Code S Season 2 it set to have a "Freecy" final four, as Afreeca Freecs players TY and Stats won the last two quarterfinal matches to join teamamte DongRaeGu in the semifinals.
TY took on PartinG in his quarterfinal match, with the DPG Protoss looking to avenge his 2-4 loss to TY in the previous season's semifinals. However, TY's early-game tactics proved to be PartinG's undoing once more, with his Probes suffering greatly throughout the series. In the last quarterfinal match, a rejuvenated Stats took down Trap in a brutal 3-0 sweep, extending his PvP winning-streak to seventeen matches.
The Code S semifinals will begin on Wednesday, Aug 05 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00) with DongRaeGu and Rogue facing off in the first semifinal match.
Quarterfinal #3: TY 3 - 1 PartinG
With game one taking place on the cheese-magnet map of Golden Wall, it wasn't surprising to see both players opening up with one-base builds. TY proxied his Factory and Stargate out on the map for a fast Hellion drop, while PartinG mined out his backdoor mineral wall and sent a Probe to proxy all the required buildings for a Dark Templar drop. Unfortunately for PartinG, his scouting/poking Adept missed seeing TY's proxied buildings by a millimetre, causing him to take crippling Probe damage against the Hellion drop. Still, PartinG soon evened things up with his three-DT drop, which forced a complete lift-off and main-base relocation by TY. While TY managed to save his two Orbital Command Centers, he was left without the tech for Turrets or Ravens. PartinG simply trickled Dark Templar's into TY's new base to force out scans, leaving TY no choice but to GG when he ran out of scan energy.
Game two headed on over to Deathaura, where PartinG went for the curious move of executing the same offensive-Assimilator + proxy-Robo opener he had shown vs INnoVation and Bunny in the Ro16. However, he played mind-games by applying a twist—instead of going for Immortal drop pressure, he went for a DT drop behind it.. Meanwhile, TY was working on his own cheesy build, once again playing off of one-base and going for a proxy-Hellion drop (throwing in an Engineering Bay block at PartinG's natural). Yet again, the Hellion drop hit before the DT drop, dealing an enormous amount of economic damage to PartinG. This time around, the Dark Shrine had been built in PartinG's main, which mean TY saw it with his Hellions and had time to start building a Raven. Thus, PartinG's retaliatory DT drop only had limited time to do damage, and PartinG coolly GG'd out once the Raven arrived.
Game three saw PartinG return to a path of relative normalcy, going for a regular fast expand + Stargate opener on Ever Dream. On the other hand, TY decided to go with one-base play yet again, executing his third straight variation on a Hellion drop. This version didn't aim to drop Hellions as fast as possible—instead, it added 3 Concussive Shell-upgraded Marauders to create the dual-threat of both a drop and frontal attack. This worked out incredibly well for TY—though PartinG managed to Hallucinate scout the drop, he struggled to divide his troops properly on defense. He ended up in the terrible spot where Stalkers were fighting Marauders while Probes were fighting Hellions. While TY couldn't kill PartinG outright, he once again dealt a severe amount of economic damage and comfortably expanded and teched up back at home. TY easily repelled PartinG's counter-attack, and not long after, dropped stimmed Marines and Marauders into PartinG's main to force the GG.
Since TY had found a way to do Probe damage with his Hellions in every single game prior, it wasn't surprising to see him go for yet another one-base Hellion-drop build on Pillars of Gold. He threw in another Engineering Bay block at PartinG's natural, forcing him to build his second Nexus at his third base position. This time around, however, PartinG managed to scout the Hellion-drop early AND pull off a good defense. While TY tried to abuse the long distance between PartinG's main and third base to do some damage with a Hellion-Liberator combo, he ended up sacrificing his units for just a handful of Probe kills. So, for the first time in the series, we moved on to a more normal macro game.
PartinG looked to be briefly ahead after his solid early game defense, but TY patiently caught up. Another Liberator sent around the map got several kills when PartinG reacted slowly, while he came out ahead in a later Marine-drop vs Zealot-runby exchange. All the while, TY's grand plan began to materialize: He was going for a 1/1 "timing-attack" off three bases, looking to end PartinG with infantry supported by a handful of Tanks, Vikings, and Ghosts. As for PartinG, he prepared to defend with Gateway units backed by Colossi and High Templars.
In the previous week, PartinG had crushed a similar death push from INnoVation by executing a perfect flank and covering the Terran army in Storms. This time around, we saw how difficult it is to achieve that kind of perfect engagement. Everything went wrong for PartinG when he collapsed on the Terran army. A Warp Prism holding a Templar went POOF before it could do anything. Two Templar flanking from the low ground never got the vision needed to actual cast their spells. Another two Templar were trailing way too far behind Zealots and Stalkers, and arrived at the battlefield after the frontline troops had already been evaporated. While PartinG did get a few money storms in a subsequent battle, he had already lost too much of his army in that disastrous, initial fight. PartinG did his best to drag things out with counter-attacks, but the game was already far outside of his grasp. Eventually, he had no choice but to concede defeat.
Quarterfinal #4: Stats 3 - 0 Trap
The PvP knife-fight between Stats and Trap began on Eternal Empire, with both players playing it relatively normal with fast-ish expands. Trap invested some of his early resources into suicide Adept attacks into Stats' Probe line, but the army-for-economy trade didn't tilt the game significantly in either player's favor. The two players continued to build up in a semi-mirror state, building Immortal + Blink-Stalker armies while securing their third bases.
Trap ended up being the player to break from the staring contest, encroaching into Stats' warping third base with his Immortals and Stalkers. While he had a brief advantage with three Immortals compared to Stats' two, Battery Overcharge prevented Trap from fully committing to a battle. Just as Trap started to back off, Stats made the snap decision re-engage with a daring Blink forward. This move let Stats instantly pick off one of Trap's Immortals, and gave him superior positioning at the start of the battle. Stats ended up winning the battle with a significant number of Stalkers left over, allowing him to attack into Trap's territory and collect the GG.
Game two on Deathaura saw both players expand relatively quickly again, but the action started earlier this time around. While Trap took a more defensive posture with an Adept-heavy early game force, Stats committed to a strong, early-game strike with a Warp Prism, four Sentries, and six Stalkers. This attack went beautifully for Stats, as he traded efficiently against Trap's Prism-less, Overcharge-less Adepts with his Prism and Force Field micro. The two players proceeded to build up similarly to the previous game, looking to transition into Stalker-Immortal armies in the mid-game. Stats managed to get his Immortals and Prism out first, and headed over to Trap's base to deal additional damage before Trap's Blink-upgrade was complete. The damage from the early-game poke and the subsequent Immortal drop compounded into Stats having a significant lead in terms of mid-game Stalker count, and he gathered his forces for a decisive attack. While Trap had gone for Disruptor tech to try and make up for his disadvantage, the single Disruptor was easily picked off and he was forced to GG out against Stats' much larger army.
Trap changed things up on Ever Dream by going for heavy Adept production, while Stats stuck to a conservative Robo expand opener. As Trap's Adepts and Stats' Stalkers danced around in front of Stats' natural, Trap added a Twilight Council to reveal his intent of going for mass Glaive-Adepts. Unfortunately for Trap, he never arrived at the Glaive-Adept stage of his plan. While his constant Adept feints had kept Stats on his toes, he ended up overstaying his welcome on Stats' side of the map. Once Stats had a Warp Prism, he loaded up Sentries and an Immortal and slipped them behind Trap's Adepts. Combined with his Stalkers, he executed a perfect sandwiching maneuver to trap Trap's Adepts at the tiny bottleneck in the center of Ever Dream. Trap suffered catastrophic damage to his Adept count, allowing Stats to continue his advance and seal his 3-0 victory.