Opening Moves: Plotting Out the Matchup

  • Dave Oliver, Blizzard Entertainment

For the rest of StarCraft II's Opening Moves Week, check out the previous article on map vetoes.

Once the map vetoes are decided, there’s still one very important aspect of the match to consider. StarCraft II has three possible races that players can play, and they all have very different styles. Every time a pro enters a match, they have a lot of things to consider. Mikolaj “Elazer” Ogonowski and Sean “Probe” Kempen have some details to share on their process.

PlayerProfile_Elazer.jpg

"Each time a new map comes out, I look into a couple things. If it’s against Terran or Protoss, I search where I can or should send my overlords first to get good early scouting done. If there’s a cliff that a reaper can jump up to get to my main, I’ll always have units there so I don’t get surprised by it."

"In Zerg versus Zerg, you should also look if your natural base can be walled off easily in the early game. If you can wall it with three buildings without any Creep Tumors, then you should look into opening with no Zergling speed and go straight into Roaches."

PlayerProfile_Probe_Protoss.jpg

"In terms of Protoss, there are a few things I look out for. Firstly, for Protoss versus Zerg, I look at the natural base and see if it is easily wallable. Most maps are fine with this, but occasionally you get difficult ones (like Battle on the Boardwalk this season), which favor the Zerg player. Next, I look to see how easy the third base is to defend. This is a combination of how far away it is, if there are choke points at it to use force fields, or if it is wide open and hard to defend against a big surround. Then finally I look to see the drop paths on the map. A typical map will have 2 drop paths, so any more than three and it can be hard for Protoss against Terran.

In the next installment of Opening Moves, we'll take a look at what goes into the decision to cheese or not to cheese.