The Ro32 for this season of GSL Code S has wrapped up and we now have the names of the last two players that advanced from Group H today, one of which surely came as a surprise to many people including me.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead, Obviously.
Rogue, perhaps inspired by the lack of Zergs in the Ro16 and/or by his teammates' stellar performances so far, showed up at the absolute peak of his powers and stomped through into the next round by taking 1st place in dominant fashion. While the winner of the group was the exact opposite of surprising, I'm sure the fact Patience managed to squeak by in 2nd due to getting one over on Zest out of all people in PvP – twice – must have dropped at least a few jaws.
- Rogue – the 2nd best Zerg player in the world, according to Artosis – was pretty much on cruise control throughout his games. That said, he definitely wasn't asleep at the wheel, which was best showcased when he completely outplayed aLive after the Terran did the most greedy build imaginable (within reason, MKP) and still couldn't take down the Zerg in a long macro game, which basically ended with Rogue morphing an unreasonable amount of banelings and rolling through aLive's hopes and dreams. Maybe a little tilted, the Terran decided to proxy in the next game against someone who's been practicing vs Maru for years, which ended just like you would expect. Riding high off the quick 2-0, Rogue decided to go for a nutty proxy against Patience and kept the game completely under his control from start to finish, a bunch of bizarre moves were made but they were clearly done by design & the Protoss had nothing to answer with. In his final game of the day, Rogue basically reflected a weak cannon rush attempt and finished the answer-less Patience without much effort & did so pretty aggressively. Absolutely flawless performance by the former World Champion and 7x GSL Quarterfinalist.
- Patience was not supposed to win two matches tonight, yet it seems he must have not gotten that memo. I'm confident after Zest went up a map in their first PvP clash most of us were thinking "yep, makes sense, now lets move on to the winners' match already so we can see Rogue vs Zest". Patience, however, had other plans. In what can only be described as two exceptionally cheeky build order wins, I'm not really sure if even Zest could believe how quickly the "plan" fell apart and he got cheesed out of that series. Before long it was rematch time, though, since Patience was completely destroyed in Rogue's wake and Zest had recovered & swiftly taken aLive out of his misery as a result. Once again, the on-paper-favored Protoss went up a map and looked on point & ready to prove the first match had been a fluke. Instead, Zest made quite a few questionable choices in the next game, Patience and his Immortals took full advantage of that & we ended up on the third map of the series again & the show was closed with a classic (albeit slightly misplayed) Warp Prism Sentry drop by the underdog, which trapped Zest's army outside his main and thus sealed his fate. Maybe the former GSL champion could have used a little more patience in the second match in order to deliver the "expected" result, but regardless Patience (the person) really came through in a big way (it's very hard to say someone "fluked" his way to beating you twice, isn't it) & played his heart out to move on in the tournament.
Having reviewed what went on through the lens of the two players who advanced, lets also try to see things from the losers' perspectives.
- Man aLive, I just feel so sorry for this guy. Who goes out of the Ro32 after playing only two matches and those happen to be against Rogue and Zest? While I understand his role is basically that of a gatekeeper in Code S, you still have to admit this feels sort of bullshit. That said, aLive certainly tried to win tonight – please never proxy Rogue ever again, though, that's basically an automatic loss – and did the best he could when you take into account the level difference between him and those two juggernauts. I think he would have had a much better chance to take maps off Patience, unfortunately for him that opportunity was taken away off the back of some delicious cheese.
- It was always going to be hard to top Stats getting knocked out of the Ro32, but I think Zest has either done it or is certainly a close second. No disrespect to the Protoss player who outplayed the hell of out of him – twice – but I think it's very fair to say Zest should have had a very straightforward path to the Ro16 considering the level in this group. There were two clear favorites and all that was supposed to be decided in this group was who came out first, not whether Zest would make it out or not. The disappointment he must be feeling in himself right now, considering he could have definitely won that second match, must be unbearable. I'm sure just like Stats and Solar, Zest must realize this kind of performance just doesn't represent who he is and he'll do much better moving forward. Recently he's been quite hit or miss for me, but when he's "on" Zest can put up quite a show & I'm really hoping we get to see that from him soon, because this wasn't it chief.
Here's a link to the VODs from today, aside from Rogue smurfing his way into the Ro16 I can't really say I enjoyed many of the games.
- Match of the Night – Like I already implied a few times, the matches weren't very good, but I have to give it to the last series of the day (Patience vs Zest #2) because the banter between Artosis and Tasteless almost left me in tears. Hilarious cast overall and it peaked here, worth "watching" for that alone.
Lastly, some takeaways for the final two advancing players:
- It's hard to judge whether Rogue can sustain this sort of performance throughout the tournament – especially considering the small "break" we're about to have and his previous collapses in the Quarterfinals – but it would be disingenuous of me not to admit he looked on Maru/TY's level tonight. Granted his competition was weak, but when you're Rogue it's not a straightforward task to find challenging opponents. I think the biggest obstacle to him winning this tournament is living rent free inside his own head & until he gets rid of those demons history will keep repeating itself. In other words, I'm looking forward to another great performance by Rogue in the Ro16 & the eventual – perhaps inevitable – disappointment in the Ro8.
- Lets be real, Patience might get first picked tomorrow, because I'm sure 9/10 people (including the other pro players) are going to pretend Zest just played terribly and that's why he didn't get through (the same way credit isn't really given to MC for beating Stats). I think without a doubt this was an upset, but Patience was present for it the entire time i.e. he didn't just "trip", fall over and win 4/6 games against one of the best PvP players in the world. Now, do I think he can go any deeper than this? That would be… something else, but if you think he'll just roll over & die like certain players who shall remain nameless, you've got another thing coming. If the person 1st or 2nd picking Patience tomorrow in the Ro16 group selection expects an easy match, where the underdog just accepts their fate, they'll be in for a rude awakening when Patience adds another upset to the record books at their expense.
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 again when the GSL Code S returns in a few weeks!
In the meantime, be sure to catch the Ro16 Group Selection tomorrow (one of my favorite parts of these tournaments) and also don't miss IEM Katowice, where we'll get to see Serral add another trophy to his cabinet or the Koreans claim some revenge for the defeats they suffered last year at his hands.
P.S. Here are the links to every other Quick Recap I've done so far for S1 of GSL Code S
Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G
Source: Original link
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