Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Neuer Blog

 Dieser Blog ist bis auf weiteres stillgelegt. Weiter geht es auf Deutsch, und zwar hier:

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Pylon Show

Just listened to the first episode of The Pylon Show. It's wonderful (though I would have called it "The Monty Pylon Show), I highly recommend it. I agree with Artosis and Incontrol's sentiment that the current SC2 community is too commercialized and that the amateurish feel of the early days of SC/SC2 are sorely missed.

What I liked most about the show is that the hosts can comment a little bit more freely on what's going on in the community and aren't bound to non-stop promoting a commercial product like they are when they cast WCS or GSL.
I already have enough corporate bullshit in my day job; when I play and watch video games, I want the "amateurish" and "dirty" look and feel, trash talk, and all...

(Having said that - and I know I digress - Artosis and Tasteless' GSL casts are far and away the best professional SC2 content out there.

OK, now to the point. Regarding the Avilo drama. Full disclosure, I don't know how this played out, all I know about the situation is what the two hosts discussed. I also have no opinion on Avilo as an SC2  personality. I'm just making a point on principle here:

It is ALWAYS a bad idea to penalize misbehavior in a current game by handing out a penalty for a future match, for the following 2 reasons:
Artosis and Incontrol discussed reason (1) but I think missed (2) which is more important 

1. It gives Avilo an opportunity to game the system because he can basically choose which unimportant "next" game he'd like to lose
2. It gives an unfair and potentially tournament-distorting advantage to the opponent of that "next" game who gets an easy win without deserving it. If Avilo is penalized because he accuses his CURRENT opponent of cheating (arguably just to get under the person's skin), it's also the CURRENT opponent who should benefit from any sanctions agains Avilo. Rewarding Avilo's next opponent for no good reason could even have tournament-distorting consequences (if for example Avilo's current and next opponent are in direct competition for something, or if Avilo gets a forced loss against a player he would have beaten easily under normal circumstances).

And thanks Artosis and Incontrol - apparently their show fascinated me enough to "resurrect" this blog... well done!

Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 WCS Global Finals - Round of 16 Recap

DISCLAIMER: When I was still actively playing SC2, I never got beyond rank #1 in my Diamond League, so I'm clearly not good enough to really understand the nuances between the players at the very top.
However, I'm also Honorary Chairman of the League of the Ultra-Opinionated Gentlemen, and as such I'm always happy to share my point of view.

As I spent most of yesterday watching the events at WCS Ro16 unfold, I greatly enjoyed the high level of play yet at the same time came away a little disappointed because of the many one-sided series. Here are some of my impressions:

Fantasy - Hero
After a super-exciting first game, the series turned the way everybody including myself expected. Hero was too strong for Fantasy, and let's face it, Hero simply belongs in a WCS final, at least Ro4

Classic - Byul
I've been following the Korean SC2 scene for a long time, but for some reason I've always been pretty much indifferent about these two players. Whenever that happens, I usually root for the player whose advance would keep the race balance intact, Byul in this case because there were only 4 Zergs at this tournament, and I expected Maru to beat Rogue.
Decisive victory for Classic - I didn't know that apparently this always happens when they meet in a tournament, but it seems to me Byul sold himself short in this series. I'm not really sure what went wrong for Byul, but losing 0-3 just doesn't do him justice.
I recently read an interesting article about "The Strongest Chess Players Who Never Became World Champion". I hope Byul won't one day become the topic of a similar article about Starcraft.

Innovation - Zest
It's almost a shame that the WCS finals are so stacked because this match was definitely worth of the WCS final, especially ~6 months ago before Zest fell into a slump. Given all the hype around this series, the outcome was pretty disappointing. 3-0 just isn't good enough for players of this caliber. I'm always rooting for the terran, but in this case I felt sorry for Zest.
Yes, this was an excellent performance by Innovation, but where I seem to differ slightly from a lot of other commentators and observers is that I don't think this has made Innovation the favorite to win WCS just yet.

Life - Lilbow
I don't like Life because he beat Parting in the GSL final, and I don't like Lilbow because he's French ;-) Given the race distribution of this tournament (way too many Protoss) I was rooting for Life. Also because Life's the bigger name and would make for more interesting matches later on.
Other than that, again somewhat of a disappointment, 3-0's just aren't very exciting. Obviously Life was the clear favorite to win this series, but considering that he's no longer the UBER-ZERG he once was, I was hoping/expecting Lilbow to win at least one game. And yet, for the life of me (pun intended) I don't understand why Life's opponents always play as if they didn't know that he's known for early ling aggression.

Polt - Rain
Pretty clear cut on paper: Rain, a recent 2015 GSL champion the heavy favorite vs. Polt, who's fallen off the radar a little bit in recent months. And yet I think Rain was the lucky one here and advanced when Polt was playing slightly better. I guess this is one of those times where you can play better than your opponent and still lose the match.

SOS - Parting
I know SOS's results are pretty solid overall, but I do feel that people are giving him too much credit because he won those $100,000 a while ago. At the same time though, Parting is also no longer the dominant force he once was. Maybe his lifestyle is finally catching up with him. Anyway, my money was on Parting because I thought that his superior micro would prove decisive. Parting has always been one of my favorite players ever since I started enjoying Protoss games. 
Parting's Immortal Micro Making Headlines  
Oh well, at least I can look forward to more unorthodox strategies from SOS.

Dream - Hydra
Well-deserved win by Hydra, though it was a shame to see another terran eliminated. I think Hydra played well beyond expectations and should be proud of making it to the next round. 

Maru - Rogue
What can I say. I'm a huge Maru-Fanboy, and I hate saying it, but: As I have said many time, Maru is overrated. He didn't deserve to go down 3-0 like this, yet at the same time he's had a few too many disappointing results this year - especially in Proleague - to be conveniently explained away.
At the same time, hats off to Rogue, beating Maru 3-0 in a Bo5 will forever be a highlight in his career.

A few general observations:

- I don't like one-sided series. Even when I have a clear favorite, I want "my" player to win 3-2, and not sweep the series 3-0. It's like that cheesy Stallone line "It's not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and still move forward". Or something like that.

- Where are the high level terrans? Yes, there's Innovation, but who else? As I stated above, Maru is overrated, and there's simply no other terran with the stature of Innovation in sight. Too bad Taeja and Bomber in particular aren't around anymore.

- I expect Hero, Innovation, Rain and Rogue to make it to the semi final. It's clear already that names like Zest, Byul, and Maru are sorely missed at this point. No offense, but it just wouldn't feel the same if "second-rate" top players like Classic or Hydra were to win WCS 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Starcraft 2 Match Fixing Scandal - Or is Nathanias the real "scumbag"?

Over the past half hour or so it has emerged that 11 players (unclear if SC1 or SC2) have been indicted for match fixing. That is very troubling, and I hope the players will be brought to justice.

What's equally troubling though, and here I'm singling out Nathanias is that some e-sports "personalities" have already taken to Twitter with inappropriate comments:

I have no sympathy for the alleged cheaters whatsoever, but I'd like Nathanias to get off his high horse here. SC2 personalities in particular - due to their (sometimes undeserved) large followings have a special responsibility to be moderate and even-handed in their public comments. Or they might as well apply for a job at Fox News.

Especially when all that's known at this point is that there seems to be a scandal. Already calling for draconian punishment when really there aren't any facts on the table yet in my opinion is character assassination.

At least wait until the names of the players are released, and more details about their actual or alleged crimes are given.

Therefore, even if only to protect my own image as a competent commentator of the Starcraft scene, Nathanias shouldn't rush to Twitter all that quickly.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


The second issue of the STARCRAFT 2 ENQUIRER has just been released:

Remember: You read it on the internet, so it must be true!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hot off the Press: The Starcraft 2 ENQUIRER

SOON coming to supermarket checkout counters everywhere: the STARCRAFT 2 ENQUIRER!!

Everything you always wanted to know about Starcraft 2 but were afraid to ask!

I saw something similar on a chess site recently, and wanted to share it with the SC2 community...