What’s up competitive gaming fans?! Let’s jump right down to it today!
Godsgarden 4 turned out to be an extremely hype tournament, with high level play in abundance! Fuudo, the EVO 2011 SSF4AE champion, has taken his second major of the year! He’s just one competition away from taking the so-called “Grand Slam” of the fighting game community, being September’s Super Battle Opera. Also placing in the top 8 are some familiar faces from EVO, Tokido and Poongko – Congratulations to everyone in the top 8 from all of us here at Gamezone!
1. Fuudo (Fei Long) – EVO 2011 Champion
2. EG. Momochi (Yun)
3. Uryo (Sakura) ((VERY Impressive play from Uryo – barely missed out on the finals to Momochi))
4. TTC|MCZ Tokido
5. eLive|RF (Sagat)
5. Kazunoko (Yun)
7. HORI|Sako (Yang)
7. Totalheads Poongko (Seth)
Good friend of mine, and upcoming Starcraft 2 pro, Drew Dilullo is taking over analysis of PuMa’s defeat of MC in something he calls “unbalanced” – do you agree? Read on, dear gamer and comment!
“Starcraft 2: Meta game vs. Current balance.
Whats up Gamezone! I want to take a moment to talk about some of the current events brewing inside the Starcraft world and its current meta game / balance issues. First off, I want to say it right from the get go. I am a Protoss player. I have been a Protoss player since 1998 and I will always be a Protoss player. I really enjoyed the idea of having fewer but more powerful units that required good army control to get the maximum cost effectiveness per unit. I felt I had a pretty decent run in Starcraft: Brood War with a “B” Rating in ICCUP at one point and several years of consistent play and personal improvement.
When Starcraft 2 was announced, while I was pissing my pants in excitement, no one can deny how horrible the alpha impressions of the game looked in 2007. Marines had bayonets and siege tanks had vacuum attachments among other aesthetic disasters that existed in the build. Fast forwarding to beta, the game had finally reached the level of quality you would expect from Blizzard with obvious balancing issues aside. The first race I naturally gravitated to was Protoss. While at first I had a hard time getting a grip on the race (I was to busy rushing people with 1 supply per-nerf roaches) I eventually found a really solid footing with my Aiur boys. I was consistently ranked in Diamond through several profile sweeps and resets. The one thing that was obvious to me about Protoss in Starcraft 2 is that, while the race remained a very army control oriented race, the same cannot be said for the unit strength or quality of their units in general.
I immediately felt like the zealot just didn’t have the same brutal punch it had in SC1. And the stalker in no way shape or form measured up to the dragoon. Its not to say that the stalker was a poorly designed unit. Its pathing is alot better and the unit design is pretty solid and appealing. The problem with it was its relatively low DPS and rather fragile health. More or less Blizzard balanced Protoss gateway units around their ability to force field AND their ability to warp in units anywhere on the map. While warp in has its very slick uses, and force field can be insanely overpowered at times, it has created scenarios where Protoss are in a coin flip position for almost every matchup.
PvT is a guessing game. If you expand early, you have a 10% chance to hold the Terran 1/1/1 all-in build. But you have a 0% chance to hold a 3 rax all-in. If you one base and the Terran goes for a 1/1/1 build, you have a 0% chance to hold that off while you have about a 50/50 chance of dealing with the Stim Marine/Marauder pressure. Now the 50/50 chance comes from the ONE force field shot you have to hold your ramp. If you mess up this ONE click, the game is instantly over while the Terran A-moves through your base. Your tier 1 units simply will not hold this kind of a push. And lets not get into the many different forms of one base all-in’s a Terran can use to abuse Protoss.
PvZ is more or less hiding behind a forge fast expand while the Zerg player takes the map and maxes their army out at 12 minutes in the game. Infestors completely shut down almost any Protoss build. Roaches can be mass produced at a rate that complete negates any ground force Protoss can roll out. Even hard counters to some of these units are just flat out steam rolled by superior Zerg macro mechanics and sacrificial units. This makes even the most intimidating Protoss deathball a joke when matched up against decent Zerg macro. Even if you manage to wipe out the first big push, the Zerg can tech switch on the dime and come at you with a completely new composition in less than two minutes. Which brings me to my next topic.
The biggest problem Protoss have is their inability to adapt well. I feel this is a problem that stems from having a very weak Tier 1. Marines, Marauders, Ghosts, Zerglings, Roaches, and banelings Will always be able to provide segway to nice smooth tech transitions for their respective race. Protoss simply CANNOT rely on Zealots, stalkers, and sentries. furthermore, Protoss have the hardest time transitioning. Zerg can build a single building and begin mass production. Terran can float buildings to add-ons and completely change their tech path. Protoss simply do not have the ability to adapt at a decent pace. This leaves alot up to the first big push from Protoss. Protoss have got to do near terminal damage with their first big engagement or they will be so far behind and completely hard countered that you might as well end the game.
The one game I am going to show you is a game that was played at the recent IEM Cologne event featuring EG.Puma vs oGs.MC. In this game you are going to see the best Protoss player in the world come face to face with the problems mentioned above. This game is a perfect example of why Protoss needs to be tweaked in some way to become competitive once more. In the current state of the game, Protoss has become a very sad race to play. As of right now, I will be competing at MLG Orlando as Zerg. I simply cannot retain the win/loss ratio with Protoss that I can currently with Zerg. I sincerely hope that Blizzard makes the necessary changes for Heart of the Swarm. But until that point, and I am sure I am not alone, we will just have to look at Protoss as the easy win opponent.”
Thanks again, Drew! Your analysis is much appreciated.
Valve announced earlier today that their International, which was a huge success, is to be a yearly tournament, with prize pools even larger than that of their first tournament. Games to be included at these tournaments include CounterStrike Global Offensive and DotA2.
This comes following announcements of other tournaments to be held during DotA2’s beta – hopefully the wonderful spectator mode will be in place for these tournaments, as was displayed during the International. Valve has also said that Beta testing on DotA2 is set to begin in a few weeks, so perhaps these tournaments are not that far off. If Starcraft 2’s fan-supported Beta tournaments were any indication, I’m sure we are in for a treat.
Godsgarden 4: Uryo vs Tokido – Loser’s Semifinals
Uryo’s extremely impressive Sakura play is a sight to behold – he went up against Tokido, one of the Evo 2011 top 8, and managed a win here against his impressive Akuma (or in Japanese, Gouki – don’t ask me why there’s a name difference).
This goes to show why tiers are garbage – if you know your character inside and out it’s possible to win with anyone.
That’s it for today’s Dail-E, this is Dustin Steiner and special guest Drew Dilullo signing off!
Dustin Steiner is Gamezone’s eSports Correspondent and Freelance Editorial Writer! Follow him on Twitter @SteinerDustin.
Drew Dilullo is a Master League-level Zerg and Protoss player in Starcraft 2! Look for him at MLG Orlando under the pseudonym Malbolgia (Or Lelouch if Blizzard won’t change his name back :P)