Code S crowns another royal-roader as Dear 4-2's soO
SouL's Baek "Dear" Dong Jun became the second Code S royal-roader after Life, and only the third Protoss champion of the prestigious tournament after MC and Seed. This is Dear's first major career achievement, taking home a total cash prize of $20,000.
A short game on Frost gave start to the series. Thirsty to spill some early blood, Dear sprinted to a 2-base robo/gateway/stargate all-in which to his misfortune was timely scouted by one of soO's loyal overseers. A swell of roaches came as the logical response from soO and the SKT Zerg, who was already mining from three bases, promptly jumped to a 50-supply lead.
Consequently, the first seconds of Dear’s attack did not go all too well. A small roach squad made the Protoss army turn back a couple of times, thus delaying the push, before finally heading off for a counter attack at Dear’s natural.
Regrettably for soO, this was essentially the moment where he threw the game away. Since soO's units were in Dear’s main, he did not have enough units to flank the Protoss death ball. Running head-on into force field walls and phoenix lifts, soO watched his roaches do nothing more than tickle Dear’s units before dying a quick death.
The second game will be largely remembered by soO's failure to identify the zealot/void ray attack by Dear. This cost him his third hatchery and immediately gave the Protoss player a 2-0 lead. This put the Zerg player in a dangerous predicament. The confidence in Dear’s play was scary to say the least and being down two games, soO needed to recover his composure soon or risk 4-0 elimination. In addition, this prompted his SK Telecom team mates and coaches to enter the booth and encourage him.
No anti air for soO gives Dear the 2-0
Eager to give Dear a taste of his own medicine, soO resorted to his inner aggressiveness and opened up on Polar Night with a roach/ling pressure off three bases. Although he could not quite break Dear’s spine on the spot, he at least got a cancel on the third, slowing down the Protoss economy.
Nevertheless, Dear was in stable condition and aside from his nexus dying. everything was going well. His mass void-ray composition was approaching critical mass and his cunning dark shrine switch caught soO off-guard, costing him more than thirty drones. For the first time in the series, the two opponents were playing an equal game.
The lights and sounds of war colored Polar Night for a few more minutes as the area around Dear’s third became the main battlefields. Having dealt with the DT scare, soO kept pushing and pressuring until he got a second snipe on the nexus, reducing the Protoss to a two-base economy. Moreover, the choice to delay psi storm tech in favor of accumulating a bigger void-ray mass further hurt Dear and eventually led to his undoing as soO’s roaches and hydras effortlessly surrounded and squelched the Protoss army. The Zerg was back to a one-game deficit.
Dear is about to find out his high templar count of four is not nearly enough
It’s a rare case that a contemporary ZvP goes without a cannon rush, thus there was no surprise whatsoever when Dear chose to open quick forge in order to prevent soO from getting three easy hatcheries on Whirlwind, a map often favored by Zerg players.
Although, soO effortlessly cleared the threat thanks to his timely scouting, his problems were far from over. Using zealot warp-ins to maximize efficiency, Dear was able to snipe soO’s main hatchery and hurt him badly enough to allow for his colossus ball to overwhelm him a minute later. The SouL Protoss was now at match point.
Just moments away from becoming the second Code S royal roader, Dear fell back to the early aggression that won him the initial two sets. A 7-gate/stargate all-in was initiated on Yeonsu but even though it arrived unscouted, it couldn’t get past soO’s roach waves. Using queens to gun down the void rays and his ground army to clear the forward pylons, the Zerg pushed Dear back without suffering any real damage and a sixth game had to be played.
The zealot harassment that killed soO on Whirlwind returned to do wonders in the final game on Bel’Shir Vestige. A pair of late-game warp-ins into Zerg’s main base sniped both the hive and the spawning pool before either the adrenalin glands or +3/+3 upgrade could be researched. SoO was put at a insurmountable disadvantage, especially since Dear had his own +3/+3 up on top of his gargantuan colossus/void ray/archon composition.
SoO, realizing that he could not solely rely on under-upgraded ultras, invested whatever money he had left into brood-lords and moved out for a push that aimed to crush Dear before he could reach his supply cap. To soO’s disappointment, this plan, too, hit a wall of failure and even without blink researched, Dear was able to come within range of the brood lords and take them down with ease. As the archons and void rays cleared the Zerg on the ground, the sixth and final GG of this year’s WCS Korea was called. A $20,000 check was awarded to Dear for becoming the second royal roader in GSL’s history and the third Protoss after MC and Seed to wear the Code S crown.