Of nexuses and manners: SouL vs Azubu in GSTL
At the end of round 1 of GSTL, the former Proleague champions try to get their first win for the season.
One win. Just one, if only to breathe life into the withering confidence of a team which was once a Proleague champion.
This was SouL’s mission as they stepped in GomTV’s Gangnam studio for the last round one match of the GSTL. One win and they could even surpass FXOpen which could in turn be the start of a round two comeback. After all, the trip from fourth place to a playoffs seed is a short one.
Against them stood the orange-and-white shirts of AZUBU, a team that has been winning just slightly and before the match was at 2-1 in series and at +1 indicator. Invincible they were not and this was SouL chance to show everyone there is still spirit in the former KeSPA squad.
SouL took an unorthodox for them approach and GSTL S2 virgin Hwangsin was sent in first against Sleep. A standard archon/gateway composition came from the Quantic Protoss while on the other side of the map Sleep was happily building towards a massive “free unit” mix of swarm hosts and brood lords.
By the 20th minute Sleep was everywhere and creep was covering half of Whirlwind, making every movement extremely difficult for Hwangsin. What the Zerg swarm lacked in mobility it made up for in strength and the Protoss had tangible problems slicing through locusts and broodlings. After long minutes of losing units to stutter-stepping brood lords and not getting anything in return, Hwangsin surrendered his first GSTL S2 match, giving Azubu the 1-0 lead.
Dear was called in to replace Hwangsin and the equilibrium was quickly restored as a simple 2-base immortal timing hit Sleep at his natural. The Zerg tried to unite the streams of units coming from all his bases but Dear’s targeting eliminated them one by one to break the Azubu player.
Game three would turn out to be the highlight of the day not so much due to impressive play but because of cockiness backfiring horribly. The majority of the game saw Dear playing a perfect tactical game, carefully picking his engagements to avoid the hydra/viper concaves of Symbol, all that leading up to an eventual snipe of Zerg’s fourth. In a surge of confidence, Dear gathered for one final push and threw four manner nexuses in Symbol’s face. Only, Symbol was very far from dead. The final moments of the game go like this:
To fix the self-inflicted damage, SouL’s ace Hyvaa stepped in the booth as their third player – another change in SouL’s strategy considering how he’s always been reserved for the final match – but he couldn’t make it work either. He and Symbol played a very passive ZvZ colored by nothing much but the preparations for the single decisive clash. Said clash ended as abruptly as it began: enjoying better armor upgrades and the presence of banelings, Symbol evaporated Hyvaa’s roach/hydra unopposed.
Unsurprisingly, Trap was called as SouL’s last and only logical choice. Renowned for his invincible PvZ, Trap barreled through Symbol with relative ease and took his recent GSL loss out on Patience, bringing it to a 3-3 tie and within a hand’s reach of the comeback win SouL desperately needed.
Game seven would be a déjà vu from the opening match. Though his choosing seemed like a peculiar choice at the time, BBoongBBoong did not disappoint Azubu’s coach and like Sleep went on to bully his Protoss opponent across all corners of the map. Brood lords and swarm hosts were once again the main protagonists with Trap trying to slalom around them and snipe a hatchery whenever he was given the chance. The Protoss would even add tempests to his deathball but under the overwhelming anti air fro BBoong partnered with his pesky ground army, Trap surrendered at the 30th minute.
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