Anywho -- the CSL playoffs are coming up soon, and this might be my last opportunity to play CSL / competitive SC2. I haven't been "good" since about 2005-2006 (I got within a game of qualifying for WCG USA finals in 2004 2005 and 2006, but I kept losing to Froz at regionals), but I'd like to think that in terms of the amateur (I.E. collegiate / CSL) level, I've been one of the better players.
In SC1, Season 2 and 3 of the CSL, I was the 2nd best player on UCSD where we got 2nd place and 1st place in the league, which is quite an achievement (I lost to Gerbil, good GM level Zerg from Waterloo in the Season 2 finals, and I beat coL.RSVP in the Season 3 finals against Duke).
Backstory aside, I've been playing for my school, GWU this season, but I've rarely had much time to practice.
This being my last season playing for CSL (unless I go back to school again in the future?), I want to make sure I do my best to help take my team far in the playoffs. We're a pretty good team and have several high masters players, which is good enough to make a deep playoff run if we all work hard enough. I really like my teammates and its been fun playing with the GWU crew this season, I just wish I had gone to more of the meetings T_T!
That being said: I'm going to do my best to be as active as I've ever been in SC2 and try to see what kind of improvement in skill I can make this month to prepare for the CSL playoffs (3 weeks left). I'm pledging to play 15 games / day until my team is eliminated from the playoffs.
Okay, how am I going to do this and what is my process?
1) Learn builds : since I haven't been active basically ever in SC2, I don't really know any builds. I usually play ~100 games every ladder season, but I kinda just mess around without thinking about what I'm doing.
I'm starting off by learning PvZ builds, since that's my weakest matchup. When I practice I want to do several things:
a) 1 safe build, with multiple variations
b) 1 aggressive build
2) Work on the builds in single player : Whenever I learn a new build, I work on it in single player or against computers until I have the exact build down, and all the timings worked out. I want to get it to the point where I don't have to look at my notebook when I'm playing.
I also want to know the builds well enough so that during a real match, I can adapt to situations that happen, that I can make sure I get my timings and building placements right even in a pressure situation (practicing in single player REALLY helps this)
3) Laddering : since I've only worked on PvZ builds so far, I make sure that 100% of the PvZ games I play are using the build that I learned (I have 2 variations of it: one forge expand, and one gate expand, depending on what I scout). I make sure that I do what I can to follow the build as closely as I can in real-time situations and see what works and what doesn't in terms of transitioning and adapting.
Other matchups, I try to do the safest / most standard thing I can.
4) Learning from losses : I watch the replay of every game I lose. I name the replays with the reason I lost, then review that later on. This reinforces the mistakes I make so that hopefully I don't make them again.
For example: I played a PvP today... opener was very good. He went 4g blink and I did 3g + phoenix. I stopped his first attack while harassing with my phoenix and killed a lot of probes. I then took an expo, and thwarted another attack and did some more damage with phoenixes, killed a majority of his ground. However, I forgot to make a robo and I died to dt's (he sac'd his ground army to distract me while dt's were making).
Now I know always robo as the next transition if I see my opponent going for blink.
Another example: I played another PvP ... he went 4g , and I went 3g robo. I stopped his attack pretty easily, then went to take an expansion. He also tech'd dt's and I stopped the dt without too many losses. He went for an allin, but as he was pushing, I got supply blocked and I was 2 warpins late by the time he came to my base and I died.
Now I will be a lot more careful about not getting supply blocked in these situations
Over the past 3 days I've stuck to my guns (played 50 games). Got up to almost 600 points master before I hit a 5 game loss streak at the end of today and dropped back to 500. (about +400 points over the past 3 days). I keep going on 5-6 game win streaks, then 5-6 game losing streaks. Some of my losses are silly, most of them I'm learning things.
This week I'm going to spend the first half of the week continuing my PvZ (going to refine my safe build a bit, then work on my aggressive build). The second half of the week I'm going to work on PvP.
My goal is to get up to 700 point masters by the end of this week... and to get to 900-1,000 point masters by the end of next week. (Each ladder season I usually get up to about 800-850 point masters, which is not bad for just messing around most of my games, but I've never broken the 900 point mark).
Anyway, this is my journey!!! Hopefully going to help my team win CSL again
<3 GWU . Wish me luck folks