Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tournaments and Mass Gates

Keeping Up with the Scene
I am sitting here with my morning coffee (yes, there is a reason I am named "Coffeebreak") and I start to worry about keeping up with the scene. I'll be honest, as much as I revere people like Tastosis, Husky, and especially Day[9], I am intimidated by them. This especially is true in the area of tournaments. I am an extremely avid MLG watcher, but for some reason, when it comes to the NASL, IPL, GSL... I may have watched two hours of it in the past year. I know that I am not the most up-to-date on the scene, and it shows when I try to cast an IPL bo3 series that turns out to not only be a bo5, but the Grand Finals. I suppose I am a little unsure of how to keep up with the scene, and it really freaks me out as someone who is trying to claw my way up the ladder...

Protoss vs Terran: The Midgame
I was watching a Day[9] Daily yesterday about the PvT midgame, and how it is so difficult for Protoss to survive Terran's multi-pronged attacks and massive stim bio-ball up the middle. Since I know you all don't watch the Daily (and even I don't as rigorously as I used / want to), I wanted to discuss a little bit Day[9]'s concept of limiting the attacks of your opponent. We say this a lot in SKMC vs EGPuma (a series that I actually casted). MC opened up the games many times with this 3-Gate timing attack off of 2-base that featured a lot of Sentries. For brevity's sake, I will cut to the point and say that the point of this attack was not necessarily to win, but to do some damage and weaken the opponents army.
In the mid-game, Terrans have a tendency to drop the main and the third at the same time, or drop the third, force the army to be pulled, then push their main bio-ball down the throat of the 'Toss. Even with Blink (an essential upgrade for holding against drops) it can be difficult to be in 2-3 places at once. So good Protoss players started to look not only at holding against those drops, but what they could do before that to prevent it.
First of all, the 3-Gate timing is pure brilliance. In the early game, Terran players like to build up a nice little bio-ball to defend against Protoss aggression, which they later use to pummel the Protoss with aggression of their own. With this timing attack by the Protoss, the Terran is forced to trade armies or lose extra buildings / SCV's. Without this army in the mid-game, they can not afford to do 3-pronged aggression, because they simply do not have the numbers. They can drop or they can push the front. Doing both would result in no damage as their army would just be too small.
The second piece of importance is Warp Gate count / use. We see MC and Naniwa with many Warp Gates, 8+, and then not do anything with them. This, of course, is on purpose, as these high level players aren't just "forgetting" Warp Gate cycles. 1) By not using these Warp Gates, they can tech and upgrade like mad because they have a lot of extra resources. 2) By not using these Warp Gates constantly, when a drop occurs, they suddenly have 4 - 8 units instantly to defend while they can get a portion of their army in position to defend against the drop.
And with that, welcome to and abrupt ending.

Day[9] Daily #432: http://blip.tv/day9tv/day-9-daily-432-p1-skmc-s-pvt-living-through-the-midgame-6039893#disqus_thread
C0ffeeCast: SKMC vs EGPuma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk1ksuoAVo4&feature=plcp&context=C40bdf8dVDvjVQa1PpcFPLtvnI2Y1SxFz-bnvEDqB-JP-mlYPh7E0%3D

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