BarCraft Melbourne Season 2 Review
It has been a couple of weeks since the last BarCraft, so I thought I should put up a review of the night from Silicon Sports’ perspective.
We took on a lot of feedback from the very first BarCraft Melbourne event for this one and I hope you all enjoyed the finals as much as we did. The Exchange Hotel has to be commended for supporting eSports in opening the entire venue just for us. This resulted in more screens, more viewing areas, more comfort and generally more of everything – for eSports!
We held several smaller events in the lead up to the finals with around ten to twenty people turning up for the quarter finals and and then about thirty or so for the semis. This gave us a chance to test out the equipment for the finals and iron out a few bugs so we didn’t run into them on the big night. I was extremely happy to see MVP advance to the final. Not because I am a terran player myself, but, as I am sure you would agree, a Protoss v Protoss final would have been extremely boring. It was good for the spectators and BarCraft; onto the finals!
It was another rainy day in Melbourne on May 19th, same as it was back on March 3rd. I headed in to get set up early before the 5:00 kick off. Again, people were there before time! With help from Glenn ‘Psynapse’ Jones and Darren ‘Halstrom’ Lang, both new additions to the Silicon Sports line up, we got the place up and running with minimal effort. Chris ‘Mayo’ Smith was also on hand to put up his Tt eSports banners as well. As promised, a replay pack from GSTL showing off MVP v Squirtle games was put up on the screens for the pre-show at 5pm. Then the fans started arriving in the droves settling in at the tables or at the bar for the best views in the bar.
The the live stream began and the players were introduced. More fans arrived. Would we see MVP take a fourth GSL title with his early aggressive style shown through out the previous weeks or would Squirtle storm his way to victory to be the first Protoss since MC to take the crown? The crowd was pretty mixed towards both players with 50/50 support. And it looked like it would be a whitewash. MVP jumped out of the gates posting three quick wins.
Game 1 saw MVP apply pressure with an Marine, Marauder & Medivac drop in Squirtle’s main while pressuring the expansion with Hellions. Squirtle had no answer with both economy centers severely punished.
Game 2 saw a +1 Attack, Concussion & Combat Shield timing attack from MVP, he pulled back thinking he couldn’t break Squirtle and decided to capitlaise on his early command centre economy. Squirtle then pushed out with Collossi and Blink Stalkers but overcommitted and was subsequently annihilated by MVP.
Game 3 saw both players expand early and attack early. MVP was able to take out a lot of probes in Squirtle’s expansion while he floated his command center back to his main and then to the three o’clock base. This faked out Squirtle, making him think the MVP was behind on economy. Again Squirtle over stepped and was put to the sword with multi-pronged attacks.
With MVP up 3-0 in the best of seven, the crowd thought we were in for a short night. I had my fears as well, as I wanted the eSports celebration to continue for much longer! Thankfully there was a break so Squirtle could get his head back in the game and make a real fist of it.
Game 4 was more of a macro game with MVP going for siege tech and subsequently putting a contain on Squirtle. Squirtle responded by smashing the contain with Chargelots, Storm and Immortals while deflecting the incoming drops to his bases. MVP could not get a drop to do any damage all game and was truly spread thin on all fronts to counter the wreaking ball of death Squirtle amassed and A-moved into MVPs third base. Cheers for Squirtle and the Protoss resound throughout the venue. Squirtle pulls one game back to make it 3-1 to MVP.
Game 5 – this has to be the game of the series. In cross positions, both players expand early with Squirtle going for blink and a robotics bay. MVP builds a fast third command center. Squirtle pushes with a large Collossi, Stalker and Sentry force but is pushed back by MVPs bio/medivac army. Both players test the waters but with no serious damage inflicted they move into air tech in the late game with Battlecruisers and a Mothership entering the battle. The first Mothership army recall in MVPs base but is destroyed easily by the terran and suffers a massive supply loss. Another recall on an island base of MVP was effective but left a huge amount of army supply trapped on the island. The crowd start screaming at Squirtle about the trapped army! MVP edges closer to Squirtles bases with this advantage.
Squirtle responds with mass Void Rays to counter the armada of Battlecruisers MVP has at his disposal. The two armies meet in the middle of the map for the deciding battle. Squirtle employs the Archon Toilet on the clumped Battlecruiser fleet and as soon as they reappear they are decimated by the area of effect damage from the Archons, Storm and Feedback leaving MVP next to nothing and unable to rebuild. The Exchange Hotel erupts in cheers and shouts of delight as MVP taps out ‘GG’. Everyone in the venue cannot believe what they just witnessed. A truly remarkable game. How on earth can you remove the Mothership from StarCraft, Dustin Browder, how?!
The Exchange Hotel has never heard a crowd react like that before! THIS IS ESPORTS!
This will be one of the greatest comebacks ever if Squirtle can win the next two games. The crowd are still buzzing with the amazing play from the previous game when game 6 starts. Chants for Squirtle start up in the venue and we are on the verge of something special. Both players open with standard builds which sees both take an expansion. MVP techs to a three tank push while Squirtle goes for a Chargelot build with seven gateways. MVP is easily crushed. MVP continues to push and contains Squirtle at his third. A lot of Protoss units are cleaned up due to a bad engagement but the contain is pushed back after a large warp in, but Squirtle over extends once again in the series and the reinforcing units from MVP push Squirtle back and subsequently destroys Squritles third base and takes a massive supply lead.
The natural is the focus for MVP now as he again puts a contain on Squirtle. The supply evens up as small pokes from MVP are cleaned up by storms and Collossi with ease. Zealots make their way into MVPs main undetected and start to wreak havoc on the production facilities. This instigates a push from MVP but he walks straight into the Protoss deathball. GG from MVP, more excitement from the BarCraft crowd at the truly epic series they are witnessing and the finals are tied at 3-3.
MVP and Squirtle head into the final game to decide the GSL Season 2 Champion. Both players have been very standard in their play but MVP opts for an all in strategy employing the proxy 11/11 Barracks build. Squirtle opens with a two gas build and just misses scouting the proxy rax but sees a number of SCVs moving out and now knows what’s up. The first engagements are at the bottom of Squirtle’s ramp, a number of probes are lost but importantly destroys the bunker MVP was building. He then attacks the proxy rax but his force is cleaned up by MVPs high marine count which is now backed up by SCVs. If only he had some sentries. This now turns into a micro battle as every single unit becomes more and more important as the game goes on. MVP finally gets a bunker up in Squirtle’s main and decimates the Protoss. MVP takes out his fourth GSL title to the cheers from the BarCraft Melbourne crowd!
A truly epic series, and the best the GSL has had for sure.
We then moved on to the give-aways from our awesome sponsors Tt eSports, with some great kit in the form of a Saphira mouse, G1 Keyboard, Mouse pad and a Shockspin Headset. They also gave away a number of Dasher mouse pads, Hats and other items during the night as well. USA Foods kindly donated two awesome packs including t-shirts, sauces, Dr Pepper and Coca Cola. Then it was time to wrap up official proceedings and get some VODs up from the MLG.
We exceeded the attendance of the previous BarCraft with about 450 eSports fans turning up. The venue can hold 1000 so lets get the word out! It was great to meet so many of you through out the night. Again it was a night for all fans of games, I met a number of people who had not played StarCraft before or who were from RPG backgrounds or who just came in off the street to see what was going on. It was also good to meet up with the guys from NewGamePlus.tv, hopefully we can do something together in the future for eSports.
I was happy to hear you all loved the night and the improvements. Again I am looking for feedback so that we can improve again for the next event. Yes there will be more BarCrafts! Plus we also have a couple of other things we want to do, so stay tuned to facebook, twitter and the website for details on this and the upcoming BarCrafts.
A big thanks to Chris ‘Mayo’ Smith & Tt eSports and Phil ‘inFeZa’ Bertino & USA Foods for their continued support of BarCraft Melbourne. I am sure you all enjoyed the prize draws on the night even if you weren’t one of the lucky ones. Also make sure you tag yourself in the photos on Thermaltake AU’s facebook page for a chance to win a Theron mouse.
Massive thanks to Mark ‘_smashngrab’ for taking photos of the event once again. You can view all his photos from BarCraft Melbourne on Flickr. Also, if you have any photos who want to share you can post them into the BarCraft Melbourne Flickr Group or post them on the Silicon Sports facebook page.
Of course, thanks to Glenn ‘Psynapse’ Jones and Darren ‘Halstrom’ Lang, who have recently joined me at Silicon Sports to help bring more events to you, the eSports fans.
Massive thanks to all of you who came enjoyed the best GSL finals ever – without you there would be no BarCraft Melbourne!
As a side note, Silicon Sports are running a little comp for our Hardcore characters in Diablo 3. We are asking you to predict the demise of our toons! Just head to the Death Predictor form on facebook and enter your prediction for Week 3. If anyone can guess correctly, we will organise a prize of some description, possibly an in game legendary or something else. We are live streaming our hardcore campaign on twitch.tv/siliconsports every Wednesday from 8:30pm AEST.
Just to give you an idea, we are now in Act II Normal, I am running with a Level 15 Barbarian (Zyn), Psy has a Level 15 Wizard (Psycore) and Hal has a Level 8 Demon Hunter (VonHelsing). Yes Darren’s character has died already. Twice! He originally had a Monk and thought running out in front and attracting mobs was a good idea. Dragonfist did make it to Level 13 before becoming the first casualty in the Silicon Sports Hardcore Campaign. You can view the events the led to Dragonfists demise right here. Soon after though, FistsofAwesom (another monk) joined him in the hallowed tome of defeated warriors just scraping into Level 3.
So get your guesses in for week 3 now. My money is on Hal once at Level 11! And see you at the next BarCraft!