Hello fellow gamers and welcome to your weekly dose of SC2 News.
Polt Won IEM Katowice 2016, and it was amazing. Polt(T) has always had undeniable multitasking skills with a bio heavy army. This time around he used some cheeky builds to throw his opponents off balance. From Polt we saw a double factory hellbat push, a 7 rax bio push, and some liberator play. Perhaps the most interesting build was his CC first to 3 Rax, 1 Factory Bio-Hellbat push made specifically for a map named Prion Terraces. He used the build first in the Semi-finals against Nerchio, and then he used the exact same build an hour later in the Final against Snute.
First, lets provide a little history on Prion Terraces. Prion Terraces is a 1v1 map with only two starting positions, and a natural expansion (2nd base) that is fairly easy to defend by being on elevated ground. The map also has third and fourth bases that are pretty easy to take, but can be difficult to hold because attacks can come from multiple angles. In previous seasons, gold minerals were placed at the third and fourth bases encouraging greedy players to try to quickly take and hold the third and fourth, while encouraging non-greedy players to punish the greedy players. Starcraft II is designed asymmetrically, so Zerg players were able to quickly take three bases in the early game, and get the benefit of the extra gold before other races could build a sizable army to punish. This was seen as unfair, and the game designers moved one of the gold mineral bases from the third base to the natural expansion with the idea that each race now gets access to the gold minerals in mid-game.
Polt(T) leveraged the “free” extra gold minerals to create a build that produces an army composition of Hellions/Hellbats, which cost 100 minerals each, and marines, which cost 50 minerals each. All of his gas went into infrastructure and upgrades for his units. As the upgrades finish, he sent in a large army of low cost units with heavy upgrades, mowing down roaches and ravagers that require gas to create.
This build will appeal to very aggressive TvZ players. Because it is CC first, Terran players won’t have many marines against an initial poke of zerglings, but effective SCV pulls can clean up those zerglings as more marines pop out. Other maps may allow for a wall off to protect both the expansion and the starting base. An additional point of interest is that the marines are pushing out without medivac support, so if those marines die, it’s all over. A hidden group of burrowed banelings would probably ruin this push. For people that want to play around with this build, I suggest looking at the reddit post here for a general idea of the build order, and also look at game 1 of Polt(T) v. FireCake(Z) from the IEM Katowice quarter finals, to see possible tech switches out of the build if the mid-game push doesn’t work.
To sum up, Polt played completely different against his Zerg opponents to win IEM Katowice. In his victory interview, he acknowledged that he was creative against Snute by playing different strategies to throw him off guard. He also acknowledged that he actually knew his competition and prepared (unlike the upsetting showing of Lilbow at WCS 2015 or the arrogance that some Korean players occasionally show). On March 6, 2016 Polt officially left team CM Storm. We look forward to seeing who will pick him up, and what builds he will give us in the future