eSports Update: GSL Finals Preview, Interview with EG.Machine

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Professional Starcraft 2, The Movie

French professional Starcraft league eGG-one has released a mock movie trailer about professional Starcraft II.

Sadly, there is no feature-length film in the works. Instead, they're promoting their upcoming 16-man, 2-month long competitive season. We'll keep you updated on the season progress--and the $4900 prize--but you can stop by the eGG-one home page (French) for more information.

Explaining the Game: Map Selection, Veto, And Rush Distance

Map selection is an integral part of Starcraft strategy, but it's easy to miss in the middle of a hectic game. Here's what to look for.

The map pool for a tournament typically consists of 1v1 and 2v2 maps. Usually, they're drawn from the maps Blizzard has chosen for online Ladder play, but sometimes tournaments will include older maps as well--MLG Dallas, for example, included Kulas Ravine, which has been phased out of Ladder play. Depending on the tournament format, players are sometimes allowed to veto a map they feel weak on.

1v1 maps are generally smaller than 2v2 maps, which often encourages players to attack early and expand a little bit later. Since players don't have to scout to find their opponent's starting location (like they do with 2v2 maps) and the walking distance between both bases is somewhat short, the Defender's Advantage isn't quite so significant and it's harder to expand early.

There are a few exceptions, however: Scrap Station and Desert Oasis (no longer in Ladder play) both feature rather roundabout walking paths to the enemy base, which makes attacking by ground difficult and benefits highly mobile armies.

2v2 maps, on the other hand, are more conducive to longer, macro-heavy games, since there are more bases, the maps are larger, and you have to scout around early on to find your opponent, which makes it harder to open with early proxy Barracks and other sneaky tactics. Of course, this means that players with weaker micro skills will want to end the game even earlier, since macro-oriented players have more resources to take advantage of on 2v2 maps.

(Read our previous eSports Update articles for explanations of micro/macro and Defender's Advantage.)

Tidbits

Liquid'Nazgul explains why his Blink Stalker play sent Greg "IdrA" Fields to the Loser's Bracket at MLG Dallas.

Taiwanese pop star Linda "Pikachu" Liao took first place in the ESL Female Cup. Read the translated interview by Blizzard Entertainment here.

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