Sunday, May 20, 2012

StarCraft II Spring Arena 2

The second MLG spring arena for StarCraft II took place this weekend. My sleep schedule hasn't exactly been normal so I didn't get a chance to watch many game lives but I did watch quite a few on demand. I was happy to see both Huk and Idra ended up qualifying though they didn't end up doing terribly well. I was really sad to see that MarineKing didn't show up. I did a little searching but couldn't find out why he missed it.

Apparently Blizzard recently released a balance patch with 3 changes. Protoss observers build 10 seconds faster, Zerg overlords move 25% faster, and Zerg queens had their melee attack range extended. I don't think the observer change did a whole lot this weekend but the two Zerg buffs had a huge impact.

Overlord speed is something that doesn't feel important on the surface but it has a huge impact in terms of scouting. Zerg get initial information faster and are in significantly less danger of having their overlord sniped by a marine or a stalker. It's easier to get full information out of a suicide scout. The extra speed could possibly even come home with drops? I'm not sure if the buff impacts the speed after researching the improved speed buff but I did see some overlord drop games this weekend and I don't recall that ever really being a strategy people used except for a cute game or two with banelings.

The queen range buff is insane. It was pretty much solely responsible for shutting down early hellion harassment out of Terran players. They mostly all still tried it out and got completely shut down when they did. This is the sort of thing that probably needs adaptation and will shake out in the wash in the long run but for this tournament it felt like it really skewed the results in terms of the Zerg vs Terran matches.

The top 3 of the event were all Zerg which meant the final three matches were all Zerg mirror matches. I didn't find them to be terribly interesting. I'm sure it's really skill intensive to micro small armies of zerglings and banelings around but for me it was pretty boring to watch. I ended up napping during the finals! At any rate, Violet ended up winning! He was wearing a surgical mask which I thought was a little odd but it would seem he was sick and didn't want to infect other people. How thoughtful!

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