Now that all four semifinalists of this season’s GSL Code S tournament have been determined, let’s take a look back and see who they defeated to get there, and what it means going into their repsective semifinals.
Day 1 of the Code S Quarter-Finals saw two very heated matchups in Johan “QXG.NaNiWa” Lucchesi versus Jung “IMMvP” Jong Hyun, and Lee-sak “ST.PartinG” Won versus Hak-su “FXOz” Kim.
QXG.NaNiWa (SWE) vs. IMMvP (KOR)
Set 1- Map: ESV Cloud Kingdom
Game 1 sought to show the world that NaNiWa was prepared, as he had roughly a week and a half between his Ro16 group and this matchup. The Swedish Protoss opened with an incredibly well-timed build, going for fast Colossi with Thermal Lance off two bases, even going so far as to position his Robotics Facility as close to the cliff as possible to rally Colossi and Observers to his main army as they were being produced. MVP opened with a very standard TvP opener, going for two Barracks before his first expansion, then teching into Factory and Starport. It seemed that NaNiWa was reading MVP’s predicted playstyle correctly with his Colossi opener, as Colossi are known to do well against majority Marine army compositions.
NaNiWa attemps to enter MVP’s main through the cliff overlooking MVP’s third and even sets up some offensive pylons to reinforce his army quicker, but some key siege tank placement and viking harass forces NaNiWa to temporarily retreat, somewhat foiling what could have been a deadly timing attack. A misrally of warped-in Stalker into siege tank fire gives MVP the slight advantage that he needs to put on the onslaught of aggression that he is known for. Although NaNiWa has teched past Colossi into High Templar, it seems that he has sacrificed a lot of army in the process, as MVP reads his situation and begins to push out towards NaNiWa’s third.
A heated battle ensues on the ramp to NaNiWa’s third base, with MVP’s Vikings acting both as spotters for the siege tanks and danger zones for the Colossi, with NaNiWa seemingly lacking any anti-air capabilities. NaNiWa’s Colossi quickly fall, and MVP uses that opportunity to steam roll into NaNiWa’s natural, forcing the Swedish Protoss to tap out and give the first game of the set to MVP.
QXG.NaNiWa 0 – 1 IM.MvP
Set 2 – Entombed Valley
It is known that NaNiWa completely despises this map in TvP, and for good reason as it is shown that Terran has won more overall in this matchup. NaNiWa opens with a Forge Fast Expand, a growing trend among Protoss in PvT worldwide. MVP opens with 3 rax Marines, looking to put on some very early pressure on NaNiWa’s fast expand. MVP scouts that he’s making 2 cannons, and deems it necessary to push up the ramp as soon as possible before the Protoss can consolidate their base-ahead advantage. MVP even pulls workers from his mineral line to join his army in a dangerous all-in that NaNiWa cannot clean up with his lackluster army, forcing him to type “GG”, conceding the second game in a row to his opponent.
QXG.NaNiWa 0 – 2 IM.MVP
Set 3 – Antiga Shipyard
This time, MVP is the one opting to open with a Fast Expand into a 1-1-1, with NaNiWa opening with 5 Gate Blink Stalkers. The almost pure-Stalker army composition proves to be worthwhile for NaNiWa, as he snipes a Banshee early on with Blink, proving to help significantly as he blinks into MVP’s main and causes a respectable amount of damage. NaNiWa transitions out of this smoothly into Chargelot/Blink Stalkers with High Templar, while MVP attempts to push into NaNiWa’s base with Marine/Marauder/Medivac/Siege Tank. The attack is quickly deflected, forcing MVP across the rest of the map, later forcing the “GG” as NaNiWa blinks into MVP’s main and snipes his last siege tank.
QXG.NaNiWa 1 - 2 IM.MVP
Set 4 – GSL Daybreak
By far the “cheesiest” of all of the games, NaNiWa quickly scouts a proxy 2 Rax from MVP and reacts poorly by constructing a Gateway very late. MVP rushes to build bunkers in his opponents main with great success, causing QXG.NaNiWa to crash out of the GSL Code S tournament for this season.
QXG.NaNiWA 1 - 3 IM.MVP
ST.PartinG (KOR) versus FXOz (KOR)
Set 1 – Atlantis Spaceship
Oz opts for a Nexus first on this map, against the Blink Stalker opener of PartinG’s. The game pans out almost exactly as you would plan to given this situation, with simple micro from PartinG destroying a cannon and any reinforcing gateway units, forcing FXOz to lose a very fast Game 1.
ST.PartinG 1 – 0 FXOz
Set 2- Entombed Valley
Where we saw a Protoss fall earlier in the night, two Protoss would duel. FXOz attempts to go for a Blink Stalker/Observer build, while PartinG opens with a Robotics Facility to pump out Immortals. The basic unit composition proves to be too much for FXOz, as his army is eaten alive by the Immortals, who gain extra damage against Armored units such as Stalkers. PartinG only has to catch Oz’s army out of position once to walk up his ramp and take another game.
ST.PartinG 2 - 0 FXOz
Set 3 – GSL Daybreak
The map pool oddly reminiscent of the first match of the day, it seemed that we would see a quick 3-0 from PartinG against Oz. Oz opened with a very risky Dark Templar build, which PartinG scouts almost immediately. This time the tables turn as PartinG goes for his Blink Stalkers while Oz goes for Immortals. PartinG uses his Blink Stalkers to much greater effect, utilizing their mobility to pick off Immortals. PartinG takes the game, and a spot in the semi-finals, 3-0.
ST.PartinG 3 - 0 FXOz
This would set up a semifinal between IMMvP (KOR) and ST.PartinG (KOR). Both players seem to have their best matchup in the other player, which will surely lead to some interesting games. PartinG is known for his scary PvT, demolishing Terrans worldwide, notably during his controversial game against MarineKingPRIME at the GSTL Finals in Las Vegas. MVP is known as one of the all-around best Terrans in the world, as the 3-time GSL winner looks to take home a fourth crown. The semi-final storyline looks to write itself, as PartinG has the 3-time champion in his way to his first ever GSL Code S final appearance.