INnoVation battered Stats from start to finish. On asking stuchiu for a quick recap of the games, he said:
Stats got punched in the face 4 times
there is your recap.
there is your recap.
I was tempted to do just that, but after feeling a bit guilty, I started to watch the games to write this up.
We started out on Vaani, the bread and butter of macro TvP back in the day. As we learnt in 2015, widow mine drops are incredibly effective given the amount of dead space surrounding the main and the backdoor natural. Stats opted for a phoenix-adept composition to combat this, but could do little about INnoVation’s early double medivac push. Third nexus cancelled; widow mines scattered in the main mineral line; liberator shelling the natural. Down on bases, down on tech, and down on economy, Stats was already significantly behind. By the time the terran started his death push, Stats had managed to push out three colossi, but with his huge viking count and upgrade lead, INnoVation easily crushed through his opponent to take the lead.
Stats tried to force the tempo in game 2 on Habitation Station, proxying an oracle at INnoVation’s gold while pylon rushing the natural. Perfect timing from the terran though saw a turret pop up just in time, and Stats’ aggression found no damage at all. INnoVation’s constant harassment through drops and liberators kept Stats pinned on two bases with no scouting information at all, before almost lazily rolling through the protoss army with a 50 supply lead.
It was already clear that Stats was playing at a level far below his usual, crisp executions that we’ve seen so far this week, and if any one game demonstrated that fully, it’s game 3. On Whirlwind, Stats went for a variant of the WoL homage he debuted against Maru earlier in the quarterfinals, following up another proxy oracle with a void ray bust. In a combination of great terran defensive micro and botched protoss control, Stats failed. We’ve heard rumours that Genius is planning to come out of retirement for GSL next year; perhaps he can show us all again how it’s really done?
Interestingly, we’ve had two SC2 finals featuring a 3-0 start from INnoVation in the past; the obvious example being his inexplicable 3-4 reverse sweep to SoulKey in the GSL, but another being his 4-0 over sOs just days later in the WCS Season Finals. Looking at how Stats was playing though, only the most die hard of fans were still envisioning a repeat of the former example, and so it came to pass. Despite his moniker, INnoVation’s never been known to deviate from the norm all that often, so it was a surprise to see him opt for a new marine / cyclone proxy on Echo—a build he’s admitted to making up just this weekend—to round off the series.
We’ll see INnoVation again at the IEM World Championships at Katowice later in 2017, but for now, he reigns supreme in Gyeonggi.