It's finally here! One month after we opened up TLMC9, the judging has concluded and we're now ready to reveal our finalists.
From the pool of submitted maps, we chose 3 Macro Maps, 3 Standard Maps, 3 Rush Maps, and 3 "New" Maps. In addition, we had four(4) "Judge's Choice" picks, which could come from any category. For this particular contest, we felt that the Macro and Standard categories were the strongest, so this season we will have 5 Macro and 5 Standard maps in the map pool.
One important change to the map contest is that with this iteration, every map in the finals will earn the mapmaker $100. Because a few mapmakers have more than one map in the finals, they will earn $200 or even $300. As always, mapmakers will still be able to earn even more money later on during the public voting phase.
Again, we will be working with all mappers in the coming two phases (WardiTV Tournament Phase and Iteration Phase) to improve the maps before the final voting stage where you, the Starcraft community, will get to pick who wins additional cash prizes.
You can find every maps on AM, EU, and KR by searching for [TLMC9].
A total of 30 maps were submitted to this category. For this category, judges focused on the ones that truly promoted macro play and had interesting layouts throughout the entire map.
Backwater was my last attempt into creating a 'pocket-third' concept, and I think the games we had showed that it works out well. I asked around and it seems that the ease of scouting this base as well as the middle ground of harassing it seems to work out in most of the matchups, even in ZvZ. The map is easy to read, the linear expansion pattern and open field makes for surprisingly interesting engagements outside of the base locations rather than on the base itself. This map is a good bet to vote on if you are fan of three-base games that aren't necessarily turtle-y like Acolyte.
- A muddy swamp with a river that splits the map down the center.
- There is a pocket third base that can be only accessed through the natural mineral line.
- There is a reaper cliff by said pocket base to help with scouting, as well as a visible Overlord spot near each base.
- It's relatively simple to take three bases and the fourth base isn't horribly exposed either. The base splits through the center through a few ramps, with the rush distance being relatively normal in length.
- A very standard macro map with relatively linear expansion patterns, many ramps and pathways for army movement.
- Each base has roughly 30-35 direct distance between them.
- The vertical third base can be closed off similar to Echo LE to secure it and create a triangular four base setup.
- Defender's Resort is a very macro favored map that has first four bases on high ground that can only be entered by two entrances.
- These entrances lead into low ground exposed fifth bases which gives enough time for the players to macro up safely while going onto the map.
- The high number of bases on the map also creates a more friendly late game since the map has more resources for both players.
- VERTICAL SPAWNS ARE DISABLED. HORIZONTAL AND CROSS SPAWNS ONLY
- A very standard macro map with a striking color palette and some never-seen-before rocks usage.
- The third and fourth bases are quite easy to take and hold.
- The rock clusters in the middle prevent the players from taking control of the four Xel-naga Towers.
- When the clusters are destroyed, new pathways become opened. Players must judge carefully whether some vision is worth the risk.
- This is a large 4-player diagonal symmetry map, like the old Metalopolis and Lost Temple, that seeks to improve on the balance of the old map style. To do this, the map is on the large side, to give more room to balance out rush distances, so there are no spawn restrictions.
- One set of corners has Xel'Naga towers watching over them and the other is blocked with air-movement blockers, so the corners themselves take up less attention, and players can focus more on what's happening in the middle of the map.
- Map type aside, the features are all fairly standard, and while there is some variance in rush distances based on spawn positions, they're all on the Macro-side of things.
A total of 42 maps were submitted to this category. In this category, the judges looked for maps that were well-executed or gave us slight deviations from what we're used to.
- Set in an overgrown chemical plant, there are many different options for expansion patterns past the natural, allowing for varied strategies
- The forward gold bases can offer an offensive platform, though it is vulnerable to flanking.
- Destructible Debris opens up the map during the later stages of the game.
- Eastwatch is a BW-inspired standard macro that allows all kind of gameplay with a focus on tactical maneuvers to overcome your opponent.
- Nearly the whole map is built on a single cliff level, aside from main/natural, with the pathways separated by walls made by a mixture of cliffs+doodads.
- The rocks play a huge part in the tactical gameplay, providing exciting ways to block/open new paths and bases.
- There is a gold base that can be taken as a third, but the players must defend it carefully, since if the Rock Tower near it goes down, the gold base is completely isolated.
- There are a couple of other neat tricks hidden in the pathways, that become unlocked if a certain combination of rocks is killed/taken down.
- There are two main expansion paths. If you take the safer 4th, you have a more open 5th. If you take the more open 4th, you have a 5th with only a small ramp that needs defending.
- With a variety of choke/hallway sizes and highgrounds, along with dangerous air spaces, map vision and
positional play will be key.
- A solid, medium sized 14 base map for standard play.
- The expansion pattern is very flexible - after the linear 3rd, take your pick of aggressive vs defensive, forward vs protected bases.
- The long, arcing high grounds can be very powerful for map control, acting as a staging point to defend multiple bases as the game progresses. These fairly narrow/chokey ridges provide a contrast to the 2 wide open central low-ground areas.
- Frontal attacks are initially funneled through 3 consecutive chokes: the rock-narrowed ramps in front of the naturals, and the central choke point - the aggressor may prefer to move along the high ground, or take one of the side paths. Later on, the large rocks near the center can be destroyed to open up the direct attack paths across the central high grounds.
- The map consists of a fairly standard 3 base setup. From there the deviation begins. Any further bases are located behind tight chokes, making them harder to conquer from both the perspective of the attacker and defender.
- Near the center of the map are two high ground pods, which radiate a strong advantage to all adjacent areas, giving control of the 4 and 10 o'clock expansions, as well as an advantage towards the nearby low grounds.
- Choked expansions: any base further than the 3rd is semi-isolated by small chokepoints.
- Island bases: two island bases are located in the northwest and southeast corners.
23 maps were primarily submitted in this category. For Rush maps, we looked for maps that weren't just smaller scale versions of standard maps. In general, a combination of creative ideas and execution on those ideas dominated this category.
- Through careful expansion positioning, this map is designed to enable very quick 1-2 base attacks, while also allowing a safe transition into macro play once the 3rd is taken.
- The naturals are positioned in front of the mains, with the chokes facing directly towards each other, opening a straight path between the players and reducing the rush distance.
- The direct attack path crosses a tight forward ramp, narrow enough to be blocked by a single forcefield or walled like a normal main ramp, ensuring a strong defender's advantage. Attackers are encouraged to take a longer path to gain a more open avenue of attack.
- Once the naturals are secured, the thirds are extremely safe - they're close, and they're tucked in a corner behind the main and natural, allowing you to expand away from your opponent and safely macro up.
- With only 12 bases, the map has a low expansion count for LotV, but it is designed to allow you to hold as many of them as possible at once. The 4th and 5th are nearly as safe as the 3rd, located in a line hugging the back of the map. Only the 6th is a more difficult, contested forward base.
- Not only is the map fairly smushed together, it has many aggressiveforward chokes (think gettysberg's bridge) yet also has a "Boardwalk" around the outside edge of the map that connects both mains.
- Both the backdoor boardwalk and the forward aggressive boardwalk can both be fully walled with just one depot/pylon if needed.
- The natural is far enough away from the aggressive boardwalk that Tank pushes shouldn't be too strong.
- Tanks can only deny 2 mineral fields from the lowground fourths and 4 mineral fields from the lowground fifths if they are placed on the upper boardwalk around the edge of the map.
- A five-lane map that provides heavy action-packed games with new terrain layouts and features. Also, fruits!
- This map features a slightly narrow-sized corridor in the middle of the map that allows very short rush distances.
- There are a couple of Rock Towers that can be destroyed to seal off the central path, forcing players to use the other lanes. This provides heavy back and forth games, forcing players to actually think about the strategic planning regarding the army movement, as moving between lanes is difficult and slow.
- Every ramp is angled at 60° instead of 45°, aside from the main and natural ones.
- Cooling Towers will block the middle path once taken down.
There were 22 maps submitted in this category. For New maps, we focused on ideas that we felt would truly change how the maps played. Maps were excluded for a variety of reasons, including execution, not being new enough, and being too obviously imbalanced.
- An unusually long, narrow map that aims to encourage a uniquely straightforward expansion pattern and a methodical style of play.
- The map has a single long primary attack path that curves back and forth, which is large enough for full army engagements. Most expansions are located on this path and are roughly intended to be taken in order as you progress along the path.
- A "bonus" island expansion contains only 6 minerals and 1 geyser, and is located behind your ground-based 3rd and 4th. It can be taken safely at any time once you've secured the 4th, since it will be covered from all angles.
- All along the path, pairs of bridges act as shortcuts, but can easily be exploited by the opponent to catch large armies out of position.
- Movement through the middle is still restricted until the rocks blocking the final set of bridges are killed, unlocking the direct path across the center and opening an additional avenue of attack.
- The 7 o'clock bases are surrounded by airblockers.
- Both the main and natural expansions feature gold bases.
- If workers are constantly produced and resources are constantly collected, the main base's gold minerals will run out after 5 minutes and there will be a ground passage through the airblocker.
Judge's comments: Yes, this was created by the creator of Dasan Station.
- There are many 1 x 1 unpassable doodads that form different features of the map. 1 x 1 passages blocks the big units: Siege Tank, Thor, Archon, and Ultralisk while all other units can pass. 2 x 2 passages are accessible to all units.
- Scattered chokes made up of 1 x 1 passages can still be used as typical chokes, but require more buildings to wall-in.
- The main is smaller than that of typical macro maps to lessen the strength of air units.
- There are three choices for the third. One is a pocket third that is safe from air harass but has fewer resource nodes. Its entrance is made up of 1 x 1 passages so big units cannot pass through.
- The other two choices are the vertical third and lower ground third. The way to the vertical third is initially narrowed to adjust the natural’s entrance. The lower ground third can be harassed from above.
- The vertical fourth is relatively vulnerable compare to the other choices. There are lower ground zones to harass and the entrance consists of 1 x 1 doodads. This entrance has 2 x 2 passage so big units can pass.
- The middle is a massively wide zone but has scattered chokes of 1 x 1 doodads. Four lines of doodads have a few 1x1 passages and one 2x2 passage. As the widest passage is the outmost one, the big units take more time to travel to the opponent’s base.
- There are also three clusters of 1 x 1 doodads in the middle. Players can avoid this zone by using roundabout ways.
- Breaking the four 6 x 6 rocks also leads to new attack paths so you can bypass these features.
Congratulations to all the mappers who made it to the finals. Not only do we want to highlight the maps that progressed to the final 16, we want to highlight the mappers that have brought you these great maps:
- nesta-kun is a newcomer whose first map has become a TLMC finalist!
- Fatam and Meavis consistently place highly in TLMCs.
- Youngrustler, creator of Defender's Landing.
- RQM, creator of Judgement, a GSL map.
- NewSunshine, creator of Galactic Process.
- Enekh (TLMC6 3rd), creator of Dasan Station, Acolyte.
- SidianTheBard, creator of Abyssal Reef, Ascension to Aiur, Honorgrounds, Korhal Carnage Knockout, Moonlight Madness, and Habitation Station.
- AVEX, (TLMC8 1st), creator of Odyssey, Blood Boil, and Invader, has two maps in the finals.
- IeZaeL, creator of Coda, has three maps in the finals.
- NegativeZero (TLMC6 1st, TLMC7 2nd), creator of Sequencer, Interloper, Apotheosis, Terraform, has three maps in the finals.
Starting tomorrow, WardiTV will be hosting its WardiTV Teamliquid Map Test Contest Tournament exclusively on these maps. We're especially excited for the tournament this season, because the lineup involved is possibly the strongest lineup we've ever seen in an online tournament in the history of StarCraft II.
Afterwards, mappers will be given time to balance and touch up their maps for the final judging process where you can vote for your favorite maps. The entire process is detailed here. So what do you think about the finalists? What are your favorite maps? Which maps got snubbed? Leave your thoughts and comments below!