David Zhou

To defeat the South Koreans at StarCraft, you must become the South Koreans

To defeat the South Koreans at StarCraft, you must become the South Koreans

Most of the time when we hear about competitive StarCraft 2 it has to do with the tournament-style 1v1 format at tournaments like MLG, where two players battle in a winner-take-all showdown. But there are also team leagues, and one of the most prominent is Proleague, a storied league with roots in StarCraft: Brood War

In Proleague, teams battle it out as a unit in a seven game series of 1v1 matches. This story from Rob Zacny at Polygon chronicles the tale of the time that two juggernaut Western StarCraft teams decided to pool their best players together to create a mega-team to finally take down the major South Korean teams in Proleague.

The result didn't go nearly as they had planned, but it did end up being a case study in exactly what it is that makes the South Koreans so dominant at StarCraft 2, and what it takes to defeat them.

The South Koreans dominate StarCraft 2 in the same way that the Americans dominate Football and the Cubans dominate baseball. There's nothing supernatural or genetic about it. There are reasons why those countries are able to hold the top spot over their particular sport and it's very interesting to learn why the South Koreans are at the top of theirs.