On Sept 2nd, 7:16 AM KST, SK MC posted a rather long post on a Korean community website called PGR21.
And it gathered a huge amount of attention in the Korean community.
As soon as I saw the post, he addresses a lot of current issues, so I immediately started translating.
I wanted to bring this to the foreign community because I know how much you guys like this stuff and I also wanted to get a similar discussion going.
I'm sorry in advance for the grammatical mistakes or formatting issue.
The translation is quite rough in the edges but the points are all there.
He talks about several things here,
1.) SC2 metagame (especially with TvZ) becoming one dimensional
2.) progamer mindset (if you are an aspiring pro, please read this part)
3.) General rambling about SC2/LoL scene.
Edit 1: Thank you so much eieio for the TL+!
Well anyway, here is MC's post.
+ Show Spoiler +
1.) SC2 metagame
In my opinion, I think Starcraft II is a really well-made game. But why is the popularity of Starcraft II declining?
Any RTS games tend to become boring as soon as the variety of build orders diminishes and the metagame becomes stagnant and one dimensional. For example, in PvZ in Wings of Liberty, it was always a fight between all-ins vs. broodlords/infestors/corruptors. At first, protosses started using motherships to fight against the brood lords/infestor/corruptors composition, but as soon as the zergs figured out not to clump up their broodlords and corruptors, PvZ became the most boring match up to watch in WoL because it was a fight on whether the zergs can get their composition or whether the protoss can break the zerg beforehand. PvT was a similar case. It was whether the terran could break protosses within 15 minutes.
When WoL was becoming really boring to watch for fans, Heart of the Swarm came out and it really boosted the popularity. I believe that Korean market increased due to Heart of the Swarm. However, we are starting to see the exact same problem that we have seen in WoL.
In TvZ, Terran uses marines, maurauders, medivacs, and widow mines against ANY zerg compositions. Zergs can’t trade efficiently using any other unit compositions other than mutas, lings, banelings and teching up to ultralisks. Now what is the exact problem in TvZ? Let’s look at Starcraft I as an example.
In TvZ SCI, Zerg is really weak on its hatchery tech. So, Zerg throws a curveball by going fast lair into fast mutalisks or lurkers. No matter what builds they choose, the Zergs can beat Terrans if that Zerg is higher skilled.
However, what about the Heart of the Swarm? Terrans are basically immune to the roach attacks, So Zergs are forced play a macro game centered on lings. The most similar composition to mutalisk-lurker composition in BW is mutalisk-infestor. However, infestors are now too weak as a midgame unit in TvZ. So Zergs are forced to choose mutalisks lings and banelings,
Terrans don’t even need to scout. They all know it’s going to be mutalisks lings and banelings. This allows Terrans to just send their boosted medivacs to harass. They don’t care if they lose it because it’s not risky at all. Zergs are forced to position their units to deal with the harassments from the medivacs which allows Terrans to gain a favorable position at the front which allows for a cost effective trade.
How was it SCI? There was an opportunity cost involved in making a dropship, which was the time spent on making science vessel. Also, it was very risky because dropships were shot down by 2 scourages. So, dropships did more damage when they were successful and fans were more appreciative and excited by the dropship plays.
Furthermore, let’s say Zergs defends and defends and is finally allowed to tech to Hive. What units can they make? Broodlords, Ultralisks. Both of these units are easily countered by low tech Terran units. Ultralisks? Build more maurauders. Broodlords? Build more vikings.
However, if Zergs are able to get infestors and broodlords or ’luxurious composition’ (MC’s exact words), then they are able to trade more evenly with the Terran. But we don’t see those kinds of games a lot, why is that? Gosu Terrans tend to force engagements early with their low tech units to have consistent efficient trades before Zergs get their Hive compositions. It’s a really frustrating situation for Zerg progamers. They lose the game if they make one micro mistake and lose all their banelings to widow mines.
How was it Starcraft I? If Zergs teched to Hive, they had defilers which could turn the tide of the battles, but which were also weak to science vessels. You could never think of taking down an ultralisks with pure marine firebats and you needed several siege tanks and science vessels for it. In Starcraft II? Ultralisks -> meal for marauders, broodlords -> meal for vikings.
I don’t think the overseer patch was bad, But I doubt that the overseer patch will change the current TvZ metagame. I loved TvZ in WoL, but now? I really don’t like it. It’s always the same. There’s always a point where I think Zerg is going to win, but due to sheer number of marines and widow mines, and Zerg makes one major mistake and just ends up losing the game in the end. A simple game where the decisiveness in game lies in whether the Terran is going to get 3/3 upgrade or not.
I actually think PvZ is more entertaining. There are variety of choices such as roach/hydra/viper, or mutalisks after hydra/ling pressure. Choices in PvZ is just as diverse as it was in BW. It’s so different from the roach/hydra or muta choices in WoL.
Fundamentally, I think TvZ is the most entertaining match up to watch in Starcraft, whether it be I or II. I hope the balance team really acknowledges as soon as possible and gives variety to the match up.
I am really saddened that PvT is also becoming very stagnant. But I think in PvT, there’s still an intensive micro battle between high templars vs. ghosts and variety and entertainment in medivac/warp prism/proxy pylon plays.
Zerg vs. Terran? Fear of ling counterattacks? Build a bunker and burrow a widow mine. Mutalisk harassment? That’s not viable due to the fear of possible drops and widow mines,
And while all this is happening, slow constant siege of widow mines at the front.
If SCII is to regain its popularity or be entertaining again, I think we should fix the current problems in TvZ.
2.) progamer mindset (if you are an aspiring pro, please read this part)
But progamers should also put in the effort.
We (progamers) have to throw away the mindset that we (progamers) only have to be good at the game. We (progamers) have to interact with fans and especially learn English to at least interact with the foreign fans. For example, does Ji-Sung Park (famous Korean soccer player) or any other sports athletes that play for foreign teams use translators during an interview?
You will never get a chance to learn English if you’re not confident in your English and rely on translators for interviews. Take a look at me for example. Just 3 years ago, I only knew simple words like apple, elephant, and ant. I probably knew less than 100 words at that point. Only thing I knew was how to play games.
However, I put in so much work and effort in trying to improve myself by hanging out with many foreigners such as Jinro, Huk, Ret, TLO. This led me to gain confidence. Right now, there are European players that are worse at English than me. But they do not bring a translator with them to events. They just talk confidently and do not care whether they are right or wrong. The only reason that we (Korean progamers) have Korean translators is because we (Korean progamers) are the best at SCII.
Frankly, we (Korean progamers) don’t even practice SC II 24 hours. I think it shows true professionalism when you learn English in your spare time and speak enough English to introduce yourself and do an interview by yourself.
You should prove to the world that you are a pro by putting up results. Shouldn’t you also be a pro by proving your values? You should stride to be a pro that interacts with the fans and throw some fun trash talks, while putting up results.
Sometimes I really pity the younger Korean progamers that I see in foreign tournaments. Please remind yourselves the reason we are here, how we are able to make money, and most of all, who we were before we were progamers.
I was a fan of Pusan and Bisu before I was a progamer. I started to play games because I idolized them. I wanted to be a progamer. “I’m playing to make money, I’m playing because it looks fun.” Those can be a reason for being a progamer, but I do not think that is being a true pro. Constantly remind yourselves that we were amateurs and fans before we turned pro.
I really hope that Blizzard improves the league that we all enjoy and cherish so much.
Lastly, I would like to thank all the older progamers and recently retired Jangbi that made eSports happen, And also thank all the progamers in the scene that is making eSports happen.
I would like to repeat that we are progamers but also a source of entertainment. The reason I’m speaking in such a serious tone is because of the lack of respect that recent progamers have for the older generations in SCI. I barely see any respect in themselves or their jobs. Whether it be SCII or League of Legends, please remember to think what your job is. All our actions can negatively affect the people that work in the same industry as you.
There were match fixing pros that thought to make quick money and leave, There are people that call themselves progamers that give all the other progamers bad reputation with their disrespect and rudeness. These people are the reason for our current state of eSports scene.
3.) General rambling about SC2/LoL scene.
We all remember how Starcraft scene was in 2009. It was the pinnacle of eSports. I hope that Starcraft II can make that happen again.
There were countless times when I thought about retiring after losses. However, you (the fans) are the reason that I am able to recover.
Because you (the fans) watch our games and are entertained,
Because you (the fans) analyze and evaluate our games,
You (the fans) are the reason that we still play games.
I thank you and love you.
League of Legends is really popular right now. But I don’t hate League of Legends. I remember the times where Special Forces (Korean shooter) progamers were really envious of the Starcraft progamers when SC was really popular. I now know how they felt.
League of Legends? I think it’s a really fun game. I enjoy it too during my spare time. I’m also a SKT Faker fan. We should take all the hate towards the League of Legends scene and put it towards improving the Starcraft II scene.
Yes, we need the help from the game developers, but we also need your help. We (progamers) will never give up as long as you (the fans) do not give up.
This turned out much longer than expected so I’ll end it here. We live for the cheers and support from you, the fans.
My thoughts on this post!
+ Show Spoiler +
I agree with MC in regards to the balance he talks about.
I believe that SCII right now, though exciting a lot of times, is very one dimensional.
I remember watching Taeja stream. There was a 40~50 minute game of TvZ in Derelict Watcher.
The zerg had every single Hive tech composition available.
Taeja stayed on mionics the whole time and was able to win the game against infestors, broodlords, and ultralisks.
I hate whining about balance, and I know that Taeja is fucking Taeja but when all the recent TvZs all happen similarly, you start to question the stagnant metagame.
It's like watching Korean soap operas. You already know what's going to be on the show. Everything is stale and the same. What used to be exciting no longer becomes exciting (except sex).
I really agree with his point on professional mindset of Korean progamers too. A lot of progamers that I have met only focus on the internal aspects which are the games and its skills and no one focuses on the external aspects (fan interactions, entertainment value) I believe that internal aspect at the end of the day is the most important, but you are a fucking progamer. you are pro at something, which means, you are nothing at the end of the day if no one remembers you. 20 years from now, do you want to be known as the motherfucking Nestea who created a universe or bosstoss MC? Or just another unknown Korean pro that won a tournament and disappeared into oblivion? (Sting, Seed, Jjakji comes to mind).
However, I'm going to be selfish and say please don't learn English. I just started my eSports career as a translator. I don't want to become useless very shortly after.
For Korea, Starcraft happened in BW.
For the rest of the world, that Starcraft boom happened in 2010. I remember watching Husky and HD and HDH invitational. I remember watching the first ever GSL Open Season and remembering that THIS was going to be the game that changes lives. Well, it did.
As a SC2 fan, I really hope that we can make that 2010 again. I truly believe that we have the potential. But the game developers, progamers, and the community HAVE to work together towards a same vision in order for that to happen.
Give it a read! It's quite enlightening!
If any of you guys want to ask any questions, or have anything that you would like me to translate, or just want to talk to me, you can follow me on Twitter @Terrykim93.