+++ "this event was so classless, it is a marxist utopia" - the guy who checks notability for the Teamliquid event calendar+++
If you followed the BW Tournament forum, you might have seen my poor imitation of a hype thread earlier this week. Time for a review of the LAN!
+ Show Spoiler +
In contrast to the infamous Du bist Brood War LANs in Düsseldorf more than 10 years ago, or the even more prestigeous Templar of Twilight LANs, the LAN I attended was a very small one. It was organized by two of my allies from back when - by now, our small circle has been existing for about one and a half decades.
I came to meet one of the organizers, Vonarrh aka BaD]Hot, in my first ever BWCL clan war, back then it was [SX] (Sons of Xel'Naga) against [DoG] (Destructive offense Generation) around late 2002 or early 2003. I clearly remember talking much more in the channels than acutally playing. At some point we decided to add each other as "ally clan", because we found the idea laughable that such a construct actually existed, kinda like the idea one calls a second Nexus on Fastest Possible a Fast Expansion.
Anyway, we insulted each other for the upcoming years until it eventually evolved into some form of mutual tolerance induced by the good old Stockholm Syndrome. Finally, around 2004 we started our own clan as the squad of German multi gaming "Demon Kinghts", sharing the clan tag DK]. Which was cool, because people mistook us for the stronger Czech team Derava Kapsa (or something like that). At this time the others joined: ips.ReTrooper and iX.Fleischmann. Weird guys, really.
The same year we started to organize a LAN every six months at Fleischmanns home. Remarkable stories, really. Mostly sourrounding Vonarrh.
As location for the second LAN Fleischmann chose a barn (in winter!) in some small village near his home town. Everyone arrived, but Vonarrh. Vonarrh chose to travel by train and got bored during the ride. So he decided to open the bottle of Absinth he wanted to share, then decided to drink some more, up to the point he had it all in. And was beyond comparison. We tried to get him from the train station, as he phoned, barely understandable mumbling involved. Yeah, no chance, he was gone, disappeared and whatnot.
Next day he called us, saying he found the village, but woke up in some really strange trailers. We meet up and I had to pick him and his luggage up. Boy, he managed to run into a fray of hippies, and I mean acutal, real life hippies, that ... existed in some trailers without running water. They had no toilets, but a bucket and another bucket of water.
We're talking about this kind of people.
The skill range of our circle, back then, was maybe around C, except for Fleischmann (who I'd estimate to be a high C+) and ReTrooper (about the same).
As time flew by, we lost contact more and more, even tho the skill level rose. I think in my prime I held a 60% win ratio in BWCL 2 and played quite nicely, mainly thanks to wonky builds, with my "best" achievements being two finishes in the Ro8 of the German-B national team challenger tournaments (around ~100 players entry); I eventually lost those to MYM.Ghosta and ToT)AcE( respectively. However, Vonarrh was still slightly better, with multiple B- ranks on PGT and a long number of wins against really good players; I'm quite certain he could've made the German B Team if he only cared for it.
Fast forward a few years: As it happened, I started to meet more of the broodwar.de forum members to play Snooker, namely brulu, Endrox, piko and BaD]ReVenger. As it happens, ReVenger also knew Vonarrh and told me Vonarrh is about to leave for Australia in February. Also, Vonarrh was about to host some LAN as goodbye to his nerd friends - together with Fleischmann. So here we were.
After some talking, more people I knew signed up: Endrox, wirki, ReVenger and iCCup.Fry.
East vs. West, Alien Info
First off, the LAN was hosted in Erfurt, a somewhat mid-sized town (for Germany) in the East of Germany. As is tradition, there's a constant "rivalry" of sorts between my state / the West (Bavaria) and East Germany as a whole: we're the arrogant pricks with a conservative, backwards mindset, the East Germans are just poor, smell funny and have speech impediments.
Anti-Socialist Propaganda, not PC and SJW triggering,starts now. If you do not understand satire, close the tab.
THE LAN - THE REAL REPORT
+ Show Spoiler +
I was picked up around 13:00 CET on Friday, the 7th of January by Revenger, also known as "Mr. West" (Herr Westen), and Fry. My car wasn't an option, because some person from the East couldn't look back when driving backwards and smacked my car door around December, 30th.
After some greeting and hand shaking we started to drive. We chose the safer route via the A73, instead of going in the general direction of Hof. Hof is the last town in the North of Bavaria, and it really puts the HOF in HOFFNUNGSLOSIGKEIT (hopelessness), as it's most famous feature is unemployment - the symbol of being the gateway to East Germany.
As the odometer counted up, the environment slowly started to lose all colour, until the grey spectrum hit us full scale, the sunlight was replaced with some dimly replica and it started to become harder to keep up the cheery mood we all had upon departure. The Eastern spirit tried to get us.
Finally, in Erfurt, we were amazed by how much ruins there still were. We played some fun driving game to pass by time - guess the time, 1945 or post-socialism 2017. It was bad.
We found the place after some searching. Turns out, the hosts were both not there. Vonarrh, again, announced he was still "on his way" (and I remembered what that meant). Fleischmann didn't show up at all, as he was in Teneriffa. He decided to just not come literally only two days prior to the LAN. Yeah...
Anyway, we started to drink beer and tried to keep warm on the desolate parking spot. We expected ruggedly dressed children approaching us any time now, asking us for some spare money ("Bitte Herr Westen, nur eine Mark"). Eventually some girl came by, dragging a wooden sled (not made up) behind her, tho there was no hill or anything resembling a hill around. I'm not sure if the Eastern people knew how a sled as children's toy has to be put to use.
At some point the barkeep showed up and the first thing he said was "Oh. Bazen" (derogatory term for Bavarians). It was on. Yet, he still let us in.
In the meantime I drank one beer, then another, and then lost count. The rest of us, retrooper, trooper, 4you, wirki, endrox and eventually vonarrh and maven arrived. By the time Vonarrh arrived, I was past beer #6. I guess.
We set up the computers and the rest of the evening is just a blurry haze. (According to ReVenger I had around 14 beers, twice drinking two bottles at the same time)
+ Show Spoiler +
When I woke up on the second day, I felt like dying. Then I went to the toilet and felt like dying some more. When I saw where I was, I thought I was already dead and sent to hell. Then I remembered it's worse: Erfurt.
To my horror, ReVenger ran around and started to make people actually play Brood War. Do you have any idea how hard it is to play with a giant hang over? Any of you? I hated ReVenger a lot at this point.
To my rescue, wirki suffered the same fate and he was my designated opponent for Round 1. Our strategy was to dodge games, by observing others. Everytime ReVenger or Fry came and asked: "You play already?" we could answer "just this game, we really want to obs this!". This lasted about until 15:00 CET or so.
In this time my wise neighbour and comrade in recovery learned there actually is a man in a turret. This should become the new theme for the LAN - "The Man in the Turret".
More on that later.
+ Show Spoiler +
When they actually forced me to play wirki, it was really, really hard to focus. These were my first games I "had to win" since basically 2008. Yes, it was 2008 I last time I entered a tournament. During some DBBW iirc.
It was ghastly. The first game was on Tau Cross, I chose to play Zerg, as I have no idea how to play PvP on that. I don't know how, but I won. Wirki could kill me at least five times, but decided not to. The worst part was, that it took more than 20 minutes for it to be over. I'm talking at least D- level.
Second game was on Circuit Breaker. This was fun tho. I started to feel somewhat alive again and had some boost with one win already. I scouted wirki early and decided to place a manner pylon. Through my headphones I heard a loud sigh from him, as well as "no, I'm definitely too lazy to kill that already". My response was "then die!".
I added another manner pylon and sent my first Zealot upwards. He responded with "oh you!". I thought, well, and added a Horror Gate between his Nexus and his gas. I don't know how many Probes fell, but it was quite some stuff. He then died to Dark Templars. Yey me!
Next up was Mawen, Vonarrh's younger brother. I heard stories about him being a total newb, but couldn't really put him anywhere. During a break he approached me and said "I'm gonna wipe the floor with you!". I then started to recall the mockery a former team mate of mine got for losing to him ONCE. I also started to realize that Mawen had to have won a game, which was bullshit - he just advanced by free win. So I was really, really scared to drop a game. Not because I was bad, but because I literally was shaking from the hang over. Which was back.
Anyway. We started a TvZ on Blue Storm, me being Terran. I thought going for BSB to fuck him before he could do anything. I spawned at the bottom and started my wall-in. When the first Barracks (blocking one) was about 95% done I wanted to stop the SCV building it, so it would finish outside the wall and could scout. Yeah guess what, I cancelled it. ReVenger, observing me from behind, facepalmed so loud I could hear it through my head phones. I think I even quite loudly said "yeah, that game is so over". I still continued.
Mawen went for a 9 pool. I think I should have died, but I didn't. Mawen was so bad, he did not only take his natural, but also the top center base right away before adding anything. I'm not sure if he even sent his first Zerglings. I went for some one base two Barracks M&M attack. Which wasn't even enough to break his Sunkens. In theory. In reality he built his sunkens so close to the narrow gap between Natural and Center I could just run into his main. He was furious and disappointed.
The second game was even worse. By that time, I was convinced I couldn't possibly lose, but I wanted to make it quick. So I went one base forge, assimilator, cannons, +1. A really wonky build, but one I played many times to catch low ranked players off guard. Turns out Mawen again didn't know how to react. He didn't take his natural (Blue Storm again), but took one off base somewhere. I never scouted, because why? If you do not die after cancelling a BSB Barracks, you can't die.
I a-clicked with 8 Zealots and he died again.
Phew. Semi Finals already!
Intermission: The Obs Games
+ Show Spoiler +
The tournament started to slow down, mainly because Vonarrh was gone to get some groceries, take a shower or whatever. So we had to wait. I joined some of the others and watched some games on the beamer. Most of the games were horribly one sided, or so bad, it really did hurt. Then again, nobody minded, none of us were active players, except for MAYBE 4you, trooper and ReVenger. But not really. To be fair, it wasn't D- level, but surely not better than an average C- vs. C- game.
We had a blast commenting like shit on the games, making fun of unit bugs, especially dragoons. Some of the quotes were things like:
"My personal rule of thumb is: When the third dragoon is trapped, I kill the pylons of the gate ways and free them"
"Controlling dragoons is like being a teacher in a school for special children"
"Dragoons do not know where their front and back end is, therefore they start to fuck up big time"
"Attacking with dragoons has the advantage that your opponent do not know where they will go. The downside is, neither do you"
"He doesn't need to scout, he knows the race of his opponents and the map from the lobby screen"
"In 1999 this would have been considered a final"
"Oh you can burrow lurkers? I thought they were just fancy door stoppers"
*someone sneezes loudly* "stop talking in Zerg, you nerd"
"thanks Merkel!" (to anything that went wrong)
"His economy is worse than this town's sense of business"
"This chaoting arrangement of building repels me. And I don't talk about Erfurt"
"I don't know why ReTrooper is still in the game. He clearly lost." "I'm sitting right next to you, I just wanted to know what you guys laugh so much at." (he was literally sitting there for about two minutes before saying anything)
"This game is a car accident. I can't stop watching, but I know I shouldn't"
"At this point I'm not sure if it's him or the garm brood playing"
"Build Orders can be countered, whatever this is can't be explained. Therefore this is a more flexible strategy"
"The idea clearly is to lure him into drops, only to see him turning around frustrating upon realizing there are no workers"
"someone tell him that these SCBW comic videos weren't strategy guides"
"he probably read the strategy advice on the box of a 1998 battle chest"
"Screw the game, nothing happens anyway. Keep focus on the retarded critter" (few minutes later, critter still being retarded) "the critter is actually smart, it wants to leave the map, because the game is this bad"
However, the big theme was the Turret Operator. Wirki's mind was blown by the notable gimmick of brood war. We started to discuss how shitty this job is. It basically is like:
The Occupation in Short
Turret Operators maintain and opterate turrets. They do so mainly by spinning around until enemy air forces are spotted. In combat they only observe enemy aircrafts explode as the automatic missile system takes over.
The Job Training in Short
The Occupation 'Turret Operator' is a certified occupation available to members of the Terran forces. The training takes 30*gamespeed/1000 time unit things, only mapmakers can interprete. During training the cadets are equiped with nothing and are prepared by being ignored.
Typical Classes of Business
Turret Operators are mostly employed in
- Terran Bases (Mineral Lines, Barracks, Expansions)
- Terran Pushes (near Tanks, in Mine Fields)
- Random Expansion Spots (blocking enemy expansions)
International Classification of Occupations, Details
9629 Elementary Workers Not Elsewhere Classified
We also started discussing about starting a charity or union for these poor fellas. Organize some rally, print some magazines or strategies of how raising awareness for their shitty job. It basically went something like:
May I please get some food or water?
- No supply for you. Turret Operator Best Operator.
I mean this job seems pointless. Can't a turret be like, uhm, controlled automatically from the E-Bay or the CC?
- No, it's important you sit there and spin around all the time.
What about like... home office? I could totally do that from my notebook...
- No, more spinning around, comrade!
I feel kind of sick, please, could I at least not spin?
- Just don't try to hit the controls when puking.
But sir, there are no controls!
- Keep your eyes open!
Sir, there is an observer above my new turret!
- IGNORE IT.
Sir, it's still there.
- STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. FIRE!
No, it looks cute. Besides, I can't fire, because I don't have any buttons.
- STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. FIRE!
- Wait for the Marines!
Sir, the Marines are drooling, behave madly and start to shoot at my turret!
- STIM FOR EVERYONE! HELL YEAH!
Sir, this Zealot I keep seeing on every turn starts to take down this turret!
- Can't focus, have to train SCVs. Hang in there!
Aside from that, the biggest upset was done by Mawen against Trooper. I think Trooper is doing fine, he knows the basics of the game. Mawen, as told, was super bad. Yet, he started to listen to what Vonarrh told him: Just play standard, go 2 Gate PvP on Tau Cross, build Lot-Lot-Pylon, repeat. Mawen played surprisingly well - at least some D+/C- level compared to his CPU performance against me.
However, Trooper adjusted and started to play seriously and killed him in the next games. 1-2.
Rest of the Games
+ Show Spoiler +
In the WB Semis I had to face Vonarrh. This is always really bad, as both of us have a really long LAN rivalry - we faced each other during the DK-LANs at least seven times and once in Brandenburg. I kept winning all games with scores in the lines of 3-2, 2-1 and so on; however, I lost in the overall Finals of the DK-LANs twice with scores of 2-3. Just by the way, my record in five DK-LANs was four times a second place. (2-3 vs. Garandou, 2-3 vs ReTrooper, 2-3 vs Vonarrh twice). Therefore this game was dreaded by both of us. A lot.
In the first game on CB we spawned at the bottom, close position, me being on the right part. I opened with one gate goon and he attacked with 2 gate zealot. This was actually a close one, as I scouted him on last position. I thought he was doing the same, but kept coming. I defended very well, pushed him back and eventually took the game as my Goon/Reaver fucked his Lot-only Expand big times. However, I lost my reaver to probes, but w/e.
The second game he chose Longinus, a map I hate in PvP - btw, I hate PvP in general. I went random and decided to do some REALLY hard all-in. As Terran, I went for BSB and saw his proxy games slightly too late. It was micro intensive and he took it. I think that one was deserved, as my defense was just sloppy in the first minutes, as well as my decision to attack with 12 Marines across the map, instead of teching up.
The third game, I chose Blue Storm. I loosely remembered some build in the lines of: 2 Gates, 3 Lots, Expand either way, then either tech (vs. Goons) or stay on Lots (vs Lot pressure). I think I was ahead quite significantly, all I had to do was either build cannons quickly OR massing Goons. I was indecisive what would be the better choice and did a mix of both. Yeah, that was stupid. 1-2, but again, rather close.
In the lower grid I had to face Fry. I was so beyond careing, I played my best games there. I really did, and Fry wasn't bad, I just threw him off right away. On Blue Storm I killed his Terran with ZErg, starting with some early speed lings into 2 hatch Muta. I played a solid game, killing some SCVs, then some Marines, delaying his first attack. By the time he recovered, I busted him with Lurkers.
Second game was worse, I scouted him on some weird new map with Protoss and just harassed. He was so far behind by the lucky scout, including a quick Lot and a manner pylon, he could barely defend against fast DTs. I transitioned into something Stove-Ish, but lost my Scout early on, but killed him within 12 minutes.
I felt a bit for him there, as he really showed some good performance.
In the Semis of the LB I had to face ReVenger. Boy, I hate Zerg whiners so hard, especially when they say it's soooo easy to play Protoss. You start to forget build timings, I assure you. I don't think I did overly stupid considering how long my break was. Yet I saw no chance against him, as he he at least got some games before the LAN online. He entirely crushed me on our first game on Circuit Breaker. Some of these stuff exist as VODs, so I don't explain what went wrong - there was tons of things going wrong.
In the second game I chose Destination and Terran against his Zerg. I did fine, as I played some REALLY ancient one base tank push, foregoing stim and whatnot. Due to the bridges, I was able to catch him off guard and kill him before he had lair tier units.
Third game was just a poor repetition of the first game - plus, he chose some map I never heard of. Yeah suck it ReVenger.
At last, I was out.
The rest of the LAN went by rather fast. I spare the details of the most attrocious games I ever saw. The finals were played around 2:00 on Sunday, with 4you arleady having slept on his keyboard and Vonarrh being quite... well drunk, stoned and himself. Wow, this was SO bad. I remember laughing my ass off, due to the remarks of the audience. Again, not too much insight, as the VODs were casted just a few hours before.
For anyone who cares, here are the VODs:
(Super Finals: Vonarrh vs. 4you)
(LB Semi Final, Game 1: ReVenger vs. Gecko)
("Show Match": ReVenger vs. Gecko, both offracing)
THE VODS ON REDWARRIOR'S CHANNEL!
shout out to the LAN heroes, you guys rock!
also thanks to ICCup.Face for announcing our little re-stream earlier!
the mod who denied the calendar entry smells like elderberries.