1999 Tooniverse Progamer Korea Open:
The first BW tournament that took place in 1999 was called Tooniverse Progamer Korea Open. It had 16 players face off in group stages till the end of Ro8. After the Ro8 was finished, the two top players in each group faced each other (1st against 1st and 2nd against 2nd) in bo3 series. By the end, two players emerged, TheBOy and Freemura who would play a bo5 to determine the winner. The prize was a hefty $45,000. At the time, race picking was just fine so both finalists would go on to choose races depending on their preferences leading us to watch both ZvZ and TvZ in the finals.
Love the look!
All of these were ladder maps released by Blizzard and were used in future tournaments:
Ashrigo -> Siegable mineral lines, ramp positions or expo locations for imbalances
Showdown -> lot of narrow chokes and ledges which can be abused
Snowbound -> island map forcing a unique style of play (drops/mass air)
Lost Temple -> famous map, "better" than the other three though still lacking
Please note that since most of the vods are missing, these assumptions are made on the back of several games that I've watched. The finals were available giving us a glimpse of the TvZ and ZvZ metagame from back then. Suffice it to say, the layout of the maps played a great role in the metagame and players were rather passive in their games. Macro styles weren't in at the time either.
Terrans felt the need to get most tech structures in their base before getting an expo. It's understandable when considering that scouting was nonexistent at the time so players played in the dark. The threat of lurkers or mutalisks is something of concern. Getting MnM with tanks/vessels seemed like the norm though lack of medics and bad control by Terran players (sieging tanks in sunken range, no hold position etc...) lead to less than optimal results. On island maps such as Snowbound, opening 2 port valkyrie seemed common to stop mutalisks and help with getting dropships though it also left the Terran vulnerable due to lack of ground units.
That's all on one base!
Zerg players were a bit better than Terran players when it comes to expoing. In general, they would one base till they start morphing a lair (with or without a hydra den) before grabbing an exp or two which they would sunken up. Lurkers were also used to help with defense. If left alone, you can be seeing guardians very soon! Island maps saw hydra drops used despite the high air count of terrans. Of note is the fact that since Terrans were passive, this allowed the Zerg to get away with an expo that was basically defenseless.
Players would stay on one base and go for pool then gas into lair adding another hatch soon after. They would focus on zerglings early on and might try for an attack or just defend while working on their mutalisks count. Due to lack of advanced micro techniques and poor micro, air battles came down to who had the higher mutalisk count and who did the better job of targeting with scourge. Expansions would be taken though depending on the outcome of a fight, it might be hard to hold. Sunkens were used to help defend. If behind, better hope hydras can help against the mass mutalisk style.
Mass hydras are best bet when behind.
Zergs would go for pool first into expansion. Sunkens and zerglings were used for defense with more hatcheries added as the game progressed. They would eventually morph a lair and go for mutalisks with scourge support against corsairs so we see that muta/scourge combo being used in the matchup though scourge usage is correlated with corsair usage.
For protoss, depending on map, 2 gating into expansion 'seemed' common. Templar archives and stargates were added soon after as well. Cannons were also placed near or in mineral fields to help defend against any possible attacks. Corsairs were used but whether they were a staple or not is anyone's guess due to lack of games.
- Freemura ends up winning the tournaments in a close 3-2 series.
- V-Gundam who would go on to create the gundam rush was eliminated in the group stages.