Starcraft II Season V 1v1 Map Pool updates
The map pool for next seasons ranked games has been released, moving out a few of my favourite maps but also bringing in three new additions for us to wage battle over.
Blizzard has opted to remove a total of 5 maps this season for 1v1, inputting only 3 in their place. The removals are: Neo Planet S, Newkirk Precinct , Red City, Star Station and
Korhal Sky Island.
I must say that I’m sad to see Neo Planet S disappear from the pool, as it was one of my favourite maps for throwing down an early proxy Hatch to the gold expansion, as few people seem to spend the time to scout there early in the game. It was an excellent map for creep spread, and had quite a few flanking options to allow Banelings to come over a ridge and knock out crucial shield points from some dastardly Colossi hiding in the back of a death ball.
However, Red City and Star Station’s removal from the pool caused me to immediately walk down to the shop and grab a bottle of Jack to celebrate with. They were excellent maps, but I disliked the large open nothingness of Star Station and Red City’s colour scheme made me feel a bit weird.
The challengers approach!
The three maps chosen to be a part of next season’s 1v1 pool are ones I’ve honestly never come across before, however they look to be… Interesting, to say the least.
Polar Night reminds me of an extended version of Akalon Wastes on the surface, but the multitude of inclines and many visibility-blocking bushes betray the need for some strategic planning not only when moving out, but also when taking a third.
Destroying the rocks to the right of your expansion opens up a quick route to a possible third base, which is blocked by some more rocks at the beginning of the game.
To the left of this base are two rows of bushes to block sight, making having a scout positioned ahead of them essential to be forewarned of any flanking attacks.
The Xel’Naga towers in the middle of the map provide much needed vision, as there are a myriad of different pathways to reach your opponent, and policing them all requires no small expenditure of resources.
Flanking opportunities present themselves quite frequently upon this map, and while I performed a quick practice game on it I was able to catch a few Stalkers off guard with some Zerglings for an easy kill.
The design is lovely, splitting the two biomes making a nice change to most maps where it’s all uniform. It reminded me back to days of Warcraft, where those bloodthirsty Orcs would live up in the mountains and make raids upon peaceful little villages nestled in the forest.
I can see it being difficult to stop a player getting up to three bases on this map, with the fourth and fifth being slightly tricker as the game continues on. The only truly outstanding thing I found when playing through this map was that it contains the outline of a man running, whom I have named Percival.
Before I even had a chance to play it I decided that I loved this map, purely for the aesthetics.
My win rate could be 0% for this map across all match-ups and I don’t think I’d even care, because of how it looks.
The game can play out quite differently depending on spawning positions, rewarding players who can take advantage of either situation. Horizontal spawning can allow for some early game aggression, while diagonal spawns will allow for a more macro-oriented game. Be prepared for either when loading in.
The multiple crossings across the vertical bisection of the map can create havoc with run-bys of fast units, allowing a quick backdoor poke using the smaller bridges to the north and south of the map to gain access to the natural while a slightly larger force baits out the front.
As an aside, burrowed Banelings on those bridges are a thing of beauty if you can set them off at the right time.
All of these maps are currently within the Custom Games map pool so you can give them a whirl before the season starts and hopefully get a leg up on your opponents!
Archaeic | Cam Allen