What a stellar way to start the day! Some high level Code S games were on display today in GSL's last competitive Ro32 Group G.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead, Obviously.
TY reminded people why he's a top 2 Terran player in the world –
– by absolutely demolishing the competition on every level to secure the 1st place spot. The 2nd person to advance was Impact, who finally managed to translate some of that promise he's always shown to overcome quite a bit of adversity in a crazy clash to wrap up the group.
- TY ended last year with a bit of a whimper after losing the GSL final against Maru and then crumbling in both of the following important tournaments, he even had a bit of a struggle qualifying for this year's season of Code S (PartinG out of all people stopped his initial attempt). The Terran player who came in today looked leaps and bounds above those disappointing showings I just mentioned, meaning if TY has managed to rebuild his confidence and is now ready to play at this kind of level again… simply put, people not named Maru in this tournament are screwed. The guy looked out for blood as he absolutely schooled FanTaSy in TvT shortly before doing pretty much the exact same thing in his TvZ vs Impact. TY never seemed worried, sloppy or even remotely close to losing any of his games, the 4-0 score really doesn't do him justice. Incredibly exciting development for the upcoming rounds.
- Impact is the master of being a hit or miss player – at his best the guy looks like a top 5 Zerg in the world and at his worst you feel like a fool for ever thinking he could do it. Today was a good day to be an Impact supporter, because not only did he start off by dismantling Leenock in what ended up being a very easy 2-0 stomp, he then had a very mentally tough series vs FanTaSy in which uncharacteristically Impact didn't crumble as more and more pressure was applied by the Terran – he even did one better by sticking to his style and using fresh Nydus play to combat a very interesting-looking new mech setup by FanTaSy in the final game of the day (not to mention Impact won the only "straight up" game in the series on map one, he definitely showed himself to be the better player today over the course of the match).
Now, lets find out what went wrong for the other two players in the group.
Everything is the short answer to that question for Leenock. I think the tragic Cinderella run he had in the previous season of Code S really screwed with all our brains and we just assumed he could keep going into this year as well, which clearly isn't the case. First off vs Impact I really can't say he showed why he's considered a crazy tough ZvZ player, his play looked outdated and weak. In the games against FanTaSy I almost can't blame him, because I think the Terran came in with a bizarre strategy and utterly sabotaged Leenock's chances to pull of anything he had planned, since from start to finish it didn't feel like playing a "real" TvZ (certainly not what you practice against and prepare for if you're the Z). It feels sad to watch Leenock go, but without a doubt you can't argue if he's playing at this level there's no place for him in the Ro16, overall very disappointing 0-4 performance from the Zerg.
Speaking of FanTaSy, you can't really get much closer to the Ro16 than he did tonight. After getting completely styled on by TY, he seemed fully tuned in – showed a nuts new way of playing the game vs Leenock to crush him 2-0, then came up just a little short against Impact, who ironically also has his own style, which ended up "overriding" the legendary Terran's innovative moves. I think in the end fair's fair (Impact outplayed him in two out of the three games, so he gets out instead) but I'm sure just like me a lot of people will still be very pleased with FanTaSy's performance – his multitasking, composure and build selection process all looked on point. Small things ended up costing him, but that's sometimes how the cookie crumbles. I would love to see him back as soon as possible, since I feel like he's certainly got a lot more to show us.
Here's a link to the VODs from today, the show of force from TY was astounding and FanTaSy's crazy shenanigans with mech were very interesting (primarily in the match against Leenock).
- Match of the Night – While a part of me wants to give it to the losers'
(which I still think you should watch, especially if you're a fan of mech) I have to hand it to Impact in the last
of the day, where his demons (i.e. choking like a motherfucker) were nowhere to be found and he decisively closed things out vs the legendary Terran.
Lastly, some takeaways for the advancing players:
- I could watch Maru and TY play Code S finals forever, as far as I'm concerned they're both huge favorites not only in the Ro16 but all the way to the finish line. I really hope they end up on opposite sides of the bracket again – this time preferably when it isn't completely skewed to one side like last time, though – and we get a repeat of the previous clash they had & end up seeing an even higher level of play in the final. Outside of a few dangerous opponents, I think TY is going to breeze through the next few rounds of the tournament. Provided the Terran genius we saw today keeps showing up at this level, even Maru has to be a little worried (especially if they do end up meeting before the final).
- I know Impact is going to make a bunch of you believers after tonight's great performance, but please remember who this guy is. There's a reason he gets knocked out of virtually every Ro32. Now he's made it to the Ro16 two times in a row – a very promising sign of things to come, potentially – but until someone actually pulls it off, history tells us the same thing will happen again and again (just ask Rogue how many times he's made it past the Ro8 in the GSL or soO how many Code S trophies he's lifted out of his six finals). I hope for Impact's sake he gets a favorable group again and shows up "demon-free" like he did today, because I want to see this guy actually lose (if he's going to) while playing to the best of his abilities i.e. not "self-sabotaging" to a degree that's just painful and unfun to watch.
Keep in mind these are just my observations. If you caught something I missed / think differently, feel free to express yourself as well in the comments below.
Thanks as always for reading & catch you next week for the Ro16 group selection process, after Rogue & Zest stomp their way into the final two available spots!
P.S. After that unnecessarily mean-spirited prediction, I just wanted to mention that if you enjoy reading these recaps I've already done them for every group this season and will do so for the last one as well, in spite of my extremely skeptical attitude towards aLive/Patience's chances.
I also wanted to thank you for all the support on these & I'll do my best to keep going all the way for this Code S season at least & do something special for the final (provided it's not just Maru 4-0 breezing his way into a 4th Code S trophy, lol).
All recaps so far:
Group A | Group B | Group C
Group D | Group E | Group F
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