Groups A and C were filled with unexpected games and even more unexpected results. Increasingly the StarCraft II elite are finding greater adversaries in up-and-coming players, making for an extremely interesting dynamic in the Korean scene. The days have passed when one could simply look at a group and pick out the top two biggest names to advance, a cautionary tale which is highlighted by this week’s results.
Group A – A SK Telecom T1 victory
Group A was a strong contender for the group of death. The majority of the players were no stranger to Code S, and if one were to predict the outcome simply based on tournament history and win rates then herO and PartinG would be definite favorites. It was, however, Classic, in his second run in Code S who would take the group. He won both of his matches against teammates PartinG and soO, demonstrating a vast improvement since last season’s GSL. In Classic’s first game against soO, he audaciously canon-rushed the Zerg at four separate hatcheries, taking an extremely convincing win.
With the first player from SK Telecom T1 advancing to the round of eight, it was up to CJ Entus’s herO to prevent a second member from doing the same. Despite being heavily favored to advance from the group, herO went against all expectations by finishing the day without a single win. After this disappointing showing from herO, teammates soO and PartinG were left to battle it out for the final spot in the round of eight. PartinG, on his tenth Code S without a win, failed to make it in into the round of eight for fourth time, raising questions as to whether he would ever take home the title.
Group C – Terran hope remains alive
Group C was much more unpredictable than A from the outset. Three of the four players had unexpectedly made it into the RO16 and thus it seemed that after Maru the second spot in the RO8 was wide open. Maru delighted Terran players when he assured that the RO8 would not be completely dominated by Protoss and Zerg. His games were certainly efficient, his cheese strategy winning his set against Stork in mere minutes. Even though Maru plays an excellent macro game, his successful proxy barracks in the first game and immediately flying his command centre to the gold base in the second game were all he needed to seal his victory.
It seemed that Brood War legend Stork was a fan favorite. After a year playing StarCraft II, Stork has finally started making an impact, having made it into his first Code S this season. His bitter defeat against Maru left him in a rematch against TRUE, against whom he beat in his first match. They took the match to the final game, which ended up being the longest of the day. Throughout the game Stork constantly harassed the Zerg, making efficient trades while reading what his opponent was doing perfectly. However, as the game progressed, TRUE’s large mineral advantage allowed him to switch his army composition at the last minute, resulting in an unsuccessful base trade for Stork. Group C concluded in a Jin Air Green Wings victory with both Maru and TRUE advancing.
Code S will continue on June 4th at 18:00 KST (11:00 CEST) with Group B, which you can watch here.
Additionally, make sure you keep an eye on how your WCS Fantasy League is going!