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How Destiny is Breaking the (Meta) Game

Destiny Infestor

Steven Bonnell II (aka “Destiny”) has recently been at the heart of fascinating and surprisingly civil debate about the language and ethics of Starcraft II streamers. His brash, self-confident personality and unforgiving sense of humor have make him one of the most popular players to date, and likewise placed him in the center of a maelstrom of community attention. Strangely ignored, however, has been his recent game play. His boundary pushing hasn’t been limited merely to the confines of political correctness.

As I’ve watched his stream, I’ve noticed an evolving game philosophy that has slowly manifest itself amongst his coaching sessions and ladder play. Primarily focusing on infestors, he’s taken what was central SC dogma, the accepted creed that Zerg units are designed to be numerous and anything but cost-effective, and flipped it on its head.

On June 10, I saw him play against a Terran on scrap station (skip to 37:30 in the above video). The Terran opened with a mix of reaper and hellion harassment followed by delayed banshees, effectively kneecapping Destiny to 2 bases with very delayed saturation. Throughout the game, Destiny struggled mightily in an overall futile effort to maintain an even base count. The Terran ended up almost consistently up a base, frequently thwarting Destiny’s attempts to secure a fourth. And yet somehow, some way, Destiny held his own in confrontations. He actually ended up winning the game, doing so through a combination of mass speedling, mass infestor, and brood lords.

Using this unit combination, he made a gigantic stopgap around the map’s single Xel’Naga watchtower. The infestors shielded the brood lords while the brood lords sheltered the infestors. The speedlings gave him the mobility to combat drop play. The result was one of the most cost effective defensive strategies against a Terran I’ve ever seen. He literally starved him out, despite consistently mining fewer resources. The Terran flailed about, trying almost anything he could think of (including battlecruisers), but by the time he realized that ghost play would’ve been his best option, it was too late.

Destiny has utilized similar tactics versus Protoss:

The above game (cast by none other than H to the usky Husky) is obviously of the more playful variety, but I want to highlight a very specific portion. Around 10 minutes into the above video, Minigun begins to take a substantial supply lead. Any Zerg player knows that the absolute LAST thing you want versus a Protoss player is to be down in supply in the mid-game. Around 14:30, Husky points out that the players are on even bases (with Minigun slightly ahead), yet another situation which considered traditionally disadvantageous for Zerg.

Yet Destiny wins the following battles convincingly with expert usage of mass infestor. Infested terrans bolster the ranks while neural parasite completely nullifies the Protoss heavy hitters. The remainder of Destiny’s army servers as a shield for his neuraling casters, easily deflecting the stalkers that would love to snipe the fragile units. Fungal is used to nullify blink.

Of course, anyone who’s tried to use infestors in this way knows that it isn’t easy. During a recently streamed coaching session, Destiny tried to teach a player how to defeat Terran mech with mass roach + infestor. The player had considerable trouble properly controlling his army. For the final game of their coaching session, Destiny took over and made it look supremely easy. He spread out his roaches in a concave, engaged the Terran mech ball in the middle of the map, and timed his neurals so perfectly that the opponent GG’d on the spot.

This level of micro and game-sense is hard to obtain. In fact, I dare say no current player is as effective with infestors in large battles as Destiny. As time goes on, though, more and more Zergs are going to get better and better at keeping their infestors alive. Their regenerating energy yields the potential for nearly endless damage, and they are supremely effective at offense, defense, and harassment.

What’s more is that this fairly unique playstyle is being disseminated throughout the net on one of the most watched streams in SCII. Pretty soon Ghosts won’t just be for fighting Protoss any more, and feedback may become essential vs Zerg. When more skilled infestor-play starts becoming mainstream, people will view the race in an entirely new way.

Thanks for breaking the meta game, Destiny, and keep on building those bro-festors, broaches, and bro-lords.

  • Not a real email

    I would like to point out that just because Destiny popularized it, he wasn’t the creator of those Infestor heavy type strategies– that would be Catz.

    • lol

      yeah this article would make Catz so mad

  • Anonymous

    Argueing who “created” a style/build is retarded, the same way the Bisu build was probably come up with by a number of people, but Bisu was the first to use it effectively and popularize it.

    yes Catz has also used this style, but if we go back to the beta TLO used pure infestor ling to great effect, and before that I bet David Kim did the same in blizzard in-house test games…

  • Hmmm…

    “I dare say no current player is as effective with infestors in large battles as Destiny.”

    I don’t even know what to say to this.

  • Badcnr

    I dont think its who started it off that is the point. Kiwikaki wasnt the first to use blink micro but he is the or one of the top dogs to blink micro. I think catz would be proud that destiny can be good with an idea he started destiny with. A mentor should always be proud that their student has taken ideas a mentor instills on the student and actually untilizes them.

  • dr pepper

    First off, thanks for fucking the sponsorship up Kiwikaki. And farewell ROOT.

    Anyways, Destiny was using infestors and heavy infestor play PRIOR to the buff. I definitely give 100% more credit to Destiny for his infestor play before acknowledging Catz.

  • chaos1

    cool meta bro.

  • Bawss

    Screw CatZ and his complaints! If CatZ or drewbie quit the pro-scene, no one would give a fuck.

    • Zero

      Manner the fuck up!

  • Pingback: StarCraft II – GSL, NASL & Dreamhack Summer Updates, Day[9]‘s Gift & More! | Mitarn

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