PC Gamer's US office is having a StarCraft II tournament today! Check back throughout the day for results, replays, and commentary all leading up to our live streaming finals at 5:00 PM PST, complete with commentary! Come back soon for the result of our first match! Within: a bracket.
Update: we've reached our final round. PC Gamer's own Josh Augustine will face Tyler Nagata of GamesRadar.com in the championship. Watch the championship match with Evan's commentary here .
Evan Lahti , Senior Editor
Josh Augustine , Associate Editor
Dan Stapleton , Reviews Editor
Erik Belsaas , Mega Intern
Tyler Nagata , Gamesradar.com Senior Editor
Andy Salisbury , Editor at World of Warcraft Official Magazine
THE FINAL MATCH
Josh ( Protoss ) vs. Tyler ( Zerg )
Erik's take: Well that went downhill fast. I admit I wasn't really changing up my strategy from the one I used against Andy, seeing as how well that worked. Unfortuneatly, getting my void rays in got them blown up by hydralisks fairly quickly. Leaving my base devastatingly open for attack. As soon as Tyler opened up that Nidas tunnel into my base, I knew it was GG for me. Even trying to escape and rebuild proved fruitless against his relentless assault of Zerglings.
Tyler's take: Puny Protoss! [various, indecipherable Zerg slithering]
WINNER: TYLER, by Zerg underground railroad
Dan ( Zerg ) v. Josh ( Protoss ) on Steppes of War
Josh's take: How do you defeat a man who's spent almost 10 games practicing how to perfectly counter you? Well I didn't really have a good idea, so I went the crazy route: I made up a strategy on the fly. I abandoned my usual Void Ray rush entirely, instead going straight for stalkers, a few zealots and a sentry. Dan wasn't bringing any pressure and was doing a good job of scouting my expansions and destroying them quickly, so I knew he was content bottling up, sucking up the map's resources and calling my bluff.
About 10-15 minutes in, I realized that I couldn't win the resource war, so I had to strike quick and hard. I went with Colossi and some Sentries. Unfortunately I didn't bring enough sentries and after ripping through his entire army (mostly Hydralisks and a few Zerglings) and half of his base, my six leftover Colossi were torn to shreds by four measely Mutalisks. Pathetic. I should've built my army better to protect against that. I didn't make the mistake the second time, and abandoning the majority of my base to Dan's roaming Mutalisks (I bunkered down with a forge and 10 Photon Cannons around my expansion crystals to keep those precious resources coming in though—just enough to build my army) and pumped out a ton of Sentries and four Colossi. This army had the balance I needed to take out ground and air at the same time, and Dan's army simply couldn't stop it. Although I thought a pack of Banelings was a pretty good idea. If they had made it to the Colossi it would've been trouble, but since they were at the head of the army, my units targeted them first and took them out no problem.
Dan's take: Josh caught me off guard by forgoing his usual Void Ray strategy and rushing to Colossus instead. I knocked out his expansion base, but didn't press my advantage enough—I had only Hydralisks and Zerglings (with a few Banelings) when he came at me, and they were mowed down. I survived the first wave, but not before he wrecked my expansion. Note to self: next time, play a few practice games before going into a tournament!
WINNER: JOSH, by Colossus holocaust
Andy ( Zerg ) v. Erik ( Protoss ) on Desert Oasis
Andy's take: My strategy as the Zerg is generally to do a fast expand. While this works out well in most situations (giving me just enough resources to create ground units to hold off my enemy, while I'm able to tech to Mutalisks), my fumbling fingers got the best of me. Having my army attack Erik's Void Rays in two small waves instead of one medium group set them up to get completely slaughtered. Hindsight is 20/20, but my overextension got the best of me and Erik's fully charged group of Void Rays cut through my base like a hot knife through butter.”
Erik's take: I'll admit, I wasn't coming into this expecting to win, but in the end it worked out! My general strategy (as taught to me by Josh Augustine) is to rush Void Rays. I was rusty coming in; I didn't get my vespine production going fast enough, and I wasn't grinding out probes as fast as I'd like. Still, in the end I distracted Andy with Zealots, got some Void Rays built, and tore into his base fairly easily.
WINNER: ERIK, by Void Ray melting
Josh ( Protoss ) v. Evan ( Terran ) on Jungle Basin
Evan's take: I know Josh favors those damn Void Rays--the Protoss' vile, beam-spitting vultures--so I wanted to pressure his economy with a steady stream of quick Marines. I built three barracks and threw as many bodies as I could at his base, but got stomped at the gate by Zealots. As it turns out, one of mankind's weaknesses is being impaled by laser wrist blades. I almost nabbed one of his Carriers with a late Marine push. In retrospect, Reapers might've been better to attack with--I could've used their jetpacks to bypass the front gate, but I wanted to harass as early as possible.
I managed to get a Factory down after starting my gas-gathering remarkably late. I rolled three Siege Tanks up to his front door and deployed them, but the Marine escort I paired with the Sieges wasn't enough to fend off his air units. At this point, I still hadn't expanded--a blunder! Josh had. Josh rolled down with a pile of Colossi, a Mothership and a Void Ray or two and cooked my base. GG, Josh. Glad there was at least a little back-and-forth in there.
Josh's take: I went for my usual early Void Ray rush, which was successful in hurting Evan's economy, but his steady supply of Marines pretty easily repelled my ships before they could do any major damage. I kept Void Rays popping in and running away just enough to keep Evan pouring all of his resources into Marines while making him think I was putting all mine into Void Rays—a battle he'd feel confident he could win. Meanwhile, I shifted my production to Collossi, Carriers, and a Mothership, the ultimate combination for destroying large waves of weaker units like Evan was producing. I wasn't ready for his counterattack, but my lucky Carrier kiting saved the day, giving me the perfect opportunity me for a quick strike with my full force.
Having an army that could completely bypass his blockaded and bunkered entrances allowed me to quickly strike right at his production and economy buildings. The colossi tore through his marines since they're as hard of a counter as you're going to find, and although my mothership was late to the party, it helped mop up his expansion base afterwards.
WINNER: JOSH, by GG knockout