This is going to be an interesting match. Considering LG-IM’s line-up, containing power houses like MVP, LosirA, and NesTea, it’s easy to favor them over TSL. However, the previous match showed us that TSL has a couple of powerful Zerg players. Symbol tore up FnaticRC, and he’s going to be relied on to do the trick again against the intimidating LG-IM team.
Game 1: LG-IM LosirA (Z) Vs. TSL_Revival (Z)
We kick off Game 1 of the 2012 HOT6 GSTL Season 2 with a ZvZ, something that TSL has a lot of experience with.
The players get their naturals, gas and Pools at roughly the same time, with no major divergence on the opening until LosirA decides to go for a Ling attack while Revival goes for his 3rd base. Running Lings up the exposed ramp of Revival, LosirA is able to surround the Queen in the main, but thanks to some bad luck, is unable to get the final hit in, leaving her with 1 HP. A handful of Lings try to attack the 3rd, but are warded off easily by Revival. From here, each player moves on to Lair tech and heads towards Roaches, but LosirA is behind on almost every front.
Revival takes advantage of his tech lead to make the first attack, making a move for LosirA’s 3rd base once his 7 Infestors are ready to go. The attack goes well for Revival, taking out 10 workers, during the trade, but he is unable to make the killing blow. Wisely deciding to retreat, he heads back to base, sitting on his earned economic lead. LosirA however, has been pursuing Roach upgrades relentlessly, finishing his +2 attack while Revival is still on +1 - 0. If the game goes much longer, Revival could find himself with a vastly inferior army.
Revival goes for another big attack once he reaches 200/200, attacking the 3rd again, but LosirA pushes back with a better concave and a far better Roach army. Once he crushes Revival’s force, he goes for a counter-attack and is able to kill the 4th and the 3rd. LosirA never loses momentum from this point, and marches on, defeating Revival in the first game of the night.
Game 2: LG-IM LosirA (Z) Vs. TSL_inori (P) Series is at 1-0
TSL chooses to field inori against LosirA on Entombed Valley for their second go, a great map for late-game Protoss.
Our Protoss player goes for a Nexus first to start off, a bit risky, but a risk that pays off as he gets away with it without any disadvantage. LosirA goes for 3 Hatches before 5 minutes, setting himself up for a more passive, long-term strategy.
Sacrificing gas and tech for more economy, LosirA exposes himself to early Stalker harassment, but only loses a few drones before the Stalkers decide to go home. inori plays the match normally, going for a fast and easy to hold 3rd, deciding against a very aggressive style of play that can catch some Zergs off-guard on such a 3rd base friendly map. The Zerg player also chooses to play more passively, getting Hive and going for faster tech and a 4th in response to Toss’s economic play.
Once inori is happy with his Immortal count, he moves out to stop LosirA’s 4th. He picks off the Hatchery before it is canceled, and actually picks off a few more units than he should have thanks to LosirA over-extending a bit. After a long skirmish, LosirA pushes inori’s forces back. Looking for blood, LosirA moves out into the field, able to stop inori’s attempt at his own 4th while he was out of position. From here, LosirA is able to macro-up enough forces to overwhelm inori, who just wasn’t able to accomplish enough with his offensives.
With an upgraded Ling/Roach/Infestor force, LosirA sweeps over inori, forcing him to GG and picking up LG-IM’s second win of the night.
Game 3: LG-IM LosirA (Z) Vs. TSL_Polt (T) Series is at 2-0
Feeling pressure to take out LosirA before he snowballs, TSL sends out one of their strongest players. Polt takes up the TSL banner and prepares to take the Zerg out on a Terran favored map, Antiga Shipyard.
This is Polt’s time to shine. In a lot of ways, it’s do or die right now. Not winning this game leaves TSL with few options. They’ll be down 3 games. They won’t have another favorable map choice, and they won’t have one of their strongest players. If Polt doesn’t win here, the pressure is really going to fall on Symbol to pick up the slack. It could be too much for him, and crushing for the team.
Polt kicks the game off with a newer style of Terran player, getting Reactored Hellions along with Banshees, pressuring, and expanding behind it. LosirA is ready for this though, and gets not just 4, not just 6, but 8 (eight!) Queens in total to push the pressure back. Not only does this make him completely safe, it allows him to have 15(!!!) active Creep Tumors steadily pump out the purple stuff, inching closer and closer to Polt’s base.
LosirA looks great right now. He’s been able to Drone up as much as he’s liked, and Polt’s Banshee/Hellion opening has been completely negated, serving only as glorified scouts and Creep Tumor cleanup when they get chance. LosirA also picks up a 4th base in the North East corner, and is getting a Spire. Polt is macroing up on his 3 bases, and is trying to figure out a way to deal with LosirA’s ocean of Creep.
Luckily LosirA hears Polt’s cries for help, and sends wave after wave of Zergy flesh into a wall of bullets and Tank shells. The Ling/Muta/Bane army trades terribly with Polt’s, and after LosirA decides he is done throwing away units, Polt is free to start the Creep cleanup. He takes a 4th in the middle and looks as if he is ready to topple LosirA, and stop his win-streak.
Just when it was starting to look bleak, LosirA is able to get a nice looking force of Broods and Infestors together, and with some great fungals, pushes Polt back and back and back. He gets into a position where he can siege Polt’s 4th with Broods, and because of the low Viking numbers, LosirA takes the game with his free-reign of the air.
LosirA is wins his 3rd game, and TSL is running out of options.
Game 4: LG-IM LosirA (Z) Vs. TSL_HyuN Series is at 3-0
HyuN decides to go for a really risky 10 Pool build, probably feeling that he can’t go into a straight-up match against LosirA and win. Using his Drone scout, LosirA sees this, and changes his plan. He gets a Pool instead of a Hatch, and is able to get his Lings out in time. LosirA defends with maybe 1 Drone lost, and gets a huge ginormous lead.
HyuN continues his aggression know that he cannot continue the game playing from behind, but again fails to make anything happen. LosirA knows that HyuN’s only option is more offense, and gets a few Spines, a few Queens, and defends the Bane/Ling attack losing only some Lings and Spines.
The TSL player goes for a Spire, and rather than let him play out a long game he’ll eventually lose, LosirA goes to put him out of his misery. He attacks with Banes and Lings, kills tons of workers, and the rest of the game is HyuN wasting everyone’s time by playing a game where he is only operating at a third of LosirA’s economy. HyuN loses. And it’s boring. Lame.
Game 5: LG-IM LosirA (Z) Vs. TSL_Symbol (Z) Series is at 4-0
Hopefully Symbol can get that previous games bad taste out of my mouth. Yuck. It’s 4-0, so he is going to need to reverse All-Kill to make this happen for TSL.
The game has both players doing the ZvZ mirror until a few minutes in. Symbol is able to scout exactly when the Lair is completed for LosirA, and also sees a Roach Warren. Knowing this, LosirA goes for some tricky mind-games and cancels the Warren, and instead starts a Spire. A tricky play, but unfortunately Symbol gets a Infestation Pit as soon as his own Lair is done (blindly or with some intuition it is hard to say,) basically ensuring that he will be safe against Mutas.
Once the Mutas do arrive, Symbol deals with it easily, and goes on to get faster upgrades for his Roaches, as well as faster Infestors, giving him a nice advantage moving forward. At this point, both players sit back a bit to figure out what to do. Symbol is able to send some sneaky burrowed Infestors out, and kills the 4th Hatchery of LosirA. Symbol in the meantime gets a Nydus Network, and is preparing to go for LosirA’s main base. Moments before he is able to attack though, LosirA arrives with a scarey Infestor/Hydra/Roach army, and just barely gets stopped by a reinforcing round of Symbol’s Roaches. Having dealt with LosirA’s attack, he jumps into his Nydus Worm, and attacks LosirA’s main, but doesn’t deal significant damage.
Both players take some time to breath, and then go right back into it. LosirA loses his bottom left base, while at the same time taking down Symbol’s 3rd and Hive. For a moment it seems as if Symbol wants to go for a base trade, but instead decides to go back to base to defend. Symbol comes out in a better position, with more bases, and a 3-2 upgrade for his forces (with Ultras on the way,) while LosirA is only at 2-1.
LosirA decides to try to make something happen, and engages in the middle of the map. He has a scarey force, but thanks to Symbol’s upgrades and army composition, is able to stop the Hydra heavy force of LosirA from pushing further. LosirA constantly gets good positions for his engagements, but eventually runs out of gas when he decides against getting a new expansion for himself while Symbol holds his.
LosirA players great, and gets 4 wins for LG-IM before getting taken out by Symbol in a really exciting ZvZ. Can Symbol really do it?
Game 6: LG-IM YoDa (T) Vs. TSL_Symbol (Z) Series is at 4-1
LG-IM picks a lesser known player from their team to fight Symbol in his second game. YoDa goes for Reactored Hellions, and follows up with a 2nd and 3rd Command Center. Symbol gets himself a Roach Warren and 2 Baneling Nests (lol,) and keeps YoDa completely in the dark while doing it.
YoDa is able to sneak in some Hellions, becoming aware of what is happening, but it is far to late. Symbol breaks into his base with his Roach/Ling/Bane army, and gets the victory in before the 10 minute mark. A really simple game considering the crazy ZvZ we had earlier.
One wonders if it is a wise coaching decision to send in their weaker players against Symbol, who has shown that he is a fully capable Zerg. Are they simply feeding the beast?
Game 7: LG-IM Happy (T) Vs. TSL_Symbol (Z) Series is at 4-2
Another ZvT for Symbol. Another weaker player for Symbol to contend against. When is LG-IM going to send out their heavy hitters?
The Terran goes for a greedy 1 Barracks into CC. He actually gets the identical build that was used in the last game, getting a 3rd Command Center. And guess what? Symbol does the same thing too. A Roach/Ling/Bane bust kills Happy in the exact same way that killed YoDa. Symbol is at 3 wins. He only needs to get 2 more wins to reverse all of the work that LosirA had done.
Game 8: LG-IM Mvp (T) Vs. TSL_Symbol (Z) Series is at 4-3
Finally the big-guns come out. Mvp was going to make an appearance at some point. Now the only question is, did LG-IM play him to late?
Mvp isn’t shy about his confidence. He goes for a CC first before Barracks, and Symbol isn’t able to spot it with his initial Overlord scout. Mvp follows up with Reactored Hellions and another CC. Symbol on the other hand changes gears, and goes for 4 Queens and a 3rd before gas starts, and then transitions into a Roach Warren and 2 Evo Chambers.
Mvp scouts around with his Hellions, stopping the Creep from spreading and also picking up 2 stray Drone kills. In the meantime, he goes for Mech play. Symbol dedicates himself to Roaches, getting ranged +1 +1 upgrades and Roach Speed.
This has all of the trimmings of a long game. But that isn’t what Symbol wants. He hits a SICK timing with his Roaches, and is able to rush in and completely destroy Mvp while he is setting up the 3rd. He breaks through once and just never stops. Mvp buckles to continued Roach waves.
Mvp, one of the last remaining big-boys for LG-IM goes down. We are at an Ace Match! From a 4-0 deficit, Symbol brings it back and threatens a Reverse All-Kill!
Game 9: LG-IM NesTea (Z) Vs. TSL_Symbol (Z) Series is at 4-4
So here we are. What seemed like a night of free wins for LG-IM has turned into a horrendous situation for the team. The coaching staff of Incredible Miracle has been feeding Symbol all night. He just broke down Mvp, and he is hungry for more. He only needs to take down NesTea to get the Reverse All-Kill. It all comes down to this last ZvZ.
Cross-positions on Metropolis are what greets us as the final game begins. NesTea goes for a safe and passive build, getting 4 Queens and delaying his gas, Speed, and tech by a lot. Symbol goes for a more aggressive opening, fast Speed and a fast Lair.
He blunders a bit in the very beginning of the game, losing a Queen that was chasing a stray Overlord to 4 Lings. A bit of a set-back for Symbol, but nothing he can’t overcome.
Symbol intends to get some harassment in with his freshly popped Mutas, but instead is forced to run back to base in order to deal with NesTea’s +1 +1 Lings. They head straight for Symbol’s 3rd and are able to take it down along with 3 Drones before Symbol is able to get back and take care of them. In the meantime, NesTea is getting +2 +2 for his lings, as well as building up his Infestor count. At the same time, Symbol is Roach upgrades and starting his Pathogen Glands for the his Infestors.
Both players hunker down and fortify their positions from this spot. NesTea has killed the 3rd a couple of times, but Symbol now sets it up, and also picksup his 4th base, NesTea does the same on his end as well. even on bases, they are however going for radically different armies. NesTea is continuing with his melee focused composition, getting +3 +3 as well as Ultras and Adrenal glands. Symbol is getting a 2nd Spire and Teching to Broodlords. Both players have set up Spine Crawler walls to section off their sides of the map, but Symbol looks like he is in a better position to start his attacks once he decides to.
NesTea has waited long enough. The tension has been building and it is time for the climax. He crashes into Symbol’s Spine wall full-force, and breaks through. Breaching the defense right before the Broods morph, he splits his forces and takes down the natural and follows up with wave of Lings to kill the 3rd.
Symbol has taken a lot of damage, but he still has an amazing army on the field. He marches towards NesTea’s bases knowing he is weak. NesTea tries to get some Corrupters up, but the Infestor support keeps Symbol’s Broods safe. The players go into an intense base-trade, but NesTea just cannot stop Symbol from plowing through his buildings. It’s very, very close, but Symbol is able to out-muscle NesTea, and takes down one of the best Zergs in the world.
Symbol takes his floundering TSL team, on the verge of losing, and turns it all around. He goes 5 games straight without losing, killing some of the best Code S players around.
Reverse. All. Kill. TSL WINS!
It’s interesting to think about how much of this loss was the coaches fault. They gave Symbol 3 free games before he had to start facing their best players. Did they unknowingly level-up Symbol? We’ll never know how it would’ve turned out if they had run Mvp or NesTea right off the bat, but it doesn’t take away how amazing Symbol did regardless.
The June 6 series of the 2012 HOT6 GSTL Season 2 is going to have LG-IM facing off against FnaticRC in an elimination round! Check out www.GOMTV.net to watch the games live and check out when the next scheduled program is dropping.
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gl gl everyone!