Thursday, 27 October 2011

My Week in Gaming 27/10/2011 - Season 4 Begins

So this week apart from completing and reviewing Batman: Arkham City I haven't had much time to play any games apart from Starcraft 2, which is great as the fourth ladder season started on Wednesday. What's not so great is my performance since then. I lost my placement match and was relegated from Platinum down to Gold and since then I haven't been doing too well either.After loosing my placement match to a Gold Zerg I proceeded to loose another three times to another three Gold players. After four losses in a row I decided to take a step back and evaluate why I kept loosing and calm down a bit.
Relegated down to the Gold league.

I'm not so easy to enrage but my poor performance made me angry at myself which in turn made me less focused and play less well. I highlighted three key areas in which I need to improve; I play too slowly, I don't macro enough and I lack killer instinct. When I was playing Protoss my apm was in the 60s, as a Zerg my apm it was in the the 70s but now I have switched to Terran it's significantly dropped to between 30 and 40. I know that apm is everything and that a solid strategy with good macro can get you out of the middle leagues but I can be faster. I think my biggest problem is my macro as I spend too long on one base, don't build enough SCVs and if I lose any workers I am very slow at rebuilding them. At the moment I am playing like a Protoss player, trying to stay on one base for as long as possible, but I need to get into the mindset of a Terran. I also don't build enough production facilities and often have thousands of minerals or gas spare or tied up in queues which is useless. Against Terran and Protoss I normally let the opponent dictate when I should expand and versus Zerg I'm normally so scared of lings and mutas so I leave it too late to expand. Lastly I need to work on my killer instinct, by this I mean I need to get better at knowing when I'm far enough ahead to attack or when it's not safe to. Earlier this week I sent a friend a replay of a 40 minute game that I eventually won and the first thing he said to me was that I could have won after the opponents first failed attack but I just hung back. I know that when you're ahead you get more ahead but sometimes you just have to exploit your lead as much as possible.
I was completely outplayed in my placement match.

After working out what to do I set to it on Shakuras Plateau in a PvT by getting out two barracks and early expanding with some bunkers in the front. I moved into producing off of six barracks getting out Marauders and upgrades as well whilst scouting to see what the enemy had. After a couple of good pokes eventually my expansion was over run and I was seething. After angrily asking my opponent if he was still on one base and incredulous at how much he had managed to produce I was able to pull my emotions back into check and focus on his destruction. We waged a long war up and down my ramp then past my buildings, at one point he was even warping directly into my base, but I held. It was of course at this point that I started to disconnect but thankfully after some frantic diagnostics I managed to reconnect and continue fighting. I moved my main base to my expansion and started pumping out Marines all the while checking to see what my enemy had. I started to move out, rallying troops to the front, destroying all the proxy pylons and making my way to his base. When I charged up his ramp my heart sank as I saw that he had a Colossus but a quick stim helped me overwhelm his forces and win the game. Whilst this is only one example of success I'm going to continue my new mantra of playing faster, macroing harder and being more aggressive.
Somehow I managed to hold.

I'm a rank 56 Gold and, for now at least, I have a positive outlook. As ever thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment.

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