BlizzCon '09: StarCraft II - The Escapist Showdown

BlizzCon '09: StarCraft II - The Escapist Showdown

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Weeks of smack talk came to an end this weekend when Keane Ng and John Funk finally met in battle in StarCraft II's multiplayer. Did Keane emerge triumphant once again, or did Funk get his sweet, sweet revenge?

Funk and I have been working hard at BlizzCon 2009, but we've been playing hard as well. No, we didn't go to any crazy room parties full of Blood Elf female cosplayers (in my dreams, fellows), this was some serious business: StarCraft II's multiplayer.

If you guys remember, earlier this year I defeated Funk to claim first place in The Escapist's Street Fighter IV showdown. Since then he has been looking for a chance to redeem himself. Being a huge Blizzard fanboy, he naturally saw his chance in StarCraft II. So I humored him. We did a best two out of three series of StarCraft II 1v1 matches at BlizzCon this weekend. Here's how it went down.

Keane: You can't be good at everything in life. I'm good at quite a few things - Street Fighter, origami, eating noodles - but occasionally I'm forced to realize that there are some things I just can't do well. One of those things, unfortunately, is playing real-time strategy games.

I have never beaten the first StarCraft. I hadn't even been able to get past the first two levels until last year. My mind and my hands aren't made for "micro" and "macro," unless you're talking about making instant macaroni and cheese in the microwave. So I have to give Funk credit for striking me right in my weakspot. He did good. But I didn't go down as easy as I had feared I would.

The first game was a travesty. I spent the entire time holed up in my starting base, not expanding, just trying to remember the Terran tech trees. Uh, how do I make tanks? How do I make planes? When Funk showed up with units other than marines, I was just thinking "What the HELL is that thing and how do I make it?" Halfway through I was ready to lose. But no. Funk had to savor it. I didn't see a single attacker for ten minutes, and then it hit: a massive assault capped off by a nuke going off in the center of my base. It was humiliating.

I learn quick, though. The second game was different. Much closer, mostly because I actually expanded to have three bases and a decent handle of producing troops and maintaining resources. I expanded right next to one of Funk's areas. He didn't seem to notice. But when I set my Siege Tanks to Siege Mode and they started firing - I did not want this to happen - my position was given away.

Funk, seeing that I was developing a ground game, sent in aircraft. I countered with anti-air turrets. But little planes gave way to giant motherships, which gave way to giant motherships and crazy walkers firing laser beams and giant motherships at the same time. "Game over man, game over," I thought. I watched all three of my bases go up in flames. Funk had done the impossible. He had beaten me.

Winner's Statement: The original StarCraft has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most balanced multiplayer games ever made, and while SC2 probably needs a bit more work, it's getting there. So, see what happens when Keane can't rely on tier-whoring? Yep, that's what I thought.

I will give Keane credit, though. I may have utterly destroyed him in the first game - dropping six Medivacs' worth of Marines, Marauders, and Siege Tanks in the undefended back of his base and having a Ghost call down a nuclear strike to deliver the coup de grace - but he learned quickly. In our second game, he expanded, set up a secret base right outside of my rich-mineral expansion, and supported his anti-air turrets well with a wall of Siege Tanks that made approaching him tricky.

But he forgot to defend his rear flanks, and once that forward base fell, he had nothing to slow the advance of my Immortals, Stalkers, and Colossi except a Bunker or two - imagine a relentless storm of alien walkers with pew pew lasers burning swathes through a human colony, and you'll have something kind of what it looked like. The Mothership was only the seal on the deal.

He learns quickly, and if we play again, it might be even closer. But beat me?

Sorry, Keane. No chance in hell.

Permalink

Dammit. Keane, you sexy beast, you failed me. Now I have to suck back up to the Funk, I hope you're proud of yourself.

/me destroys his shrine of Keane.

Can I have a consolation badge?

And the crowd goes wild!

*cheers*

I wish I could actually watch the matches, though...

You lost?! Lucky for you i didnt put any money on this game, but just think if i had! Well better luck next time...when you find out the console cheats.

Woot Woot! U knew Funk had it in him!

haha, niiiice... go Funk! wooooh! I always prefered your profile pic to Keane's! X3

Wow, nice job...
You guys are seriously lucky at playing the game so early. Makes me quite jealous, if you guys do get the real game and play it often, im going to have to ask to get your B.net accounts so i can test my mettle against you two. Just to ask, what are some of the issues you guys found with balance in the game?

I want a video. Writing it down is just not the same...

Playbahnosh:
I want a video. Writing it down is just not the same...

Sadly, there's no real way to get video from BlizzCon.

The beta, though... that's another story when it starts.

Inconsistancies Arise:
Wow, nice job...
You guys are seriously lucky at playing the game so early. Makes me quite jealous, if you guys do get the real game and play it often, im going to have to ask to get your B.net accounts so i can test my mettle against you two. Just to ask, what are some of the issues you guys found with balance in the game?

To be honest, neither of us are pro SC players, so I wouldn't notice anything. I played as all three races, they all feel great (I'm really loving the feel of Protoss right now) and are all a blast.

CantFaketheFunk:

Inconsistancies Arise:
Wow, nice job...
You guys are seriously lucky at playing the game so early. Makes me quite jealous, if you guys do get the real game and play it often, im going to have to ask to get your B.net accounts so i can test my mettle against you two. Just to ask, what are some of the issues you guys found with balance in the game?

To be honest, neither of us are pro SC players, so I wouldn't notice anything. I played as all three races, they all feel great (I'm really loving the feel of Protoss right now) and are all a blast.

Ha, well still, im quite jealous. I want to play as the new, revamped zerg. I wouldn't call myself a pro player (i dont even for games i am good at, i just enjoy myself.) But certainly, it would be just good to have a little group for escapist members on the new battle.net, you know? just some friendly skirmishes and stuff like that. I think that would be more enjoyable than taking on the ladders or stuff like that.

Really, the more and more people are talking of this game, the more excited i am getting.
You guys have single handedly managed to boost that excitement. Cause i actually got direct feedback from someone who has played it, not just reading an article of someone who has.

Keane.

I thought you were a winner after the Street Fighter IV tournament, are you telling me I was wrong? Should I never support you again?
WELL! You're lucky there was no badge to be won here.

Good job Funk! I myself suck pretty badly at Starcraft, I remember the first time playing, I just made like 20 zerglings and hid them under the ground, hoping I could do some sneak haxxx attack. XD

Psychosocial:
Keane.

I thought you were a winner after the Street Fighter IV tournament, are you telling me I was wrong? Should I never support you again?
WELL! You're lucky there was no badge to be won here.

Good job Funk! I myself suck pretty badly at Starcraft, I remember the first time playing, I just made like 20 zerglings and hid them under the ground, hoping I could do some sneak haxxx attack. XD

Make an army of Roaches (the only unit so far, who can move while burrowed), and you'll have your sneak haxxx attack.

The man with his own catch phrase takes the gold. I feel slightly better about supporting him in the SF4 mach-ups.

Syntax Error:

Psychosocial:
Keane.

I thought you were a winner after the Street Fighter IV tournament, are you telling me I was wrong? Should I never support you again?
WELL! You're lucky there was no badge to be won here.

Good job Funk! I myself suck pretty badly at Starcraft, I remember the first time playing, I just made like 20 zerglings and hid them under the ground, hoping I could do some sneak haxxx attack. XD

Make an army of Roaches (the only unit so far, who can move while burrowed), and you'll have your sneak haxxx attack.

OH SNAP.

I'm going to become the best at StarCraft in a matter of days. Korea, here I come. B)

No but really, are they for StarCraft 1 or 2? I don't remember seeing any unit like that. :/

Psychosocial:
snip

Last time I checked, it's still not yet on the site, but you can watch them in action in one of those Battle Reports. I think it's on Battle Report 2 or 3. The unit's broken, IMO. It has a heckuva high regen AND burrow movement. Imagine if about six or more of that unit is in your resource mines and you have no detectors.

Cookies for funk :P

-thunderous applause-

Go Funk! Was rooting for ya the entire time. now if only we had video of this epic showdown....

Syntax Error:

Psychosocial:
Keane.

I thought you were a winner after the Street Fighter IV tournament, are you telling me I was wrong? Should I never support you again?
WELL! You're lucky there was no badge to be won here.

Good job Funk! I myself suck pretty badly at Starcraft, I remember the first time playing, I just made like 20 zerglings and hid them under the ground, hoping I could do some sneak haxxx attack. XD

Make an army of Roaches (the only unit so far, who can move while burrowed), and you'll have your sneak haxxx attack.

Infestor, roaches are the ones that have rapid healing.

Oh man, I can't wait for it to finally come. I've been practicing on Starcraft lately, and I'm getting better and better. Granted, I'd get steamrolled by a pro, but I still know just about everything there is to know when it comes to units and strategies.

Syntax Error:

Psychosocial:
snip

Last time I checked, it's still not yet on the site, but you can watch them in action in one of those Battle Reports. I think it's on Battle Report 2 or 3. The unit's broken, IMO. It has a heckuva high regen AND burrow movement. Imagine if about six or more of that unit is in your resource mines and you have no detectors.

It's the infestor that has burrow movement. And the infester can't attack, per se; it's a spellcaster. The roach (the one with rapid health regeneration) has a low base HP, so concentrated fire can dispatch them without trouble.

Thanks to the people who corrected me. Sorry Psychosocial. I got your hopes up XD

Don't forget about those Supply Depots that sink into the ground on command.

Congrats, Funk! Took Keane down a notch, didn't you. Good for you.

Funk lays down the law in an epic battle that can only be described as a rock and roll thrill ride from start to finish.

LewsTherin:
Funk lays down the law in an epic battle that can only be described as a rock and roll thrill ride from start to finish.

He picked on the weak and unprepared... standard Alliance tactics really.

I can't wait for Starcraft 2, I need to know if my precious 9inepool rush still works...

 

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