GSL vs. The World is a fan favorite, and for good reason! When you shove eight of the best StarCraft II players from around the world into a bracket, it’s going to result in interesting games and great action. Besides the World Championship at BlizzCon, this is one of the few events where a lot of these players will ever run into each other competitively. Day three of GSL vs. The World recently concluded, but here is a recap if you missed any of the action from earlier this week.
This was the first set of matches at GSL vs. The World, and they were a great example of the caliber of play we should expect from the players in this tournament. Game 1 of this series looked like a game that could have been from a Grand Final, with tons of fast-paced action taking place on all corners of the map. After going down 1-2 against soO, Maru closed out the series by going for a proxy Barracks strategy two games in a row which lead to some very scrappy and interesting games. Despite soO being knocked out of the tournament, he was all smiles at the end of this series. If you missed it, be sure to check out this great series below:
Showtime performed strongly in this series, defeating Zest without even looking like he broke a sweat. In all three games, Zest would attempt to execute a timing attack or harassment with Warp Prisms, but Showtime was all over it. He easily scouted and deflected most of these attacks. Most importantly, he looked calm and collected and refused to be caught off guard while he ticked off all the boxes on his way to victory. Showtime has looked strong recently, but this was still a bit of an upset in my opinion. Regardless, anytime a foreigner gets deep into a tournament in Korea is good news!
Another Protoss mirror match, and another 3-0 sweep. Stats just straight up outplayed Cyan in this series. Stats always just seemed to make the correct choices and execute them perfectly, while Cyan would be lacking in at least one of these aspects. This was the expected result, unfortunately, as Stats in ranked #3 in the GSL currently and looks great doing it. Still, it was nice to see Cyan make an appearance. It’s not often we get to hear about players from China compared to the other regions.
This series marked the third 3-0 sweep in a row for the tournament, which is fairly rare considering the caliber of players featured in each match. Has went for his usual shenanigans in Game 1 and 3 of this series, opting to cannon rush or build Shield Batteries in Special’s base. However, Special was having none of it. He must have studied Has’ matches from WCS Valencia, he seemed very calm no matter how wacky or scrappy the games became, resulting in a quick victory.
Serral proved why he has the most points in the WCS Circuit in this series. Kelazhur pulled out all the stops, using both multiple drop attacks and early aggression but found little success. Serral kept his cool and deflected most of the attacks easily, taking little to no economic damage. He also made great use of Zergling counter-attacks while Kelazhur was distracted elsewhere, often catching Kelazhur with his pants down and snagging some juicy SCV kills. Serral makes the game look easy and will move on to the Quarterfinals to play the winner of Innovation vs. Rogue.
Innovation, hot after a win at HomeStory Cup last month, looked fantastic in this series. After losing the first game, Innovation adapted his strategy and went on to sweep the remaining three games. Realizing Rogue was mostly going for a fast Hive and Ultralisk build, Innovation altered his timing attacks to hit slightly earlier before the Zerg could snowball out of control.
Innovation will continue on to the Quarterfinals where he will meet Serral. In the post-game interview, Innovation seemed to lack confidence in his upcoming matches against Serral, stating that Serral maintains a very high MMR rating on the Korean region StarCraft II ladder.
Dark styled all over Neeb in this series. In both Games 1 and 3, Dark executed some unconventional Swarm Host builds. In Game 3 Dark exploited the difficult terrain of the map, Dreamcatcher, to support a guerrilla warfare with the Swarm Hosts. Dark would deploy the Locusts from the Swarm Hosts, while also attacking from another angle with Roaches. Eventually, Neeb was overwhelmed by the never-ending waves of Locusts brought down upon him by the Swarm Hosts and Dark clinched the series.
At the start of GSL vs. The World, Dark had won 31 straight series in a row against foreign players. Neeb makes 32, and Dark will move on to play the winner of Classic vs. Scarlett.
This series was one of the StarCraft II best matches of the day. Both players looked very evenly matched, trading units and victories back and forth until the very end. Game 5 especially was quite the nail-biter, with Classic barely surviving a well-timed attack from Scarlett and somehow managing to claw his way to victory. Classic manages to squeak out a win in this very close series. He will go on to face Dark, who is currently looking great against Protoss., in the Quarterfinals. You can find a replay of this great series below:
Lover of tacos, Starcraft, and craft beer. When I’m not busy getting crushed on the ladder, you can find me beating my head against a Dark Souls boss or rocking out to The Sword.