The Code S round-of-eight concluded with Cure and Dark coming out of Group B at the expense of herO and TY.
Cure built on his strong 4-0 performance from the RO16, again advancing in first place with a 2-0 win against herO and 2-1 win against Dark. Second place went to Dark, who denied the possibility of another all-Terran top four by advancing.
Unfortunately, last remaining Protoss hope herO gave yet another poor performance, finishing in third place after making several noticeable errors. Recent military returnee and surprise RO8 entrant TY finished in last place without a map win.
Code S will conclude on Thursday, Jul 27 9:00am GMT (GMT+00:00) with GuMiho, Dark, Cure, and Maru playing in semifinals and grand final.
Initial Match #1: Dark [2-0] TY
Game One – Royal Blood (Dark win): Dark took an easy win in game one, blind-countering everything TY cooked up. His Pool-first build negated TY’s proxy 2-Barracks, and his quick Roach follow-up punished TY’s attempt to go for a greedy expansion + factory. With an enormous advantage in hand, Dark ended the game with Roach-Ravager-Ling at around the 7:00 mark.
Game Two – NeoHumanity (Dark win): Dark opened Pool-first again while TY looked to go for a fast 3-CC strategy with defensive Cyclones. TY defended against Dark’s attempt at early Roach pressure fairly well, putting himself in a very good economic position.
Unfortunately for TY, his rustiness was apparent as he couldn’t smoothly convert his strong economy into unit production. Dark battered TY with waves of Roach-Ravager, refusing to let the Terran forces reach critical mass. Eventually, the TY’s defense fell apart, and Dark collected a second GG.
Initial Match #2: Cure [2-0] herO
Game One – Gresvan (Cure win): Cure played things safe with a 1/1/1 Cyclone start, while herO gambled by building a proxy-Dark Shrine and Gateway on Cure’s side of the map. Diligent Reaper scouting uncovered the proxy at just the right moment for Cure, leaving herO massively behind due to his useless early investment.
Amazingly enough, herO actually dealt a bit of damage with a much-delayed DT drop, but the game was still heavily in Cure’s favor. herO valiantly tried to fight on—going down over 60 supply at some points—but he accepted his fate in the end.
Game Two – Dragon Scales (Cure win): herO went for a conventional Stargate-Phoenix opener this time around, while Cure again went for a Cyclone expansion. Cure went on the offensive once he had a Cyclone and Medivac out, combining them with a trickle of Marines from a Reactor-Barracks. herO engaged with his Adepts and Phoenixes, but got shellacked due to good micro from Cure and some underestimation of the Terran forces. herO ended up having to sacrifice Probes to stop this Marine-Cyclone push and fell massively behind.
A wasteful and ineffective Cloak-Banshee follow-up from Cure gave herO a slight reprieve, but didn’t really change the overall situation. Cure refrained from any drastic measures, compounding his lead by securing bases and denying herO’s. With Cure refusing to give him a GG-timing, herO made one for himself by going for a doomed, last ditch attack.
Winners’ Match: Cure [2-1] Dark
Game One – Gresvan (Cure win): Cure took a page out of ByuN’s book, opening with 2-Barracks Reapers. He put his own spin on it, going for fast 3-CC and double Engineering Bays behind it. Cure got away with this greedy play, as Dark opted to play defensive early and go for Muta-Ling-Bane in the mid-game.
Cure’s build allowed him to quickly amass a huge Marine-Marauder-Hellbat army and hit at a very fast 2/2 upgrade timing. Dark decided to try and defend at home with Ling-Bane while sending his Mutalisks off to backdoor Cure’s main. Unfortunately, the ‘defend at home’ part didn’t go according to plan, and he GG’d out to Cure’s rampaging infantry.
Game Two – Royal Blood (Dark win): Cure went ByuN-mode again with 2-Rax Reapers, this time following up with Cloaked Banshees. While Cure’s Banshees couldn’t inflict much damage, Dark found a lot more success with his own harassment—double-Overlord Baneling drops into Cure’s mineral lines. Combined with a reasonable hold against Cure’s Marine-Tank push at the front, this put Dark in a solid mid-game position.
Still, Cure was far from out of the game, and he had the infrastructure to take a few cracks at breaking Dark’s defense with maxed out Marine-Tank armies. He played it by the book, setting up near the Zerg expansion with the least Creep spread where he tried to goad his opponent into a disastrous engagement. However, Dark had his own textbook response, keeping the Terran forces just out of siege range with measured fights, while sending backdoor Baneling attacks to chip at the Terran economy.
In hindsight, Cure’s push probably should have worked, but he made the unfortunate error of trapping many of his key Siege Tanks due to poor building placement. This would have been alleviated by simply lowering a Depot (it wasn’t one of those cases where you have to lift a Factory and rebuild the Tech Lab), but he only noticed his blunder after six Tanks were trapped. That gave Dark more than enough time to end the Terran siege and put himself in a very good position with seven bases.
From there, Dark was able to engage in true Swarm tactics to end the game, combining drops and ground attacks to overwhelm the Terran defenses.
Game Three – NeoHumanity (Cure win): Both players decided to keep things simple on NeoHumanity, going for a passive build up into the late-game. Dark settled on a Ultra-Ling-Bane-Viper army, while Cure went for your usual Tank-Ghost turtle strategy. Unfortunately for Dark, this turned into a pretty straight-forward ‘Ultras into lose’ game. His attempts to break the Terran defenses went very poorly, with hundreds of Zerg units being sent haplessly to their deaths. A belated switch to Brood Lords didn’t change the situation, and Dark GG’d out against the Terran slow-push of doom.
Losers’ Match: herO [2-0] TY
Game One – Altitude (herO win): herO started out with a Robotics opener while TY tried to put on some pressure early with 1 Tank, 1 Medivac and some Marines. herO’s fast Observer was his best defensive tool, as he detected the attack early and defended against it easily with well-positioned troops. TY’s follow-up Liberator didn’t do much either, and it seemed like TY was headed to an inevitable defeat.
Indeed, that ended up being TY’s fate, although it took herO longer to win than expected due to a late mine drop, a desperate base trade from TY, and an abrupt disconnect + restart from replay.
Game Two – Gresvan (herO win): herO went for Blink-Robo this time around, while TY went for a 4 Hellion drop with a proxy Starport. Despite having his proxy discovered, TY managed to sacrifice four Hellions to kill seven Probes. This ended up being a good trade due to herO’s counter-harass with Blink Stalkers being largely ineffectual.
Despite being behind, herO went for a frontal attack with Storm which was equal parts disastrous and disrespectful. TY mangled the Protoss forces, and leapt ahead to an even bigger lead than he had in game two against Dark, going up by over 40 supply. TY played his lead extremely passively, staying in a defensive stance until he had a fully maxed out army of Bio, Tanks, and Ghosts. However, that also let herO take expansions unimpeded and catch up significantly.
TY’s first major push on a maxed army went very poorly, with herO drawing him in and soundly beating him in the field. herO then launched a series of counterattacks on TY’s expansions, hamstringing the Terran economy and taking back the lead.
What seemed like a routine clean-up from herO was interrupted by a brief scare as his overconfidence led him to take some calamitous fights. However, the situation never got as bad as it did against NightMare in the RO16 (where he nearly gave up an embarrassing comeback victory), and herO eventually used his superior economy to bludgeon TY to death.
Decider Match: Dark [2-0] herO
Game One – Dark (herO win): herO went old school in game one, going for a DT/Archon-drop macro opener. However, he ended up committing a terrible micro error, losing a Warp Prism with three DT’s in it. Meanwhile, Dark went for a Ling-Bane timing off of around 40 Drones, which successfully tore down herO’s third base.
Dark’s heavy investment in the Ling-Bane attack meant herO wasn’t TOTALLY dead, leaving him with enough in the tank for a semi-credible two-base all-in. However, Dark knew better than to greed too hard, and had plenty of Roaches on hand to repel the attack. After that, herO was truly doomed, and he GG’d out to a big Roach-Ravager attack.
Game Two – Royal Blood (Dark win): herO switched to his iconic Oracle-Stalker strategy for game two. Things seemed to go poorly at first, with his early Adept-Oracle pressure unable to inflict much damage. However, he was gifted a reprieve from Dark, who tried to hit a pre-Blink timing with Queens, Banelings, and Zerglings. However, his off-Creep Queens took ages to arrive at the Protoss base, and by then, herO’s defenses were already solid. Dark basically had to retreat the second he arrived, which let herO take a fourth base and put himself in an amazing position.
Unfortunately for herO, the poor play he showed since the RO16 persisted. On the Zerg side of the map, his insistence on going pure Stalker let Dark fight him efficiently with Queens and well-upgraded Zerglings. On the other end of the map, Dark cut into herO’s economic lead with a Baneling run-by. By the time herO realized he needed Oracle and Zealot support to fight Zerglings, Dark had already set himself up nicely on five bases and was well on his way to Adrenal Glands and Ultralisk tech.
herO was better about preemptively countering the Ultralisks, going for 2-robo Immortals. However his army positioning left much to be desired when waves of Ultra-Ling-Bane started crashing in. The sheer damage output of the Zerg swarm punished herO anywhere he wasn’t ready with defenders, and Dark was able to take out many key bases. Defeat was basically inevitable from there on out, and herO stuck around for a few more minutes before finally surrendering the last GG.