David vs Goliath in SC2

Did you watch the Cruncher vs IdrA match during the TSL today? No? Do it now:

It’s one of the best SC2 matches I’ve seen. I watch streams pretty regularly, and todays match was something special.

IdrA is widely recognized as one of the best Zerg players. Cruncher? An unknown protoss player. What makes this interesting is IdrA has a reputation for being an ass. He frequently vacillates between mild mannered nerd and “Oh good god, what’s wrong with the people on Xbox Live?”.

In pre-game interviews, IdrA lets out a little nastyness:

Q: Your first round opponent is a relatively unknown player - Cruncher. What are your thoughts about him?

I’m approaching the match as if it were a walkover.

Q: Are you confident you can beat him? Do you expect him to do any risky strategies against you?

Yes, he’s going to 4 gate all-in both games unless he decides to be clever and make voidrays or DTs.

Which, if you don’t play SC2 is basically the equivalent of calling him a chump. To make a comparison to Street Fighter, it’s like calling your opponent a button masher. The tournament they’re playing in is where the best of the best of the best meet. So, thems harsh words.

The series is a best of three.

Game 1, Cruncher wins in a relatively standard fashion. He rolls out colossus, voidrays, and stalkers. It’s something you see in virtually every high level matchup. IdrA is upset. In chat he sardonically taunts, “boy you’re pretty talented”.

Game 2, IdrA responds with some sick drops. Cruncher builds a seemingly impenetrable wall at the front of his base. IdrA reacts by flying right over the wall and dropping units at the exposed extremes. For the rest of the match he controls Cruncher like a yo-yo.

Cruncher is forced to run back and forth between both ends of his base. At each end he’s warding off hydras and zerglings. As soon as his expansion is clear, his main is infested with more hydras and zerglings. Main cleared? His expansion is already under attack again. IdrA wins.

Good news! More shit talk in the between game chat. “Boy it must suck when skill matters.”

And then what happens? Game 3. Cruncher completely dismantles IdrA. The first 7 minutes of the game are standard as can be. So standard it’s boring. Then Cruncher moves out. In his first strike he sandwiches 5 roaches into a singularity with exceptional forcefields. The chatroom for my stream exploded at this point. No one’s ever seen this before

With the roaches flailing helplessly, Cruncher leisurely picks them off from a distance. IdrA’s on the ropes! Those were his only defense. He’s furiously attempting to build more roaches, but Cruncher is warping his own army right inside IdrA’s base.

Cruncher types a single “:)” as soon as he realizes what he’s done. After all the taunts, all the nastiness, Cruncher’s first and only response is :).

IdrA rage quits.

Oh wow. That was a fantastic game. Thanks for posting; that was just… wow.

So many good plays by CrunCher that game! Not just the amazing sentry-boxing, but also the clutch Cybernetics Core and the Phoenix scouting.

I’m pretty surprised Idra was still pumping drones after he saw the attack coming with the Xel’Naga tower. Like dude, now is the time to drop a couple of spines and pump more roaches, not make seven drones!

That’s how you do it.

I don’t know if it Idra vs Cruncher was that special, but this match and many others in the tournament have been very good. To be honest, I was pretty much expecting Cruncher to win since almost all South Korea-based players had lost previously! It’s also interesting to to see the flags next to the players since I’ve never been sure were all the players were from. In the round of 32 I think it was 7 from South Korea, 5 from Sweden, 4 from Germany/USA and 3 from Ukraine! It’s nice to see that there were so many from Eastern Europe, I think it was five in total.

didnt think it was that special I mean cruncher outplayed Idra easily. Ive seen the competely force field units in a ball before. The worst is when toss FF’s your ramp and you cant reinforce. Also if you really want to see a jerk get what he deserves you should watch idra vs combat ex on idra’s stream.

it is eg_idra on justintv video is titled vs combat ex
It starts around 15:45

I cant post links yet

That was wonderfully satisfying even without knowing a thing about Starcraft 2. Idra doesn’t appear to think very highly of himself. If he were truly secure, he wouldn’t have a need to act like that. Maybe one day his balls will finally drop.

Not sure how I feel about this. It isn’t just Idra, a lot of supposed “top players” have fallen early.

Either that says something about the balance/luck factor or we just don’t yet know who the top players are and the early ones that were crowned as “top” were just legacy players.

Well, they also do burn out. Youth seems to matter more than experience in competitive Starcraft.

SC2 is a lot less APM-intensive, though, so maybe that’s changed.

I also wonder if the fact that the top people are playing against each other they are becoming a little robotic in their play. So when they face new strategies they are at a disadvantage. I know when I play a platinum player I struggle more than when I play a diamond because I’m used to how diamond players play.

The TLO v Nada series is pretty entertaining.


Many top players tend to be rather linear and rely too heavily on their micro & macro abilities to the exclusion of off kilter strategies to win game after game. They tend to be surprised by things they’ve never seen before, like the roach shielding. I remember back in my Age of Kings days being able to hold off and even win against many of the “top players” by playing unconventionally. Once what is unconventional becomes conventional again, though, their powers of micro/macro prevail.

TLO v Nada? Don’t mind if I do! Thanks, Ender!

Also, I think there’s been quite a lot of Giant Killing going on in SC2 lately! With the stunning fall to Code A of MVP and Boxer in the latest GSL, the meteoric rise of San Zenith (!!) and the recent GSTL in general, there seems to be plenty of spinach for would be popeyes to munch on.

I understand what you’re saying, but I’d say it is much more significant in non-Blizzard games like Age of Kings or Rise of Nations. I wouldn’t be surprised if there there have been more than a hundred times as many games played in Starcraft 2 compared to Age of Kings already, and truly unconventional strategies aren’t that much of a factor. Despite all the upsets I didn’t see anything that was really unconventional, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Idra has lost a hundred practice games against sentry heavy warpgate pushes in PvZ.

Same reasons Pro Poker players shit their pants when playing with amatuers.

The forcefield box is actually a signature move of ogsMC, who’s probably the best SC2 player right now. I can’t see that idra could’ve done anything to defend the forcefield box, he just lost when he saw the incoming army and built 7 drones instead of some zerglings - Cruncher hardly had any zealots and would’ve got eaten.

Idra also lost the first game partly by just giving away about 10 corrupters to Cruncher’s void rays.

Pros lose when they play bad, like anyone else.

Alright, so explain why that’s an incredible forcefield. Obviously I can understand how it won him the game.

Did he have to individually cast each of those ‘bubbles’ with each of his units?

Yeah he casts each bubble, so he has to do it really quickly to block up the space down to 1 roach.

Yup that was some incredibly agile micro. Sometimes (often) I fuck up when I’m casting a simple 3-4 FF wall, I don’t think I’ll ever be at the level where I can reliably cast a FF box.

So he probably has some specific keybindings for this tactic, which is apparently a tactic that he hasn’t used in the tournament thus far otherwise someone might be hip to it and spread out their roaches?


Q: If you had to introduce yourself to our fans who never met you, how would you describe yourself? Write a few sentences about your personality.

Personality should be irrelevant. This is a computer game tournament, not a dating show.

Way to awkwardly dodge the question.

You can’t keybind for that, it is all about placement and APM.