Observations about the KeSPA Exhibition, MLG Spring Championship, and Heart of the Swarm

Hopefully you didn’t miss the yet again biggest weekend in StarCraft 2 eSports, which was this time held in Anaheim. I actually managed to watch quite a bit of it, so here are some thoughts.

Stephano v. MKP in the Championship Bracket

Phenomenal. Now, it seems difficult to not be a Stephano fan because he consistently delivers great series of games. In my mind, this series showed how pro SC2 has become truly refined. It was slight mistakes in a single major engagement that really determined 2 of these games. In the first game, Stephano attacked from 3 sides but didn’t quite get the tanks killed fast enough or fungal enough Marines to death. In the second, MKP got too far onto creep without sieging and cleaning it up and got trapped. The final game went back and forth with trades and sacrifices. Great games.

KeSPA Invitational Tournament

I watched all of Flash’s games and the 2nd and most of the 3rd of Jaedong v. Bisu. Sadly, I dozed off for the apparently embarrassing parts of Jaedong’s play, but overall, I thought the games were solid. Flash was sometimes clumsy with small groups of units, but his micro in big engagements looked good, and he maintained his macro throughout the matches. I thought the early game was quite interesting, with the Marauder rushes and quick Mutas. The builds seem almost too straightforward to be used professionally, but there’s apparently some merit to them, and the games ended up playing out more normally. I’m looking forward to where they are in a few more months.

Heart of the Swarm

Watch the unit update, Battle Report 1, and Battle Report 2 if you get a chance. Overall, I like the changes they’ve made since the Blizzcon announcement and am actually quite excited to play post-expansion. The Battle Reports are somewhat silly as I think it’s clear that they were playing to show off the new units and how overpowered David Kim is. The race I’m least excited about is Protoss: the Oracle looks more annoying than anything else, and the Tempest doesn’t seem like it adds much to micro control. In any case, it’ll totally be worth playing when it’s released. Hopefully it brings a few more friends into (or back into) StarCraft 2.