I have already played more than 200 1v1s since I started to save all my replays and I have become quite obsessed with looking at them through sc2gears as "data" (maybe it has to do with me being a physicist? I don't know). One thing that struck me early was that my APM is 68.
Or 67, maybe 70. But its incredibly stable. It does not rise, it fluctuates minimally game to game, its almost amazing. Shouldn't I become a drummer? I apparently have a hidden sense for rythm!
Probably even more suprising was the discovery, that most of my oponents are significantly faster. In the sequence of players from my replays, ordered by APM, I am at the edge of the bottommost 25 %. Yet I am getting a consistent win ratio slightly over 50 percent, as expected given the matchmaking algortihm (and me hopefully slightly improving over time, as I was promoted from gold to platinum during this period).
So I played with the numbers a little bit more and greated the not-so-neat graph above. My 205 oponents were split into 5 equal bins in APM. The X-axis then shows the middle of each bin (the rightmost bin being the largest as there are even 3 >200 APM people in my replay pack (and I beat 2 of them!)) and the Y-axis the win ratio of my oponents in the bin. (I tried with higher number of bins, but the data is too noisy).
The outcome is: APM indeed matters, but not to an extend some people are advertising. I have much easier time beating people below my APM, but even for people with twice as many actions per minute than I have, I can mantain a win ratio of 43 %.
The question is: why do these people do wrong? Why do they spam so many actions, when they apparently do not contribute to their success?
I was actually inspired to do this analysis when I watched TotalBiscuit's laddering stream, as he kept spam selecting his buildings all the time, thus generating probably a fairly impressive APM. Yet he failed quite miserably during some of his games (but as he commented it with his attitude, it was quite fun to watch anyway). Is this a trendy style or something? Because if streamers do that, I can see quite a lot of people following suit. But if anyone doing this dedicated all these actions to something actually usefull, he would have played much better ...