Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Genius Terran

When I first started following Starcraft 2 last year, I would regularly vent about the gap between the legendary status of some players and the level of play that they would sometimes exhibit. For example, although Julyzerg is now my favorite player, the first games I saw him play didn't impress me. The same went for Fruitdealer who was a god in the first season of the GSL, but has since struggled.

One such player who did not impress when I first heard of his legend was oGsNada, the Genius Terran from Starcraft 1. Known as the most consistent progamer, a golden mouse winner and an all around nice guy. The legend didn't seem to manifest at first. This does not mean I didn't think he was a good player, but rather I found myself trying to discern what of him was real and what was hype.

Yesterday while I was watching the VODs for the North American Starleague which began this past week, I saw some of the greatness of Nada. He was playing against SixJaxDde, another Terran, and the series was split 1 - 1 heading into the final game. The final was on Metaloposis and while the game seemed close with similar builds (marines, siege tanks, one or two banshess and finally vikings and medivacs), dde pulled into a serious lead when Nada threw away the bulk of his forces while attempting to break the marines and siege line of dde. Dde, smelling his lead quickly struck back at Nada's third base, inflicting some serious damage and preventing him from mining. Nada, barely held on to hold the line, while dde expanded. When dde withdrew from Nada's third, the floating command center of Nada was landed in his high yield, and he moved his tanks over to attempt to defend it, cramming them into the high ground and the xel'naga towers. Dde with his tank and supply lead slowly pushed into Nada's high yield base. Nada, far behind on bases, money and production facilities, made a brilliant decision which eventually won him the game. While keeping his meager tank force around his high yield, he took almost his entire marine force and dropped them into the main of dde, where all of his production facilities were. The stimmed marines started destroying everything in sight: barracks, the starport, factories and eventually supply depots. Dde, decided to return to his base to deal with the massive drop, leaving the map to Nada, who quickly moved his siege line ahead, and stabilized his side of the map. Dde, tried to rebuild his production facilities in the grass in front of his natural.

It was almost as if a huge crack had appeared in the world. In just a few moments, everything was different. Nada had been losing quietly, sadly and slowly and suddenly he was on top and his victory was almost certain.

The incredible thing about watching Nada play was his macromanagement, something which is the mark of the greatest players. Dde had a much better economy than Nada and always had more money, and so some might see that has Dde playing a better game. But Nada's low money meant that he was managing his economy far better, never letting his money pile up, but always spending it constantly. That puts him in danger if he takes a huge hit to his economy or his army, since he doesn't have alot of money to bounce back right away. But it means that even when he is down, in the long run he can outlast his opponent. He is using his production facilities to their maximum advantage, not overbuilding anything, but only exactly what he needs.

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