Starcraft II: Jouney to Diamond League Week 2: Battle for Silver!
By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
Missed the first episode? Catch it HERE.
This is Abubakr reporting in for week 2 in my journey to the Starcraft II Diamond League. I hope you enjoy this review of my 2nd week of competitive play as competition really heated up for me.
Games played: 9
Initial Rank: Bronze – 8
Final Rank: Bronze – 5
Blizzard has announced that the third season for Starcraft is coming soon. This means that on the 5th of July, the league promotion and demotion system will be disabled. While your points will continue to increase, you will not be promoted until the next season begins. At the beginning of the next season, you must do a placement match to determine where you will begin.
It seems that I am making some progress. My opponents during this week were slightly favored to win. This means that the system thinks they are better because of their rating and because of this I get more points if I beat them. The match making system puts you up against harder opponents if you seem to be beating your level too easily, if you continue to win you will get promoted.
My opponent was favored but still lost.
I have learned that banelings are my best friend when up against marines. Banelings are the suicide bombers of Starcraft. To attack, they simply self-destruct. At my level, the Terran players simply stim their entire army. While this does result in their army getting stronger, it means their whole army is at low health instead of just a select few. If they are already low, my banelings can easily finish them off by blowing up.
My first game was up against a Terran player. I found out that he was going mass marines and marauders because I scouted with my overlord. Knowing this I produced a lot of roaches and banelings. I took an expansionist strategy which paid off thanks to my opponent’s turtle strategy. I was on four bases while he was only on two. Since he did not come to attack me, I simply overran his base with my army and ended up winning the game.
Unlike the first game, I forgot to scout during my second game. I fell for the very simple Void Ray rush that a lot of Protoss players at my level like to do. I was not ready for this because the only anti-air I had were my queens. I was forced to concede.
One queen is not enough for four void rays
The next game I employed a strategy I had learned from watching the top level players. The opponent was a Protoss that attacked me early on with his Zealots. I only had a queen and four zerglings but I was able to hold off because I used my drones to fight. It never occurred to me before to sacrifice some drones to defend because I thought if I lost drones early on I would lose anyways. However, I learned that if the opponent sends out an attacking force early on, they spent the money on army forces which they could have spent on miners. Therefore, even if I do lose some of my own miners, I will not fall behind because they already have fewer miners. After holding off the attack, I knew I was ahead and just continued to develop my economy. I eventually pushed out with many roaches and was able to overrun my opponent because I had more income to continuously build my army.
Once again, I forgot to scout while playing versus another Terran. My drones and queens were all killed by cloaked banshees and there was nothing I could do because I was not ready for it. I need to remember to scout! I might have been promoted because that would have been my fourth win in a row against silver league players.
I lost to yet another Terran in my next game. I have never come across opponents using drops in my ladder matches so I was not expecting this. The Terran player easily beat me by having a larger army and catching me off guard. I really need to improve my speed for reactions and have better positioning. He attacked my main base right as I moved out to kill his expansion. Maybe I am not ready for silver yet. I looked into how to survive against drops and I have learned that my overlords must be spread across certain paths to know the drops are coming. Time to stop clumping them all up in one spot.
The next three games were quite easy. My opponents were not able to keep up economically and in unit count. They were overrun and were forced to concede. It seems that now my matches are simply based on which player builds up an army and attacks first.
The following game did not go so well. Due to the lack of vision, I was not expecting dark Templars. I was able to hold off his attack but due to loss in workers, I was not able to rebuild my army. I wish the Zerg race was a bit better at scouting early on.
On the 5th of July I was aiming to play a lot of games to push myself into silver league. Unfortunately, I was wrong about the lock being on the 6th as the ladder has been locked on the 5th. The EU ladder was to be locked on the 6th, not the NA. Oops.
I will not be able to push myself out of bronze for another two weeks. This makes me very sad but I will continue to play games because they still count towards your ratings. Hopefully I will be able to use up my 500+ bonus pool because it will not grow during the lock.
While I did not gain a lot in terms of rankings, I did learn a lot about the game. I spent more time reading and watching Starcraft than actually playing it. I learned a lot of new plays, about how all races play and how to react to certain situations.
While I will not be able to get out of Bronze league until Season 3 begins, I will continue to improve my play. Hopefully I will be good enough by then so that the placement match will place me in a league higher than bronze.