2022 GSL Code S Season 3 - Round of 20by Poopi
The first day of games saw DongRaeGu dominate Group B, being the sole player to nab two wins: 2-1 vs Cure and 2-1 vs ByuN. On the other hand, ByuN was the only player to finish with a 0-2 record, losing 1-2 to Maru on top of his loss to DRG. The small margins of victory mean that DRG isn't quite as safe as he appears, though he's certainly a huge favorite to make the playoffs. Likewise, ByuN shouldn't be counted out of the race just yet as he managed to take a map in both of his losses.
In the middle we have Cure, Creator, and Maru who are tied at 1-1 each, with their rankings decided by the difference of a single map. With things being so close, it's looking like this group could have the tightest finish of any GSL RO10 group so far, and maybe even come down to head-to-head results.
Thursday, Sep 29 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00)
Match #6: ByuN vs CreatorThis match is a difficult one to project. Aligulac sees ByuN as one of the top TvP players in the world while Creator is closer to the middle of the pack, and gives the Shopify Terran around a 69% chance of winning. ByuN has the advantage in head-to-head as well, going 7W-4L in matches vs Creator this year (22W-16L in maps).
On the other hand, the day one results from Group B showed why the GSL is much more unpredictable than any other event. Creator lost easily to Cure in his first match, but went on to 2-0 the even stronger Maru like it was nothing in his second match of the day. Was Creator underrated, capable of far more than the stats suggested at the time? Or was Maru having an off day, allowing such a result to happen? I think it was a bit of both, although I lean more heavily toward the latter. As the meme goes, Maru did not play well that day, and Creator is still an underdog vs top Terrans in general.
While ByuN didn't play any TvP's on day one, he ended up going 0-2 overall despite his recently good form in smaller online events. It further reinforced the idea that online cups can inflate a players' stats a bit, especially when trying to predict how they'll do in the GSL.
Everyone is in a must-win situation in Group B, and I think this will be a nerf for Creator. While he's had some great clutch moments in 2022 (Code S Season 1, WTL), he also had a notable breakdown last season where he smashed his headphones after losing to Bunny. I expect him to be calmer this time, but he's still a player who seems to be more sensitive to pressure than others. I have to agree with the statistical odds here and consider ByuN the favorite.
Prediction: ByuN 2-0 Creator
Match #7: Maru vs DongRaeGuWhile we often lean on Aligulac.com to give us the general picture for a match-up, Maru's matches are funny in that the stats website often feels entirely useless in predicting how he'll do. Perhaps all of the percentages check out when you count every single match, but it certainly feels like Maru is particularly prone to giving up shocking upsets in these GSL BO3's.
He was ranked as the #1 TvP player in the world when he lost to Creator last week, and such was the case with his TvZ when he lost 0-2 to DongRaeGu in last season's RO10 as well. Though Maru was able get his revenge over DRG with a super-fast 3-0 in the playoffs, it didn't paper over the fact that he's been oddly vulnerable in the newly created GSL RO10. Lightning has already struck Maru twice in the round robin—can DongRaeGu give him another jolt?
DRG stands on top of the group with two victories over the other Terrans, Cure and ByuN. Cure's TvZ hasn't been great in the last few months, but he did show his strength by convincingly beating both Dark and Solar in his RO20 group (though in his interview, Cure seemed surprised by his own performance). Of course, we know ByuN is a capable TvZ player as well, so beating both of them was more than enough to remind us of DRG's credentials as a ZvT beast.
Interestingly enough, ever since losing to DRG in Season 2's RO10, Maru has been on an absolute tear in TvZ. In the span of two months, he beat DRG (3-0), Dark (3-1), RagnaroK (2-0), Solar (2-0), Lambo (3-0), and Reynor (3-2)—the #2 through #8 players in the Aligulac TvZ rankings (excluding the retiring Rogue). Only Serral, the #1 ZvT player in the world, was able to hand Maru a loss (1-3 in the TSL9 finals). Overall, Maru seems to be as sharp as ever in the match-up, and the current meta that revolves around 2-base all-ins and late-game turtling seems to suit him perfectly.
I have to label Maru the favorite yet again, despite the risk of yet another stumble in the RO10. Still, with his playoff spot in danger and G5L seemingly closer than ever (Rogue and Dark are already out of contention), it seems like Maru should be motivated to bring his A-game to day two.
Prediction: Maru 2-0 DRG
Match #8: ByuN vs CureHere's a tip for trying to predict TvT matches in Code S: if Maru is one of the players, bet on Maru. For everyone else, toss a coin to pick the winner. Indeed, Maru is at a monstrous 3500+ Aligulac rating in this mirror match-up, while the next three players of Cure, ByuN, and Clem are barely above 3000. After them come Bunny, GuMiho, and HeroMarine, who trail close behind in the 2800-3000 range. All of these top Terrans in the non-Maru division seem capable of beating each other on a given day, and have proven as much across a variety of tournaments.
Funnily, even though ByuN always seems to complain about his TvT (although he admitted he has improved in the match-up in some interviews), he seems to be one of the stronger non-Maru TvT players. His style of play is not exactly by the books or totally meta, as he tries to avoid the Raven-Viking campfest and prefers to attack with Marine-Medivac-Tank for as long as possible. Still, it seems to be an effective way to play the match-up on these big maps with a lot of angles of attack, and it also makes him harder to prepare for.
Cure is more versatile in the match-up, but that doesn't necessarily give him an advantage. Late-game Raven wars can't simply be forced at will—even the defensive guru Maru couldn't pull that off against ByuN in his week one games. In general, ByuN's performance against Maru in week one was very impressive, making it look like he could crack any other Terran's defenses with his aggressive style.
Having thus tossed my coin, it's come up on the side with a cute puppy dog. That means it's ByuN's time to shine.
Prediction: ByuN 2-1 Cure
Match #9: Creator vs DRGAt this point the stakes might be vastly different for the two players, but we can probably expect them to try their hardest anyway. Eliminated players have shown they're more than ready to throw a wrench into the works for other players, as we've seen in both the GSL and other tournaments with round-robin groups.
DRG is not particularly fearsome in ZvP, but outside of herO, Protoss seem to be struggling a bit versus Zerg at the moment. Even herO could not defeat the mighty RagnaroK in Group A, and with Creator only have a narrow 55:45 edge according to Aligulac, it wouldn't be surprising to see him fall here as well.
Since this match is very close on paper, I'll pick DRG to win because he's likely to be in a better position in in the group and feeling less pressure than Creator.
Prediction: DRG 2-1 Creator
Match #10: Maru vs CureFinally a relatively easy match to predict! As mentioned above, a very good, sophisticated prediction tip is 'pick Maru to win TvT.' Despite the BO3 upsets to Creator and DRG in prior RO10 matches, he is still quite reliable in TvT (insert the umpteenth caveat about his loss to Bunny in last season's RO6 while trying gimmicky strategies).
Cure actually has done reasonably well against Maru historically, only trailing 7-10 in matches and 22-30 in maps. However, the last major series between the two was quite bloody, with Maru smashing Cure 4-0 in the finals of DH Last Chance 2022.
Maru has sometimes struggled with former teammates, particularly Rogue and Trap. However, Cure doesn't seem to get that particular ex-teammate bonus. He will probably manage to get ahead with clever builds as Maru often finds himself in dire situations in the early game, but the difficult part of playing Maru in TvT is actually killing him. As Reynor said after beating Maru during the Katowice group stage: “these Korean players man, they don’t die”. I expect to see a repeat of Maru vs ByuN at some point, with Maru falling behind early but somehow finding the victory screen at the end.
Prediction: Maru 2-0 Cure
If all these predictions were to come true (they won’t, but we will still take a look just in case), the final standings would be:
1st: Maru (3-1, 6-3)
2nd: DRG (3-1, 6-5)
3rd: ByuN (2-2, 6-5)
4th: Cure (1-3, 4-6)
5th: Creator (1-3, 3-6)