In what was one of the first gripping StarCraft 2 pro matches of the night at MLG Raleigh 2012, Grubby (pictured right) and Rain (pictured left) duked it out in a back-and-forth Protoss vs. Zerg slugfest for three maps. The two traded blows a few times, fought hard to lay waste to the opposition's expansions, and made enough small misplays to make the match anyone's win.
This is why StarCraft 2 has such high entertainment value in the e-Sports world: its high-energy tendencies lends it to being naturally engrossing for even non-SC players (though being familiar with the game is certainly recommended).
Let's boil down what happened in the match between Grubby (P) v. Rain (T) and talk about what made it so fun.
The round started off on Entombed Valley, where Grubby pulled four probes to murder Rain's fast-expanding SCV, punishing the land grab early and putting Grubby in a position of confidence. After Grubby successfully killed two SCVs and delayed the command center without losing a probe, his aggressive run continued as he sent two stalkers and forced a bunker placement. The game's pace didn't ever miss a beat, even entering mid-game; Grubby continued to pin-down Rain, focusing on map control while teching to colossi; meanwhile, Rain used semi-successful drop play in an attempt to distract Grubby and force a withdrawal to his base for defense.
With Grubby's army out-of-position and defending against drops, Rain was able to recover the advantage and brute-force his way into Grubby's base with a bio-centric army, killing off the Protoss quickly.
Grubby's continued aggression in the early-game may have been unsustainable, contributing to his control (and game) loss.
Rain 1-0 Grubby
Performing a gasless expand, Rain's early strategy featured an early expo and two Rax; similarly, Grubby played safe with a one-gate-expand, creating a fairly passive early game. The slow start led to Rain working on his upgrades and base expansions -- he started a third expansion early, while Grubby teched up and claimed his own third.
With both players continuing to develop their tech, only minor conflicts occur, most resulting in no more than a few scrapes.
Once Rain got his medivacs online, he was in a position to begin dropping (the downfall of Grubby in the previous game), forcing Grubby to respond with aggression. Masterful Storms and a large, flanking Zealot army were able to thin the ranks of the Terran army, inevitably resulting in a GG from Rain.
Grubby 1-1 Rain
Despite the map being larger this time around, Rain went for a 1-Rax-Expand instead of going for an immediate command center. Grubby, once again, went 1-Gate-Expand.
Only minor scuffles occurred in the early game as both players teetered on edge; Rain started going for drops again, but having seen through his opponent, stayed on two-bases and played it extremely safe.
While Rain revisited his game plan, Grubby built up a force of three Colossi, at which point he moved to secure his third. Rain skillfully multi-tasked to drop on Grubby's main, force a cancel on the third expand, and use his Vikings to kite and harass Colossi.
Rain took a huge supply lead as he successfully established his third base, meanwhile Grubby remained stuck on his first two; Rain continued to macro-up against his opponent, but when Grubby held his ground strategically and firmly, his Protoss deathball was able to clean-up the remnants of the Terran army.
Grubby 2-1 Rain
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke and Keegan "HornetSting" Gallick.