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And then only two remained - the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice semi finals

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Hans Oelschlägel
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Who are our Intel Extreme Masters World Championship grand finalists? That is the question on everybody's mind. We look back at the amazing semifinal games on day three!

Trap vs. Dark: How far can the Zerg go?

Dark has mesmerized the crowd in Katowice by sweeping Maru 3-0 in the semi finals while Trap consistently knocked out favorites left and right. But one of them had to budge. Find out who drew the short straw in this epic matchup!

GAME ONE
Dark had a great time early on in the first game, dealing substantial damage to Trap with a zergling rush, who had not set up a defensive wall yet. The Protoss’ two base plans failed miserably, which left him with no choice but to expand to three bases for the late game. What followed was an intense tug of war, where both players had multiple chances to end the game due to overextension from both sides, but the Zerg had an easier time rebuilding his army than Trap, who could not recover from a failed deathball into Dark’s base. Game one goes to Dark!

GAME TWO
As Trap has done all tournament, his oracle did work yet again, taking out eleven of Dark’s drones. In an attempt to return the pressure the Zerg went forward with a large host of roaches and swarm host. Looking at his economic advantage, Dark felt confident sacrificing a lot of forces to take out Trap’s forth base, while rebuilding his lost army with corruptors. But his forces were largely immobile compared to Trap’s blink stalkers, which evaded all head on engagements and decimated base after base of the Zerg, eventually leaving the him with nothing but two bases, leading to a surrender by Dark.


GAME THREE
Dark went back to his patented roach warren rush into swarm host in game three, but had to deal with a lot of drone losses on the hands of Trap’s feared oracle play. The fact that Dark was constantly busy defending his economy resulted in uncharacteristically bad creep spread for the Zerg. Trap capitalized on Dark’s shortcomings, going eight gates, complete stalker mode at the perfect time, just before Dark’s swarm host would have kicked in. This forced Dark to sacrifice 22 drones in his base defence, ultimately leading to his loss.

GAME FOUR
In another two base game, Trap was looking at mass roaches and zerglings from Dark in game four. But Dark could not breach high ground early and allowed Trap to drop into his main, zoning the Zerg out with force fields. What looked devastating on paper actually only cost Dark four drones and Trap lost his entire attacking force in the process. The resulting counter attack by Zerg could have done fatal damage to the Protoss, but beautiful force fields split Dark’s army and allowed Trap to easily clean it up. In the back and forth game Trap then went all in with five immortals and lots of stalkers for a final push on his way to the grand finals and he managed to yet again zone Dark out of his own base with force field, destroying his entire production. A few struggling minutes later, Dark waved the white flag and we have our first grand finalist of Intel Extreme Masters Katowice! It’s Trap!

BByong vs. Zest: Will the grand finals be the tournaments first mirror matchup?

BByong, the last remaining Terran, is all that stands in Zest’s way toward a PvP grand final on the main stage in the Spodek arena in Katowice. Find out what happened in the second semi final below!

GAME ONE
Stalkers were the name of the game for Zest. Aggressive stalker plays dominated game one, putting BByong under pressure right away. Zest looked to end it quickly with only a few marauder on defense duty for the Terran. A timely stimpack upgrade did give BByong a lifeline, allowing him to take out a few stalkers and the mothership core, but the offensive blinks by the ever replenishing stalkers managed to focus down anything in their way, forcing a gg call from BByong.

GAME TWO
BByong didn’t get any worthwhile scouting information from Zest in game two, who hid his pylons away from his main base and from the reaper scouting. This left BByong unaware of the dark templar production, which not only resulted in 15 SCV kills, but also an interrupted banshee cloak upgrade. Confined to a single base, every SCV loss to stalkers and templars hurt the Terran a lot, who could not leave his base without taking huge economical damage. Baited into a desperate all out attack, BByong tried his best to tie up the series but could not stand up to Zest’s strong base defense, who took a convincing 2-0 lead.


GAME THREE
After two one sided games, BByong had to deal with yet another less than ideal start, with next to no scouting intel to his name. Left guessing about Zest’s strategy, the Protoss went on to drop a perfectly timed colossus in BByong’s base, who was just looking to move out for an attack. But after handling the four legged infiltration, BByong did strike out at Zest’s second base, taking out the nexus, while the Protoss sent his main army to counter attack the Terran’s main. Even though the army, supported by two colossi, did huge amounts of damage in BByong’s base, the Terran managed to pull off a miracle defense with his marauders. And after seeing his main force get destroy Zest left the game, giving BByong his first win of the series.

GAME FOUR
After having next to no vision very early on, BByong’s scouting SCV got a glimpse of Zest’s double forge build, allowing him to prepare a quick marauder attack against the defensive Protoss. But he underestimated the colossus that Zest already had up on the high ground , which annihilated the small army. As a reaction to the colossus, the Terran then invested into a lot of vikings and tried to force the issue, pulling all units including SCVs for an all out attack. But yet again the colossi which were positioned far in the back, dealt devastating area damage to the clumped up forces. With the game effectively over, Zest played the out the last few minutes carefully before finally getting BByong to call gg! Zest will go on to the grand finals!


Should you have missed out on any of the matches then stop by our Youtube VOD playlist where we will upload both series as soon as they are processed.

Only the grand finals remain for tomorrow. Tune into the broadcast at 16:00 CET to watch Trap vs. Zest from the main stage in the Spodek arena in Katowice!