Starcraft II - Heart of the Swarm matchmaking/pro scene discussion thread

Alright, the old thread is dated, the codes aren’t up to date anymore, and interest had died out. But we’re on the brink of Heart of the Swarm, a much needed update to the game.

At launch, there will be an SRK clan created, if you’d like to join. You get an SRK tag, and access to chat/help/etc from other SRK players. Possible clan matches, tournaments, etc to come.

What is Starcraft II?
You’d have to be a hermit not to have heard of Starcraft, but in a nutshell it is the undisputed king of Real Time Strategy games.

Starcraft: Brood War was released in the late 90’s, and it was immensely popular. A thriving pro scene grew in Korea, leading to hundreds of players in a professional league, with drafts, contracts, schedules, stars, fan girls, stadiums, and drama. Top players were earning 500k salary per year, plus any tournament winnings. When people talk about esports, they’re talking about the game at this level.

However, outside of Korea and these training houses, the game died to age. Hardcore players thrived on learning the mechanics, increasing their APM (Actions per Minute) to be over 300 in order to get around the limiting interface of the game. New players moved on to the more shiny games, including MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota, which blew up in popularity.

Enter Starcraft 2.

If Brood War was Super Turbo, Starcraft 2 would be Street Fighter 4.

There’s no denying it reduced a lot of the overhead required to play, lowering the bar of skill required to entry. However, the upper limits of skill required remains out of reach of the average player, leading to a still thriving pro scene. Now lower level players can jump in and enjoy the game. Much like SF4, a new community of players entered the scene, and old grizzled vets denounced the game as too easy.

If you haven’t gotten into it yet, give Heart of the Swarm a try. It has good features getting new people to play the game, including training, vs AI modes, unranked modes, and finally the ultimate mode in Ranked, where you get sorted into divisions and fight your way from the bottom of bronze league, up to the top tier of grandmaster league.

What if I just want to watch?
Starcraft 2 casting is awesome. There are infinite types of tournaments and leagues to follow, from small local competitions, larger regional events, to professional leagues. Here are the ones to watch if you’re new:

GSL ( - This is the Evolution of SC2 in terms of importance. The first real league, players move up to the top league (Code S) where the top 32 players in the world face off in a semi-monthly tournament. There is also Code A, the bracket of the tournament where Losers of Code S are sent. The winners of Code A get a shot for the spots of the early losers of Code S, creating an interesting dynamic of players advancing/dropping from leagues. Then the illustrious code B, which is basically everyone else in the world; a semi-open qualifying tournament (qualifying is based on your ladder ranking) get the best players, and gives them a shot at Code A. This is the best individual league, that carries the most weight. Downside is it can be costly for a season ticket ($20ish dollars), but the production quality is top notch.

They have released their older leagues VODs for free, 2011 videos, so you can get an idea of what to expect.

Pro League ( - This is more of a team orientated league, with 8 very well defined teams, each having corporate sponsor. They just transitioned from Brood War to Starcraft 2. These are the cream of the crop as far as players go; they train 10+ hours a day in structured houses, with coaches helping them reach their fullest potential. They play in defined seasons, with 6 rounds each season. A round is about 1 month, and involves each team playing each other team one time. In this format, the league determines the maps ahead of time, and the teams decide which player will be sent out on each map. Thus, for each match, you know your opponent and map ahead of time. This leads to interesting dynamics, where builds are prepared for specific players, roles like “Snipers” develop (players who train just to beat specific races/players), and overall you get much more varied type of play. You also aren’t pigeonholed into developing maps that have to necessarily be “Balanced,” as you can just avoid sending out races on that map if need be. As far as esports go, this is what people tend to talk about at its highest level. The biggest downside is that is a korean centric cast; they have hired 2 english speakers to do commentary (who are very rough around the edges), and all they do is put english voice over a korean stream and throw it up on twitch tv; however, this league is cast on TV in Korea, so the production levels are pretty high. At only $5 for the current season on Twitch, this is an amazing deal.

MLG ( - Most people know MLG from their dabble into fighting games, but this is more of a global tournament, akin to Regionals in the fighting game community. People descend into 500+ player tournaments over the course of a weekend, playing multiple matches in one day, leading into a finals day. You get a champion over a weekend, not over a month. Definitely a different feel than the above leagues. Since it doesn’t require a life commitment of living in Korea for a month at a time in order to compete, you get more weekend warrior types in these events. Typically Korea sends a few of their top players over to sweep this, whereas the rest of the world tries to keep up and give a good showing. Simply being a foreginer, and making a top finish in this event against Koreans, is enough to gather a very big fan base.

Plenty more information/discussion to come. Post your battle tag in the thread (or PM it to me) and I’ll invite you to the SRK clan. Use the in game clan for finding others to play with.

Any more questions about the game, where to start, etc just ask, and me or somebody else will help you with it.

My life for Auir!

Also, if you want to get in on the pre-release hype, Blizzard is doing a pre-release stream all day, with pro show matches and information on the game from around the world

My collectors edition just came in, had to have shipping escalated by Amazon customer support because they weren’t going to get it here until thursday, and I ordered in November! Time to start beating that campaign

I’ve had HoTS pre’d for so long that the CC I used at the time has since expired and now it looks like my order may get canceled because of it. Oh well, is the standard physical copy worth getting (like what else is included besides disk, cd key and the instruction manual that has probably already leaked online) because I can just buy the digital copy from Blizzard and save on sales tax. Actually I’d be saving money in general because I’d buy it with the Blizzard bux I made selling trash drops for 1.25 on the RMAH in Diablo III. LOLOLOLOL Jay Wilson!

The same thing actually happened to me, thats why I had shipping issues. My CC had expired! Luckily they bumped it up to 1 day shipping for me. Left amazon at 3 am, was out for delivery by UPS at 6 am.

looking forward to a single player crack so I can play just the campaign mode lol

I got dis, I am terrible though and will just try to 6pool anyone that tries to play me

hopefully i will be able to buy this game soon, been looking forward to it for a while. soon as i can i’ll join up with the srk clan to be the team scrub

Only a few missions into the game, but so far I’m liking it. I was playing on Brutal, but dropped to hard because my skills are crappy. But I should go back to brutal. Weird not to have to inject all the time.

So far not sure how I feel about the story… but it’s early

wait, what’s the deal with inject? was playing a bit of this at my brothers house last night and spent like 5 minutes looking for inject lol…

on a unrelated note, my brother is rocking a cracked version of windows 7, and his computer would randomly mute every few minutes… trying to alt-tab out of the cutscenes to turn the sound back on was fail upon fail.

INB4 “mass tempest is OP”. I won’t be playing HOTS until after EVO probably =/.

There’s no injects in the campaign, your hatchery just creates larva at a higher rate than usual, and also spawn up to 6 instead of 3. Queens are made for spreading creep, and also for anti air. Plus the transfuse is on auto cast, so it heals up your army.

Im liking all the different options for your swarm, it really does feel better than the Terran upgrades as far as how customizable it is.

So, lots of changes in the Pro Scene. EG is bringing in what is apparently a legendary Brood War coach as head coach for proleague, which seems to me that they’re taking it seriously. I think they really want to expand into the Korean scene, to bring in new sponsor money. I figured they would do 1 season of proleague and dip out, but that doesn’t appear to be the case at all.

They also released Puma, which isn’t a surprise since he has been not really performing that well, and apparently he wouldn’t go for a lesser salary. So now they really need a new terran pick-up, since proleague requires you to play 1 of each race at least. That means Thorzain is going to have to step up and be the lone Terran for awhile. Rumors are they are going to pick up Alive, we’ll see if that pans out.

MLG this weekend, first hots tournament, prepare for a weekend of awesome all-ins and cheeses!

Seriously, there are some good matches going on right now.

If you are not sure about SC2, watch this. We’re getting into the final 4 players soon. all Korean, of course. all 3 races are still left. these games are really awesome, not stale like Wings of Liberty was.

Terrans are abusing fast medivacs like crazy, making awesome games.
Protoss are fucking owning it up with straight face smashing tactics. 1 Oracle + 1 Mothership core taking out 6+ marines easy, and following it up with a 4 gate. Terrans are gonna have to respect the early game pushes from P now.
Zerg are swarming like usual. Blinding Clouds are fucking awesome, Ultralisks are sweet, And zoning with Swarm Hosts are awesome.

Seriously, check it out. 110k viewers right now

I played brood war very poorly in high school and have been watching tourney videos of SC2 for a little while because the game is so fascinating. I’ve been thinking about picking up HOTS now that I just got a computer that can run it well for christmas, maybe after a paycheck or two.

It’s kind of surprising how often you see cheese in tournaments, or maybe it’s just matches that I watch. A la the 6 pool in that last match.

Cheese is important, without cheese people would play too greedy.

Also, in Wings of Liberty at least, 6 pool was a legit strategy by Zerg just to cause damage, you could 6 pool and then catch up economically pretty easily. I’d think in hots it would be easier to hold. but it hits before Mothership core so it doesn’t really come into play.

Is sc1 still played? Last I payed attention it was Flash and Jaedong ruling the world. It was just funny watching a 15 yr old build 1000 tanks and goliaths and beat everyone in the world

Funny you should mention that, Flash was just playing in the MLG SC2 tourney Pimp Willy linked, and tearing it up there too. Not sure how much sc1 is still being played since it sounded like the majority of the
sc1 pros have switched over to sc2.

i’m probably gonna cop this this week. haven’t played starcraft in years, but was all about frozen throne. hopefully there won’t be too much lag playing on the US servers from korea.

I was Master Z in WoL, Diamond R so far in HotS. gonna stream HotS everynight on weekdays from when I get home from work to around 11pm PST(will change to morning in a couple weeks due to work schedule change) and probably all day on weekends. I’m more than happy to help if anyone is interested. GL HF!