The Code S round-of-sixteen concluded concluded with the Terran duo of INnoVation and Maru advancing from the Group D, finalizing the eight-player playoff bracket. The first set of quarterfinal matches of Dark vs TY and PartinG vs Maru will be played on Wednesday, May 20 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00), while the second pairing of Dear vs Cure and Trap vs INnoVation will be played on Saturday, May 23 4:00am GMT (GMT+00:00).
INnoVation backed up his previous boasts that he was the inevitable champion in waiting, advancing from the "group of death" with a clean 2-0 wins over Zest and Maru.
The specific way in which INnoVation defeated such illustrious opponents only made his victories more impressive. Facing Zest in his initial match, INnoVation opened up with a fake two-base timing while hiding a third base in a corner of the map. Zest was completely duped by the strategy, and his conservative play saw him get completely overrun once INnoVation's superior economy kicked in. INnoVation got even more creative in game two, going for an all-in off just one base. While it was perhaps not the best strategy in theory, it was unorthodox enough to knock Zest off balance and nab the 2-0 win for INnoVation.
Against Maru in the winners match, INnoVation won a more typical 'INnoVation-style' victory in game one. Despite taking heavy early SCV damage against Maru's early harassment, INnoVation was still able to come back and overpower Maru in the late-game Marine-Tank wars. INnoVation finished Maru off in game two with another oddball strategy: a two-Starport Battlecruiser rush. Even Maru had to laugh after BC's and Hellions hit an unusual but deadly 'timing-attack,' sending INnoVation to the playoffs.
Fortunately for Maru, his decision to pick RagnaroK during the group selections turned out to be quite shrewd. Just as in his match vs Maru in the previous season of Code S, RagnaroK impressed viewers by keeping up in straight-up macro games... ...until Maru's multitasking overwhelmed him and the games spiraled out of control. With two victories over hand-picked opponent RagnaroK, Maru advanced to the RO8 in 2nd place.
Recommended games: INnoVation's games were one-sided, but it was still fascinating to see him use his reputation as a textbook player against his opponents. Maru vs RagnaroK wasn't truly close, but it's probably the kind of content Terran players would enjoy injecting directly into their veins while repeating the "just play like Maru" mantra.