TY vs Stats GSL Season 2 2020 Game 4 Analysis

Analysis of a game where Jeon "TY" Tae-yang played an extremely economically focused game against Kim "Stats" Dae-yeob featuring a complex timing attack and base race that Stats eventually overcame. The match was played on 2020-08-08.

This game really caught my attention because both players ended up playing very passive openers. There was almost zero action in the game for almost 10 minutes, as both players simply built up their infrastructure as they pleased.

As a player who seeks out builds to focus on specific aspects of the game in order to practice them, this build stands out as a fantastic way to practice basic macro as it completely cuts out interaction with the opposing player for the first few minutes of the game. There are several blind moves designed to hold off gateway attacks and warp prisms, the third base is not taken until it is all but assured to be defensible, and the only scouting is done with a raven of all things. Even the typical scouting reaper is left behind to defend.

For players specifically looking to practice macro and nothing else, this strategy, while vulnerable at points, is a good one to do. On the ladder, things like 2 gate openings, proxy tech cheeses, and the 2 base 4-gate blink pressure popularized by PartinG seem to be quite good against this, but it is important to remember that practice is not about winning as much as it is perfecting a certain aspect of play.

Even though TY ended up losing just before entering the lategame phase, we can observe that, even with imperfect multitasking, his opening put him into a very strong position entering the late midgame. I will be pointing out mistakes TY made just to show why this strategy is a good one specifically for practicing macro.


The English GSL cast can be found on their Youtube channel.

First person perspectives can be found on the Afreeca streaming website (at the time of posting). Link to Stats POV here and TY POV here.

Overall Strategy

As mentioned in the preamble, the strategy employed by TY against Stats is impressively passive. TY simply executes his build order as he pleases, and blindly builds defensive structures such as bunkers and turrets without scouting what Stats is actually doing.

The idea of the strategy is to quickly build up to about 66 SCVs by about the 8:00 mark of the game, not die in the meantime, and then move out to do a very complex timing attack at about 9:00 with only +1 infantry attack upgraded.

The 9:00 timing attack TY moves out with must do damage. Because TY is not focussing on upgrades this game, and has a lower SCV count than normal, he really needs the timing to either cleanly kill a base, or get a heavily favourable exchange against Stats’ army which will delay Stats’ ability to tech.

Only after this big attack is TY’s infrastructure fully built out to enter a proper midgame.

Tactical Plan

There is only a single tactically important moment in this strategy, which is the 9:00 timing attack. This timing attack is really a test of Stats’ ability to divide his attention to defend on multiple fronts. By 9:30 he will have threats from 5 different directions attacking his 4 bases. A double medivac drop, a raven creating auto turrets, 2 liberators split up, and a large force of about 80 supply backed up with siege tanks.

While there are later moments of the game which can be considered tactically important, they are not necessarily specific to this strategy and would fall under more general TvP tactics.

Build Order

It’s a long one:

* 14 Supply Depot
* 16 Barracks
* 16 Refinery
* 20 Command Center, Orbital @ 100%
* 20 Reaper
* 20 Orbital Command
* 21 Supply Depot
* @ Reaper 100%, Marine
* 23 Factory
* @ Marine 100%, Reactor
* 25 Command Center, Orbital @ 100%
* @ Factory 100%, Widow Mine
* @ Barracks Reactor 100%, Marines
* @ Widow Mine 100%
* 30 Refinery
* @ 100 gas, Starport
* @ 25 gas, Factory techlab
* 33 Refinery
* @ Factory techlab 100%, swap on the Starport and produce a Raven
  * Factory creates a new Techlab to produce 2 Siege Tanks
* [4:25] Barracks x2
* [4:30] Bunker at the natural expansion
* @ Raven 100%, Starport Reactor
* @ Barracks #2 and #3 100%, swap a Barracks onto Starport Techlab for Stim
  * The other Barracks produces 1 Marine
  * 2x Barracks (total of 5 now)
  * Refinery (total of 4 now)
* @ 2x Siege Tanks, Factory makes a new Techlab
  * Swap a Barracks onto Factory Techlab for Combat Shields
* [5:30] Engineering Bay
* @ Starport Reactor 100%, produce 4 Medivacs
* [6:00] sneak out Raven for scouting and harass
* @ Engineering Bay 100%, start +1 attack
  * Put a single Missile Turret down in a typical Warp Prism path
* @ 2x Medivacs 100%, unsiege Siege Tanks and take the third base
* @ Barracks #4/5 100%, create Techlab and Reactor
* @ Third base secured, Techlab Factory for Siege Tank production and Refinery
* @ 4x Medivacs, 2x Vikings
  * At this point, load up 2 Medivacs with infantry for noncommital harass
* [7:20] Put another Missile Turret down in a typical Warp Prism path for another base
* [8:10] At about this point SCV production should be cut
* [8:40] +1 infantry armour starts
* [9:00] move out with army for timing attack
  * Produce Vikings to counter Collosus (current meta)
  * Fourth Command Center
  * Armoury and second Engineering Bay
* [10:00] Ghost Academy
  * 2-2 infantry upgrades start
  * +1 vehicle weapons start
  * Second Factory
  * Refinery (total 6 now)
* [10:30] Secure fourth base with Planetary fortress
  * 2x Refinery (total 8 now)
  * build up to typical 70-75 SCV count
  * At this point, build constant Command Centers
* [10:45] more Turrets to defend from DT hit squads (current meta)
* [11:00] 2x Barracks (Techlabs)
* @ Factory 100%, Techlab for Siege Tanks

Game Notes

  1. The execution of the build order was not perfect, there were a couple of moments where TY got supply blocked. This should be inspiring. The build wasn’t perfect and TY still succeeded with it against a top 5 Protoss player in the world.
  2. Pay attention to the timing attack that hits at 9:30. This is a big moment with several mistakes and TY managed to take a healthy lead despite the imperfect execution.
    • The 2 medivac hit squad could have been a bit more active.
    • The liberators were not necessarily sieged in optimal positions. This is extremely difficult to do when only doing two pronged harrass, TY was doing 5 prongs here. One of the things to think about is that your harass should not be in the same path as your attack. at 9:35 we can see liberators that pull Stats specifically in the direction that TY is doing his main attack from.
    • The main army was a little bit passive. This could have been due to the fact that the 2 medivac hit squad needed to make the first move to distract Stats, and that hit squad itself was passive. This is a problem because it means TY gets supply blocked at a point where he would like to get rid of a few infantry units for better army units.
  3. The raven harass probably should have dropped two turrets in one mineral line because of the shield battery healing probes taking damage. The more important thing is that the raven confirmed collosus production is continuing and is positioned to participate in the 9:00 timing later.
  4. As the commentator Artosis points out, the 2 medivac hitsquad, which is quite passive until the big timing, also is decently positioned to intercept carelessly rallied warp prisms.
  5. The combination of defensive structures and defensive army positioning shuts down potential collosus + prism timing attacks.
  6. The meta in TvP is shifting towards making quite a few tanks. Between 10-15. Unless Protoss goes for immortal + archon (the typical mech counter) they simply cannot contest direct battles.
  7. I think that the tipping point of this game was when the DT hit squad took out two bases, and then Stats’ main army took out another. Going for a lot of tanks in TvP seems to be pretty good, but it looks like the meta hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with DT hit squads. Perhaps setting up some siege tanks far behind planetary fortresses might be the answer. If the protoss commits 20 supply of DTs to attack a base, it is a fair trade to leave 3 tanks behind (9 supply) to deal damage to them while SCVs repair the planetary. Because of DT blink the tanks will most likely end up dying, but they might buy enough time to repair the planetary fortress. Then the beauty of Starcraft might come into play wherein Protoss players will start to use their DT hit squads as army flankers and not as base killers. It is exciting to see this meta develop.

Game Retrospective

TY ended up losing this game, but the opening actually went quite well for him, and that is the important point I am trying to highlight. He could definitely have won this game if the army movements in the later portion of the mid game ended up more in his favour, but Stats managed to dance around his siege tank positioning and simply tore him apart in a decisive attack on TY’s economy.

Another thing that stands out to me is that this could be a sign that the meta is shifting in favour of Protoss in this matchup. I am not sure exactly why, because the balance changes recently have seemed relatively benign, but this particular strategy matches up to the trend a few years ago where Terrans would also build up huge armies against Protoss and “pull the boys”. At that time the mentality was that, if Terran was hopeless in the lategame anyway, the best strategy is to attack as hard as possible, while eschewing upgrades and economy. This might be coming back into fashion and is something we should pay attention to in the next couple of months.

On this particular map, pulling the boys would not work as well as one might expect. The narrow chokepoints towards the natural and third expansions on this map make it so that Protoss would be able to whittle down the forces quite easily with forcefields and as a result just win the war of attrition because Terran cannot resupply. This attack was centered around using the siege tanks to protect the infantry as they destroyed a nexus. All of the surrounding multi-pronged harass was strictly to pull supply away from defending against the main army. Stats did an admirable job in not overcommitting army to defend any one point, and still lost one of his bases.

One thing to keep in mind if you choose to practice this build is that GSL strategies are not quite the same as typical ladder builds. Ladder builds tend to be generally solid, middle of the road type strategies because of the wide variety of players to be found on the ladder and the uncertainty of what they will do. This build quite clearly was tailored for Stats’ particular playstyle which errs on the side of caution, and may not have done as well against an extremely aggressive player like PartinG. When doing this strategy, with its greed and lack of scouting, it should be expected to just lose random games. With this build TY was cutting corners in order to maximize his timing attack potential, cutting corners is an offense that can be punishable by defeat when noticed.