Day three of season two of the GSL Super Tournament may have been my favourite so far. But before we get into it, if you missed out on day one or day two of the GSL, check out our coverage of it so you aren’t lost, because we’re going to jump right in.
Since the competition is a marathon, we see the players day after day, and we start to really get a feel for how they’re playing right at this moment. We are able to get a sense of the competitors even more because, in the round of eight, we get an interview with them before each match.
Maru vs. sOs
The first of those matches was Maru vs. sOs. Maru was very humble in his interview, and sOs seemed rightfully concerned about his upcoming match.
The interesting thing about sOs’ match against Maru was that, no matter the outcome, in some way, it was good for sOs. A victory would mean he moved on to the semi-finals, but a loss would mean that Maru would be the one to potentially face Solar, and Maru has been an unstoppable force so far.
But sOs did the seemingly impossible, winning 3:1 against Maru, and knocking the player that many were expecting to win the whole tournament out of the round of eight. Both competitors played excellently. They’re teammates, and they know each other’s play styles well. That fact was very obvious during their games.
My favourite moment of the match between them was when Maru went for his now-standard proxy barracks, but added a twist. He built a trick barracks in his base as well, for the sole purpose of giving sOs something to scout with his trademark early probe so that he would be lulled into a false sense of security. That move alone was a great mind game to see, but a few seconds afterwards we saw sOs scout the area around himself — some combination of a sixth sense, caution, and skill coming together to prompt him to check again. He found Maru’s proxy, which led to him winning that game.
Solar vs. Stats
Solar seemed confident and determined in his interview, but under a lot of pressure. He said he had been winning a lot against Stats recently, and he needs to win to go to Blizzcon. If he won the match he thought he could go all the way to the finals, since he considers Stats the hardest challenge.
Stats was, comparatively, much more relaxed. He came across as very polite and humble, as well as friendly. He said he won against Solar in season one of the Super Tournament, but confirmed that he’d been losing against him recently, and said that this was just another competition for him. Stats is indeed already guaranteed his spot in Blizzcon, a distant second to Maru in WCS points.
Solar thrived under pressure and kept his dream of making it to Blizzcon alive for another day, winning 3:1 against Stats in a series of very interesting and varied games.
Bunny vs. Dark
Bunny seemed excited for his match against Dark. He said that Dark was good, but he thought soO was stronger. Bunny also got a lot of questions about that cheeky MULE from the day before against soO. He said that he never normally did that type of thing, because you might lose the next match and embarrass yourself, but he was feeling so excited that he just did it — and then felt guilty right after — but knew it would mess with soO’s head.
Dark, on the other hand, was dismissive of his opponent. He said he had been expecting to get ready to fight a Protoss, but he was already getting ready for tomorrow. Dark wasn’t worried about facing Bunny. He reminded Bunny that the last time they faced off, he 3:0ed him.
Dark’s words were fairly prophetic. He didn’t 3:0 Bunny, but his 3:1 victory felt incredibly one-sided. Their offline match history heavily favours Dark, 13:4, and that was evident. Dark dominated the games between them.
Game four, which sealed Bunny’s fate, clearly illustrated this. The game was a long, drawn-out one, and a slow, inevitable slide into victory for Dark. Near the end of the game, Dark was even building BM hatcheries across the map as a means of creating a creep highway toward Bunny’s base. The whole minimap was purple. In the words of Tasteless, it was “like watching a lion eat a gazelle.”
Classic vs. Creator
Classic and Creator had some playful banter up on the interview stage. Classic expected to make it to the next round, and honestly expected to be facing off against TY, not Creator. So although he was confident, he was blown away by how well Creator was playing, and he wasn’t planning to let his guard down.
Creator hadn’t thought he was going to make it as far as he did, and he gave credit to his teammates on Jin Air Green Wings, whose advice helped him win. After Creator commented on his hour-long game from the day before, in which the balance of power changed sides multiple times, Classic took the opportunity to say that, hopefully, their games would end quickly so he could finally rest. Creator’s response? Hey, be merciful.
Contrary to his humble attitude, Creator played incredibly well in the round of 16, and did the same in the round of eight. It wasn’t enough for him to win, but he put up a good fight, which is impressive when their offline match history is skewed so heavily in Classic’s favour, at 10:4.
Classic won 3-2, in the hardest-won match of the day. Game four, when Creator tied it up 2-2, was my favourite. It came down to a phoenix fight, with archons on Classic’s side and carriers and immortals on Creator’s. It culminated in one final fight over a base Creator had hidden away in a corner of the map, and it was a ton of fun to watch.
The last day of the GSL Super Tournament, and Blizzcon
The semi-finals are on Sunday. sOs vs. Solar and Dark vs. Classic. Dark vs. Classic is a matchup we’ve seen before. Dark has won it in the past, but this season of the GSL Super Tournament is full of surprises. Dark seemed truly unstoppable today though. In his own words, he was already preparing for the semi-finals, so Classic is going to have a tough challenge ahead of him.
sOs vs. Solar is exciting because both players are fighting for the chance to go to Blizzcon. But it isn’t enough for Solar to win against sOs. He has to win the whole Super Tournament to make it to Blizzcon. If he wins against sOs but loses in the finals, sOs will still be going, and Solar will not. That means Solar has a tough road ahead of him on Sunday as well. I can’t wait to see what happens.