Julie and I watched Polt v. Stephano in the ASUS ROG Assembly Winter 2012 finals (replays) over lunch earlier today, and it was pretty phenomenal. Polt managed to win 4-1 after losing the first game, and he was in terrifying positions in each game. From huge Baneling hits in his main base mineral line to Mutas unchecked at an expo where he had dropped all of his MULEs, it felt like he was always on the edge of defeat. Some may interpret the games as a sign of how imbalanced Terran is to come back in situations like that, but I think a better read is that Polt wasn’t quite that far behind, and Polt himself is imba.
I apparently am a fan of Stephano v. Terran series, and this is no exception. He pulled out some new tricks, and I’m still amazed that even though he managed to do pretty much what he wanted in a lot of those games, he still lost. If it were anyone other than Polt, he would’ve had it, but with Tank positioning and Marine splits and target fire like that, there’s not much you can really do.
meanysc2 on reddit made an interesting observation earlier:
one thing I have realized about stephano as I have been watching his ROG games is that he uses his infestor eggs very cleverly. It is widely known that he pops those eggs out to absorb tank fires but there are a lot of times when he just throws 3 out and not attack. I have realized that this is to see how many tanks there are at least in range of the position that the egg is in. You’ll see that he throws the egg in different position of the field. He will only attack when he knows that he has got the right amount of lings to win the push. I’m kind of surprised that none of the casters who have obviously seen more games than me have realized this.
I myself hadn’t noticed this either. I knew about the Tank shots thing (basically, you get to discount 1 round of Tank shots while your Zerglings run in), but the positioning gauge is also interesting. That sort of play is far beyond my own ability to take advantage of, much less perform, but something it’s something to think about.
So congrats to Polt. Although I usually cheer on other Zerg players, Polt was just working so hard in those games. I couldn’t help but be a fan.