Over the past week I have had what I felt to be a few leaps and bounds in the improvement of my play. As if to acknowledge this last night I was promoted to Gold. Please excuse me for a moment:
Now that thats out of my system I thought I might discuss what I have been doing up to this point and what I felt got me into Gold.
My Time In Bronze – Playing Random
A lot of my time spent in Bronze was spent simply trying things out and practicing. Although this meant no real ladder progress for a long while (I was in Bronze for many months) I think it went a long way towards shaping my view of the game now and helped me to create my current style.
In Bronze I played as Random, learning all three races really helped me to understand the strengths and limitations of each. It also had another effect: I never blame my losses on race, imbalance etc but rather my own mistakes. Internalising success and failure in this way has really driven me to improve.
If you are currently in Bronze this is my advice: don’t rush. Spend a decent amount of time trying different races, styles, strategies and just practicing the basics of the game.
My Time in Silver – Discovering My Style
Right before I was promoted to Silver I settled on a specific race to play (Protoss), my choice was based on the feeling that Protoss’ mechanics and army control/positioning best suited the style I wanted to play. Most of my time spent in Silver was spent discovering my style. A big part of this process was watching Pro players like iNcontrol and HuK play and trying out things that they did.
It was also around this time that I discovered the chat channel/group PRACBUD. Having such a large group of people willing to play practice games with me really sped up my progress in Silver.
Getting Promoted to Gold – Learning a Match-Up
As I mentioned earlier, about a week ago I had a leap in my gameplay and this was the result of focusing on learning one match-up. Recently, I played in the finals of PRACBUD’s ‘Baneling Cup’ where I lost to an excellent, macro style Zerg player. It was one of the first times where I actually thought “there is no way I can beat this player today”. This really motivated me to learn all about Protoss vs Zerg.
So I just forgot about the other two match-ups and focused entirely on PvZ. I researched, watched games and eventually I discovered a way that I wanted to play the match-up (iNcontrol’s PvZ Style). After practicing this style and learning the ins and outs of the match-up I started winning a lot against Zerg on the ladders (I was regularly beating Gold and Platinum Zergs as a Silver-level player). In game I actually felt extremely confident and the Zerg players seemed really predictable. Of course I was still getting hammered in my other two match-ups.
After about a week of beating nearly every Zerg I played and going about 50/50 with the other races I was promoted to Gold. I take this promotion as a sign that I am on the right track. So my next step is to learn the other two match-ups one at a time and continue my learning of PvZ.
Hopefully this provides some insight into my progress so far and helps to motivate you to continue improving your game as well. I hope to have another one of these articles to write very soon!