking the ramp. As 5 factories are finished, there was no way Hero would stop the terran mid-game push. He simply had too much money not going into dragoons and zealots. A vastly inferior Protoss army got swept away, and a disappointed Hero was eliminated.
Midas continues slumping into oblivion. I am not surprised as his recent games in the Gom classic against Backho were terrible. Hero is the first Protoss casualty ans he was unable to overcome Hwasin, and the red hot Magma. Hwasin was sloppy in the first game, but bounced back and now has a shot to redeem himself on the STX team with strong MSL performance.. It must be humiliating for him to be replaced by Bogus in the PL. Magma was the shining star of this group. He is the first Zerg to advance from the MST. Not only did he advance 2-0, but he showed play worthy of bracket stage entrance, maybe even worthy of ro8 and a seed for the next MSL. Magma is rumoured to be as good as Jaedong in practice games. Although bad nerves have stymied his career thus far, this Zerg has boundless potential.
The game started off rather passively as both players expanded and macroed up. Shuttle teched to fast, 2 base arbiter. There was a window of time where Shuttle would be very weak as he added gateways, Warped in a 3'rd base and just got his arbiters. Sea exploited this window perfectly and set up a push that eliminated the just-made 3'rd base at the mineral only.
Being low on units, Shuttle could do nothing but sit and watch as his economy was kicked in the groin. Once his gateways kicked in, he was able to break the push while sea secured his own mineral only. Shuttle decided to take his army around to the back entrance of the Terran mineral only but was unsuccessful in doing any damage while losing dragons and one arbiter. Shuttle was pushed back, and Sea kicked back and macroed up. Shuttle regain his mineral only and expanded to the 4'th base. He decided to do a recall at the Terran main but the attempt failed horribly as Sea spotted and took out 2 incoming arbiters. Shuttle couldn't let Sea max out and decided to walk his army toward Sea's front gates. Sea had now a nightmarish amount of tanks and with beautiful EMPs on the Protoss army, he forced Shuttle back.
As Sea finally moved out with his monster push, there wasn't much Shuttle could do. After a massive battle in the middle of the map, Sea cam out ahead and steamrolled the Protoss 3'rd.
Set 2: Up vs great
This is thus far the worst game of the MST. UpMagic played well but Great's play made me want to choke someone. Up, in his usual pimpin' style, goes for mech TvZ. He fast expands and builds a squad of vultures that litter the map with mines. Great makes a group of speed hydras and along with a sloverlord approaches Up's natural while taking upt mines. Great has 10 hydras coming in and Up micros his vultures in front of them. A mine is left un targeted and takes out two of the hydras. The slow ovie is far behind now and Great rushes his hydras forth. They stumble upon a mine and pull back into a tight ball. SPLAT! In one of the nastiest mine explosions I've ever seen, all 8 hydras are taken out.
Great techs to lair and adds a spire while Up macros goliath/tank off his 4 factories. Great, still with slow overlords, sends hydras to the right side of the map to clear more mines. Hades was probably making way for his much needed 3'rd expo which never went up. The hydras once again stumble into mines and 5 more are popped. The camera zooms in on Great, he shakes his head in utter disgust. He knows he has lost the game. Up's first push came right after and Great sure could have use an additional 13 hydras to defend. However, mutas are out and are on their way to an exposed terran main. Meanwhile Up is shedding the Zerg nat and has killed the majority of drones with vultures. The vultures streamed into the main, killing more drones. Great was able to clear out the push with the returning mutas and hung in the game for a while longer before being steamrolled by goliaths.
UpMagic 14 CC'ed which Was scouted by Sea. Up did not dare place a pride scarring bunker at his natural and decided to take out the imminent vulture attack with unreal marine micro. Of course he failed and his nat was out of commission while the successful 1 fact FE of Sea went online. Up placed 5 factories and eventually chased out Sea's vultures with his own. Sea has littered the natural with mine and after one scan, the CC still couldn't land. Up ahd to wait for another one. He started long mining and just walked a tank into the mines preventing his CC placement and lost a few units. Be it by mistake or not, he typed out right after with a frustrating look on his face.
Great double expands and techs to muta first. His nat is delayed by an annoying probe and starts mining later that his 3'rd over at 3 o'clock. As the mutas were out on the map, Great decided to attack the main. 3 cannons were put there as a precaution to such action. Great flew in with about 9 mutas but made a micro mistake leaving one cannon in deep red hp while focusing fire on the other. The mistake forced him back and Shuttle decided that this would be a good time for his archon/zealot push. Great morphed a formidable defence in the form of 4 sunkens behind two hatcheries.
Shuttle approached the base but seemed hesitant to attack. Great was now massing up hydras and the longer Shuttle waited, the less effective the attack would be. Then, with the toss army far from his home base, Great flew in his reinforced muta group into the Protoss main. This triggered Shuttle to counter immediately and he charged the 3'o clock. Shuttle managed to take out all of the drones, all of the sunkens, and a dozen hydraliks there, but the attack was flanked by a wave of hydras coming from the Zerg natural, and the attack was a failure. Meanwhile the mutalisks decimated the main. They took down the nexus and continued harassing the spawning units until a good storm finally took them out. But Great didn't care, he had 3 bases with a 4'th coming up. Shuttle was on just 2 as he took his 3'rd. After a failed push, and a deflected zealot harass of the 4'th base, Great finally broke Shuttle with a mighty force of hydralurk. The Zerg units swarmed Shuttle's nat, and the Gom semifinalist was ousted from the MSL.[/spoiler]
After a strong performance against Shuttle, Great once again epic failed to UpMagic's mech. Poor Great must not have been good at countering a mechanical build and that was the demise of his MSL run this season. Great stayed on 2 hatches sacrificing economy for quick 2 hatch muta. He lost his first dozen zerglings to perfect vulture control and by the time his mutalisks spawned, UpMagic was already finishing turrets and pumping out goliaths. Long story short: Muta harass fails, Great gets outmacroed and steamrolled by a superior economy. A pathetic game in my opinion.
Sea is strong as ever and will breeze past the ro32. After that he will enter the ro16, lose while playing horribly, then appear in the Proleague next day and play the best game you've ever seen. For that is the law of Sea[shield]. Good too see Up back in shape. Although he failed in the ro32 of Club Day, I hope he will do better this time. Hey, the more stylish games the better. Shuttle is fading into mediocrity. His play was pretty disappointing in both games. Great, the rising Zerg hope of Samsung, would probably do well in a standard TvZ. If you can't stop a mech build and fall to it this badly, you are not ready for the MSL.
Tomorrow we will see the return of Luxury who's MSL run was cut surprisingly short last season. Also some of the better players of today's generation and Proleague regulars, Sea.Really and Zero, will get a chance to shine in an individual leagues. Joining them will be a mediocre Mania aka Memory who has always been around the MSL scene, but failed to excell and advance far.
Luxury should take this game without a doubt. He has not been the best ZvTer lately and has 2 wins in his last 7 games against Terran. But compared to Mania's 4 game losing streak vs Zerg and a 0-2 loss to Robbie, of all people, Luxury's recent results look damn good.
Zero has been doing great against Terrans lately. Really's statistics are not as impressive and his sole encounter with Zero resulted in a loss. Do note, though, that Zero is currently on a losing streak against non-terrans and that might be a factor in his ZvT play as well as confidence takes a hit. I think Zero will prevail, but his chances aren't as great as one might think.
If Zero and Luxury meet in the winners set, Luxury should advance. Playing ZvZ is like walking on a razor's edge, however, with a 65% win ratio, Luxury is the heavy favourite, regardless of how lucky this matchup can get. Really might be more of a problem for Lux, but I have confidence that the twin will not disappoint this time.
In my opinion, Mania is toast against either of the players in the second set. He is in a deep slump and both Zero and Really are playing a lot better than him.
The final set should be a rematch between Zero and Really. I will cheer for him this game, for this MSL will surely not suffer from an extra Zerg.
This is arguably the main event of this MST. A certain someone returns after a disappointing ro32 exit last MSL. He has destroyed opposition in the last MST and everyone and their mother here on TL will probably be begging for a similar performance. Joining him will be three sacrificial lambs to the Broodwar Gods who's slaughter will hopefully please them and the hopes of our hero advancing will be come true.
Here we have two fairly mediocre players. Frozean has been around 50% in TvZ lately beating mostly chumps, and relying on allins against tougher opponents. The term mediocre, however, is probably an insult to Calm at this point as he has finally picked up his game somewhat. After years of mediocrity, he has become a PL powerhouse. I must say that after watching his game vs Iris on Harmony, I have absolutely no doubt that he will flatten Frozean.
He has had many names throughout the aeons: Ma Jae Yoon, IPX_Zerg, Savior[gm], Metrosexual, Hitler, Maestro, Matler, Ma Jae Woon, Gangsta Zerg, Destroyer, Jesus Zerg, God. Whatever you call him, you know that this is the most successful and most dominating Zerg player of all time. Although the divine powers have decayed with time, a mediocre Protoss is exactly what Savior needs to be one step closer to the MSL. With a horrible PvZ and recent performance, Tester stands no chance.
A ZvZ in the winners set would be perfect. Savior is 8-4 in his last 12 ZvZ games. Those games span more than a year. Calm's mirror has slumped after a hot streak and in his last 7 ZvZs Calm is 2-5. The stats point to a 2-0 slaughter, as do the hearts of every sane Starcraft fan.
If Tester and Frozean square off, Frozean will be the favourite. He is over 50% in PvT which looks incredibly good compared to the numbers for his other two matchups. Whoever wins this will probably fall to Calm who recently has been a much stronger player than either of these two.
For everything on the current Survivor Tournament, go to the MST Results and Standings thread.
For any additional information regarding the MSL go to the Ultimate MSL FAQ