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Fightin’ Words #3: Appropriate Response

Skill Development: Using Power Plays

For this edition of Fightin’ Words, we’ll be looking at the series between MYM.Mondragon and coL.Cruncher in the TSL3 Ro16, specifically Game 1.

Let’s imagine that you, casual Starcraft player, are Mondragon. You scout what you suspect is a tech build and feel that you are safe to pull off a 3 hatchery opening. Further scouting confirms your tech build suspicions, and close by air positions suggest it is a stargate. You hold off the initial void ray harassment with your queens, pretty standard.

but then, around the 8 minute mark, this happens:

Ohhhhhh no

So, shit, you completely underestimated the timing push.  Do you a) say GG and forcefully connect your fist to the monitor, b) write an inflamed post about void rays on your favorite video game forum, or c) breathe, and think to yourself ‘what do I do from here?’.

So because you are not, in fact, Mondragon, you are completely unprepared for the void ray push and feel like you’ve lost right here.  Your opponent has air dominance and better tech and is about to break you down.

But Mondragon is thinking something a little different: What did he sacrifice in order to get to this position? Where is he weak? Can I turn this seemingly dire position for me into a dire position for him?

By responding with mass roach, he takes advantage of the opponent’s weakness.  CrunCher may have higher tech and air dominance, but he can’t do anything with it if constrained to his base with the threat of constant roach attacks.

Instead of responding to your opponent via army composition (by say, frantically trying to hold off the void rays with queens/hydras/spores) you respond via pressure, using the strength of your build against your opponent. So instead of the outcome of this situation being ‘My opponent beat me with unexpectedly strong air push’; it has become ‘I beat my opponent because I responded to his air push with counter-pressure of my own’.

That’s what makes this game so amazing.

So, the next time you feel that you are in a completely unwinnable situation, remember to calm down, think about your options and, in the words of Professor Day9 (and Tim Allen): “‘Never Give Up, Never Surrender.”

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