Posted on August 16, 2013, Ryan Visbeck State on StarCraft: Next Season’s Map Pool Analysis
State on StarCraft is a weekly column on Game Front by Ryan “State” Visbeck, a pro StarCraft 2 player. Each week State brings you his unique perspective on all things StarCraft, including tips, tricks and stories from the front line of competitive play.
NOTE: “State” is officially sponsored by Game Front.
Blizzard recently announced the map pool for the upcoming ladder and WCS season. Five maps have been removed and three more added, and in this week’s article, we’ll analyze how each new map might affect Protoss gameplay. The next season begins on August 26th, so let’s get ready.
Expect games on Yeonsu to be fast-paced and aggressive.
Because of how exposed each main is, Protoss has a lot of ways to pressure Terran early—especially with Blink all-ins—but reapers will be very effective at scouting these openings in the early-game.
We’re more likely to see players take their 3rd at the 6/12 o’clock expansions because of how easy it is to siege the next-closest base from the low ground. Though drops won’t be as effective on Yeonsu as they have been on maps like Star Station, they’re definitely a serious threat for either player. This, combined with the wide variety of attack paths, will make counterattacks and flanks a very important part of mid-game PvT.
I seriously doubt we’ll see split-map scenarios very often on Yeonsu. Expansions become increasingly hard to take against solid, aggressive players, and the map design definitely discourages deathball-esque play styles. Longer games will be decided by positioning and counterattacks more than anything else on this map.
PvZ has become a lot more dynamic in Heart of the Swarm, and maps like Yeonsu are partly why. Yeonsu lends itself to both gateway and forge fast-expands and the map structure—which features many choke points and attack paths—plays to each race’s strengths.
Protoss players are going to love Yeonsu for its choke points and ledges. Two and three-base timing attacks are going to be incredibly powerful on this map, and Zerg players will have to rely on scouting and superior positioning to defend against them.
Zerg players are going to love Yeonsu for its diverse attack paths. Aggressive, counter-attack oriented styles that dominate the map are going to be very hard to deal with for many Protoss players.
Regardless of which race you play, if you’ve got good multitasking, aggression and damage control, this map plays to your strengths.
This map is a lot like Neo Planet S in that PvP favors blink-stalker openings, but anything is possible on Yeonsu. There are plenty of areas to proxy tech, stargates, and pylons, and as a result, it’ll be challenging to hold a fast-expand against a well-executed attack.
I don’t think we’ll see the trending charge-zealot/archon/immortal composition too often on this map. At the very least, it’s not ideal. The choke points, cliffs and ledges make colossus and stargate strategies much stronger than those that require a lot of surface area to be effective. Add in the wide variety of attack paths, and blink-stalker compositions pack a lot of punch in the midgame. Like in other match-ups, PvP on Yeonsu is going to be fast-paced and aggressive.