Flash and Soulkey expectedly dominant in OSL opening day
Written by: Nydra
As season 2 of WCS Korea commences, OGN have lined-up a God and a Champion among two players who desperately want to prove themselves against the mastodons.
Group A: Soulkey, YuGiOh, Flash, Ragnarok
Match 1: Soulkey vs YuGiOh
The two Zergs opened the mirror very differently and while Soulkey opted for a faster Spire and a slightly quicker third, YuGiOh preferred to stay heavy on roaches and gear for a ground-based army in the mid game.
Shortly after the completion of the spire over at Soulkey's end of the map it became apparent that the reigning champion also didn't have the desire to stay airborne for longer than necessary. Instead, Soulkey triggered a transition into swarm hosts while using the handful of mutalisks to establish map control and defend against YuGiOh's mobility, thus compensating for the natural rigidness of the swarm host army.
Surprisingly enough, the first attack came from Soulkey himself but the champion would not fully commit to breaking YuGiOh. Swarm hosts were planted only to ease the advancement of his roaches into YGO's base, which were then split up to attack both the natural and the main base, pin down YGO and drop him 30 supply.
Although all the guerilla antics brought Soulkey important advantages, YuGiOh was far from dead, in fact, he was able to deliver frontal punches beyond Soulkey's estimation. Using banelings to burn through the locust curtain, YuGiOh easily found his way to the heart of Soulkey's army and DPS-ed it down via fungal growths and roach/hydra missiles. The champion was now down to the losers match.
Match 2: Flash vs Ragnarok
Flash tries 2-pronged hellbat/hellion aggression, Ragnarok defends decently at first but then not so much
Flash continues to drop hellbats to cover his push
While there was at least a little bit of intrigue in the previous series, not so much with this one as the God arrived eager to conquer. On his way stood the unfortunate Ragnarok, who beat the Challenger Ro24 only to face arguably the strongest TvZ player next to Innovation.
Flash's wrath came as early as his medivac tech was ready, hitting in the main with hellbat drops while at the same time burning the natural with regular hellions. Ragnarok defended to the best of his abilities in the early moments and only let a couple of drones die but Flash would not slow down the incineration. More and more hellbat drops were brought to Ragnarok's face - which now also served the purpose of covering the coming bio push - and the Zerg started to lose drones with increasing rates, hitting a number above the 30 before the primary attack came.
Said primary attack became the jab that ended Ragnarok's life. It first hit the third and took it down in seconds and then, after a short moment for regrouping, advanced towards the natural to rip a GG from the Zerg's chest.
Winners match: Flash vs YuGiOh
After steamrolling through Ragnarok, Flash was ready to crush the bones of yet another Zerg but YuGiOh proved a tougher nut to crack. ROOT's player's defenses against Flash's drop attempts were pristine and the KT ace couldn't find a gap through which he can do damage. A lucky ling scouted further made Flash's plans difficult after spotting the reactored rax in the Terran natural - a clear indication of a bio follow up push - and by the time Flash's main force moved out, YuGiOh had more than enough to suffer zero pain.
Fear now crept into Flash's body - his investments hadn't paid off, YuGiOh had the supply advantage and a potential roach/baneling counter attack was coming. Treasuring his life, Flash started tank production at home, a move that would win him the game a few seconds later.
The massive roach/baneling wave did indeed arrive as Flash had anticipated but it only encountered perfectly spread tanks, reinforced by slippery and elusive bio force. The Zerg armada was targetted down and effectively cleaned, allowing Flash to go on the counter-offensive and end YuGiOh the same way he ended Ragnarok and be the first one to advance to the Ro16.
Losers match: Soulkey vs Ragnarok
Although this was the only match in this group which went into the later stages, one could say it was over right from its early game inception. Ragnarok's plan involved tunneling his roach tech through a nydus worm close to Soulkey's base but the reigning champion was quick on discovering the tunnels and shutting them down before even a single roach could make it out.
Knowing he's in unsurmountable advantage, Soulkey took it easy and teched to late game composition of swarm hosts and brood lords and moved out to suffocate Ragnarok around the 23rd minute. Using a buffer of free units, Soulkey won one inch of land after another, easily denying Ragnarok's heavy emphasis on infestors which were now forced to waste fungals on locusts and brood lings. After short minutes of death-bed spasms, Ragnarok tapped out and took the first train out of Code S.
Final match: Soulkey vs YuGiOh
If the group started with an interesting match between those same two players, it came to a much anticlimactic end as Soulkey and YuGiOh met in the deciding Bo1.
YuGiOh took an early game gamble and went for a 10-pool into baneling nest against Souilkey's 2-base play but the strategy was brought to an underwhelming end. Soulkey's defense at home was unbreakable and as the dust settled, the champion of Korea was ahead in queens, hatcheries, drones and supply in general and a simple but effective roach counter attack decided the game in his favor. With a score of 2-1, Soulkey followed Flash into the Ro16.