Team matches in Brood War used to be much more popular than they are today, back in the day, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it was not uncommon to have several team matches, 2v2 and even 3v3 games played in clanwars - I myself remember playing and witnessing some really epic matches. As time has gone on however, team play has gotten increasingly less attention eventually culminating in the recent announcement that this new season of Proleague would not feature 2v2 any longer.
Unlike the game itself, 2v2 seems to be a dying art - there are few really strong, consistent 2v2 teams that are well known in the community, the ICCUP 2v2 ladder almost ALWAYS features the same people every season getting top ranks, and 2v2 matches are usually never heard of outside of WGTCL and BWCL. Why is it that 2v2 has declined so much from the glory days of Vanilla and early Brood War where it was hugely popular?
The 2v2 Problem
There are several reasons why I believe 2v2 is increasingly decreasing in popularity:
1) Lack of media attention - for example think about any report done on a league (whether it be WGTCL, BWCL, or even Proleague); and you will notice that the 2v2 gets little attention. The progamers who focus on 2v2 are usually much less known than their 1v1 counterparts, and the same goes for the foreign scene.
2) It may oftentimes difficult to follow the action in 2v2 games. One may argue that the game is intense enough with just two players battling, and with having to watch four players at a time, it often can get too confusing. Whatever the reasons behind it, one thing is certain: there are less and less 2v2 players every year.
3) It is hard to find good, stable partners. Since 2v2 is really about communication, finding a partner you can coordinate specific hours to play with may be difficult and lead to people not caring enough to play 2v2 seriously.
4) The lack of 2v2 (on ladders such as ICCUP) continues a downward spiral because it makes practicing much more difficult.
2v2 is Great - Try it!
It is my goal to shed some light on the forgotten art that is 2v2. Not only is 2v2 faster paced and oftentimes more exciting than 1v1 games, the strategies employed are vastly different than 1v1, and the skillset is also incredibly different - 2v2 is a totally different game than 1v1. Some of the greatest 2v2 players are not even that good at 1v1, like Yan for example. Here are some features that make 2v2 different than 1v1: In 2v2, really high APM is not as important, teamwork and communication are key, and balancing between macro and micro is more vital than in 1v1. For example, in 1v1 games it is pretty standard for any race and matchup to pump workers nearly until you reach 130-150 supply, with short pauses in between as needed to work on maximizing troop count at certain moments of games; this is not necessarily the case in 2v2. In 2v2 games it is more important to find the perfect number of workers that will allow you to macro strongly off of one base (a lot of 2v2 is fast paced enough that one base play is common); terrans often go 4 barracks off one base, while you will almost never see that in a 1v1 game.
Highlight: DeA and Tenryu
I am now going to highlight a specific 2v2 team to make my case that 2v2 is awesome. Hopefully after reading this, some people will be swayed to start playing, following, and taking 2v2 more seriously!
I have chosen DeA and Tenryu partially because they are in my team, so it was easy to access them and their replays, etc, but more so because they have become what I would argue, one of the best non Korean 2v2 teams in the community, and because their games are fun and entertaining to watch.
Here is a quick bio of some of their accomplishments:
* Reached A- rank on ICCUP in three (just reached A- this season) different seasons
* Combined 13-2 record in BWCL the past two seasons
* 4-0 against MYM 2v2 teams of Strelok+White-Ra and Strelok+DinOt
VODS - DeA+Tenryu vs Yan+Nyana
Game 1: DeA+Tenryu (ZT) vs Yan+Nyana (ZP) @ Python
Game 2: DeA+Tenryu (ZT) vs Yan+Nyana (ZP) @ Python
+ Show Spoiler +
Xeris: OK so you guys ready ?
Dea: ya im eating cereal
Dea: go, gl hf
Xeris: cool ok, start off with your guys' names since most people don't know you
Dea: how dare they :D, ten go first
Tenryu: Daniel Perez, last name is longer but.. dont feel like typing it
Dea: James Moutafidis
Xeris: how long have you guys been playing together ?
Dea: i think 6 months
Tenryu: same, a little more then 6 months
Dea: cause when i got back from australia i was still 1v1ing and no 2v2ing
Dea: i think our very first 2v2 together was vs MYM with like zero training
Tenryu: fo sho
Xeris: ok so tell me the "story" how did you guys decide to partner up, was it love at first sight ?
Tenryu: I was transition from 1v1 to 2v2
Tenryu: and Dea was like B+ iccup and i guess I asked for ally? or something
Dea: well I kinda knew tenryu was gosu 2v2 since he was pwning everyone up in the ladder. I didnt really like to play with him however cause I kinda hated having a Terran ally I was more used to ZP and ZZ teams
Tenryu: until u noticed all pro users = TZ team -_- or good teams = TZ team
Dea: ya well tenryu showed me the basics of how TZ works so after that it was kinda easy to follow along
Tenryu: i tried to give him basics, i just told him to do what i see my previous partner uT)Skyless do
Xeris: cool cool
Tenryu: but he B+ gosu in 1v1 so he caught on quick, then we just played alot cuz many ez wins and some ez losses, as with ever1
Dea: ya those random losses where we would be like "WTF how did that happen?" over ventrillo.
Tenryu: indeed but we always talked over it and was like, "we'll think about how to fix this next time" or something
Xeris: ok so Ten I know you used to be random what made you decide on sticking to terran with james instead of maybe doing ZP or something?
Tenryu: lol well before i joined [light] i played alot 2x2 with uT)Skyless, we was in sfc_ at the time. I tried P and and stuff but my Terran was the best in 2x2 so i stuck to that for 1v1
Dea: its a good thing you did cause if u were P i would hate ZP mirror match-ups
Tenryu: i did random but now i do T also just to help me out when i need to 2x1
Xeris: ok so what is your favorite matchup ?
Tenryu: TZ v ZZ maybe
Dea: lol nah id say vs PZ
Tenryu: true PZ is funnest, ZZ is easiest
Dea: id say we are more confident vs PZ
Tenryu: and TZ v TZ is hard for me
Dea: TZ mirror is really weird
Tenryu: id say thats our weakest mu and it sucks becuz like 95% of the teams B+ ++ are TZ teams
Dea: yea true one thing that was hard for us with TZ mirror was when zergs would go for 1hatch mutas instead of the old 2hatch ramp. so learning how to play 1hatch mutas was kinda awkward
Tenryu: Lol it seemd like after every1 watched reps of that dude that 107-1 on ICCup 2x2 they tried copy him and his allies, so every1 does 1h muta now
Dea: but it is probably the best way to go, ya, SparkyzJS or something like that
Tenryu: yeh we transitioned from 1h and 2h all the time didnt really kno how to play it or figure out how to
Dea: thats kinda what made u use ur marines more without medics, u know?
Xeris: alright so explain a little bit how 2v2 is different than 1v1 for those who dont know 2v2
Dea: well I would say 2v2 is more micro-intense from the get-go
Tenryu: u dont focus much on macro, I noticed from watchin many replays of us losing to Yan/Capigui, who are an insane 2x2 team that cutting SCVz is really important to control game early on. controlling the game is very important, and it uses teamwork obviously
Tenryu: like 3-4 rine and 6 ling can take 2 zealot and 6 ling pretty easy depending on how well u and ur ally micro, actually we've taken 3 z and 6 ling at one pt with like 2-3 rine and 6 ling
Xeris: ok so also it seems like a lot of 1v1 is based on macro late game style while 2v2 rarely gets to the late game stage, is it rare for you to play late game 2v2 ? and how does that look different than 1v1?
Tenryu: when I was lookin at bwchart id say about 83% of who knows how many 2x2 games I've played its been under 12 minutes. I hate late game 2x2
Dea: I think on all iccup seasons weve played together we have an average of 10 minutes per game. I think we play very agressive for TZ and try to end the game as fast as possible; sometimes we overdo it
Tenryu: late game 2x2 is kinda similar to 1v1 I think? idk, its real macro heavy and the main races, T or P need mass expos. I consider zerg more of a support while T and P macros zerg kinda just harasses and helps ally expand
Dea: ya late game I would have to agree its much more important for the leading races to expo instead of the supporting ones. zerg only needs gas to increase his muta count
Xeris: ok let's see, on to some more general 2v2 questions: what are your thoughts about the "2v2 scene", why is it so small?
Tenryu: good question
Dea: hmm, yea idk. I think its kinda hard to find a decent ally to train with and reach the level that you want
Tenryu: I just think people dont consider 2x2 to have as much skill as 1x1. in some way it doesnt, and in some ways it involves more
Dea: its a different type of skill and its got a different way of thinking
Tenryu: like I've seen an A+ 1x1, forgot his name, he maybe was like 67% A+ and he was like 50% B- 2x2. being good 1x1 helps but its a team effotrt u cant 1x2 every game no matter how good u are, u are bound to lose to newbs 2x2 that u would normally own in 1x1
Dea: well most 1v1 players that try to 2v2 I think get caught up in playing macro-ish, they make too many workers which puts them behind in map control and army count
Tenryu: yup, they play heavy worker style so they play late game when 2x2 is early game
Dea: for instance I could play with 6-7 drones for 10 minutes producing lings non stop to get the edge
Tenryu: I just think people think 2v2 involves no skill, thats the answer I get most of the time or what i see; after I win a 2v2, "lets 1v1, see whos better"
Tenryu: If I wanted to 1v1 I'll play 1v1 games, not 2v2 games
Dea: to play 2v2 I think you need to know what to do in alot of circumstances that may arise during the game
Xeris: I dont know how much you follow the korean scene, but how do you feel about 2v2 being taken out of proleague ?
Tenryu: but dea is right too, its hard to get a good ally to constantly play with
Tenryu: I dont pay attention to the korean scene
Dea: well I think it kinda sucks cause its always nice to see what the koreans can do in their 2v2 matches some weird strats !. but I think lately all 2v2 matches were PZ v PZ so that was kinda boring. iron curtain was a good 2v2 map tho nice games played on that map
Xeris: yes it was! it was the coolest map ever
Xeris: what do you think could be done to help the 2v2 scene grow maybe ? or what would you like to see?
Dea: that match of nada + rock vs boxer + gorush i think, where nada won 1v2 after rock lost miserably
Tenryu: 2v2 scene grow.. hmm
Dea: more tournaments for sure
Dea: not just iccup tours
Tenryu: I like bwcl's idea of 2 2x2 games however, maybe if more tournaments added that in there more people would train 2v2 to get some wins rather then just throw 2 1x1 players and hope for the best, because it IS a different type of play
Xeris: so do you like that BWCL has 2 2v2s ?
Tenryu: yeh I do
Dea: it makes teams focus a bit more on 2v2 since thats 2 points per clanwar
Xeris: ok so if you had to name maybe top 3-4 2v2 teams who would you name?
Tenryu: Yan/Capigui is definitely #1 imo
Dea: I dont think anyone will argue that yan/capigui are #1
Tenryu: they hit A- with like 0 losses and A+ with 10, lol
Dea: if we exclude sparkyzjs and his hypergosu zerg ally :D
Tenryu: hmm #1 Yan/Capigui fuk, lol
Dea: existminizerg + iesan are very good too
Tenryu: its like same 10-15 people on top of charts on iccup every season
Dea: dark + energy also
Tenryu: dark + energy is good yeh
Dea: they played vs us some weird-ass TZ strats
Tenryu: dark has been allying dj recently but idk how good they are as a team
Dea: and if we were to mention old teams, I think dahli/pythonas, gohan/fabian, ljt/xiaozi... there are also alot of 2v2 players that ally anyone that own pretty hard
Tenryu: skyless has an awesome 2x2 zerg he pretty much allies any1 too tho. theres alot of ok players also but they talk alot of shit so I dont feel like mentioning them
Tenryu: Ladder 2x2 has alot of cocky american players -_-
Dea: its like east but with ranks
Xeris: haha, ok let's see
Dea: alot of DOJing too
Xeris: what about the MB team you guys lost to ? like your only 2v2 loss ever :p
Dea: hah yea
Tenryu: for cw's yeah
Xeris: except when you lost vs NrT lol
Tenryu: cuz dea is dumb
Dea: nrt was like bo1 so that doesnt count keke :D
Tenryu: fo sho bo1 doesnt count -_-
Dea: well vs MB it was weird. i think they were heavily favored by the maps, for a PT team to have 2 maps with dual gas mains its imba
Tenryu: nah MB, Vampire + Hannibal - 2gas maps favor PT if they play right
Tenryu: when we re'd on a 1gas map it was such ez win -_-
Xeris: ok let's see what 2v2 team havent you played that you wish you could play ?
Tenryu: but they played those maps right, they played it good
Dea: yea, hmm
Tenryu: I wanna play ljt/xiaozi, I havent played them yet
Dea: probably mondie/testie if they were active as a team
Tenryu: yeh that would be fun. any considered the best I wanna play
Xeris: alright let's see
Tenryu: :-O like we played mass games vs cap/yan, those were fun losses -_-
Xeris: how many times on a weekly basis do you sex hap's mom?
Dea: losses by the dozen
Tenryu: oh man hmm
Dea: lol well she has helped us out in a lot of tough times
Dea: *hint* *hint* I think our new accounts
Xeris: any last words / shout out etc ?
Tenryu: HapsMom + HapsDad[LighT]
Dea: are a tribute too her sexyness
Tenryu: last shout out huh
Xeris: last words ?!
Dea: STFU GTFO :D
Dea: well I think anyone can reach B- 2v2 if they have a decent ally but after that, gl hf
Tenryu: indeed, but more like STFU GTFO B cuz it requires more skill then u think -_-
Dea: shoutouts? hmm
Tenryu: TO MICHAEL JACKSON
Xeris: go for it !
Tenryu: MY LOVER
Dea: HAPS MOM
Tenryu: I MISS YOU
Dea: well shoutout to team light for being so pwnage
Tenryu: wow on ur knees much
Xeris: loool, thanks for teh interview =D
Dea: i wanna shoutout too lindsey
Xeris: hap's sister? =D
Dea: NO U MORON LOL
Xeris: thanks guys. KEEP OWNING
Dea: thx oh and dont keep haps mom up too long tonight
Dea: PAVLO ISE KEFTES ^^ plz mention that too
Dea: Shoutout to the Greek community!
Click the spoiler tag to read the full interview!
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**PS : How do I embed the youtube videos? I want to post the vods!** Thanks~
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