Watching Pro Games to learn
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TL has a "best games of the month" serial that is a good place to see entertaining and great games.
https://tl.net/forum/starcraft-2/545568-the-mega-best-games-of-march-2019 - is the link to last months.
You can go back and find older ones. if you like, but older games are weird because of patches so the game is fundamentally different. (Unlike old BW games which only have stylistic changes over time). The games in the past year or so are fairly close. You can still learn some things from old games but builds and units behave differently.
The other thing you can do is find a good streamer to watch. Either find an English speaker with analysis who you enjoy, or watch some top Koreans play.
Are there any streamers you can recommend?
On April 15 2019 16:59 pvilanoma wrote:
Are there any streamers you can recommend?
Probably the watch the race you are playing. Then pick a favorite style then pick your favorite pro player to watch.
It’s a waste of time if you don’t know what to look for, or why they’re doing what they do in response to information.
How new are you exactly?
I’d recommend moving from YouTube basic tutorials, to watching educational/commentary player content and tournaments, plus browse strategy forums like Team Liquid, Reddit has some good subforums
TL’s Terran and Protoss Help me Threads are good, as are the reddit forums AllThingsTerrans and AllThingsProtoss
Lambo and PigStarcraft are very good, they’re on both YT and Twitch. Artosis has some great content on YouTube too.
I only have ever played Protoss and Terran so I’m sure there are Zerg equivalents to what I’ve mentioned.
Apologies for the lack of URLs, they’re easily findable on google or whatever search engine you use, it’s just super unwieldy for me to get them at present with what I’m doing.
Starcraft reminds me a lot of playing guitar. The hardest jump is from total novice to being able to do anything, once you overcome that hurdle it gets easier and easier to improve as you can start to identify flaws or what you need improve on yourself.
Happy hunting, always good to have some new blood.
A somewhat crude analogy I guess, but that to me is what watching Korean first person streams for a novice to learn Starcraft would be like.
Good idea? Yes.
As someone who watched the European scene for an entire year before ever attempting to play, I have some bias here. But my experience is that watching pro SC2 has kept up my love for the game, and connection to the community, both when I was burned out on playing, and when I just plain didn't have enough time to keep my skills up.
As Russano said, I'd be wary of going back too far in the past. I pretty much only watch live tournaments. There's enough content there to keep your schedule more than full, as long as you're not overly picky about who's playing. Personally, I rarely watch VODs... but if my schedule were less flexible I probably would.
If you want to watch practice streamers you should probably take someone else's advice. For tournaments, you should probably also take someone else's advice, but FWIW I follow (twitch dot tv slash):
starcraft [shocking, I'm sure]
gsl [the big Korean league happens here]
Like Wombat, I don't really think that streams are terribly useful for learning the game, but with effort and intentionality, they can work for that purpose as well.
For streams it depends on what race you are into, and your own personal preferences. I'm a protoss player. I personally prefer seeing the absolute tip top levels of play, so I generally prefer watching the top Koreans play. Obvously most of these streams are at late/odd hours. Almost all the korean streamers require a sub to watch VODs, so live is your best bet probably.
Stats - Consistently the best protoss player and streamer as well. https://www.twitch.tv/kimdaeyeob3
Zest - Zest has been streaming a ton very recently and tearing up the KR ladder. He and Stats both go through periods where they stream a crap ton then disappear for a while dependong on schedules. https://www.twitch.tv/sc2_zest
Classic - was streaming a good deal last month before he began prepping for GSL. https://www.twitch.tv/kimclassic
Parting - Easily streams more than most people, much less Koreans. He's also very...unique. https://www.twitch.tv/partingthebigboy
Some other Koreans who stream relatively rarely -
Creator - https://www.twitch.tv/sc2creator - Doesn't require a subscription like everyone else.
herO - https://www.twitch.tv/dmadkr0818
Trap - https://www.twitch.tv/trap321
SoS - https://www.twitch.tv/jinairsos1
Every once and a while I will watch some non-Korean action when I'm more hard up.
Showtime - https://www.twitch.tv/sc2showtime
Mana - https://www.twitch.tv/liquidmana
Sometimes I'll watch Rotterdam, Mcanning, or some of the other euro Protoss, but rarely.
Unfortunately Neeb doesn't seem to stream, neither does Dear.
Innovation - Consistent stream and at a high level. https://www.twitch.tv/innovation_s2
TY - Not as consitent but the best terran you will get to see as Maru doesn't seem to stream. https://www.twitch.tv/sc2tyty
Polt - Just came back from military service so not at his old level yet, but he streams all the time, in English, and has excellent commentary. https://www.twitch.tv/polt
Sometimes you'll get some others like Gumiho but not all that often.
Dark - Not alot of consistent streaming from the top zergs. Dark is probably the best. https://www.twitch.tv/qkrfuddn0
soO - Streams occaisionally https://www.twitch.tv/sc2soo
Serral streams on a rare occaision.
Anyways, those are the streams I dip into it. There are some other ones that you may like depending on the streamers personality themselves. Every has different tastes and one persons "I love his music and he's so chill" is another persons "OMG that stream is so boring and why is he yelling into his mic randomly." My Dad has been watching SC2 since my playing days, even after I had quit previously and his favorite SC to watch his Beastyqt's stream and videos. He puts it on all the fucking time. Explore a bit and find people you like.
Pros rely a lot on micro units, harassment etc... and they can do it without harm to their economy, because they have the multitasking for it. Unless you are mid-Diamond or higher league, if you try to imitate their play, your economy will suffer because you don't have the skills to keep producing and microing at the same time.
So just focus on building stuff all the time. And don't choose units that require constant micro or babysitting. Make armies that you can A-move so you can focus fully on your macro. You will be progressing 100x faster this way. You can start focusing on micro and imitating pro strategies when you are at least Diamond level. Below that there is really no benefit.
The reason I'd suggest this is cause lets say you are a 1.5k mmr player. If you watch a 6.5k game with say kuroky playing void (using this cause I saw it yesterday) and you see him going 1 v 3 early game actually trying to kill a hero 1 v 3, you won't really understand why he thought he had a chance there and what you should do in a similar situation.
If you watch someone who is just 1k mmr or 750 or 500 higher than you then you are watching someone who is just a tad bit more polished than you. You can see a little clearer what they are doing and why they are doing it. Its easier to see what little things make this person better than you instead of watching a pro with a decade of dota experience and just knowing well everything they do is better than me.
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replays and first person vods are a resource that were very scarce at the beginning of RTS history. now that there's so much material, there are many reasons to consider these things as added learning material even as you're entirely new.
if you have the right eye and mentality you can absolutely progress much faster while doing so.
i use the approach when learning pretty much anything.
and i've used it in teaching several friends from scratch.
from my personal POV they progressed light years faster than i ever did just playing alone and seeing a build order list here and there. all they needed was a stern voice to tell them something was too slow, or too careless.
that's something you can do with yourself. i had friends who touched the game fresh playing at diamond level within 2 weeks of practice. maybe even just 10 sessions or so plus some lobby training. all you need to do is develop nuanced play and proper points of reference.
the games you want to look out for and study are the ones that are most standard.
a landslide victory for your race, or one where it ends before lategame. you want the rather stale ones that are macro/build order victories at first so you may understand the potential that micro control can take it further.
this is an ongoing process as you learn and play.
if you learn to enjoy this process, it becomes a form of iterative learning and you can analyze your own replays which is another +.
first you must be harsh about what is good and what isn't. set a goal based on what you've seen, watch the better player go through their motions and then try to emulate that visually at first. ask yourself, 'what does good play look like in this situation?'
then ask why they deviate from your expectations or what you would have done.
and it's that simple. all you are comparing is what is done versus what the result is.
for example, if you are 100 supply and they are 150, that is a huge margin. go back and verify what they've done differently and work on that until you get it. it doesn't have to be in a match.
you can do it versus an AI to get the motions down and on slower game speed setting as well.
just work your way up to executing one solid build order in every matchup.
terran - 4 hellion opening into a quick 3rd CC (used in vs Z)
zerg - fast 3 bases, pay attention to tech and production timing
protoss - fast 2nd nexus either stargate or robo tech.
you get the idea. you just want some buildings and upgrades to line up together for an eventual attack.
practice on getting that attack as tight as best you can if not as perfect as you can.
and do not be discouraged with the fact that everything you do early on and even later on is wrong or poorly done.
it's just a fact with nearly everything we do involving human error and actual learning. winning is relative to your opponents, and the game matches you versus people who are also new or struggling. if something feels right, it can probably still be very incorrect in the large scheme of things.
every player i've ever talked to who were 'career' gold -> diamond players were very proud of that badge,
while the tough and good players struggling to get into high master or GM were well aware that they were lacking.
even if you don't plan on reaching for such heights, you still are able to and your view and enjoyment of pro-games goes up as well.
that's part of the mentality difference. you can never really be satisfied or joyful of your play in its entirety.
and watching pro games will show you the styles that have the highest ceiling and the macro openers will have the most options and opportunities to improve all aspects of your game