I never understood the strategies involved in RTS games, and the few times I played, I realised spamming one type of soldier at the enemy just doesn't work. To redeem my uncultured ways, I decided to look at how the pros strategised. What better way to start than to gaze into the inner workings of an esports match, right?
The matches begin with a chorus of drum-rolls. Wait. Those aren't drumrolls. That's just the sound of the players furiously mashing buttons on their keyboards. Some have twisted their hand into a misshapen claw to reach buttons all across the keyboard at one go. Their other hand is clicking away on the mouse, almost as if an intense game of minesweeper is going on. Others aren't as flexible, and alternate their second hand between using the mouse and assisting with the button-mashing.
Once you get over how strange the players look and focus on the gameplay, it really is quite engaging. In one match-up a player spawns 41 Queens, which makes for quite an impressive sight. Although I'm not sure those ugly, hulking green beasts fit the title of Queen all that well. Of course, the other player isn't to be left behind either, as he spawns an army of mechs that eclipse the opposing army. In the end, however, they are no match for the ugly beasts and the Queens decimate the machinations without breaking a sweat. To be honest, even I could've told them that organic matter will always beat machines. I mean, have they never watched the Terminator series?
That was exciting stuff, more so because I understand armies destroying one another. What I don't understand is what happened in the next match. A few light skirmishes take place between flying things and units on the ground, where neither party gained much ground. Out of nowhere, the camera pans to a group of fast yellow creatures which surround something disgusting. I'm not exaggerating, because smack in the middle of the screen is a large kidney-coloured, pulsating mass. Why anyone would want to go there I don't know. Apparently the players do, because one of them gets up off his seat and starts hi-five-ing the audience while the other weeps in his (gaming) chair. Not even the commentators can help me understand what just went down, because they're screaming like Bitconnect just launched.
The last match I watched, which was supposedly the best game of 2013, was an intense affair. Both the players were highly skilled, and they traded deaths back and forth. There seemed to be no end in sight, until one player did something incredibly stupid. Everyone watching saw Player 2 drop some mines from his round units, which promptly rolled away in retreat. I assume Player 1 must have been blind on red bull, because he charged his massive marine force straight into the mines. Just like that, the marathon battle was decided by a rookie mistake.
Seeing hardened pros making such silly mistakes made me feel better about my inability to strategise. I'm not sure how much of the game I learned, but one thing I've learned is that I need gaming chairs, headphones and keyboard(s) to be as good as these guys.
Wasique Hasan fights N'wahs during the day and TØP haters during the night. Fight him at the time of your choosing at: facebook.com/hasique.wasan