I haven't played SC2 in 2 years. But I was roped back in by a link, then a picture, then a replay, then some streams, then GSL, then proleague. But I certainly can't appreciate the game simply by watching it no no no! I must PLAY IT!
Before I left SC2 I was in low diamond league. This was before Master's league, so I guess I was pretty top shit if I do say so myself. So when I plugged in my HotS beta key I was ready to jump straight back into the fray and kick some ass.
Ahhh but I must have my placement matches first. Oh don't worry diamond league, I'll be there in a moment.
I see a protoss! My first victim in two years, ahhh it will be a joy to crush him. I will, of course, use my dastardly old school 14 hatch. Hah, nobody expects someone to fast expand. Oh but... it looks like he expanded too. Hmmm, how unorthodox. Hah, I'll get a third base! My god, a third base at the ten minute mark? This is truly breaking ground. And he's got a third base now... I've never experienced this before. Oh my, that shiny new flying crescent looking unit seems dangerous. Oh... my hydras... ouch.
A terran! Pah, this will be a cinch. ZvT was my best matchup. I'll start with the ol' 12 pool 15 hatch into ling/bling. Hmmm, it's about time to expect the marine marauder ball, I should go scout... oh he expanded too. And wow that's a lot of blue flame hellions...
Another terran. Two widow mines hidden in his mineral line wipe out 16 of my mutalisks. Apparently harass is no longer viable.
A protoss. I've learned my lesson this time and will be wary of his fast expand into crescents. I'll form a strong defensive and prepa-Oh, dark templars. Neat.
A zerg. My ZvZ was always my worst matchup, but I'm sure my early roach pressure should do the trick. I expand, he expands. I expand again, and again HE EXPANDS. It's a beautiful dance, the slightest move could determine the victor. My roaches wiggle on through and manage to push him back, and back! Hah! Our mutalisks flutter and frolic in the sky like butterflies mating. At last my victory is assured as my roaches tunnel into his main and take out the Hive directly.
And so I am placed in Bronze League, a place I had never been before and once scoffed at and sneered at. But two years has been a long time; my reflexes have dulled; my muscle memory is gone; everybody seems to be expanding a lot.
But I'll be back tomorrow. And the next day, and the next. And I shall have my revenge.
Update: Day 3
The previous two days had been interesting. Yesterday I played with a fairly even win/loss rate, getting my mechanics back in order. It took some time to get my muscle memory to respond to my hotkeys like they used to but my body quickly got back into the groove of Starcraft action. I've never been in the bronze league before, so I wasn't exactly sure how to proceed. I think the native custom is to build lots of void rays as an offering to the ladder gods, in hopes that I might go another winter without being dt rushed.
What I noticed from my matches yesterday was that I really didn't utilize any of the new zerg units. I'd gone against those tempests and the FUCKING widow mines, but I hadn't really dabbled in anything new. Therefore, I decided that today I would do nothing but mass Swarm Hosts, and see what happened.
Cue the music.
My enemy is protoss. The perfect opportunity to try out the Swarm Host. I manage to defend an early 4gate with speedlings and a couple of spine crawlers, but I had to cut my droning. As a result my lair tech was a little bit late, but I knew that I must have had the advantage. While I'm sure the complexity of the 4gate has grown in the past two years, I seemed to recall that players had absolutely no idea what to do after it failed. With this in mind I start pumping out my Swarm Hosts.
He was thoroughly unprepared for the full fury of the Locust.
My enemy is a terran. As I learned from my mistakes yesterday, I went hatch first. Hatch first against terran? My god, I'm such a maverick. Putting my faith in my trusty swarm, I slapped that hatch straight in my natural, just daring him to bunker rush me. He was all too happy to oblige...'
Another terran. This time my overlord was prepared for any bunker shenanigans, looming over my natural with its warm protective gaze like a mother bear tending after its cub. I still haven't quite figured out what the Swarm Host is good against. But whether he went for bio or for mech I was sure I would learn something. Never in my life have I been so delighted to see a large marine marauder ball wandering down the center of the map, stepping into my creep, stepping into their doom.
Another protoss. He quits immediately after losing his void ray rush to my queens.
A zerg!? How can I fully unleash the raw force of the Swarm Host knowing that my enemy is a brother zerg? No matter, I mustered my courage and started setting up my hotkeys when my opponent first spoke.
Roaches? What is he talking about? Everyone knows that ZvZ is all about ling/bling/muta...
This isn't right, this isn't right at all! Starcraft is a game to be played with joy and laughter, between two opponents who test skill and strategy in the ultimate battle! This man, so drenched in hatred. It is my duty to show him. What better way to brighten his day than by showing him that Starcraft is about fun! So I started teching to Lair as fast as my APM would let me, my infestation pit smacked down on the field like a beacon of hope. It was then that my forward two scouting lings saw them coming. Roaches. But with my Swarm Hosts buried and in position, he was met with a swarm of locusts. They easily mopped up the roaches, and while I was full of joy at my victory I only felt regret in his rage quit.
Perhaps he was simply having a bad day. Perhaps his heart truly was full of malice. Either way, I hope that in some small way I have shown him that Roaches aren't the answer to everything.
Almost as if a sign from above, that my work was good and righteous, I am rewarded with a promotion to Silver League.
Grandmaster here I come.