With having the preliminaries for the last Asian and Western qualifier been played, we are getting closer to finding the final contestants for GCS Winter 2017! Read the the article below to find out who made it through the killer group in the Asian preliminaries, who advanced to the Western qualifier and loads more.
Also - as a special treat - you can read a short analysis of a very interesting play SoniK made in the GCS Western Open Qualifier!
In a very unexpected turn of events, SoniK did not manage to make it to the Western Qualifier after losing 2-1 to TitaN, a seasoned player who used to wreak havoc over the small western weekly cups like OLDI Proplay and Armsing Cup.
Together with TitaN, three human players managed to qualify for the upcomming Western Qualifier: ag3nt, EfFeCt and Anima.
Analysis of 1st map in SoniK vs. TitaN
Though SoniK lost the match, I want to highlight a tactical decision he made, that I find very interesting, which allowed to take the win on the first map against TitaN. First, I want to explain the dilemma, that SoniK was in.
As illustrated below, SoniK (red) was preparing an Ancient of War (AoW) to creep the gold mine camp above his main. After sending a wisp to TitaNs base, he made an important observation. There was a late AoW and a Hunter's Hall being consructed. This lead SoniK to the conclusion that TitaN was producing a Priestess of the Moon (PotM) to harass in order for him to win time to get huntresses. A PotM harassing SoniK would render it impossible to creep the gold mine above him.
What would you do in SoniK's position?
Perhaps the most plain solution would be to shy away from the gold mine camp and take a green camp instead. But this would still allow TitaN to harass and thereby control the game - and as you may know, SoniK does not like playing on the defensive.
In order to prevent this harass from PotM, SoniK immediately cancelled his Ancient of Wonders in order to get the resources for an extra AoW, which he placed in the middle of TitaN's base. This neat little trick forced TitaN to keep his PotM busy with attacking the AoW. Meanwhile SoniK's forces (Demon Hunter and three archers) made it to TitaN's base, where they bullied the lumber harvesting wisps.
With this prompt reaction, SoniK managed to turn the table and take control of a game, that TitaN had planned to be in complete control of.
Though group A, B and C all had some very exciting games, there was not a lot surprise in the advanced players.
In group D, however, contained a lot more even players, making it way harder to predict the outcome. Both WhO, pcg_123, and Yange are well-known and respected players, yet still none of them made it through the killer group: Group D
Advanced to a place in the groupstage are the following players.
From Group A:
Lyn, Colorful & Sini
From Group B:
WFZ, Fast& Pingge
From Group C:
tbc_bm, EleGaNt & Vila
From Group D:
Lucifer, Yumiko& Sol
NSL continued this week with two of the top Korean Night Elves battling the top two Chinese Humans for seeds in the upcoming offline Ascension phase that will be played in November.
In the upper bracket we saw Remind continue his masterful NSL run against Infi, who has been playing out of his mind since GCS. This series went the whole distance of five entertaining maps before Remind claimed the victory and awaits an opponent next week to determine the winner of the NSL online event and a guarantee of silver for the whole event.
The next series of the day we saw Moon and TH000 battle it out to determine who would enter the Ascension phase as the fourth seed, and thus need to win three series in a row to win the entire title, and who would continue in the online tournament to battle it out next week for a higher seed.
This series saw some exciting games as well, despite Moon ending it with a dominant 3-0. The first map of the series, Terenas Stand, saw some scrappy harass from both sides as TH000 looked to punish Moon’s greedy expansion creep camp opening, much as Infi failed to do against Remind in map five. Moon managed to trade well to not fall behind in the match, allowing his tier one warden push against TH000’s bottom left expansion to wreak havoc on TH000, ending with a dead archmagi and not much later a gg.
The second map, Last Refuge, again saw Moon with a strong harass on TH000’s expo, this time using the Panda’s Breath of Fire to great effectiveness. Again, Moon’s tier 1 aggression was too much for TH000, giving Moon match point.
“This is just a cemetery [for the peasants], this is not a home” -Remo
The final map, Ancient Isles, saw TH000 pull a delayed hero tower push against Moon, the same strategy that won Romantic a map over Foggy in Race War recently. The map lasted longer than this strategy often seems to (both players managed to save their main and continue mining throughout the game), but ultimately Moon was able to expand and overwhelm TH000.
The online portion of NSL will conclude Wednesday October 18th, with Infi vs Moon playing for the chance to face Remind for first place.
Imperius had a strong showing against 120, beating him with a single-base, riflemen/caster push, in a dominating fashion.
Life did, however, make an even bigger splash in this week's Hols Cup. Though he had to go through a tough series of opponents (HawK, Happy, XiaoKK and LawLiet), Life managed to reach the grand final, where he faced Chaemiko.
After losing the first map of the bo5 series, Chaemiko resorted an immediate tower push on the second map. In MooCup #100 Chaemiko used this strategy against Foggy three times - and each time it fell flat.
The result in the match against Life was no different: Once again the ace up Chaemiko's sleeve did him no good.
Life ended up taking the the win 3-0 and won Hols Cup #12, thus giving him his first real showing in quite a while - and a beautiful one at that!