In the time since my last blog, Ive made a lot of progress in my journey as a BW player. In 2016, I won the TLS Championship, which at that point was the highest pinnacle one could reach in terms of foreign tournaments during BW's hibernation, lets call it. Subsequently I went into inactivity while spending my BW time as a coach in the CPL teamleague.
Now though, with SCR and the influx of new players, new tournaments, new life into the BW scene, I feel my competitive spirit rising again. Time to test myself on new battlegrounds, this time against both the old guard and the new. I want to bring myself to new heights, and fully explore the depths of BW strategy in a quest to conquer all. (all non koreans that is, lol) Its strategy that intrigues me, and keeps bringing me back after each period of inactivity, that plus the adrenaline rush of competitive play, or even non competitive play really. BW is just amazing..im really in love with this game. Or at least, the portion of it ive chosen to partake in thus far.
So heres my problem, TL. Im a racepicker. I play ZvP PvT PvZ, that is my main race. Ive done this for as long as ive been trying to get good at 1v1 in BW, probably like 12 years on and off. A long fucking time...And it didnt used to be a problem. In all the tournaments, clanwars, and nationwars ive played in before the release of SCR, only one had a problem with racepicking. It was an american teamleague hosted by Xeris[LighT], and he said I would have to play pvp. His reason given was that "proleague doesnt allow racepicking". Because thats more important than allowing foreigners in your foreign league to play their main race apparently. Yes, I could choose to not participate in his tour, but with BW, theres usually not a huge variety of tours to choose from. Each is an opportunity to compete, so I played anyway.
Fast forward to 2months ago, PATL league comes up. Psyionicreaver is the host, and hes inspired by xeris to create a similar league. The same arbitrary rule was applied, and I argued that racepicking should be allowed, because really what is the disadvantage to it? This time the reason was that "its too much work" which is a bunch of bullshit, and psyionicreaver just stopped listening to me, even though I offered to help him with admin responsibilities. There would literally be zero extra work from submitting my race as "ZvP/PvT/PvZ" instead of "P". Again, I decided to suck it up and play anyway.
Now today, Im registering my team for SKTL, another new teamleague that I am, or was, excited to play in. I thought, ok this league will be better, surely they wouldnt ALSO not allow racepicking. I semi seriously posted for confirmation of this. So obviously, I was shocked that yet another teamleague host decided to arbitrarily handicap me and all other racepickers. SKTL is hosted by [SK]619. His reason was, exactly quoted:
"No we will not allow that. Makes for a better manager to try and guess where they think that player will be fielded.
Adds strategy to the game."
Ok, because BW doesnt have enough strategy by itself, this is a game about managing, not actually playing the game right? And let me emphasize that what this hypothetical manager has to guess is, where will dragon be placed so I can snipe him in a pvp, where he can lose to a worse player in a matchup he doesnt fucking play. Im sure thatd be really satisfying for my opponent too lol. A real accomplishment. Does it add more "strategy" to give certain players a disadvantage but not everyone else? Howbout we add more strategy to the game by actually allowing me to play good quality games in my god damn main race, instead of this discriminatory garbage.
At this point I dont know If i want to participate in SKTL anymore. I really want to play in it, but I really also want to not be handicapped. I have teammates who also racepick, and I know we are not the only team. The callousness of these organisers frustrates me. There is literally no disadvantage to anyone to allow me to racepick, they are making a problem where there was none before. I fucking challenge anyone to come up with a solid, logical argument against it. Even though I am polite and mannered, my arguments are ignored after a certain point. Because I, and my fellow racepickers are a minority, we dont matter.
Ok, now aside from teamleagues, ive also managed to qualify for the Zotac Masters 20k NA/SA Tournament, which im super pumped about. (They allowed me to racepick, thank god). But, this is a fucking miracle because I can barely practice without being able to ladder. What I mean by that is, I can ladder, but im forced to offrace again. When I ladder as protoss and pvp, I lose a lot. This brings down my rating to a point where any zerg or terran players I face are going to generally be beneath my level, and so the growth I get from these games is very limited. Who knew that protoss was also the most popular race? And dont even get me started on trying to practice ZvP laddering full zerg. If I want to practice all 3 of my matchups on ladder, I actually have to learn 6. And then what was the fucking point of racepicking. Blizzard doesnt give a shit about racepickers either. Ive posted in threads on TL, and on the bnet forums multiple times how matchup picking is easily implemented, but its just ignored. I love that SCR has a ladder, but I got better practice on Iccup with a population of 500. I want to practice for the Zotac finals, I really want to ladder, but its not really working.
So at this point I dont know what to do. I know youre probably thinking "just learn PvP, and stop bitching about it, fuck". That is an option. Its not a good option. In order to get my PvP up to the level of my other matchups, id have to invest thousands of games, thousands of hours, an agonizingly long time to regain confidence as a complete player, while many competitive opportunities are passing me by as I flounder in mediocrity. And then I just forget about ZvP, one of my favourite matchups. Its a colossal waste. If I invested that much time, that much energy into the matchups I already play, Id be miles ahead instead of back to square one. ALSO, and this is a big fucking problem to me, PvP is one of those matchups, as far as I can see, where there is a rock paper scissors aspect. You can play a solid "standard" game, and still just automatically be at a disadvantage vs some specific builds, that you wont be able to react to and all you can do is just take it on the chin. Thats not acceptable to me in a matchup I want to invest time into, Im not about that shit. Fuck rock paper scissors, I want to win or lose with skill, not luck. Im not 100% certain that this is the way it is, but in my limited experience in PvP it certainly seems so.
I feel like im being punished for a decision I made 12years ago. Suddenly racepicking is a big disadvantage, even bigger than it normally is. And yeah it is a disadvantage, if I went back I would probably do it again because I love zvp and fuck rock paper scissors, but Im not making it easy for myself. In playing 2 difference races, I have to learn 2 different sets of micro abilities, while pure race players only have to learn one. Obviously the person whos units overlap in every matchup will have a much easier time perfecting their micro with muscle memory. As it is, things like muta micro or reaver/shuttle control are abilities where I dont have the overlapping experience from zvt/zvz or pvp respectively to really have top level control. And there is also strategy overlap as well. ZvP is more similar to ZvT than it is to any protoss matchup.
Ill figure it out TL, I will rise above this. Im just posting to vent my frustration. Maybe some of you can relate. If you got this far lol.
Also I want to note that Im not trying to shit on xeris, psyionicreaver, or 619. Theyve all contributed a lot to and/or are continuing to support the BW community with hard work and dedication and they deserve respect. I disagree with their decisions regarding racepicking, that is all.
TLDR: im a racepicker and it sucks now, im pissed off because im super competitive