GGA Cup #2 Highlights

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev 2 years, 50 weeks ago
The GGA Cup #2 is over and TSL_Inori joined the grand final pool of players after a 4-game PvP series against Bischu. In order to spread the word around, Nydra takes on the job of recapping the best games from the quarter finals and on and stops talking in third person in the process.

Going through all those GGA Cup replays truly makes one realize--or rather remember--the unforged beauty of watching such tournaments. It basically sucks you out of a world ruled by MLGs, GSLs and IEMs and their never-changing composition of players and materializes you in the comfort of a league that has opened doors to everyone, from Korean stars to the foreign elite of old. This is no longer the place where teams, players and coaches calculate every build to the second to fit the current state of the game. Instead, we get to see a Canadian zerg resurrect a dusty hydralisk build; Bischu using immortals and warp prisms to defeat two Koreans; and a noname terran utilizing reapers in a metagame that considers even SCVs to be a stronger unit.

And few things bring more pleasure than saying out loud "Wow, I had totally forgotten that you can do that".


Unfortunately for the Finnish terran, his run ended at the quarter finals but not before giving Forsen a good reaping, using an opening no one has seen since early 2011. On Altar, Magik throws a proxy 10 rax and before Forsen knows it, his hatch is in the way of two bunkers with reapers and a marauder in them. Having no units that die to more than two shots and not realizing that there are terrans that don't go triple CC before the second rax, Forsen taps out and chooses Korhal Compound for the next map.

"And he did a reaper rush and saw it was good," says the Bible "so he cherished it and did it again." To Magik's ill luck, an employee-of-the-month drone scouts the proxy rush and Forsen pulls workers and queens to defend his expansion. Even then Magik delivered all holy pain to Forsen by utilizing reapers to the fullest to kill eleven workers, putting him at 17 SCVs plus MULEs to Forsen's 12 drones. Factory and a second CC are also on the way for Magik and behind his anti-baneling wall-off, he transitions into a 2-port banshee.

Magik continues to harass, not letting Forsen get out of the uncomfortable position he was put in. In the heat of the moment, the terran throws two more CC's and floats them simultaneosly to two new bases. It is then that Magik realises this is too big a spoon for his mouth. Investing 800 minerals in command centres and expanding like a zerg leaves him vulnerable to Forsen's smaller but still superbly mobile army. Both bases are denied and Magik has to transition to a sluggish mech turtle in order to secure his third. This passivity allows Forsen to eat up on infestors and brood lords, catch up in supply and storm the terran lines once maxed. Neural parasites hit Magik's thors and he surrenders a game that was his much of the time.



In another quarter final match, Inori faced FGiWish in a 40+ minute PvZ on Metropolis that had nothing but maxed army clashes from the 15th minute on. After iWish cleans up the 7-gate opening of Inori, he immediately calls for the big guns by starting a massive ultralisk production. One neutralized nydus attempt and few front wall rammings later, however, FGiWish understands the old saying that it's not the size that matters, it's how you use it.

His hordes are still countless, however, and Inori has to channel all his defensive skills to stay alive through the hive tech of zerg. FGiWish made it clear on a number of occasions that nothing is ever small with him and after attacks with 12 ultras and 14 infestors crashed like waves into rocks, he switched into 16 brood lords with queen and neural parasite support. At the 35 minute mark, the maxed armies meet for the final battle and a critical vortex sucks all of FGiWish's casters, leaving his brood lords with little to no support. Another vortex is cast if only to deplete mothership's energy and when the infestors finally make it ouf of the black hole and get the chance to neural something the battle is already far beyond saving.

Late game ZvP, thy name is "grandeur".


It was funny--even sadistically so--how Merz struggled to secure a fourth base this game while Ostojiy kept pounding him with a zerg boot, completely reversing the "man smashes bug" analogy.

Merz's first attempt of expanding beyond his three base came during a push towards zerg's third. The terran marched a scary marine/tank/thor army while floating his fourth to the 12 o'clock base, certain that he's had the zerg for good. Slippery Ostojiy has other plans and uses mutas and lings to force a lift-off while using his meaty brood lord/infestor army to save his third with less than 50 health. Aware of the run-byes, Merz once again tries to secure his fourth, this time by pushing through the top high ground, aiming to provide direct cover to his CC while pressuring Ostojiy's fourth. Merz climbs the ramp only to see that the entire zerg army has relocated there and although Ostojiy's base falls, Merz is chased all the way back to his side of the map, actually losing his fourth CC in the process.

Ostojiy continues to be a nuisance, using burrowed lings and pooping overlords to delay the base of Merz without even engaging in a fight and by that time the zerg doubles the income of the terran. Someway somehow Merz manages to clear the 12 o'clock area from the infestation and floats his main orbital but in less than half a minute, lings and banelings stream in to interrupt the mining utopia. With an income in the laughable double digits, Merz commands a desperation attack and hits the "G"s as it's cleaned.


Remember how I talked about how GGA Cup reincarnates events of old? This game stands as an example of this statement, bringing us all the way back to MLG Columbus 2011, more commonly known as the times when Losira rarely lost a ZvP. Although other people have used the build to some success, Losira was the first to present it to the big stage by smashing MC's face in the Round of 3 of MLG.

After eliminating Merz from the competition, Ostojiy tries to take Inori's head too, hoping that the Korean will not be prepared for the nydus play. He is partially right as the immortal tech of Inori clearly is not the best counter to hydralisks. Zerg units begin to pour out but after a prolonged battle at his front, Inori defends mostly thanks to his cannons and perfect stalker micro. With no speed for his lings or another nydus worm in the main, Ostojiy is pushed back, being denied a grand final spot.

Despite Ostojiy's unsuccess, praises go to him for this lecture on how StarCraft 2 used to look like one year back. Also, with the metagame now shifted to quick three hatches into late game brood lords versus mothership galore, it's all the more usefull to steal this replay and improve on Ostojiy's play to punish unsuspecting protosses and have a different type of fun in the process.


Bischu uses proxy gateway and immortal/prism drops to defeat Tails and take a grand final game out of Inori
Ostojiy and Merz in yet another 30-minute game, building up to one of the most entertaining quarter final series
All replays from GGA Cup #2
All videos from GGA Cup #2
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