Zest and Impact Survive the PartinG Gimmicks to Advance in GSL Code S Group E

In one of the more interesting nights of the Code S season, Won “PartinG” Lee Sak came with a cheese build for every map, against any player. Kim “Impact” Joon Hyuk and Joo “Zest” Sung Wook eventually figured out PartinG’s strategy and were the two to advance, but watching PartinG try out every build in his repertoire was quite the show.

Starting against Zest, PartinG was able to get an early game one victory going with early aggression, but later on, in the same set, Zest turned that same aggression on PartinG running dark templars into his main base and PartinG, unfortunately, started building Phoenix’s and an Oracle making it nearly impossible to hold unless PartinG was able to kill all three Dark Templar’s with a single revelation, which was not the case.

Making an Impact

The real story of the day, however, was the sheer impressiveness in which Impact disposed of Byun and last season’s runner-up, Zest, with excellent macro-oriented play. Impact made his moves in smaller, less noticeable ways. Denying any early expansion and keeping it that way with excellent creep spread helped build that lead. Against both Zest and Byun, he didn’t have to worry much about engagements because he always held the supply lead in both worker and army count.

With this in mind, Impact could use many different types of units to move into his bases and do damage to his worker line. In his two wins, he got tons of mileage out of Zergling run-bys and even had a single Ultralisk take out a whole command center. It was incredible to watch the timing of his counter-attacks. At no point did it feel as if Impact was not in control of either match. He had little issues dealing with Byun’s bio-micro and with his massive leads in the economy, it put them constantly on the back foot.

Zest Holds Off PartinG

PartinG certainly didn’t make it easy on Zest, but at the end of the day, he won four of six matches against PartinG in the Protoss vs. Protoss matchup. As Artosis put in the broadcast, by the sixth game against Zest, PartinG essentially ran out of builds to try. Even if he had more builds, Zest seemed prepared to handle any early, cheese builds. It also featured some serious PartinG blunders, including an Artosis pylon, named after the same man commentating this very match.

It wasn’t Zest’s strongest round of Code S, but in the end, he moves on. Seeing Zest back into the round of 16 isn’t a welcomed sight for other competitors as we saw him make a very deep run, but he will have to improve against the likes of macro-intensive Zerg mains like Impact. Both players should be a threat to make the round of eight.

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Leenock with a strong showing as he qualifies for GSL Code S Round of 16

Leenock finished his day in impressive fashion over Dear after falling to Maru in the winner’s match of the group. The four straight wins over Dear in the group stages pushed him back into the round of 16 in a Code S. One of StarCraft 2’s most talented and dedicated individuals is looking like much more than just an average player. More performances similar to tonight will lead to a deep playoff run.

Now, Dear is absolutely no joke as a Protoss player. One of the few players to a royal road a Code S in GSL, and at one point in time the best player in the world. Leenock had his hands full with the matchup but still managed to win both sets quickly. Dear tried different things, working in some all-ins and more macro intensive strategies, but each time it was sniffed out by Leenock.

The first map, Leenock fell into a small deficit with Dear’s macro being so efficient, but once he noticed it, it only took a few effective baneling busts to flip the worker count heavily in Leenock’s favor. The metagame surrounding Protoss vs. Zerg is geared heavily towards constant pressure with Zergling run-by, Overlord drops and spreading out a Protoss army between three bases. Leenock did this to perfection on the map Lost and Found.

Taking out 28 workers with two baneling’s is quite the impressive feat. It was clear, that despite having somewhat of a lesser army, in terms of composition, Leenock still found ways to win with his harassment. It was essentially the perfect way to play Zerg in this matchup especially in more of a macro-game.

In the last game, Dear was feeling the immense pressure of losing four straight to Leenock. Entering that game it felt as if Dear’s spirit was broken and the proficient Zerg player completed the full-sweep holding a last-ditch charge all-in.  As the video entails, Leenock held strongly by taking out the warp prism early, shutting down any possibility of the attack working out.

It was a quick 2-0 of Dear and must have had the same effect of mouthwash: it got the bad taste of barely losing to Maru out of his mouth. If Leenock plays anything like he did today, he will make a deep playoff run in this season of Code S.

Featured Image courtesy of GSL

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Maru Sneaks by Leenock to move into GSL Code S Round of 16

Leenock looked dominant tonight up against the worlds best in Maru. As Artosis put on the broadcast, he looked like a god even in the loss and with a few minor adjustments, he walks away as the top dog in group B.

Let’s focus directly in on map three, a map that Leenock had the clear advantage for almost the entirety of the map. Maru simply outclassed him in some of the late game engagements, and with better handling of the hellion harassment early on, Maru is probably the won in losers.

Here’s the exact moment the match turned from Leenock’s favor over to Maru’s side. Two siege tanks parked on the high-ground, with Leenock not having an overlord or anything else to help spot those tanks. In all likelihood, if Leenock can spot those tanks sooner than it’s a complete wipe of Maru’s base.

However, that’s the brilliance of Maru. Fighting into the base like that gave Maru positional advantage. He will move on, as expected, to the round of 16. Leenock still has a serious chance of making it into the next round, but it will take a win over either Dear or Forte. Leenock already found success against Dear, and he showed his ability to fight against Terran so he seems to be the heavy favorite of moving on.

Featured image courtesy of GSL

Maru Sweeps GSL Code S Finals

StarCraft 2 was elevated to new heights this evening with Cho “Maru” Sung Choo winning his second consecutive code S GSL title. Maru not only surpassed other terrans in this era with his dominance from a young age but became a towering figure in the world of Starcraft. Maru’s now can now be mentioned among the greats.

Maru

The win over Joo”Zest Sung Wook puts Maru on a path that only a few Starcraft professionals have been able to conquer. A third win in Code S would far-surpass any player in the era. The player who started as a young 16-yeard old is now on the brink of accomplishing feats few players have before him.

In light of this, Maru’s sweep over Zest will go down as one of the more lopsided victories in history. From start-to-finish, Maru had the upper hand. It was evident from Darkness Sanctuary on that this was Maru’s game to win and no one would be able to stop the onslaught. On most maps, it was a landslide victory, with Maru having a constant advantage in the economy and having the bigger numbers.

The 4-0 sweep will mark one of the largest margins of victory in GSL history. Maru’s separating himself from the pack, and putting himself on a path toward Starcraft glory. Maru can already be mentioned among the likes of Lee”Flash” Young Ho and other legends of the game. His sweeps confirm his dominance over this era.