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Posts Tagged ‘Ladder’

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Watch in HD! Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe! ūüėÄ

Another POV ladder game of mine. In this one I try to fast expand, spot an all-in Marine SCV push coming and react as best I can! (Then clown around a bit!)

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Ladder Map Changes

Along with the release of Starcraft¬†II: Wings of Libery¬†Patch 3.1 on the PTR, which I will be covering extensively in my next Pulse Episode,¬†there were a few changes made to the ladder map pool. Let’s have a look at them!

Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps РShacknews

Patch 1.3.0 Now Available on PTR РStarcraft II Community Site

These stealth changes removed¬†quite a number of maps from the ladder¬†map pool, but, there were also quite a few fun looking additions.¬†It is worth noting that the ladder¬†maps that were removed can still be played via custom games, the maps are there, just not in the ladder map pool.¬†Blizzard also¬†says that they plan to add “a couple more new maps to the official ladder¬†rotation in the coming weeks, including a user-made 1v1¬†map that is currently being featured in the Global StarCraft League.”¬†I am rather curious to see which of the GSL¬†maps they are thinking of adding, but¬†I guess any of them would be a great asset! Rather than leave us asking why certain maps were removed, Shacknews¬†posted a¬†detailed listing of the changes with included commentary on each decision, which can be found below, courtesy of Shacknews.

Not keen to read it all? No problem! ūüėÄ

Firstly, let’s have the quick and dirty version. I will be looking at the added 1v1¬†and 2v2 maps extensively below, so check that out too!

 Changes to 1v1:

1v1 Maps Carrying Over:

  • (1) Scrap Station
  • (2)Xel’Naga Caverns
  • (4)Delta Quadrant
  • (4)Metalopolis
ÔĽŅ

1v1 Maps Removed:

  • (2)Blistering Sands
  • (2)Jungle Basin
  • (2)Steppes of War
  • (4)Lost Temple
  • (4)Shakuras Plateau

1v1 Maps Added:

  • (4)Backwater Gulch
  • (4)Slag Pits
  • (4)The Shattered Temple
  • (4)Typhon Peaks

Changes To 2v2:

2v2 Maps Carrying Over:

  • (4)High Orbit
  • (4)Monlyth Ridge
  • (4)Red Stone Gulch
  • (4)Scorched Haven
  • (8)Tempest

2v2 Maps Removed:

  • ¬†(4)Arid Wastes
  • (4)Tarsonis Assault
  • (4)Twilight Fortress
  • (4)War Zone

2v2 Maps Added:

  • (4)Gutterhulk
  • (4)Khaydarin Depths
  • (4)Omega Sector
  • (4)Ruins of Tarsonis

That may well suffice for many of you, but those that want the reasoning behind the additions and removals, the full details can be found below!¬†I am only going to be posting / talking about the 1v1¬†changes as that is what the general populace cares about the most, you can ‘read more’ below to see the details behind the 2v2¬†/ 4v4 and FFA changes, too.

Detailed Changes To 1v1

1v1 Maps Removed:

(2)Blistering Sands

We wanted to reduce the number of rush maps in general, and Blistering Sands was one of them. On top of that, Blistering Sands matches resulted in too many all-in games due to the rocks into the main base. The frequency of all-in roach/speedling, 4 warpgate push, or even mass marine/marauder stimpack push by breaking the rocks was a bit too high, so we decided to pull this map from the ladder.

(2)Jungle Basin

Jungle Basin has a few traits that make it extremely favorable for Terran, so we decided to remove it from the ladder. These include:

  • It’s possible to set up siege tanks right below the main base of your opponent and harass his natural expansion while preventing his forces from leaving his base.
  • Too many choke points everywhere on the map made it difficult for Zerg to deal with marines, marauders, or siege tank-based skirmishes.
  • Difficult access to second expansion

High ground right in from of the ramp leading down to main. Setting up units at both this high ground as well as part of the low ground was too powerful, especially for Terrans that use siege tanks.

(2)Steppes of War

Again, we wanted to reduce the number of rush maps, and Steppes was the most rush-friendly rush map we decided to cut. It’s not that we don’t like rush maps, but we have learned over the course of season 1 that two-player rush maps are generally more one-sided than four-player rush maps. For the ladder map changes, the rush possible maps we’ll have will be four-player maps only.

(4)Lost Temple

Problems of Lost Temple:

  • If one side controls one of the center watch towers, there’s no alternate ground-based route to half of the map, meaning it’s too easy for the game to become a stalemate with each side taking half of the map.
  • Small islands in the corners were problematic in that they were difficult to assault as each of the three races. We noticed it’s possible to hold out at one or both of these islands and drag on a game for longer than needed. It was also problematic in that in some matchups, these islands were just free expansions that almost never get attacked, which is not what we wanted in an expansion.
  • The choke point by the natural expansions were too small; it was possible to block them off easily using only a few buildings.

(4)Shakuras Plateau

This map we decided to remove for a different reason. There isn’t a huge problem with this map, but we felt there aren’t enough interesting features of this map. The natural expansion is easy to take and defend; there are only two possible attack paths only one of which is generally used, and main bases aren’t easy to harass. For a change, we wanted to replace this relatively plain map with something new.¬†

1v1 Maps Added:

(4)Backwater Gulch

Backwater Gultch

Backwater Gulch has a familiar main to first expansion layout. Early game play on this map should feel familiar and there probably aren’t too many early game threats or difficulties in terms of gimmicky strategies you need to worry about. The second expansion, however, features a high ground area that is accessible by two ramps, meaning it can be easily harassed. The center area has two watch towers as well as two high yield expansions that will be difficult to maintain, and the key to victory in some games could come down to how long you hold one or both of these center expansions.

(4)Slag Pits

Slag Pits
Metalopolis was one of two favorite maps across the different skill levels of players. We decided to introduce a very similar map, but slightly more macro heavy. We took out Shakuras Plateau, which was a very plain macro map, and added this map instead. Some of the key features of this map are the low ground high yield expansions, the 2 lines of shrub area that can be used to position units, as well as the low ground watch tower that watches over all of the low ground center.

(4)The Shattered Temple

Shattered Temple

The Shattered Temple is a newer version of Lost Temple that’s more balanced. Improvements to Lost Temple found in this map include:

  • Wider center area
  • Watch tower changed to only cover a part of the center of the map. It’s possible to sneak units around the corners of the central area without getting detected by the watch tower.
  • Rocked off islands. This creates an alternate attack route, and reduces stalemate situations that islands cause.
  • Larger choke point by the expansion makes it more difficult to block off.¬†

(4)Typhon Peaks

Typhon Peaks

  • This map has a lot of the fun traits of previous maps. Rocks by on the sides of the map are positioned similarly to Scrap Station to reduce rush distance in vertical start locations. The center has two watch towers and provides the main attack path like in Shakuras¬†Plateau, and the second expansion is similar to the setup of Xel’Naga Caverns. Even though this map is brand new, players will be able to utilize some of their existing strategies that have been used on other maps, and potentially combine them to fit the unique play style of this new map.

Phew, that’s the 1v1¬†out of the way. As I said before, no word yet on which GSL¬†map Blizzard were thinking of using, but hey, a little mystery is always fun! Let’s check the 2v2 changes out. (Once again, remember, if you want to see the full size images, check the gallery out¬†over at Shacknews!)

Detailed Changes To 2v2

2v2 Maps Removed:

(4)Arid Wastes

Team play maps where your base is too far from your ally tend to favor race compositions that can use mobile armies. This is the reason why we will avoid having maps like Arid Wastes in the team play ladder in the future.

(4)Tarsonis Assault

This map has a similar feel to Scorched Haven or Monlyth¬†Ridge. The main difference is that distance to future expansions are very far. We wanted to remove 1 of these 3 maps since they’re similar in style, and Tarsonis Assault was the worst one out of the three.

(4)Twilight Fortress

This map is an extremely macro heavy map we wanted to try. The game play on this map is very different, and the average length of games on this map was too long so it is being taken out of ladder play.

(4)War Zone

War Zone suffers from similar problems as Arid Wastes. It’s near impossible for certain team setups to help each other, and in team games, we want to have maps that are more team play based.

2v2 Maps Added:

(4)Gutterhulk

Gutterhulk

Like Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge, this map has a center area between the two allies where each player can safely expand. However, the main difference is that there are rocks blocking off the back of the main bases, meaning harassing either players’ main base is possible. In terms of main attack routes, there are 5 different attack paths to your opponents, meaning that control of the two watch towers is key to success on this map.

(4)Khaydarin Depths

Khaydarin Depths

This map was first showcased during Blizzcon¬†2009 even before the retail game launched. This map features an easily defendable high yield expansion in between you and your ally. However, this expansion is blocked off by destructible¬†rocks, meaning you have to choose when to break this rock vs. when to attack or defend vs. the opposing team. Controlling the center of the map gains you access to most of the center of the map, but there are still back door routes around to the opponents’ bases by breaking one set of destructible rocks.

(4)Omega Sector

Omega Sector

Omega Sector is a two-player version of the popular 3v3 map Arakan Citadel. The start locations are very similar on both maps, and side expansion areas are a bit more easily accessible by the opposing players. This map has a possible three paths to attack, and although the center is the fastest route, the other two routes will be used very frequently because there are no watch towers overlooking them. As with Arakan Citadel, your ally is slightly far away from your base, so consider this when placing your first production structures.

(4)Ruins of Tarsonis

Ruins of Tarsonis

Ruins of Tarsonis is a more-balanced version of War Zone, which is being removed from the map pool. The biggest downside of War Zone was that it was near impossible to assist your ally if you didn’t have a mobile army. However, with the shared choke points on this map, it’s now possible to play as any race combination without obvious disadvantages. In the mid/late game however, there are back door attack paths leading to your second expansion areas, so be sure to defend those locations as well.

Well, I can totally understand why some of these were removed or changed because, as an avid 2v2 player myself, I can tell you that I have had quite a few problems on quite a few of the maps. But hey, I can’t wait to get in there and try these new maps!

I don’t really see the need to cover the 4v4 or FFA map changes, additions or removals, so if you feel you need to know what happened there, check the post linked below. Remember, instead of reading all of this, you can watch it all in video form above. Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe! ūüėÄ

Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps РShacknews

Patch 1.3.0 Now Available on PTR РStarcraft II Community Site

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Mitarn Ladder

Watch in HD! Remember to like it, favourite it & subscribe!

This is basically just a first person (POV) look at how I play. The game is a ZvP on Blistering Sands which I found was pretty entertaining. Nothing really special about it, though, and I don’t really go too in-depth about anything. I am just trying this out to see what you guys think about it!

Watch more videos at the Mitarn / Pulse YouTube Channel!

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Patch 1.2.2

Starcraft II Patch 1.2.2

Another small patch hit the Battle.net servers recently, Starcraft II Patch 1.2.2. Some of you might not even have realised that this went live as it is in fact incredibly tiny. The patch only fixed a single bug that prevented players from loading in-mission campaign saves while patched at version 1.20. Sadly, as a result of this, any in-mission saves created during 1.2.1 will no longer be usable. So, if you want to read the single patch note, the one I just mentioned, you can check the links below for that. Enjoy!

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty РPatch 1.2.2 РStarcraft II Community Site

BAFTA РStarcraft II: Wings of Libery Nominated!

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)¬†has announced the 2011 Video Games Awards Nominees. It seems like our favouritist¬†of favourite game, StarCraft¬†II: Wings of Liberty,¬†has in fact been¬†nominated in the Strategy Category and the Multiplayer Category. The ceremony will be streamed live via the¬†BAFTA¬†website, from the London Hilton on Park Lane on the 16th March 2011. Sure, there are many other games that have been nominated and the show is no doubt set to be really interesting, but who really cares for all that…? We just want to see Starcraft II take the win!

Keep checking back here for more on Starcraft¬†II at the BAFTA’s, if you can’t wait any longer or just want a little more information, check the links below.

StarCraft II Nominated for BAFTA 2011 Video Games Awards РBlizzPlanet

Seperate Ladder For Heart of the Swarm & More

In a recent interview with games.on.net, the Starcraft II Lead Game Designer Dustin Browder revealed that the Heart of the Swarm expansion is set to have its own, separate ladder, for any players upgrading to the expansion. He does mention that although there will be a separate ladder, players will still be able to play on the Wings of Liberty ladder without having to deal with new units, balance problems or anything like that. At first a lot of people were kind of confused about this, but it is actually the way that it is usually done and it was done in the same way with games like Warcraft III. That does mean that by the time the third expansion is released we will have access, assuming we own all said expansions, to three separate ladders. Pretty expected, but still quite interesting!

In the very same interview we were treated with some information about the new maps Blizzard is currently working on for¬†ladder¬†play that will ‘hopefully’ be added in the next couple of weeks and about their new custom maps and what the community has been able to do with the Starcraft¬†II Galaxy Editor. Dustin had the following to say on the development of Blizzard DotA and what they’re trying to do with it:

¬†“We‚Äôre definitely trying to streamline it, but we‚Äôre also definitely trying to make it as competitive, or even more competitive.¬†[Than DotA-AllStars]¬†We don‚Äôt feel that complexity is a necessity for a competitive experience.”

There is most definitely a lot more to this interview than I’ve mentioned here and I gotta say that it is also most definitely a must read for any and all Starcraft II fans out there. More on the Heart of the Swarm ladder and story, more on the custom maps and more on, well, the rest of it too! Check it out below, as I mentioned, courtesy of games.on.net!

Dustin Browder on StarCraft II – Games On Net

Map Marketplace – “Not Coming Soon”

In what I see as related news about something we haven’t really heard about in quite some time, ¬†it seems like the Starcraft¬†II Map Marketplace is not quite ready for public use just¬†yet. In yet another Dustin Browder interview, this one with Eurogamer, the Starcraft II Lead Designer admitted that Blizzard¬†is¬†‘struggling’ to get the Battle.net Marketplace up and running.¬†Browder had the following to say about the issues they were having with getting it up and running:

“How do players protect their own maps so they don’t get ripped off by other players? What are the rules of how much you’re allowed to charge? There’s just a ton of work for us to figure out.”

He follows this up by saying that we should not expect to start making money with our Starcraft II maps any time soon and that it is going to be ‘some distance’ before the feature is in the hands of the fans. They want us to know that they are still working hard at getting out done and dusted and just ask everyone to have a little patience. Once again, there’s more to read in the interview than just what I mentioned here, so check it out below if you care.

StarCraft II Marketplace still “some distance” from going live, says Blizzard¬†– BigDownload

Top 200 Starcraft 2

Top 200 Lists

Yes, the top 200 lists are back once again, as they always seem to be around this time of the week. If you care to check the European, North American, South East Asian or Korean lists out, you can do so, with ease, below. Enjoy!

US Top 200 РStarcraft II Community Site

EU Top 200 РStarcraft II Community Site

KR Top 200 РStarcraft II Community Site

SEA Top 200 РStarcraft II Community Site

StarCraft II Account Suspensions/Bans

Good news everyone! Blizzard¬†recently issued a new round of account suspensions and bans to StarCraft II players who were in violation of the Battle.net Terms of Use for cheating and/or using hack programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair competition that‚Äôs essential to play on Battle.net, cheating and hacking can lead to stability and performance issues with the service. Sadly, we weren’t given a head count of the fallen, but hey, who really cares, as long as there are a few less to hinder and / or tarnish our experience on the Battle.net, I am happy. Read more about it below!

 StarCraft II Account Suspensions/Bans РStarcraft II Community Site

Tournament & Event News

Tournament & Event Smalls:

France takes on Europe’s best in Millenium Cup¬†– GosuGamers

The Gathering present StarCraft 2, HoN prize purse РGosuGamers

European Nation War League –¬†Semi-Final Stage – GosuGamers

Champions Trophy Europe & NA Next Weekend – SK Gaming

Champions Trophy January VODs Up – SK Gaming

[OSL] 2010 Bacchus OSL – Grand Final – TeamLiquid

[TSL] Qualifier #7 Recap РTeamLiquid

[GCPL] Empire vs Liquid – TeamLiquid

TeamSpeak TL SC2 Open #15 – TeamLiquid

Justin.tv Invitational Qualifier #3 – TeamLiquid

NASL

IdrA vs Jinro Showmatch & North American Starleague

After weeks and weeks of crazy hype and building it up, we’ve finally been treated with Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson’s announcement of announcements, the big reveal…. that will have to wait for just a second. The showmatch¬†titled the “Clash of the Titans”¬†between Jinro¬†and IdrA, the pre-cursor to the whole thing, happened last night. To many spectators’ disappointment most of the thing seemed to be pre-recorded and, well, that didn’t go down too well. Even TotalBiscuit¬†tweeted that going with pre-recorded was not a great idea unless absolutely necessary. The games were pretty entertaining, to be sure, and Jinro managed to take them with a decent 4 to 2, scoring himself the 1500$ prize pool.

Yes, and after all of that came the main event. iNcontroL had been building up to the launch of the hotly anticipated NASL, the North American Starleague. $400,000 in prizes over the course of three seasons, fifty of the best players in the world playing in five different divisions with daily matches and 16 man LAN finals. The event will be commentated live from a full studio by iNcontroL and other rotating commentators including the likes of JP, djWHEAT and even Day[9]. iNcontroL says that this WILL and pretty much already is the biggest and bestest event outside of Korea and the GSL and he is extremely excited to finally announce it.

For all those looking to read more about the qualification process, watch it live or just stay up to date with all the NASL news out there, there’s a ton of information to be found in the links below and the whole thing is set to kick off on the 5th of April.

NASL¬†Exclusive¬†Interview with Geoff ‘iNcontroL’ Robinson¬†– G4TV

[Showmatch] Clash of the Titans РTeamLiquid

400,000 Prize Pool Announced for NASL РGosuGamers

MLG Goes Global

Major League Gaming is looking to expand its horizons, going beyond North America in the near future cooperating with IMG¬†closely. It seems like their partnership is set to consist of¬†hosting regional championships, as well as national ones to boot. Their plans for 2011? They plan to¬†hold 6 championships in the US with over a 1 million dollar prize pool, wait, let me say that again,¬†over a 1 million dollar prize pool,¬†spread across them all. Players will have to qualify¬†in the¬†¬†‘minor leagues’¬†online against others trying to make it big. They mention that there will be an approximated¬†750,000 matches monthly, and those will eventually progress into a higher tier. Yes, you’ve probably guessed that this is not all for, or set up for, Starcraft II. There are even more crazy stats that you can check out below, including where they are planning on marketing their ‘product’, how many registrations they are getting and who’s funding them.

Additionally, if you care for the shorter term, you can also read about MLG Dallas, their prize pool, the rest of their stops and the dates for the event, which is in-fact starting on April 1st and carrying on till April the 3rd, below, too.

MLG Goes Global РGosuGamers

$14,000 Prize Pool Announced for MLG Dallas РGosuGamers

IEM World Championship & More!

In some more tournament news the ESL presented their prize pool for the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship just a day or two ago. The presented money¬†is¬†significantly lower than¬†the last seasons’ prize pool, despite including an extra game, League of Legends, as their fourth title. But yes, this¬†year StarCraft¬†2 is also¬†a new Extreme Masters title. Boasting with a $145,000 USD prize for StarCraft 2 alone, the event is one of the most¬†prize-heavy events out there at the moment.¬†

Along with all of this it seems like the IEM guys have quite a lot of great stuff set up for us for the event. Day[9], RotterdaM and TLO are set to cast the Starcraft II Tournament at the evet that will be taking place at the CeBIT expo in Hanover, Germany, from March 1st to March the 5th. Also, with the group stages already complete, you can check the Korean invites out for the IEM below, they include Moon, Squirtle, Ace and the one and only IdrA. (Yes, he counts as a Korean, for now at least!)

Kickoff of IEM World Championship PreCoverage РYouTube

The co-commentator for the IEM World Championship – YouTube

Sean Plott to Cast at IEM World Championships РGosuGamers

Korean invites for IEM fail to excite РMyM

GSL Banner

GSL News

Time for some GSL News! With the GSL March season already underway there is quite a lot happening out there. The first few play-days have been completed and highlights include the fact that HuK won his first few games in the Code-A,  Loner is the first foreign player to be knocked out and the Code-S zerg player July managed to take down the former champ Mvp, knocking him out and down to the Up/Down matches. As a few extras, below you can also read a pretty extensive GSL March Preview, recaps of the play-days thus far, a special on TeamLiquid of HuK in the GSL and more!

[GSL March] Code S Ro32 Day 1 РTeamLiquid

[GSL] March Madness РTeamLiquid

[GSL] Liquid`HuK Code A Ro32 Foreigner Special РTeamLiquid

ÔĽŅÔĽŅ02/22 GSL Code S Winners Interviews – TeamLiquid

Loner out of Code A – SK Gaming

Mvp to up-and-down matches – SK Gaming

Free Stream & Kelly Milkies

If you haven’t noticed, this season you can watch the GOMtv stream absolutely free from their website. (The Standard quality one, at least)¬†There are also some new casters helping out with the Code-A matches this season, namely Kelly Milkies¬†and Torch. Kelly has already done her first few sets of games with Tasteless and I gotta say I see great things for her in the future. She seems to be an extremely hard worker and I have no doubt that she will fill the huge shoes of the casting archon, Tastosis. She was recently interviewed by the guys over at ESFI¬†World and asked about the harsh criticism she has been receiving. She says she has seen some of the things¬†people have said, some of them are just overly critical and outright aggressive, while others have some criticisms that¬†she will take into regards for sure. She says that people have to try understand that she is not trying to take Tastosis away from them, they are really overworked at the moment and¬†have a lot to cast. With regards to her apparent ‘thick accent’ she said that she thinks the biggest point when it comes to having an accent, like hers, ¬†is if people are open enough to accept it. Well, you know gamers, they can be the harshest (is that even a word?)¬†people out there and most definitely quickest to judge. But, if you ask me, I think she will make it and is doing a great job thus far. So good luck Kelly Milkies¬†and I hope you survive the sometimes crazy Starcraft II fans!

If you need a link to that free GSL¬†Stream, wish to read more about Kelly’s trip to Korea, her time there thus far, what GOMtv had to say about all of it and everything else that’s even slightly related to any of this, check the links below and enjoy!

KellyMilkies to cast GOMTV GSL Code A alongside Tastosis РGosuGamers

GSL РFree Stream РGOMtv

Terran Invites For TSL3

TeamLiquid has announced the final five Korean invites that will join their TeamLiquid StarLeague, or TSL, and the list includes some pretty big names. The following players were invited:

Jonathan ‘Jinro‘ Walsh
Jong-Hyun ‘mvp‘ Jung
Yoon-Yeol ‘NaDa‘ Lee
Yo-Hwan ‘BoxeR‘ Lim
Yi ‘Loner‘ Dai

The TSL3 round of 32 brackets are set to begin in March and will run for one month. The prize pool is a pretty solid $34,500, with the champion taking home $15,000 of it. Check the lists of invited players, dates and all the other TSL3 information you could ever want out below.

[TSL] Terran Invites РTeamLiquid

Community News

Community Smalls:

The Academy: Everybody Needs Somebody – Official

Solid Gold Action on RotterdaM University, Episode 3 – Official

Day9 to broadcast on Justin.tv РTeamLiquid

GUIDE: Zergling, Mutalisk versus Terran and Protoss РGosuGamers

Ret talks Korean BW and SC2 – SK Gaming

Sixth StarsWar edition hinted on organization’s blog¬†– GosuGamers

New Map – Terminus Re –¬†Analyzed¬†– GosuGamers

[Contest] Screenshot Comics РSC2Mapster

GSTL Runner-ups Interviewed – SK Gaming

SC Center РDaily Starcraft II News РYouTube

Star Tale House Revealed – YouTube

djWHEATs Show On Hiatus РTeamLiquid

Artosis Reacts to The Team GSL (Must watch!l) РYouTube

Starfront: Collision Does A Great StarCraft II Impression On iPhone РKotaku

Na`Vi|ZeroGravity: SC2 Team To Be Announced Soon РTeamLiquid

Interview: Naugrim about Go4SC2, Assembly – GosuGamers

China’s Ministry of Culture Approves StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty РBlizzPlanet

linda-liao-main

Linda ‘Pikachu’ Liao Joins Team Razer

Team Razer, following their¬†signing of BoxeR and his team, SlayerS,¬†has picked up one of the better known and no doubt the most popular female Starcraft¬†II players out there¬†at the moment, Linda ‘Pikachu’ Liao. Linda Liao (born on the 24th of May, 1981) is a celebrity model, singer and actress. This Taiwanese native came to fame through notable film performances and multiple features on well-known lifestyle magazines. Linda also has a wide range of television appearances from music videos to being a video jockey (VJ) for MTV Mandarin. Yet under all the fame and glamor of Linda lies a unique passion.

Linda Liao

Linda is not just a celebrity, off-camera she’s also a professional gamer that kicks ass. And lots of it. She¬†has been making quite a name for herself in the Starcraft¬†II scene, as I mentioned a few weeks ago by winning one of the all-female ESL Cups and managing a #1 Diamond rank back before Masters was all the rage. I gotta say, the guys and girls from¬†Team Razer¬†seem to have made quite an acquisition¬†here, yes indeed. Linda¬†really¬†fits the part and definitely¬†looks good in that¬†Razer¬†gear. If you want to read more about Linda,¬†see even more images and watch an interview she did with Razer, you can find it all in the links below

Linda “Pikachu” Liao¬†– Razerzone

Linda “Pikachu” Liao Joins Team Razer¬† – TeamLiquid

[Photos] Linda ‘Pikachu’ Liao joins Team Razer at the Taipei Game Show – Facebook

IdrA – Back To The States

Team EG is pleased to announce that IdrA, their golden boy currently living¬†and playing in Korea,¬†will be moving back to the US, indefinitely, This will be to¬†represent the organization domestically in various upcoming tournaments and team leagues. This move is set to take place¬†at the start of March and, well, you can hear all about it in the interview¬†below that Artosis¬†conducted with¬†‘The Gracken’¬†himself.¬†Below you can also read GOMtv’s official statement on the matter and¬†the official announcement from Team EG.

IdrA to return to U.S. РTeamLiquid

IdrA to return to U.S – eG Official Site

Brother Mack Welcomes Back Brother Grack

In related news, Brother Mack is back and he is welcoming Brother Grack¬†back into the United States. The video is a must watch, as most of Brother Macks¬†tend to be,¬†if only because of Mack’s unique insights and special way with words.¬†All you Grack, or Mack fans out there had best be¬†sure to check it out aswell!

Brother Mack Welcomes Back Brother Grack – YouTube

IMBALANCED! РEP 03 РVoidRay / Colo in PvZ

Episode 3 of IMBALANCED is here! As with last week, IdrA and Artosis start off by talking about the feedback from episode 2 on TvP Openings. From that point the discussion goes onto the emerging style of the VoidRay / Colossus builds in PvZ, are they IMBALANCED? Watch this latest episode to find out!

IMBALANCED! РEP 03 РVoidRay / Colo in PvZ РYouTube

GG Vision

Sebastian, oh Sebastian, how do you manage to keep us as entertained and glue to our screens as you do?¬†Yes, I am in fact referring to the seemingly endless stream of¬†GG Vision’s that just keep rolling in. Below you can find links to the latest batch of GG Visions, they include the first of the ESFI¬†World Weekly news casts, a full episode dedicated to the launch of the North American Starleague and much more. Check it out, you won’t regret it!

ESFI GGvision Weekly #1 РYouTube

GGvision #24 Рret for Prezident, Epic Sums of Money & Movies РYouTube

GGvision #25 – the North American Star League! – YouTube

Team MVP Is Created

A new Starcraft¬†II Pro-gaming team has been started up¬†in South Korea and the team is¬†¬†called MVP. No, not the player MVP, this is an entire team, they have a team house, quite a few well-known players and big hopes and dreams for the future. I have to say the addition of¬†yet another strong team is definitely going to spice things up at the GSL¬†and I can’t wait to see how these guys perform. Below you can read the full roster, which includes big names such as DRG, Genius and¬†GuineaPig, and all about the teams house and plans for the coming months.

DongRaeGu, Genius, GuineaPig join Team MVP РTeamLiquid

Athene Challenges All The Haters

Athene is back, as we all knew he would be. This time around he is challenging all the haters out there to stop him, in whatever way you see fit, I guess, from reaching Rank 1 in Masters. He calls himself the Jesus of gaming, the Einstein of gaming, a scientist and many other things. He then goes on to tell everyone hating on him that all they are doing is making even more money for him. The video is, as all his others, quite hilarious and definitely worth checking out. Also, if you have a moment, read some of the comments too, also quite a laugh.

Haters, I challenge you all РYouTube

ss1251

Starcraft II Comics & Fan Art

The official Starcraft¬†II Community Sites have been updated with a big batch of new fan art and there’s a new Starcraft¬†II Comics Section that will feature some StarCraft II comics from¬†Blizzard’s¬†previous and current comic contests. Some of the fan art images are truly amazing, as you can see above, and the comics will provide even the most serious amongst you with a chuckle. Check the galleries out below and enjoy!

New StarCraft II Comics Section РStarcraft II Community Site

New StarCraft Fan Art РStarcraft II Community Site

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Patch 1.2.1

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty patch 1.2.1 is now live! So if you’re on the SEA, or US servers, you are probably playing this version already. There wasn’t really anything major in this patch, though, and the saddest part is that we didn’t even get the new ladder maps. A few matchmaking optimizations were made, that silly  bug that caused the zerg creep to kill the foliage on certain maps has been fixed and a couple of other, slightly random changes are fixes were made too. But, as I always say, a patch is a patch and I’m happy for it. If you’re interested in all the fixes and changes made be sure to check out the full patch notes below and enjoy Starcraft II, minus a few bugs!

Patch 1.2.1 Now Live – Starcraft II Community Site

‘Read more’ to see the full patch notes!

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Mitarn Ladder

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ZvP Analysis on Blisterning Sands

I take a look at an interesting rush that has become quite common against protoss opponents as zerg. 3 roaches and a ton of speedlings seems to be all it takes! It also means I have to play a lot different from what I usually play and that is great, too. Enjoy!

Watch more videos at the Mitarn / Pulse YouTube Channel!

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Mitarn Ladder

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So yes, here’s me losing to a terran I should have won against on Xel’Naga Caverns. This is the kind of situation where keeping it simple fails a little, check it out!

Watch more videos at the Mitarn / Pulse YouTube Channel!

About Mitarn Ladder:
A series focused on Starcraft II gameplay analysis. Every week I will fully dissect one or two of my games on the Starcraft II ladder. What I did right, what I did wrong and what I can improve on. I will try cover it all.

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