GomTvT is back! Or is it AfreecaTvT now? The Code S round-of-eight concluded with all Protoss and Zerg players being eliminated, giving us our first all-Terran final four since Code S October 2011.
The Code S RO4 and Grand Finals will be played live from the AfreecaTV studio on Thursday, May 18 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00).
Group B of the RO8 saw Bunny come out as the surprise first place finisher, taking down Zergs Solar and Dark in the process. ByuN stumbled out of the gate with a loss to Dark, but survived to win the rematch and secure the second place spot in the group. Solar's recent run of good form couldn't carry him any further in the GSL, and he was eliminated in last place.
Bunny and Solar started off the proceedings with a fantastically entertaining game, delivering classic TvZ action on Royal Blood. There was nearly non-stop action for over 26-minutes, with Bunny barely eking out the victory in the end (it's up there with ByuN vs DRG from the RO16 as a best game of the tournament candidate). Bunny looked for a quicker win in game two with a committed 2-base Marine-Tank-Liberator push, but ended up surrendering the tying point after he was stonewalled by Solar's tenacious defense. The two players opted to decide things in a straight-forward macro bout in game three, and it looked very even for the first eleven minutes of the game. However, the game swung when Solar went too deep with his Ling-Bane-Hydra forces on an ill-fated attack, which gave Bunny a chance to launch a game-ending counterattack before sufficient Zerg reinforcements could be hatched.
The other opening match saw Dark defeat ByuN 2-0, but the games were close unlike the scoreline. The first game saw ByuN open with his favored 2-Barracks Reaper opener, which didn't seem to make much initial headway against Dark. However, Dark misread the timing of ByuN's follow-up Marine-Tank attack, which briefly put him in a sticky situation after being forced to pull Drones on defense. Despite this, Dark's mastery of Roach-Ravager-Infestor shined through as he outfought the Terran bio to take the victory. Game two followed a somewhat similar pattern, with the two players ending up in a Roach-Ravager vs Bio situation after ByuN's initial Reaper opener. Dark's army seemed to reach its use-by date as the supply counts neared 200, but his uncanny fighting ability saw him through to another victory.
Bunny pulled off a season-defining upset in the winners' match, defeating Dark 2-1 to make himself the third Terran qualified for the semifinals. The first game felt like a continuation of Dark vs ByuN, with Infantry and Roach-Ravager engaging in intense combat once more. This time, Dark made the eventual transition to Hive, adding Lurkers and Vipers to his army. Unfortunately, Dark made a terrible decision to attack into Ghosts and Tanks on high ground, which resulted in heavy losses and a momentum swing in Bunny's favor. Bunny played out his advantage methodically from there, denying Zerg bases and grinding out a resource-based win.
Bunny looked to get a cheesy victory in game two, using Royal Blood's unique terrain to execute a proxy-Barracks cheese inside of Dark's natural. Dark was caught by surprise, and he decided to sacrifice his natural to play Roach-Ravager off of one base. Bunny's transition was awkward, leaving him with too few units as he tried to expand. The cheeser ended up becoming the cheesed, and Bunny GG'd out against Dark's Roach-Ravager all-in.
The final game on Neo Humanity saw the two players go back to macro-oriented play, with Bunny pulling out a fast 3-CC into Marine push he previously showed against Solar. While many factors went into the outcome of the match, the success of Bunny's early stim-Marine timing was what put Dark on the backfoot and allowed Bunny to play as the aggressor for much of the game. While Dark dragged the game out with great combat micro, he couldn't hold the expansions needed to keep up with Bunny and GG'd out after around 19 minutes of play.
ByuN took care of business against Solar in the losers' match with a 2-0 win, earning himself another shot at the final four. Solar played fast Roach Warren to counter ByuN's predictable 2-Rax Reaper opener in game one, but ByuN showed he was used to such counters and defended cleanly with a Bunker and transitioned into Marauder-Marine. Solar had one chance to kill ByuN with a Speedling surround + Ravager bile combo, but ByuN broke out of the enveloping Zerglings to take the game. ByuN played Reapers again in game two (proxying one of his Barracks in a slight variation), and the game eventually went into a macro game after ByuN failed to inflict critical damage early. The Shopify Terran showed his bio prowess in the mid-game, taking superior trades and making it hard for Solar to get out beyond five bases. While Solar eventually got out Lurkers and Vipers, he remained trapped in a small corner of the map. ByuN didn't need a late-game transition of his own to end the game, simply bludgeoning Solar to death with Marine-Tank-Medivac (ByuN later said he was starting to feel wrist pain again, and felt he needed to end the game before it could go late).
The final showdown between ByuN and Dark started with, you guessed it, a 2-Barracks Reaper opener from ByuN. There seems to be countless follow-ups ByuN can go for after his initial 3 Reapers, and this time, he opted for 2 Medivac timing with a Raven in tow. The Raven ended up making a huge difference, with two well-placed turrets tanking a ton of Zergling hits and letting ByuN's Marines kill the third base. From there, ByuN closed out clinically with a Marine-Tank push.
Game two saw ByuN follow up his 2-Rax Reapers with a 4-Rax Marine follow-up—something Dark had already deflected in their initial series. However, Dark was just a tiny bit greedier in the rematch, and ByuN decided to be a tad more patient and wait ten more seconds for his Combat Shield upgrade to complete. As a result, ByuN was able to end the game directly with his Marine timing, confirming the all-Terran top four.