TY and Stats are set to clash in the semifinals for the second straight season, with TY sweeping DongRaeGu and Stats edging out INnoVation on the first night of the Code S quarterfinals.
DongRaeGu shocked the SC2 community by defeating INnoVation 3-0 in last season's quarterfinals, but this season DRG was the one on the receiving end of a sweep. TY was mostly untroubled by DRG's attempts to play a Hydra-Lurker-Viper composition, winning three straight games that weren't particularly close. DRG's choice to abandon Muta-Ling-Bane play was somewhat perplexing, as the classic composition had powered him to victory against Cure in the RO16 and earned him the playoff spot to begin with.
Despite his recent complaints about TvP, INnoVation nearly defeated one of the world's top PvT players in Stats. The machine went up 2-0 to begin the series, as Stats' decision to go away from his safe and steady Stalker-Colossus approach worked out poorly. Unlike DRG, however, Stats didn't pay the ultimate price for veering out of his comfort zone, and recovered to win in a 3-2 reverse sweep.
Coming up: Code S will continue on Saturday, Oct 17 4:00am GMT (GMT+00:00) with the final two quarterfinal matches: Armani vs Zest and Maru vs Trap.
Quarterfinal #1: TY 3 - 0 DongRaeGu
Game 1 - Deathaura: Mine drops were the name of the game for TY, as he opened up with a fast Mine drop and continued on to research Drilling Claws for continued drops throughout the early-mid game. As in his prior GSL match against Cure, DRG's poor defense caused him to bleed away both army units and workers, putting him behind as TY expanded freely and went up to 90+ workers.
Still, once DRG survived to bring his Hydra-Lurker-Viper army to bear, he was able to take some efficient trades against the Terran forces and start establishing some control over the map. Unfortunately, DRG was sloppy in preserving his crucial Vipers, carelessly allowing them to get picked off. The loss of Vipers, combined the sheer number of Tanks and Ghosts TY was able to produce with his powerful economy, was too much for DRG to handle and he GG'd out of the first game.
Game 2 - Ice and Chrome: TY's next move was to go 2-1-1 for a fast 2-Medivac Marine drop, but diligent scouting from DRG allowed him to scout out the drop and chase it off without much trouble. However, TY wasn't done yet, as he added two Tanks to his force to start a low-ground siege on DRG's third base, barely succeeding at destroying the Hatchery.
Put on the back foot, DRG looked to Hydra-Lurker-Viper to get him back in the game. However, DRG didn't get a chance to wield that late-game army properly, as poor drop defense proved to be his downfall once again. TY inflicted damage to DRG on multiple fronts with infantry drops, and this time, DRG couldn't stabilize as the damage continued to accumulate. Eventfully, DRG was forced into a desperate last-ditch attack, after which he GG'd out.
Game 3 - Golden Wall: TY opened greedy in game three, going for a CC-first fast expansion at his backdoor natural. On the other hand, DRG proxied his third Hatchery over on TY's side of the map, using it to speed up a Ravager-Zergling all-in. Unfortunately for DRG, TY hadn't followed his expansion with fast tech, instead going for another 2-Medivac Marine drop. Even though DRG's attack caught TY off guard with his Medivacs halfway across the map, it was all too easy for TY to make a U-turn and crush the Zerg attack with his stimmed Marines. With his all-in attack having failed, DRG conceded the third and final GG.
Quarterfinal #2: Stats 3 - 2 INnoVation
Game 1 - Ice and Chrome: INnoVation opened with some light Mine drop and Liberator harassment, which Stats warded off handily with his defensive Blink strategy. However, instead of teching up to his usual Colossus and Disruptors, Stats opted to go for Templar tech and mass Gateway units instead. This didn't work out for Stats at all, as INnoVation's 1/1 upgraded Bio + Tank push hit before Psi Storm research was complete and ended the game abruptly. In his post-match interview, Stats insinuated that his understanding of his strategy wasn't as complete as he thought it was, which led to his one-sided defeat.
Game 2 - Golden Wall: Stats diverged from his default PvT approach once more, going for a fast Dark Templar drop. However, INnoVation's Reaper scout discovered the Dark Shrine, allowing INnoVation to prepare and defend easily. Somehow, Stats managed to turn lemons into lemonade, pivoting into an unorthodox Archon + Blink Stalker attack. This seemed to rattle INnoVation by virtue of its sheer weirdness, as he carelessly let his third CC get destroyed instead of floating it to safety.
Crippled by the loss of his CC, INnoVation had no choice but to gear up for an SCV-aided Marine-Tank all-in. While it initially looked like Stats would be able to stop the attack handily, he ended up losing two of his three High Templar before they could cast Psi Storm, allowing INnoVation to pull off an unlikely comeback victory.
Game 3 - Deathaura: After two unusual games to start, we saw our two players take exceedingly normal approaches with Stats playing defensive Blink into Colossus-Disruptor, while INnoVation opened with a Raven into three bases. INnoVation made the first significant move of the game, moving out with 1/1 upgraded infantry and support units. Stats got off a few meaty Disruptor shots as the Terran army crossed the map, and then stalled for time with Photon Overcharge and Force Fields when his two Colossi were locked down by a Raven. All these moves resulted in a beautiful defensive hold from Stats, who was left sitting pretty with four bases and a superior army.
From there, Stats went into closeout mode, keeping the Terran army at bay with Disruptors while deploying Zealots and Dark Templars for continuous backdoor attacks. INnoVation's tremendous macro allowed him to keep sending armies at Stats despite taking constant economic damage from the backdoor attacks, but eventually he ran out of steam and GG'd out.
Game 4 - Submarine: INnoVation went for a single Barracks proxy-Reaper strategy that was scouted early by Stats, but he still managed to inflict a decent amount of Probe damage with 2 Reapers and 2 Hellions thanks to his good control. The two players went on to go for a similar build-up as in the previous game, with INnoVation getting a Raven and taking three bases, while Stats went defensive Blink into Robotics Bay tech.
However, instead of going for a 1/1 timing as on Deathaura, INnoVation added a second factory to mass-produce Tanks for an even bigger attack at 2/2 upgrades (which would utilize some of the Tank-friendly terrain on Submarine). In a critical move, Stats' delaying force ambushed a group of infantry separated from the main Terran army as it moved out, taking some of the firepower out of the deadly push. This gave Stats some precious breathing room as he looked to simultaneously backdoor attack with Zealots while defending against the Terran push.
As is often the case, Stats balanced offense and defense expertly, stalling at his third base as long as possible before letting it fall, buying time for his backdoor Zealot attacks to devastate the Terran economy. INnoVation's once-deadly push slowly ran out of steam, and Stats mopped up the remaining Terran forces to tie the series.
Game 5 - Eternal Empire: Stats went for early game trickery on the deciding map, proxying a Pylon for a sneaky Oracle strike. The opener went undetected, giving Stats an opportunity to take a massive early game lead. However, thanks to some less-than-perfect Oracle micro, and some poor defense against a single Hellion, Stats only ended up with a minor edge. In any case, Stats was able to shut down INnoVation's subsequent infantry attack at Stim-Shield timing, setting himself up to snowball to victory.
Stats went for Templar tech and mass Gateway units as he did in game one, but this time around he was starting from a more favorable position, and thus things went a lot better. Stats' troops roamed the map, intimidating INnoVation and preemptively shutting down any potential aggressive moves. Once Stats had four high-energy Templars in a Prism, he applied the finishing blow with a direct attack that wiped out the Terran forces.