Although it is currently shadowed by its competitors, such as MOBAs and Shooters, Real Time Strategy games are a staple in the esports scene worldwide. It is by far one of the most demanding and difficult type of games. Since pros play alone, the pressure and responsibility are increased ten fold. Here, we present the best qualities of a Starcraft pro gamer.
Best Qualities of a Starcraft Pro Gamer
Starcraft 1 was so popular in South Korea that it was broadcasted on national television. It was the first time gamers were able to make a profession out of playing video games in South Korea. Many years would pass for it to be even considered a profession by western countries as it is today. Starcraft plays a huge role in esports history, and can be seen as paving the way for players to make a profession out of playing games competitively.
When Blizzard released Starcraft 2 in 2010, many players migrated from the original SC game to this new game, and many newcomers entered the scene playing it. Things have changed drastically in the game since its first release. Wings of Liberty had many patches and expansions which made the game change from year to year. But the core skills needed to succeed in the game remains the same, and that is why the best players managed to be consistent no matter how many changes they face. Here is a list of what you need to understand to have to be Starcraft Pro Gamer.
Commonly shortened to Micro, this is basic unit control, a basic skill for many esports like MOBAs. It is definitely important to have the ability to kite (kiting) with ranged units and position them correctly in order to maximize damage. However it goes a lot further in an RTS such as Starcraft.
Remember, we are talking about more than 50 or 60 units in each army, and most of the time each one is composed of different types of units. So the skill required to properly control all of them is really high. Although it is impossible to perfectly Micro an army, since players have a limited APM (actions per minute), the best players are amazing at controlling armies. For example, INnoVation and Maru, two of the best Terran players, position their static units such as Siege Tanks and Liberators almost perfectly. While kiting with the mobile army of Marines or Cyclones, and controlling spellcasters like Ghosts to target the crucial enemy units. Doing all that at once is a requirement if you want to be among he best players of Starcraft.
The difference between Starcraft and other esports is the Economy of the game. Building structures and creating an army cost resources, and those must be obtained first. Other games also use a resource-based trade. For example, like MOBAs where you buy items for your character with the gold obtained from farming and killing. Or some Shooters where you buy better weapons with the reward of killing some players. However in Starcraft you must create workers to obtain a resource. There are more than one resource; Minerals as the most common and Vespene Gas as the most rare.
Each base needs a healthy amount of workers to obtain resources, and you usually need more than one base to sustain a production of units big enough to defeat your opponent. You also need to balance when to produce workers and when to produce units. When to attack and when to obtain another base. It is difficult to defend your workers and also destroy your opponent’s, since having an economic advantage usually means victory. Balancing all these points is difficult and requires practice. So it is no wonder that the 2 best players of Starcraft right now, Serral and Stats, have and impeccable Macro game.
Scouting and Unit Selection
Starcraft, at its core, is a rock-paper-scissors game. For example, Marine beats Zergling, but Roach beats Marine, but Marauder beats Roach, but Zergling beats Marauder, and so on. Picking the correct unit to beat your opponent is crucial for victory. Elements in the game such as Light, Armored, Biological and Mechanical usually define which units can be beaten by which ones. And the way to correctly decide what units to produce is by scouting.
Information is the most important part of Starcraft, you always need to know what your opponent is doing so you can prepare a proper response. Pro players can know what type of units will they be facing by the structures the opponent creates and the times of those structures. They can expect an attack or not depending of the number of bases and workers the opponent has. This is why some players go to great extents just to scout. It is common for Zerg to sacrifice an Overlord or two just to see what the other players is building, Terran usually starts creating just one Reaper to move fast and scout the opponent, and the standard Protoss opener are Adepts just so they can scout with their shade ability.
At the end it is the players choice of actions what determines if he wins or loses a match, but it is different to make a decision informed that completely in the dark. So good decision making, proper unit control, and a great economy are the basics for a Starcraft pro gamer to succeed.