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StarCraft continued to change during 2007. StarCraft II was announced and covered exhaustively. The impact of “Web 2.0” started to affect the community; websites and organizations are changed to reflect this. The foreign scene exploded through international tournaments and shout-casting (which came into, devolved from and reinvented itself during and since). And the quality of innovation has gone from the obvious to the subtle.

During all of this, there were still some Pimpest Plays to be found.

Pimpest Plays has always been a balancing act. On one hand, there are feats of mechanical skill. There are people who continue to refine what “perfect” play is. On the other, there are plays that scream of innovation. The environment is, and has always been, highly calculated. The limits of skill and knowledge are generally known, but those boundaries, those limits are occasionally shattered. How do you decide which is better? Do you choose clicks, or do you choose tricks? The correct answer is, “both” because you must master the fundamentals to master the game. Our top picks are the combination of skill, thought, and innovation. The best – the pimpest – plays come during the heat of competition, in front of the screaming crowd, when the stakes are highest. SlayerS `BoxeR` is the embodiment of this amazing mentality. He changed the rules of how the game was played - live in front of you, on prime time.

StarCraft: Legacy welcomes you to Pimpest Plays 2007. Use the index below to navigate:

 

Honorable Mention - Zelniq's Cliff Jump

One of the reasons why StarCraft is such a great game is because of the extremely dynamic metagame. Throughout the years players have found many ways to surpass standard play. This honorable mention goes to Zelniq for taking advantage of an entertaining bug in StarCraft that allows players to jump cliffs. In this game he was Protoss playing against a Terran. Zelniq scouted his opponent and subsequently built a Pylon and Gateway right next to his cliff. After blocking off all possible exit routes for the Gateway near the cliff, Zelniq began warping in a Dragoon. The Terran player, ignorant of Zelniq's plan, thought himself safe behind his wall as Dragoons were being warped into his main, effectively giving us a retro version of the Protoss Warp-In mechanic in StarCraft II.


Honorable Mention - Chalrenge's Draw

This is certainly a rare one - two players so equally matched the game simply cannot continue. The story here is that one player has turtled, which would normally take a massive amount of effort to defeat, and the other player has no resources and lacks the ability to acquire any more. If either player attacks, he will lose. This is a one of a kind and a well deserved Honorable Mention award.


Unpimpest - Pokju Getting Horror Gated on Peaks

In this game, Bisu uses a cheesy build against Pokju, and Pokju literally reacts in all of the worst possible ways. Bisu built a Pylon on Pokju's mineral line and then two Gateways on the other side of the minerals. While the Pylon in Pokju's mineral line was being destroyed, another Pylon was being warped in on the other side. Even as another Pylon is being warped in again on Pokju's mineral line, Bisu warps in Zealots and takes out Pokju's Probes.


8) Boxer's fake SP

The darkest day in StarCraft was when SlayerS`BoxeR` retired. Military service is one of four constitutional duties in South Korea; males are conscripted into the Military, Navy or Air Force for between 22 to 26 months. Ironically, Boxer became the leader of Ace, the Air Force StarCraft team. Although he had a greatly reduced practice schedule, he was able to return to the StarCraft scene that still bears the effects of his brilliance. His comeback, much like any sport legend, was mired with great defeats. Alongside the mediocre play and the many defeats suffered by a superstar past his prime, the spark would sometimes appear. This play is one of these moments.

The Emperor's rush is mythical. There is literally a generation of StarCraft players who have been the audience to it in competition, whether as a spectator or participant. Proxy is the word given to describe a blistering, creative rush. Or maybe the classic definition of the word just isn't good enough to define this play. Maybe it will simply daze you, as it did to ever)T(Sheis.

The diabolical ploy starts with Boxer sending out an early SCV from his base in the top left of the map and scouting one of the nearby empty bases. Finding nothing, he begins building his first Barracks with his SCV scout. Sheis plays the standard TvT build and scouts with proper timing. Knowing that there is a 50% chance that Sheis has scouted the correct way, Boxer has an SCV stationed on his ramp ready to deny entry to Sheis's scout. Indeed, the scout attempts to get up Boxer's ramp and fails miserably. Thinking that the SCV ramp block may just be Boxer trying to fake his base - Sheis continues scouting towards the main that contains the Barracks.

The SCV arrives as the Barracks is floating towards Sheis's base, inducing him think that the location of Boxer's main is really at the empty main. Two Marines killing the SCV on the ramp is confirmation for Sheis. He changes the trajectory of his own floating Barracks to the empty main, and he rallies his first Vulture there as well. Sheis is shocked to find that, after killing the Marine guarding the ramp, the base is completely empty. In the confusion, Boxer builds two Factories and produces Vultures. A stunned Sheis is overwhelmed quickly, and Boxer scores his first Air Force win.

Demonstrating awareness of his opponent both physically and mentally, the Emperor is awarded the 8th spot in this year's awards. That brings Boxer to a career seventeen Pimpest Play awards in six editions.


7) NaDa's Yamato Micro

NaDa is known for his incredible mechanics and hand speed. He is able to perform faster and more efficiently than even some of the very best progamers can. Dongrae was, unfortunately, caught in front of the tornado that is [ReD]NaDa.

Nada was in bad shape for most of his game against Dongrae because he had lost his main, Factories and all of his Supply Depots. Through some miracle he was able to secure another main and build up a large Battlecruiser force. Both players entered an extremely tense end game with masses of Battlecruisers on both sides. Yamato Cannon wars over no mans land were frequent and Dongrae continually tried to EMP Nada's Battlecruiser fleet. Nada was able to accurately tell which Battlecruiser Dongrae had targeted with the EMP blast, and before the blast could engulf his entire fleet, he split it off from the group to avoid losing all of his Battlecruisers' energy to power his Yamato Cannons and thus, lose the game.

Dongrae pushed into Nada's new base with everything he had, putting the squeeze on a slightly behind Nada. Then, from seemingly nowhere, Nada clones his giant Battlecruiser fleet and Yamato Cannons every one of Dongrae's remaining Battlecruisers. This inhuman feat of control resulted in Nada winning a decisive fight with 12 Battlecruisers to spare, securing the win. Had he not cloned perfectly, there is little question that he would have had a tough time defeating the composite Goliath/Tank/Battlecruiser army of Dongrae. For yet another brilliant display of execution from Lee Yoon Yeol, he takes away this years 7th Pimpest Play.


6) Jaedong's ee han timing mutalisks

Seemingly inhuman feats of speed and skill is happen all the time in a StarCraft match. Are you sufficiently astounded or simple dumbfounded? The Korean commentators, like you, are sometimes both. Pimpest Plays tries rewards those players who make a single, brilliant move to turn a losing game into a victory instantly. Jaedong achieved just this against Stork. After losing a number of Drones and units to Stork's Zealot harass, Jaedong was likely facing a loss. However, he saw a single timing opprotunity granted by an error in Stork's play and he knew that that it presented a possiblibilty that could mean a win instead of that loss. He quickly teched to Spire and created a number of Mutalisk and Scourge. Unfortunately for Jaedong, Stork had scouted and discovered Jaedong's plan with his first Corsair and he was completely prepared to handle the oncoming onslaught. Or so he thought.

In one swift motion, Jaedong launched his attack with impeccable timing and efficiency, destroying Stork's entire Corsair fleet, his defending cannons, and the entirity of his main. Stork knew he needed to counter, but Jaedong perfectly walled off his front with Evolution chambers and his Spawning Pool - preventing any counter from suceeding. In under ten seconds, Jaedong went from victim to victor. This off-the-cuff timing coupled with the flawless execution gives Jaedong well-earned 6th position in the Pimpest Plays of the year.


5) Iris's Mine Hide

BlizzCon 2007; Tasteless's screams echoed around the cavernous hall throughout the day. It's the semi-final, Nal_Ra vs. Iris and Savior is waiting. Iris uses Vultures to harass, denying Nal_Ra – by micromanaging beautifully – the first game. While waiting for the next game, Tasteless says: "This is why the Koreans are so good. It's not just their DNA that has StarCraft written all over it, it's actually that they are so disciplined. It's actually turned into a real sport."

Game two begins. Nal_Ra uses a proxy Pylon to confuse Iris's scouting. Tasteless comments: “These players are so good, they not only know what they have to have in their own base, they know [...] exactly what their opponent has to have.”

Nal_Ra dominates Iris's FD rush. “The purpose of the FD [(Fake Double)] is to buy time to expand while you lay a minefield.” Slightly after, Iris plants three mines on top of each other. His Barracks begins to move. The commentators pass over it casually. Iris's rush failed, an Observer is nearby, he will lose soon. The Dragoons are coming. Tasteless echoed “Check this out, he actually floated his Barracks over his mines so–”. In the first game, Nal_Ra targeted mines directly. Iris used the floating Barracks to prevent Nal_Ra target the deadly mines. Nal_Ra loses three of his four Dragoons, and Iris counter-pushes. Iris's clever display of brinkmanship is awarded the 5th Pimpest Play this year.


4) Crazy-Hydra Muta Micro

The match-up: Crazy Hydra vs. Min. The game is ZvZ, with both players spawning on opposite corners of map. Both players expand quickly and Min manages to take down the Hatchery at Crazy Hydra's natural expansion with Zerglings. Both players quickly begin evolving Spires. When Min enters Crazy Hydra's base, he comes perilously close to knocking down Crazy Hydra's Spire before it finishes building. However, it narrowly survives to finish and is subsequently destroyed within seconds, but not before Crazy Hydra gets the chance to morph three Mutalisks. Min would eventually come to wish that he had knocked the Spire down before it finished; the rest is self-explanatory. With uncanny unit control, Crazy Hydra manages to take out all the Scourge his opponent can throw at him while simultaneously crippling Min's economy. Crazy Hydra deservidly goes on to win the game.


3) Monty Hall Antics - Savior vs Light, Flash vs Bisu

If we did a pimpest map competition, Monty Hall would definitely be a contender - heck, it's mentioned several times on this very page. It is so different from the conventions of a standard map, so very odd compared to the mainstream battle arenas that shipped with the game (and even the popular fan-made contributions). How do you deal with barriers you can't remove with firepower? What do you do if your opponent has a complete mobility advantage? These plays showcase the best and brightest of the StarCraft pro scene getting to grips with what we can all agree is, frankly, a bastard of a map.

Light vs. Savior:

In the early game Savior attempted to rush Light, as fast as is possible for a Zerg player to do on Monty Hall. Yet, Light denied Savior further access to his base by building a Supply Depot near the minerals at his entrance. What followed was a match that highlighted the insidious nature of Monty Hall.


Flash vs. Bisu:

Monty Hall is usually considered a troublesome map in part because of the mineral lines that block off the bases, which require workers to mine through. For the Terran, this is normally compensated for by building a Refinery as close to the minerals as possible, setting SCVs to mine out the minerals, and instead of waiting for them to go all the way back to the main Command Center to drop off the mineral load, they are instead sent to get gas at the Refinery. This causes them to lose the mineral load that they held, thus regaining the ability to mine the wall again. Now, in this game, Flash does an early rush in the middle lane of Monty Hall by building two Barracks close to Bisu's base. Bisu then scouts both the outer lanes instead of the middle one. In addition he perfoms a tech build, which doesn't allow for many units that can be use to repel a rush. Flash serves up a rush; as reward for the intestinal fortitude required to pull off such a play, Flash storms into Bisu's base and cleans up the mess - game over.


2) Silver's Monty Hall Build:

Silver (Zerg) vs Shine (Terran)

Zerg are usually at a disadvantage on Monty Hall. But Silver makes an unprecedented move and expands onto Shine's natural expansion, which gives him significant proximity to leverage against Shine. This play revolutiones the Zerg gameplay on this map. Silver places a Sunken Colony in his new expansion, preventing his opponent from coming close to the minerals blocking the way out of his base. Silver goes on to win the game via Mutalisk harass and a combined force of Hydralisks and Guardians.


1) Casy's Fake FE vs July RLT

The number one Pimpest Play is, usually, either for a godlike feat or a tactically genius move. This year's is the latter of the two. Firstly, you need to consider some things with this play:

Zerg players have to choose between unit production and economy in the early game. This is especially the case in ZvT because the Terran player is looking to be very aggressive. The choice is, like most of the decisions StarCraft, a risk that can be calculated. If your opponent fast expands, you generally counter by doing it yourself. In the macro-first environment of the current pro scene, a Zerg can't be out-expanded by a Terran.

Zerg players rely on scouting Overlords in the early game. It's why the classic Wraith and revolutionary Corsair openings became popular at certain points in the games professional history. In this play, July changes to a more conservative build in an attempt to match Casy's expanded economy.

In ZvT, Sunken Colonies are the backbone for defending your natural. Zerg players time the construction of Creep Colonies (and upgrade to Sunken Colonies) to anticipate and defend against the Terran push. They try to postpone the process as long as possible, without being late, to maximize Drone mining time. It's why you see the Zerg player scouting proactively, then building three or four sunken colonies frantically while the Terran push is en route.

In this game, Casy sends some SCVs to mine his natural expansion while an Overlord watches. Casy knows the Overlord's sight range, so he knows that July can only see SCVs mining. This is important because at this level of play, knowing your opponent is everything. July immediately changes his build, if the Terran expands early it means they won't be attacking you early; so, July can focus on making more Drones. With Zerg, if you pump Drones then you're open yourself up to attack; you're very vulnerable. Casy basically fakes his expansion; July reacts incorrectly and Casy is able to go in and simply dominate him. It's not often that one pro can easily dominate another.

For this reason, Casy's Fake Fast Expansion is this year's Pimpest Play.


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With the original StarCraft entering the latter stages of its professional career, soon to be replaced by its smarter, stronger, brighter and bigger offspring we find ourselves wondering how things may change. A revamped interface, new mechanics, a different design team... a strange new world. Will the impeccable balance be retained? Will we enjoy this new iteration as much as the last? Will there be opportunities for those same "... there is no way he just did that" moments? Who knows?

Blizzard willing, these questions will be answered soon enough. We can do naught but hope that, while something will inevitably be lost in translation between the two games, more will be added than will be taken away. We remain quietly confident that in the future, we will still hear Tasteless speechless, at the amazing skill on display during a clever mine hide or equivalent. We will still gasp in awe at the amazing plays we see each and every year. And we here at StarCraft Legacy, late or not, will still deliver the best to you every single year. Stay tuned, big things are coming - a legacy never dies.

 

Article by StarCraft: Legacy.
Special thanks to Plexa.
This is a StarCraft: Legacy (http://sclegacy.com/) feature in collaboration with TeamLiquid (http://teamliquid.net/).

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