GSL Code S Grand Finals Preview

GSL Code S Grand Finals Preview


In one week from today the very last GSL Code S Champion of 2015 will be crowned, also important to note potentially the last of Heart of the Swarm. All of that makes it even more important to these players because after this will be a short break from GSL, which is the last Premiere individual tournament going on in Korea. The two players that we have left standing are always heavy hitters and expected to go very deep in the GSL every season; so if you had to predict a finals these are two potential names you could use. On one hand we have Innovation, commonly referred to as “The Machine”, for his almost robotic-like impeccable macro playstyles and when he is playing at his best, is one of the scariest players Starcraft 2 has to offer. However on the other hand we have Byul, our second place finisher in the GSL last season, losing 4-1 to Rain, showing us his stability in having back to back finals appearances as well as a finals appearance in the Starcraft 2 Star League.




The first player i’m going to introduce is easily one of the most well known players in Starcraft 2 right now. Innovation shot off like a rocket at the beginning of Heart of the Swarm. I mean this guy was number one on the WCS points leaderboards and was just crushing everyone, even winning WCS season one 4-0‘ing sOs, which is no easy feat. Simply put no one wanted to play this guy under any circumstances. In 2013 he left STX Soul in order to pursue playing on a foreign team in which he signed with team Acer. After signing with Acer, Innovation still played well but did not look like his dominating self anymore – he seemed human again. After a good year with Acer, Innovation took some high finishes in tournaments like Asus ROG and Dreamhack. However, his GSL results had disappeared, and it was announced that Innovation would not be resigning with Acer. His reasoning was along the lines of missing the Kespa style practice regiments and feeling that he needed that to be the best player he could be, he said he wanted to be a GSL Champion again.

Shortly after the announcement it was announced that Innovation would be joining SK Telecom, a decision SKT would not regret. This was just in time for a new season of the GSL in which Innovation put his money where his mouth is by winning the very first GSL back in a Kespa team! However after this amazing run in the GSL, we have not seen Innovation in a GSL finals since. Many people have just figured out his style, and many ways to cheese him; however this time he would not be stopped as he took out players like Zest, Flash, Curious, and Parting, all of which are easily considered top tier Korean players. In TvZ Innovation has shown an extremely well rounded knowledge of mech vs Zerg which has shined in Proleague and other tournaments, so I look forward to seeing what Innovation has in store for Byul.








In the other booth we have Byul, the dominant 23 year old Zerg player who has made himself a regular in any Korean events finals. Byul is a player who has always been on the cusp of greatness. Saying this about a player who has been in the WCS finals, GSL finals, and SSL finals is weird, however, in each finals he has been in he has crumbled. Back in 2013 we saw him play in the finals of WCS America Season 3 vs Polt, in which he lost 1-4. This was Byul’s first real time in the spotlight as well as his last finals for two long years. He finally snapped that streak in least season’s GSL making it to the finals, and he does not seem to be looking back after that, also making it to the SSL finals, as well as making it to a second consecutive GSL final.


Sadly I am not sure that this streak of second places will be snapped, and we might have another soO on our hands (In 2014 soO took second place in all 3 GSL seasons). Byul has shown he is a very emotional player in a series vs Innovation, of all people. It was seen as such a loss, in as to how to handle the mech style by game 4, he was actually in tears. With that point however, he also showed how he can fight through the bad times by coming back from being exponentially behind to win games number four and five. While these games were a while back, I’m sure these are still in the back of our players minds. One thing Byul really has going for him, is in a bo7 there is a good chance of at least 2 bio games and Byul has shown time and time again he is a monster against bio Terrans. All things considered Byul is by no means a huge underdog. I cannot wait to see what special plans he has in store for Innovation.




In this matchup lately we have seen countless mech Terrans and we have seen Innovation become one of the best at this. Byul has also shown he can beat it but like most Zergs does not seem to prefer it. You may interject with “but he beat GuMiho”, however, in that series GuMiho played 2 bio games putting him back 0-2 in the series. That being said, I predict Innovation to take out Byul 4-2 with Byul maybe being able to squeak out some good roach timings to snag a game or two. As well as the potential to win any games Innovation might go bio, however I’m sure if Innovation chooses to go bio, he will be prepared.