Code S Semifinals Preview: Hurricane vs Darkby Wax
The entire match-up of Protoss vs. Zerg will be on trial on June 15th as the best Zerg player in Korea faces a Protoss player whose previous best Code S result was a round-of-sixteen finish. We don't need to drum up any hype or write fanciful narratives for you to tune in. We already know you'll be watching Hurricane vs. Dark with a lurid fascination—after all, who doesn't want to be around when the StarCraft II community could go up in flames?
After sweeping herO to reach the semis, Dark said he had believed in Hurricane's potential to become a top Protoss player, joking that he told people to invest in "Gi-Woong-Coin" in the past. But Dark also insinuated that the RO4 would be the end of the line for Hurricane, saying he was restraining himself from commenting further due to fear of becoming overconfident. Going by their head-to-head record, you can see why Dark might feel that way: he's 8-2 against Hurricane in series with a 18-7 map score throughout. There's also the ridiculous disparity in resumes: Dark's career is littered with playoff runs and medal-stand finishes, while Hurricane is a player who has frequently struggled to even qualify for Code S at all. Dark is 18-4 in ZvP series over the course of the WCS 2019 season, with only Trap, Stats, Classic, and Dear(?!) giving him a loss.
No wonder TL.net users predictions are giving Dark over a 7-to-1 advantage. Yet, you can also detect traces of doubt in those numbers—that's the same ratio of predictions that Classic got over Trap. Somehow, TL.net users are giving Hurricane a similar chance as Trap, when Trap had a far better GSL resume, the teamhouse practice aura, AND the coin-flip factor of PvP on his side.
Why might you make a case for Hurricane? First off, he did manage to beat Rogue—arguably the SECOND best Zerg in Korea (I won't argue if you favor soO as #2)—in May's Super Tournament, winning in a surprisingly one-sided 3-1 bout. Second of all, you have to admit that Hurricane really is quite a clever and unpredictable player. +1 armor all-ins, fake Immortal pushes into late-DT drops, throwback Blink-Stalker all-ins—going over his VODs for the past few months, it's hard to name anyone other than Classic who's shown us such a wide variety of builds in recent PvZ's. Third, his PvZ record has been excellent during his recent hot streak. Since the latest balance patch (March 25th), he's 7-2 in BO3+ series (including wins over Ragnarok and Solar x2 in his current Code S run), with a 20-9 overall map score for a nearly 70% win-rate. Fourth, maybe there's really something wrong about PvZ. Even if it's not numerically 'imbalanced,' it does at least seem that this meta allows Protoss underdogs to use risky strategies to create an unusual amount of variance, improving their range of favorable outcomes. Or more simply put: everyone's inner-Has has been unlocked.
Alas, I'm not one of those TL.net users who are taking the underdog odds, believing that Hurricane can pull off a Trap. Dark already crushed Patience and herO this season—and while I'm not saying all Protoss players play the same (that would be racist)—they're also players in the cheesy/creative mold. Dark did this by taking the approach I implored him to take against Classic last season: mixing defensive macro play with the aggressive strategies that are his forte. As
Prediction: Dark 4 - 1 Hurricane
Credits and acknowledgements