My Journey to Diamond League
By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
Games played: 10
Initial Rank: Silver – 34
Final Rank: Silver – 42
The first game of week seven took me by surprise. Being in Silver league I did not expect opponents with good decision making. A normal ladder game in Silver consists of a player choosing one build and using that for the whole game.
My first opponent, a Protoss, decided to pressure my workers with void rays. Since he decided to do a forge fast expand, his Starport was hidden behind photon cannons at his natural expansion. An overlord sent into the main base was not able to find a Starport. This meant that I was unprepared for an attack.
Luckily I scouted the void rays on the way and was able to setup spore crawlers in time but not in the best positions. There were some openings and my opponent put them to good use which continuously forced me to fight back with queens. By the time I had proper defenses out my opponent stopped with the void rays.
Voids ray make me miss macro.
At that point I thought I could win because all his money was invested into void rays. I was wrong because my opponent was wise to continue and warp in a ground army and no more void rays. His army was too large to defend and I was forced to concede. If this was an average silver player, they would have had nothing but void rays at that point and I would have been able to win.
The following three matches were also against Protoss players. While these players were not as skilled as my previous opponent, I still lost.
For the first game I was experimenting with the zergling, baneling and mutalisks build because most Zerg players at the GSL were using it. My opponent did a four gate all in build and pushed with a lot of zealots. I was too focused on trying out the build that I did not switch to roaches; Zerglings are not very good against zealots. If I had roaches or earlier mutalisks I might have stood a chance but unfortunately I was forced to concede.
The next two games were both void ray rushes. This really is not a good week. I hate when people rush their opponents. I know it is part of the game so I do not complain or call out my opponents but these types of players are not very fun to play against.
I lost both games due to poor spore crawler positioning and decision making. I decided to morph mutalisks but I feel hydralisks would have been much more effective against void rays.
At this point I was really scared to continue playing because I did not want all my losses to kick me out of Silver but I knew I had to continue playing to improve.
The next day I was finally matched against an opponent that was not Protoss. At first I was scared once again because my opponent was playing random; random players tend to cheese. It turned out my opponent was randomly selected to be a Zerg. My macro was a lot better and I managed to produce a large army very quickly and overran his base. It was quite annoying when he would hide expansions and not leave an already lost game. Eventually I killed off all his structures and won the game.
Why not just leave?
I am really getting tired of Protoss cheese. My sixth game was against yet another Protoss and he void ray rushed me. I was close to holding off the attack but was not successful. I really need to work out a counter to these rushes. At the moment I feel just playing to get more experience against it will help me but after so much cheese I really do not feel like playing.
I was very glad I got to see a Terran this week; TvZ is my best matchup. This was not really a hard game for me. While he did apply early pressure, I learned from watching some of the pros that you should not just attack his army. Keep your army behind until you have a good amount of units. I waited until I had plenty of Zerglings and took out his attacking army. Afterwards I continued to expand to the point where I had four bases while he was only on one. It would have been easy to overrun his base with such a high income but my opponent was wise to GG after scouting all my bases. I was just about to take a fifth which would have been my second gold base.
Don’t panic. Just wait for a decent sized army.
After realizing that I was going to fight another Protoss, I was not pleased. I had enough of their cheeses so I made sure I scouted well. Luckily my opponent did not wall in so I got a lot of information and was able to disrupt his mining with ease. Fortunately I spotted the DT production and was able to setup some defenses. Once I held off that attack I knew I would win so I continued to macro up until I had a big army. He left the game after seeing my army.
All of the games this week were played to practice a new play style. I have replaced my old roach infestor style with the standard zergling, baneling and mutalisks build. I did this because I felt that roaches were taking up too much supply. It costs two supply to build one roach while it only costs one supply to build two zerglings. My new army composition is not very hard to replace and can work well against almost any standard build. It might take me some time to get used to this build but I think it will help me become a better player.
I was happy that I had finally won some games but my rank dropped from my initial rank. Next week’s goal will be to have final rank higher than my initial rank.
If there are any suggestions or feedback about this series, please let me know on the OnRPG forums (http://www.onrpg.com/boards/) @ Abubakr (http://www.onrpg.com/boards/member-abubakr.html). Alternatively you may message me in Starcraft II (Abubakr, 109).