A few thoughts from the MLG Winter Championship


It’s been awhile since I have spent all weekend watching StarCraft, but it felt great. The 2013 MLG Winter Championship in Dallas was different in several ways. First, it was the first, major post-release Heart of the Swarm tournament, and many of the players came with their new gadgets. Second, it didn’t have an open bracket, so all of the focus was on the championship bracket. Finally, it was single elimination, so the stakes on each game were higher than ever.

There were a ton of cool builds, but in my mind, the big story was Medivacs, which even IdrA appreciated. All of the Terran players showed very dynamic play, and it seemed like they were constantly attacking in 3 places simultaneously, which left the casters looking in all the wrong places.┬áThe best series was Flash (T) v. Innovation (T), the semifinal games between 2 KeSPA players. There’s something all you Terran players out there can aspire to do.

The finals were also awesome as Life (Z) took out Flash using an aggressive Ling-Baneling style. He started the first game with a 10 Pool, and that really set the tone for the rest of the games. I would need to rewatch the games, but I believe he used a 3 base build, with +1/+1 and a quick Lair for Baneling speed to overwhelm Flash. I was pulling for Flash, so forgive me for being defensive, but it really seemed like Life had his number. Flash used a quick Stimpack into +1/+1 Marine/Marauder/Medivac/Mines (M4? Can we call this build the “Carbine”?), and for a guy who often seems psychic, he demonstrated an amazing lack of map vision by moving out at critically bad times. And since both of them kept going back to the same builds (other than that crazy 2 Rax in there), Life came out ahead.

Major props to Life, though: he was aggressive, and it worked. I think the accepted Zerg style has shifted towards this very defensive strategy, obsessed with being 1 base ahead and trying to get to the late game ASAP to bring out the big guns. I personally haven’t seen as much aggressive play as what Life used this series, and he punished Flash for not being ready, again and again.

Given that, would you guys like me to review the games and put together a writeup on Life’s play that series? I have a few other posts I would like to do in the backlog (and I’m also assembling basic guides for each race), but if there’s demand for it, I would be willing to go through the replays again and catch some timings from the finals series. There are already a few posts around the interwebs (post 1, post 2), but if you would like more detail, I can give it a shot.

Should I post on Life's Ling-Bling ZvT?

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