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Day three of GSL vs. The World gave us some amazing StarCraft II matches and quite a few upsets. If you missed any of it, we’re here to provide a breakdown of each match. We have quite a few action-packed series to discuss, so let’s just jump right into it.
Maru vs. Showtime
Final Score: 3-0 Maru
Maru is arguably the best StarCraft II player in the world right now, owning the top spot in the GSL point ladder. He certainly looked like it in this series. Everything seemed to just go right for Maru, with him keeping on top of scouting and making great game-time decisions. If everything went right for Maru, then everything went wrong for the German Protoss, Showtime. He was constantly caught off guard by what Maru was doing, losing tons of workers to Medivac drops and Hellion hit-and-run attacks. He also seemed to be drawn to Widow Mines, especially in Game 3 where he ran into six Mines in a row.
Unfortunately, Maru is so hot right now so this kind of result was expected. Showtime is out of the tournament, but he looked strong in his previous match. Hopefully, we will see better games from him in the team portion of GSL vs. The World.
Special vs. Stats
Final Score: 3-0 Stats
In a 3-0 victory, Stats once again shows off why he is one of the greatest in StarCraft II. Special threw everything except the kitchen sink at his opponent, including Widow Mine drops, Liberator harassment, and Cyclone aggression. Unfortunately for him, none of it seemed to stick. Stats easily shrugged off every attack Special could conjure up and then counter-attacked when the time was right. The closest Special got to tasting victory in this series was a base trade scenario between the two players in Game 3. However, after gutting Special’s main base and economy, Stats recalled back to his defend his third base, easily crushing what was left of Special’s forces and clinching his spot in the Semifinals.
Innovation vs. Serral
Final Score: 3-0 Serral
Serral fighting! In a huge upset Serral takes down Innovation, one of the strongest and most successful StarCraft II players of all time. Serral played a textbook example of the Zerg vs. Terran matchup. Every time Innovation would posture for an attack, it seemed like Serral knew exactly how many units he would need to defend. Any extra units Serral would send across the map and use in a counterattack, often resulting in huge economic damage for Innovation.
In Game 3, Innovation went for an early Hellbat push. Serral held strong, defeating the Hellbats while losing a minimal amount of workers, then immediately ran across the map and punished Innovation with Ravagers and Zerglings. Innovation had no time to recover from his failed push just moments earlier and was forced to surrender shortly after Serral started knocking on his front door.
It really was amazing to see a foreigner bring the heat against Innovation on his home turf. This victory marks the first time in StarCraft II a non-Korean has ever made it to the semifinals of a GSL vs. The World event. If you missed this series, you owe it to yourself check it out:
Dark vs. Classic
Final Score: 3-2 Dark
The final match of the Quarterfinals was very close indeed. Both Dark and Classic brought their A game, and the games only got closer and more action-packed as the series progressed. Dark seemed to look more confident in the longer games, but Classic seemed to dominate if he could catch Dark off guard early and snowball that advantage through the rest of the game.
The final match of the series was by far the longest and most brutal. It was a very even game, with both players trading damage back and forth the whole way through. Eventually, Dark managed to secure an economic advantage using Lurkers and Corruptors to destroy Classic’s fourth base. Classic attempted to counter-attack, and the army of both players took a lot of damage in the process. However, Dark’s superior economy allowed him to rebuild immediately and steamroll what was left of Classic’s army, securing his spot in the Semifinals.
Maru vs. Stats
Final Score: 3-1 Stats
The semifinals begin with a huge upset! Maru was the overall favorite to go home with a trophy this weekend, due to his dominance in the GSL this season. Not even Stats expected to defeat Maru. In the post-game interview, Stats stated that his goal was to make it to the semifinals and he expected to lose to Maru based on his experience against him on the ladder. However, those losses on the ladder helped Stats today. Stats stated that based on their previous games together, he new that he would struggle to win in the late-game scenarios against Maru. This led him to bust out some Colossus-based builds throughout the series, with the aim of ending the game before it reached the later phases. These builds, along with some amazing Stais Ward placement, secured victory for Stats. He will go on to face the winner of Serral vs. Dark in the Grand Finals of GSL vs. The World.
Dark vs. Serral
Final Score: 3-1 Serral
Serral does it! Zerg versus Zerg is such a brutal matchup, where the slightest mistake can cost you the game. However, Serral comes from Europe, where you cannot play Zerg without being great at the mirror matchup. Although all the games were close, Serral secures his spot in the Grand Finals using his Zergling heavy style. Interestingly, both players lost their games where they decided to go for a Mutalisk-based build. Perhaps at this level, Mutalisk builds are too greedy and easily punished.
Game 3 was the absolute turning point of the series. With both players tied at 1-1, the game was a bloodbath. However, Serral managed to get an advantage by using Lurkers, which were very effective against the Roach/Ravager-based army that Dark had opted for. Serral used the Lurker to siege Dark’s fourth base over and over, destroying it several times. Although Dark also eventually took down one of Serral’s bases, the lead was too great. Serral eventually maxed out on a Roach/Ravager army with superior upgrades and clinched his victory. He would ride the momentum from this game into the next game where he wins again and secures his spot in the Grand Final. This matchup was amazing, and a historical moment for Serral and StarCraft II as a whole. If you missed it, be sure to check it out below:
Our Grand Final is going to be Serral vs. Stats! What are your predictions? Comment below and let us know!
For a recap on the Round of 16, click here!
For brackets and other information on GSL vs. The World 2018, head over here!