Monday, August 27, 2012

MLG fracas and why I'll never play League of Legends.

Okay, so in case you haven't heard, at MLG Raleigh this past weekend, MLG disqualified the top two teams after their finals, because they colluded to split the prize money.  The investigation wasn't difficult because the teams talked about it in a public, crowded room and then played ARAM (all random, all mid, a silly rules variant) for game 1.  The teams, of course, deny any wrongdoing (other than playing a retarded game 1), and the fans have flooded the LoL forums with posts about how they didn't break any rules, after MLG explained what rule they broke.  Between the nonsense on the LoL forums (which make the Blizzard forums look civil, intellectual, and grammatically correct), and the following gem of a Twitter conversation, I don't think I'll find myself playing League anytime soon.

Sadly, friend Rory didn't respond to Sundance.  I would really like to know how one of the foremost pioneers in American e-sports doesn't "get e-sports at all."

League fans, I apologize if it seems like I'm painting your entire (enormous) fanbase with a broad brush.  To be honest, I probably am doing that.  However, I flat-out refuse to be part of a community who behaves as badly as LoL players do on a regular basis in-game and defends people when they clearly break the rules.  Even if I really enjoy the game itself, which in LoL's case, I really do.

Monday, August 13, 2012

TvP Battle Report!

So I just finished watching Day[9] and Rob Simpson cast the TvP Battle Report.  Most of my impressions beforehand were reinforced, basically.

The Terran player (of course) went mech to show off Warhounds.  A Spider Widow Mine picked off an annoying Oracle.  The Warhound is pretty good.  Nice damage, kinda beefy, and not super expensive.  I'm looking forward to a more mobile mech style with Warhounds, fast Hellions, and Spider (I did it again!) Widow Mines.  All in all, I'm still sold on Mines and Warhounds, not so much on slow Hellions.  Maybe in TvZ against Zergling/Baneling styles.  As far as TvP goes, I'm thinking MMM with Vikings and will still be the way to go--you're getting faster Starport for antiair anyway, and the otherwise idle Factory can pump out Mines in early to mid game stages.  I think Mines might allow Terran to play even greedier in the matchup.  Something like 1rax CC to Reactor Mines to a super fast third CC before adding Barracks or extra Factories.

The Protoss player did some annoying Oracle harassment--I still think Oracles are stupid--but he didn't commit to it.  That was the theme for the Protoss player; he didn't commit to anything.  He made some Tempests but he didn't commit to air supremacy against a Terran with little to no antiair by adding Void Rays or a Mothership.  He had the Mothership Core up early, but he never made it into the Mothership proper.  He made basic gateway units, but he couldn't commit to that, either, because of the supply taken up by the Tempests.  I think dedicated Protoss air compositions can be very strong in HotS, but there's probably huge timing windows for the opponent to exploit with that style.

I'm still a little concerned about Terran lategame--does PDD work against Tempests and Locusts?  But other than that, Terran seems quite good.  Mech seems like it will be viable in all three matchups, which may make the bio threat even bigger.  As for Protoss, they have some earlyish harass with the Oracle, but in both Battle Reports, it didn't seem to be that effective.  The "Stephano style" Zerg is probably even stronger with Swarm Host transitions, in addition to the Infestor and Spire transitions, but Protoss still seems highly susceptible to it.  I'm looking for Protoss players to skimp on Gateways early on in favor of double Stargate harassment.

I'm still looking forward to HotS, and I'm still probably going to buy it.  It's still too early to discuss balance--wait for the beta proper to be released so  the pros can seriously dig in before even thinking about balance.  Not that that is going to stop anybody from whining about HotS balance...