StarCraft II fans got to see what it looks like when the famed 'GSL-style preparation' is applied to a high-level ZvZ series, with Rogue defeating Dark 4-1 in a strategically wild semifinals.
Dark struck first by pulling out an unusual ZvZ version of Nydus-Swarm Host in game one, which was enough to fluster Rogue (who was going for a Mutalisk based strategy) in the mid-game and set up a killing blow with Hydra-Roach.
Unfortunately for Dark, game one would be the only time he outsmarted Rogue in the series. Rogue's pool-first gamble in game two worked perfectly, easily countering a greedy, economy-based opener from Dark. Game three saw Rogue surprise Dark yet again, but this time with fast Lurkers off just two bases. Rogue patiently used his Lurkers to accrue a big enough advantage to finish Dark off later in the game.
Down 1-2, Dark decided it was his turn to gamble on an early pool. However, Rogue opened with an almost perfect counter, getting a slightly later pool but faster expansion. In a game between closely-matched pros, this advantage inevitably snowballed into a win for Rogue later on.
The final match of the night ended up being the closest to 'standard' ZvZ, with neither player going for any radical moves to start. As Roach vs Roach battles erupted across the map, it started to appear as if Dark was building a lead off better trades. However, the arrival of Rogue's Lurkers on the battlefield swung the momentum back in his favor, allowing him to seize better positions and eventually force Dark into submission.
With his victory, Rogue reaches his first ever GSL Code S grand finals. The finals is now guaranteed to be an all-Jin Air affair, with the winner of Maru or Trap advancing to face Rogue. Maru and Trap will play in the second semifinal match on Saturday, Sep 21 4:30am GMT (GMT+00:00).