Today I Learned #3
Well, this is Homestory Cup 4 weekend! For my next few lessons learned, I will take a look at a few of the matches from this weekend’s series of games. Due to my new found fondness for Zerg, I will focus on one of the three Zerg players that has made to to (at least) the quarterfinals. And if you lived on another planet for the past few days, learn more about Homestory Cup 4.
At this point, there are three Zerg players remaining; Dimaga, Nerchio, and viOLet. Although my intent is to focus on these three players during their battles in the finals, I will look at earlier matches, starting with the Day 2 matches involving Zerg players. Before we get started, let me take a moment to thank the folks over at Team Liquid for hosting all the videos and event information.
This being said, LET’S GET TO THE GAMES!
Game 1 - JYP(P) v DarKFoRcE(Z)
The first match was JYP(P) v DarKFoRcE(Z). For the first match, DarKFoRcE(Z) opened with a 14 Pool and went with what seemed to be a fast expand. His second Hatch was built around 3:45 and his third was around 5:40. This quick expansion seemed to put DarKFoRcE at a serious disadvantage. He was unable to get a solid Creep spread (which comes back to bite him near the end of the match). DarKFoRcE(Z) also seemed to miss a lot of Injects, which left him down on Larvae during the Protoss attacks. The lack of Drones did become an issue later and was specifically talked about my the commentators.
Game 2 - JYP(P) v DarKFoRcE(Z)
The second match seemed to go a little quicker, but with the same result; JYP(P) was victorious. This match had DarKFoRcE(Z) going with the 14Gas/Pool build. The Gas was only built to get the Zergling speed; once that goal was attained, the Gas was shut off. There were two factors in Zerg’s defeat; Blink Stalkers and Protoss in the air. The ability of the Blink Stalkers to get around DarKFoRcE’s Roaches were vital in minimizing their (the Roaches) damage. If you add together the Stalker’s blink with the Sentries force field, Zerg’s damage producing capabilities are nearly negated. It seemed that the concept of divide and conquer was epitomized here.
Zerg was very passive in both of these matches. I understand that the best way to play Zerg is to be adaptive to the changing battlefield, but there is something to be said for being a pest. Come on! You are playing with (what are basically) bugs. Make your opponent kill it with fire!
Zerg is weak to air attacks. This seems to be a common theme in the matches that I have both watched and played in. If you get the Zerg airborne, you have a better chance of causing some real damage to your opponent’s airborne units. Trying to defend an air attack from the ground is nearly an effort in futility.
When playing Protoss, expect and prepare to be cut of or have your positions reversed in a match. It may be beneficial to keep a portion of your force in the rear, away from the main fight, for when you go from surrounding your enemy to being surrounded by a Blink.
This next lesson is a two part-er: First: It has been said before by me and countless others, but build Drones constantly! Second: Don’t miss Larva injects. I know, it’s rough keeping track of everything but this one little piece of micro will save you. If you have Larva on standby, ready to be built, you are at the advantage to have a huge pop of whatever unity types you need.
Zerg is not an easy race to play. Expect to lose. It is going to happen. The key to stop our losses will be learning from not only our mistakes, but the mistakes of others. It does not matter what level you are playing at, you are always going to be able to improve. Maybe you are missing Injects, find out why you are missing them and fix it. Maybe your ground game is weaker than your opponents, fine, get into the air. Who knows! The changes you make in your next game might help, or it could hurt. You won’t know until you get out there and play!