Terran in full domination in OSL Ro32 Group B
Written by: Nydra
After the reigning champion of Korea and the Ultimate Weapon proved themselves earlier today, time came for the Season 1 winner to do the same in the all-KeSPA group B with Savage, Flying and Bbyong.
Group B: Innovation, Savage, Bbyong, Flying
From the very first second of this group, it became apparent how prepared Savage was for his opponents. Aware of Innovation’s invincibility in macro TvZ games and learning an important lesson from the last WCS Korea playoffs, the Premier League newcomer presented the Season 1 champion with early-game pressure… yet one with a curious twist.
As if copied from a random CatZ replay pack, Savage’s play included an aggressive hatchery at Innovation’s natural, one that Innovation only spotted nigh its completion. The S1 winner responded immediately by erecting a bunker but his expo was already delayed immensely while Savage had already set up his own.
While the execution of the cheese could’ve been done way better, it still hurt Innovation significantly and come the mid game, Savage was ahead in every way. What was even weirder than seeing Innovation behind, however, was how Savage was handling the macro game scenario the game was now in. Ever on the move with his mutalisk flock, Savage was able to dodge a lot of mines, apply a ton of pressure, keep his expansion rhythm and defend bases which other Zergs would’ve probably lost.
Unfortunately for the Zerg underdog, the power of Innovation’s macro could not be overcome. As the game progressed further, the supply tilted into champion’s favor, his barracks and factories working 24/7. Shoved back into his side of the map, Savage had to commit to a fight at his fourth and upon losing, gave Innovation his first win of the day.
Although famous for his quirky play and unorthodox strategies, it was Flying who fell for the oldest trick in the book.
After scouting Bbyong’s two pronged drop/bio attack by spotting every piece of tech in the Terran base, Flying was looking great until that very same attack came knocking. Naturally, Bbyong’s first order of business was to drop inside the Protoss base – a bait Flying should’ve anticipated, having already discovered Bbyong’s plan – and after seeing Flying foolishly reacting to a fake threat, moved into the natural to snipe it down in seconds.
Down one base, Flying was now in insurmountable trouble and in a virtually unwinnable situation. Although he managed to retake his natural without additional pressure from Bbyong, his supply was way behind and the Terran helpfully pointed that out by rolling over the few units Flying had in the first, and only, large engagement for the game.
Ironically, the only TvT turned out to be one of the shortest, most explosive matches for the opening day as both Innovation and Bbyong opened with the same idea in their heads – burn the enemy SCVs. While their approach was slightly different – Bbyong chose paling hellion frontal aggression while Innovation stuck to the more “modern” hellbat drops – the overall outcome was very similar and by the end of round one nobody was in the clear lead.
The blazing continued in round two and this time around it seemed like Bbyong would get the upper hand. The units lost tab showed a worker advantage in favor of the CJ Terran but this is where Innovation’s on-the-fly thinking came in to save his skin. Switching the starport production cycle from medivacs to vikings, Innovation found himself in the army supply lead and immediately rallied all he had westward to Bbyong’s empty natural. Landing his vikings to supplement his hellbats, Innovation’s clutch timing attack turned lethal and Bbyong kneeled down to let the Season 1 champion advance to the Ro16.
To the disappointment of all Protoss fans, Flying continued to be out of his game in the losers match against Savage, who was keen in destroying every single cog wheel in his opponent’s strategy. What started with the thwarting of a 3-gate pressure escalated into scouting the double stargate transition just at the right time and the counter-transition into swarm hosts and infestors sealed the deal.
From that point on, it was the complete and utter outclassing of Flying. Savage used his swarm hosts and infestors along with a solid static defense to keep his half of the map safe while commanding countless roach and ling raids to cripple Flying’s economy, weaken him to the point of impotency and run him over with a single frontal attack.
Equally one-sided was the losers’ match of Group B as Savage met Bbyong only to taste the flames of yet another hellbat opening that dropped him 20 supply down. The terror continued as small squads of Terran continued to harass wherever there was an opening, a game that was not entirely to the taste of the Zerg.
Understandably, Savage’s response was not about him playing the catch-up game but instead go for the full frontal, all-inish offense. Using whatever tech he had at this point – namely a roach warren, baneling nest and speedlings – Savage sent a massive wave of units down Bbyong’s natural, liking the chances of overwhelming the Terran before his three base economy could become unbeatable.
Although the plan looked good on paper, its execution was subpar at best. What should’ve been one massive kick to Bbyong’s face turned out to be several tickles of units which the Terran easily cleaned up to make for a complete Terran dominance in Group B.