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Report Rating: 9.8, # of Ratings: 5, Max: 10, Min: 9 Lifetime Rating for Breeze: 8.9559
[o]Mr.X vs. [EPIsode]:-=V=- Game 2
With [EPIsode]:-=V=- victorious after Game
One, the scene was set for another classic Protoss vs. Zerg at
the Lost Temple! While [EPIsode]:-=V=- was prepared to claim victory in
Game Two, his opponent [o]Mr.X was in a tedious position after losing
the first game in this best of three. If he lost this game, he would be
eliminated from the event. To make things worse, [o]Mr.X had not slept
all night, and it was already 8:30 AM... Would he be able to deal with
that amount of pressure and fatigue?
Time will tell. In the pre-game chat, both players
seemed calm and confident, and selected their races, not changing them
at the last second... To no one's surprise, [o]Mr.X chose to command the
beastly Zerg, and [EPIsode]:-=V=- the psychic Protoss.
[o]Mr.X received an orange Hatchery at the twelve
o' clock position, and [EPIsode]:-=V=- started at six with purple, his
former color. The Korean knew he had to pressure Mr.X immediately in order
to force him to hatch Zerglings instead of Drones. Thus, he once again
built his first Pylon close to his ramp, followed closely by two gateways.
Mr.X's first Overlord unsuccessfully sought his opponent
at 3, so the Bulgarian felt it was safe to build a Hatchery below his
ramp to establish 12:00 control and a Spawning Pool after producing a
single more Drone. [EPIsode]:-=V=- mirrored his preceding rush, by scouting
3 with a Probe, not finding anything there, then sending it and a second
Probe to Mr.X's base. He had deduced his opponent was at 12, since no
Overlord came from 9, and he was now going to perform his strong Zealot+Probe
Both Probes hovered into the Zerg mineral line simultaneously,
and managed to kill a Drone there, but Mr.X attacked them with some of
his own workers... That Korean has no respect for top players I guess
:). The two robotic units escaped down the ramp and focused their particle
beams on the Hatchery that was morphing there. Another of the sweet micro
wars ensued when Mr.X sent a Drone to fight the threat.
After some hit and run, this Drone was sacrificed
to start a Creep Colony as soon as the Spawning Pool and Hatchery were
completed, while another Drone came from the plateau to distract the two
Probes and a newly- arrived Zealot. Eight Zerglings started hatching...
A second Zealot was already en route when the Korean began his Assimilator.
After slaying the single Drone that had been annoying
him, [EPIsode]:-=V=- started destroying the Creep Colony that soon started
morphing to a Sunken. Once again, a Drone was sent down to stall the Protoss
operations and one of the diehard Probes finally exploded. Zealots were
now streaming from 6 toward 12, but just as the second one arrived, the
already bleeding Sunken began attacking as the Zerglings hatched, so the
Mr.X was eager to know more about [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s
troop count, so after expanding to his natural with another Hatchery,
he took his ten Zerglings and ran them south. Here, they met four Zealots
and a Probe waiting close to the entrance of 12's natural, and retreated
after losing a few of their number. This was confirmation that the Protoss
player was still massing Zealots, so the Bulgarian morphed a second Sunken
to bolster his defense.
As soon as [EPIsode]:-=V=- had six Zealots, he initiated
a Cybernetics Core. About that time, one of Mr.X's Overlords reached [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s
base and moved into the safety of west of 6's plateau after noticing the
warping Cybernetics Core there. Now the Korean player attempted another
attack with his Zealots and Probe, but as soon as he noticed the new Sunken,
he decided there was no way of breaking through, so instead stalled his
Zealot production while teching hard to Templars. He returned all eight
Zealots to the entrance of his own natural, clearly taking a defensive
Mr.X, on the other hand, was still powering hard,
building another Hatchery below his ramp, followed by an Extractor and
a fifth Hatchery within his main. Unaware if his opponent would attack
him, the Bulgarian built a third Sunken below his ramp. Now, it was finally
time to build a Hydralisk Den. Furthermore, an Extractor was morphed at
Since it was so disturbingly quiet, Mr.X sent a Zergling
toward 6 to scout, and, for the cost of 25 minerals, he had a glimpse
of the ten Zealots and one Dragoon that were waiting there. (I could watch
them as much as I wanted at no cost though :P). [EPIsode]:-=V=- scouted
too, with the cheapest Protoss unit, a Probe. The ensuing adventures of
that little robotic unit can be told very briefly - it saw just some Zerglings
before dying somewhere around the temple after a short but exciting chase.
Now [EPIsode]:-=V=- built a Forge, and later warped a Pylon at his natural
and initiated a defense there.
Both players decided it was expansion time, and Mr.X
took over 3's main and natural in a jiffy while [EPIsode]:-=V=- built
a Nexus at his natural immediately after he had two High Templars and
a Cannon in order to assist his growing Zealot/Dragoon force. Mr.X had
an excellent economy now, and he was pumping some Hydras out of his five
Hatcheries at 12, but also had to spend some money to get his expansions
running. His combat units formed a rough semicircle to the north of the
temple. After upgrading to Lair, he started a Queens Nest, eager to reach
players were waiting, with neither wishing to attack first, but they were
scouting each other frequently by sending cheap units to their death while
gaining valuable information about their opponent's strategy. Mr.X had
learned his lesson from game one, so he floated Overlords to his new expansions
in time to provide detection in case of DT harassment.
Soon after building two new Gateways, one at his natural
and one at his main, [EPIsode]:-=V=- found the Hatcheries at 3 with a
Probe. Obviously, he didn't like what he saw and also knew that those
Minerals invested in the expansion Hatcheries and the first few Drones
meant ten to fifteen Hydralisks less in his opponents army at the moment,
so he immediately launched a major offensive. Fourteen Zealots, two Dragoons
and four Templars marched north, killing two scouting Zerglings in the
process, giving the Bulgarian player a clue what was coming at him.
Mr.X had about twenty-four Hydras and ten Zerglings
at the moment. The Protoss attack couldn't have happened at a worse time
for him. With the four Templars accompanying [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s Zealots
and Dragoons, the outcome of the upcoming battle seemed in favor of the
Protoss. This was excellent timing by the Korean player and this attack
alone could win him the game.
Mr.X must have been under immense pressure. Remember,
he had already lost game one and couldn't afford another loss... the Bulgarian
attacked south with his Hydras, and at the precise moment both forces
met he changed direction, running his Hydras back north. [EPIsode]:-=V=-
had already seen the Hydras coming and cast a storm. It hit the empty
air. The Hydras stopped for a brief moment and the Korean stormed again
only to see Mr.X escape in time once again. [EPIsode]:-=V=- cast a third
storm, trying to better anticipate where the Hydras would run, but his
opponent was feeling the force now, so he moved his units to south and
The Zerglings and Hydras now engaged the Protoss force,
giving [EPIsode]:-=V=- a chance to finally pull off two very successful
storms that killed about fifteen Hydras. While the battle was going on,
some reinforcements joined at both sides, with four or five Hydras supplementing
Mr.X's force and an Archon enhancing [EPIsode]:-=V=-‘s army. The Korean
started merging two Templars to another Archon in mid-battle.
As I look at the screenshots, I notice there are rarely
more than 2 Zealots under attack, so I guess the focused fire of the Hydras
added up to the amazing dodging of the first three storms, and when the
dust settled, all Protoss units were eliminated with ten Hydras remaining!
As a matter of fact, the Zealots alone only killed two or three Hydras
over the course of the entire battle. At the end, one Templar was vainly
attempting an escape and even cast a unsuccessful storm.
After seeing his expedition ending in such a fiasco,
[EPIsode]:-=V=- built some more Cannons at his natural and a fifth Gateway
at his main. Both players had effectively eliminated each other's units,
as ten badly damaged Hydras can't kill much, so another calm period of
powering followed. Instead of quickly trying to build up another big army,
Mr.X expanded twice to 3's and 12's mineral only! He was hatching Drones
and setting up Sunken defenses, while keeping steady Hydra production
from his first five Hatcheries. Having already upgraded to Hive, he was
researching Adrenal Glands for his Zerglings and also started a (insert
dramatic pause) Defiler Mound! :O
I'd like to mention something about the way Mr.X is
expanding when playing against Protoss, from what I have seen in the games
I observed. The first resource node he takes is his natural, then the
second one is the natural of the closest free starting position (3 in
this case), then it's main. This way he has control over four Extractors
early in the game, and the expands are guarded by the Hydras he has in
the center. Next, he takes the mineral only expands of the two starting
positions he controls and is then ready for some major troop production.
All this happens quite fast but as you see, Mr.X knows
how many troops he needs to be safe. He did this against :+:jolly:+:,
and now he was trying to use it against [EPIsode]:-=V=-, so let's see
what would happen...
In the Protoss camp, his Korean opponent wasn't idle.
He was massing Zealots, Dragoons and High Templars behind the 4 Cannons
he had at his natural. Now that he had his expand working, he also did
something I found very weird at first: He built a Pylon at the easternmost
spot of the 9 o'clock plateau and moved the Probe that built it a bit
to the side. I think this was done in order to help him defend against
drops - seeing Overlords flying over the Pylon/Probe reconnaissance perimeter
would give him enough time to reorganize his troops and handle the situation
reason he was so cautious lies in the vulnerability of the 6'o clock starting
position against drops (remember how well [EPIsode]:-=V=- used this in
game one) - the plateau there is very wide on both sides of the mineral
Anyway, it was becoming impossible for [EPIsode]:-=V=-
to scout the map, since Mr.X was now confidently rallying his Hydras to
the south, totally blocking the center and not letting any Probes to pass
through. Only the little Probe that built the Pylon was hiding at 9's
main outside the blockade, but [EPIsode]:-=V=- was indeed acknowledging
its importance and didn't waste it to scout the map. With 9 Hatcheries
spread over a total of 6 resource nodes, the future didn't seem bright
for [EPIsode]:-=V=-. The Protoss player's 5 Gateways weren't going to
be enough if all of Mr.X's expansions started working effectively.
Now, however, a new factor came into the scene, with
the Korean player building a Robotics Facility below his ramp. Needless
to say, a Shuttle was soon produced and, as we know from game one, that's
all [EPIsode]:-=V=- needs =]. Let him build one of those things and watch
him storm everything that moves anywhere on the map. As anticipated, the
Shuttle loaded a Dragoon, a Templar and... two Probes (well, that's a
First [EPIsode]:-=V=- took the time to leave a Probe
at the bottom right island, then without further
delay headed for 3's natural and started cannoning it's cliff with the
other one. Mr.X had four Sunkens at that mining site, but they were meant
to delay ground attacks. Furthermore, he didn't have an Overlord over
The Bulgarian was scouting the whole map with patrolling
Overlords, and he saw the Probe at the bottom-right island after it had
started a Nexus and Pylon. Later [EPIsode]:-=V=- built a couple of Cannons
there for defense. About that time Mr.X started his 10th Hatchery, below
Some words about upgrades: At that moment, Protoss
ground units had +1 attack, while Mr.X didn't even have an Evolution Chamber.
This is a part of the "invest everything in more Drones and Hatcheries"
philosophy that Mr.X follows when he plays against Protoss. As a matter
of fact, I have never seen him build an Evolution Chamber, but that's
mainly because I haven't observed him playing ZvT :).
to the action: At the cliff of 3's natural, two Cannons finally warped
in. When they commenced the automatic assault, the Bulgarian had to move
all his Drones away, and transferred them to 3's main. That's what [EPIsode]:-=V=-
seemed to be waiting for though, since now he moved his Shuttle north.
There were four Sunkens guarding 3's main, but the
Korean found a spot where only one of them could hit his units, and unloaded
the Dragoon and the Templar. Apocalyptic scenes followed, when that Templar
discharged his psionic energy over the juicy mineral line full of Drones
from two bases... corpses all over, few survivors running in all directions...
you can imagine ;(.
Were the tables now turning? Two of Mr.X's main sources
of minerals and gas had been virtually shut down, and the Protoss expansion
at the bottom right island was kicking in now, with two Cannons as defense.
Since Mr.X didn't have Ventral Sacs yet because of the fast Hive, there
was nothing he could do about it. In fact, all he had evolved was Overlord
containment strategy was paying off though. The spread Hydras were like
a curtain that was restricting any Protoss reconnaissance. [EPIsode]:-=V=-
had no information about the mineral- only expansions that his opponent
was now mining at full capacity. Had he scouted them somehow, he might
have hurt them too, but he was blind to them, so was content with the
continued producing of troops while maynarding Probes to the island with
his Shuttle and building an Observatory by the Robotics Facility.
Then, all of a sudden, the giant mass of Zerg units
that was idle in the center woke up: Hydras, Zerglings, Overlords, and
a Defiler were all making their way south now. That avalanche of flesh
and bones would soon hit [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s natural. A massive defense
line consisting of Cannons, Zealots, Dragoons, Archons and High Templars
was waiting there. Finally the first Hydras and Zerglings engaged the
Cannons... It was a memorable moment as Mr.X spread his Overlords all
over the battlefield, showing confidence in this game deciding assault.
Quickly it became clear what the Zerg player had been
waiting for - executing his attack at breathtaking pace, he quickly cast
all 3 spells a Defiler can do - Dark Swarm in front of the Cannons, Consume
to regain energy, and finally a Plague that covered a mass of Dragoons!
This was one of the most amazing techniques I have witnessed: One of the
best Zerg players in the world using spells in a hard fought game. Talk
about Zerg being a pure macro race... Cannons, Goons, Templars, Zealots
- all the mighty defense was going down as if it had never existed, mainly
because the single Dark Swarm turned the Cannons and Dragoons into spectators.
[EPIsode]:-=V=- was again storming as if this was
the last game in his life, but the Templars soon ran out of mana and as
he always did with Templars in such situations over the course of this
game, the Korean merged them to Archons amid the inferno of battle, just
to see them exploding seconds later. A lot of Hydras were dying to storms
during the course of that battle, but a constant stream of reinforcements
was joining the fray at a rate that was even faster...
After cracking the outer ring of [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s
defenses, the Hydras and Zerglings pushed the Dragoons back, demolishing
the Nexus and most of the Probes that were gathering resources. After
that, the swarm again had to fight the Dragoons that were now assisted
by an Archon and a High Templar. Two well placed Storms did great damage,
but it was too late, as there was no longer any way to stop Mr.X. His
units gouged their way into the Dragoons, and, after destroying them,
ran up the ramp into the unprotected base, razing everything.
Impressed with the performance of his opponent, [EPIsode]:-=V=-
gave him a hearty "gg" and conceded the game.
Here are the scores! Check this out, [o]Mr.X was mining
an average of 1500 minerals per minute over the course of the game =]
You greedy boy!
Elapsed Time: 22:38
here is the animated minimap... Be sure to check out the battle were Mr.X
dodged those storms in the middle of the map, you'll get a better idea
of the moves I was describing. Note [EPIsode]:-=V=-'s effective Drone
hunt later on, and all the scouting that was going on - the patrolling
Overlords, the Zerglings and Probes being sent to the enemy, and the peculiar
Pylon+Probe reconnaissance combo at 9.
There's something I noticed about the final battle...
Mr.X didn't send all his units to the Protoss defense at once, leaving
some Hydras in the center and using them seconds later. I think that had
he attacked with all of them at once, they might have bunched up without
any space for maneuvering, becoming an easy target for storms... I decided
to ask him on ICQ and translate his answer that I found interesting. =]
[o]Mr.X : You know, many of the things experienced
players do isn't done with the exact idea about something, it just happens
without them really planning it since they have played so much. I guess
I subconsciously felt I shouldn't send all my units because of that reason.
Well, well... The score is tied now. What can I say,
two amazing games, two amazing players. Too bad one will have to lose
again, but in the world of Brood War there is no mercy.
I would like to thank everyone that supported me and
helped me with opinions on this project so far, here are some of the people.
I hope I don't miss someone important :
Poeir proofread the text and improved it, I
owe him a lot. Thank you! Cynical Magician helped me correct
some errors in my grammar, and he was always there when I needed his help.
Crusador was testing all the nonsense I was producing as ever, and
cheering me up when I was tired :)
Music by Haddaway
Other people that helped me: All my friends at the
Bulgarian #broodwar IRC channel