Last night's match between vVv and xSix was a narrow victory for vVv, with a final score of 4-3. Today, and for future Wednesday Night StarCraft matches, I will be giving a (very) brief analysis of each game, and the critical decisions and mistakes that were made.
The VOD of the match can be found here. The first game begins at 32:30. Replays can be found: http://www.vvv-gaming.com/forum/files/download/38-wns-week-2-replays/
Game 1: vVvTime(me) vs xSixShadow on MLG Testbug
In this game, xSixShadow opens with a quick second gas, also stealing my second gas. In response to this, I take a fast expansion with 1 gate and a forge. Shadow quickly gets 3 gateways and a twilight, teching straight to blink. When shadow attacks, I have only 2 cannons and a handful of gateway units, with only 2 gateways complete. With excellent blink micro, shadow takes down the two cannons and most of my gateway units while losing very little.
In this game, the response used against the fast gas and gas steal is good (imo), but my execution was not. I am not very familiar with this strategy, so my build order was not very optimal, and I did not have adequate defenses in time. Had I taken my second gas later, I could have had a third cannon or one or two additional gateways completed, which may have been enough to thwart the attack, leaving me in a good position with a stronger economy.
Game 2: vVvMurder vs xSixShadow on MLG Shattered Temple (Close Air Spawns)
vVvMurder opens with 1 rax CC, while Shadow opts to go 3 gate robo. Shadow does not put on much pressure after seeing Murder's quick bunker, and makes his own nexus after getting 3 gates and a robo. I feel that this opening is very slow for Shadow, and although it is "safe" in the sense that he cannot die to an early rush, it is very unsafe after that point, where the terran will have an economic lead.
Although Shadow is able to put some pressure on murder with several stalkers and sentries, he is forced to retreat when murder arrives in his mineral line with a medivac full of marines. Murder never stops with the aggression, constantly pressuring the front and dropping in the back while taking his third base. Murder approaches 200/200 at minute 19 and moves out to kill shadow. Murder's viking fleet is large enough to quickly take down shadow's colossi, and with the help of a few crucial EMPs, shadow's army quickly disappears.
With well placed force fields and good micro, shadow was able to even the playing field with his attack, despite his nexus being very late. However, I feel that his choice of opening is still a mistake in these positions. It takes a long time for his gateway units to retreat to his base, while murder can counter with medivacs very quickly, since they spawned at 3 and 12 o'clock.
Game 3: vVvMurder vs xSixMkengyn on MLG Shakuras Plateau
Murder opens with reaper expand, and Mkengyn opens hatch first into some early roach aggression. Murder's first reaper sees everything in Mkengyn's base and manages to kill 4 drones, but Mkengyn quickly counters with four roaches, forcing murder to lift his command center, and killing some SCVs. The aggression continues shortly after, with Murder's stim finishing he pushes out with some marines and marauders, doing some damage to Mkengyn's forces. Mkengyn cleans up Murder's attack, and the game is about even.
Murder continues putting on the pressure, and once he gets medivacs out, does a split attack, taking out several workers and the natural hatchery. In an attempt to get back in the game, Mkengyn takes a third in the bottom right main. Mkengyn also gets into Murder's base with mutas before Murder has turrets up, and kills a lot of marines and SCVs, again evening the game up. The game continues with some harassment on both sides, Mkengyn taking the lower right natural, and Murder placing a planetary fortress in the third below his main.
Murder moves out with a large number of marines and a few tanks against Mkengyn's army of ling/bane/muta. Murder pulls his marines back, forcing many of the banes to blow up on his tanks, and splits his marines at the end, absorbing Mkengyn's entire army and coming out ahead. After winning this fight, Murder never lets up the aggression, continuing to micro his marines well against banelings, and forces his way into the lower right, at which point Mkengyn calls GG.
Game 4: vVvMurder vs xSixMystik on MLG Metalopilis (Cross Spawns)
Murder opens 1 rax CC, quickly adding 2 more barracks for safety, while Mystic expands on 15 supply. The first 7 minutes are uneventful, and mystik moves across the map with some zerglings to scout and pick off an SCV or two. After killing most of the lings, murder moves to mystik's natural third base, picking off some overlords. He sees that Mystik has not taken his third yet, so is apprehensive. After some maneuvering by both sides, murder attacks into Mystik's third and splits marines perfectly, ending up ahead with 1200 fewer resources lost. Not long after, murder moves out again with a handful of marines, forcing Mystik to cancel the third hatchery he has just begun. Murder takes the opportunity to get more ahead by quickly dropping a third base at the gold.
However, Mystik attack's murder's gold with perfect timing, canceling the turrets that were building and forcing murder's army out of position. He then attacks murder's undefended natural, picking off a few marines, a tank, and a few SCVs before retreating. Mystik comes back after regrouping, and despite the gold having a planetary fortress and several turrets, his entire army is positioned there rather than in his natural, leading to his natural being ravaged and his army being slaughtered as it comes to defend. Mystik takes a fourth shortly after and plays solidly to seal the victory.
Game 5: vVvaLeJ vs xSixMystik on Xel'Naga Caverns
aLeJ spawns in the north position, and opens 3 gate expand, while mystik opens 14 pool 15 hatch. mystik scouts several sentries, and sees a forge and hallucinated phoenix as aLeJ takes his expansion. Seeing that aLeJ cannot put any real pressure on, mystik safely puts up a fast lair and 47 drones. When aLeJ's nexus finishes at his expansion, he is down 14 probes, and mystik begans pumping roaches and adding a hydra den. Mystik quickly breaks the gold rocks and takes a third base.
aLeJ knows that he cannot attack into mystik's roach/hydra army without several colossi, so he decides to expand to his third. Unfortunately, the economic edge mystik took in the early game carries him to 200/200 with 3k minerals in the bank while aLeJ is only at 140 supply. Mystik wins this game handily after corruptors take out all of aLeJ's colossi.
aLeJ played too defensively in the early game, having tailored his build far too much toward defending from a losira-style roach/speedling aggression build. This build is very potent on Xel'Naga against a standard 3 gate expand, and I feel that 3 gate expand is not a good choice on this map. In order to be safe against the aggressive builds zerg can do, protoss sacrifices all hopes of stopping the zerg from droning, as we saw in this game.
Game 6: vVvTitan vs xSixMystik on Typhon Peaks (Cross spawn)
Mystik opens hatchery first, getting a fast roach warren to be safe against early banelings. Titan opens with pool first, quickly getting a large number of speedlings while expanding, and attacks mystik's natural. Mystik gets caught with his units too far from the ramp and loses a queen and a drone for very little. Titan immediately decides to go for a ling/bane all-in, producing nothing no further drones from either hatchery. Mystik decided to produce 3 drones after the initial attack, and doesn't have nearly enough to hold against the huge ling/bane army that Titan created.
Against this type of zergling aggression, mystik needs to get banelings in addition the roaches, as well as not produce drones while titan is all-ining.
Game 7: vVvTitan vs xSixMaker on MLG Testbug
Maker opens with a reaper FE, with titan opening hatch first. The first reaper is used to harass titan's queen, but doesn't do any damage. He also is able to get a good scout of the main base before dying. Maker adds two additional barracks then techs straight to a starport. Titan, with excellect timing, sacrifices an overlord into Maker's main, seeing a starport swapping with the factory which has just produced a reactor. Knowing that heavy harassment is on the way, he produces many zerglings and some banelings while taking a third and adding a spire.
Maker uses both medivacs to harass Titan, and succeeds in picking off a few drones and many zerglings, but gets shooed away by mutalisks without having done nearly enough damage to justify the investment. When the harass it over, Titan is ahead 56 drones to 39 scvs, and three bases to Maker's two. Titan takes a good position in the center of the map while harassing with mutas and continuing his machine-like macro. Given his 40+ food lead, Titan proceeds to starve out Maker, constantly denying his third base, and destroying Maker's entire army when he finally gets the third up and running.