StarCraft II: What You Need to Know

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starcraft2

‘Ello! I am Inner.

Ex World of Warcraft nerd (the reason I am still roped in with these guys…) Recent HoN BAD-ass (really, I was terrible), Battlefield 3 veteran and StarCraft II extremist.  I have been found by The Sherriff as a sort of news reader for the whole Star Craft II pro-gaming scene that has emerged as one of the biggest E-sports in the world. Although I am only a Platinum Zerg, I will do my best to keep all comments as even and keep racism between races marginal.  Now if you are a Starcraft player you can ignore the next hundred or so words.

This is a game of strategy – what did you expect?! – and is similar to other RTS games you may have played (Age of Empires, Dark Reign, 40k, and so on). First you gain an economy, build workers and mine minerals and gas, which allows you to build an army, therefore helping you to overwhelm your opponent and win the match.  Each of the three races in the game (Terran, Protoss and Zerg) has their individual style of gameplay.

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The Terran race is one of supreme army composition. Terran units are unstoppable; they come in large numbers and have flawless gameplay.

Protoss players rely on perfect micro (unit control) to out-strategise the opponent, having the ability to split your opponent’s army in to small portions with Force Fields, using the advantage of numbers to kill the other army.

Obviously supreme, the mighty Zerg uses its ability to rebuild its army in a matter of minutes to swarm over your opponent’s army. (PRetty even, huh?!)

There are two main tournaments that have gained popularity over the past two years, the Global StarCraft League (GSL) and the Major League Gaming (MLG) tournaments. The GSL is centralised in Korea and runs one season every two to three months, running both Code A and Code S.

Code A is where most pro-gamers arrive in their quest to become the world’s greatest StarCraft player. Here they fight it out for a spot to get into Code S. This is the place to watch, if you want to watch any StarCraft II.  Thirty-two players per season will battle in the Code S for an $85,700 USD first place prize.

As an added bonus you get Tastosis (Tasteless and Artosis), how could you ever resist ?

GSL has been through the paces, beginning its second season for its third year of production – and it really is a production, with a permanent studio in Seoul, Korea with English and Korean commentators, a crowd in each day and thousands of dollars’ worth of camera’s and lighting.

I strongly recommend watching the GSL. Purchasing a year pass is also worth it; being able to watch any match that was played throughout the year is always very useful for those tedious lectures, and the website is a lot easier to navigate through than the MLG website, its American counterpart.

MLG is not a permanent fixture spot for StarCraft II action, however they do hold different tournaments throughout the year and generally being invite-only, these tournaments are always assured to be incredibly fun to watch.  You will also get to see different people as the Korean pro-gamers will not travel all the way to America unless the prize pool is worth going for, which only occurs for two or three tournaments per year.

This game might be big…

Earlier this year the Winter Arena was played through the MLG website, with MarineKing.Prime (T) taking out MVPDongRaeGu (Z) for his first ever real tournament win after coming second for many other tournaments. MVPDongRaeGu (Z) did manage to take out MVPGenius (P) 4-2 to win GSL Season One a few weeks ago.

With Season Two starting this week, there are sure to be some great games with the new players advancing from Code S and new maps being played, I recommend purchasing a season pass if you are at all interested in StarCraft II. Gamers such as Quantic_NaNiWa (P), the only non-Korean in the tournament, will be sure to give viewers a good show with previous strategies including a seven-probe rush (V IM.Nestea (Z) Blizzard Cup) or two Stalkers vs two Zealots + Probes after a five minute micro-fest (V EG.HuK Winter Championship).

Well, I will be giving updates every now and then towards the current action in the StarCraft II scene, with some very impressive sets being recommended in future articles.

For the Swarm!
Inner.

For more information, check out the official websites for Global StarCraft League and  Major League Gaming.