Content of the article: "We are not at the Pinnacle of Starcraft talent"
My argument is that we are not at the pinnacle of Starcraft 2 talent, and that the peak of SC2 was during the golden era: Proleague.
For those of you who don’t know, and those who need a reminder, proleague was a Broodwar tournament which put teams with big sponsorships and top tier korean players against each other. In 2012, the broodwar players started to make their switch to Starcraft 2. Think of the original top tier Koreans, who absolutely slaughtered foreigners, Squirtle, Bomber, MVP, MMA, Taeja, Top, MC, July, Leenock, Nestea. They were good players, sure, but to the KESPA proleague players, these guys were scrubs, and they’d be beaten in only a couple years of switching to a new game.
That’s how insanely good these Broodwar KESPA Koreans were. herO, sOs, Trap, INnoVation,TY, Flash, Soulkey, RorO to name a few. These guys literally played starcraft for one or two years and suddenly started wiping the floor with the previous big named Koreans. They elevated the skill level of Starcraft 2.
What do you think happens when you get a group of well paid and salaried, highly motivated, coached players together, and prepare them for a match with another high level team? These guys prepared so well, every strategy was deep, no maps were wasted. The games we saw at Proleague were on another level. A team can prepare better than an individual. In Starcraft, a lot of individual development comes down to the people you surround yourself with and how they can help shape your perspective of the game. Custom games, replay analysis, and just discussion about the game in general is what causes innovation to occur and strategies to thrive.
So why is it that people are constantly repeating the Mantra “Starcraft 2 player skill was so much worse back then, players are so much better today!”. I really do believe this is a consequence of the GSL casting duo Tastosis, mostly Artosis. And no hating on them for it either, I think it’s a healthy perspective to believe that we are all constantly improving, I just don’t think it’s accurate. Artosis definitely regularly talks about how the skill level is constantly improving. I don’t believe that to be true, I think the meta shifts, and I think playstyles change, but that doesn’t necessarily mean improvement. I think his position in the community might persuade him to exaggerate the improvement of players.
Today players are paid way worse, have less prize money and opportunity to earn, there are way less Korean players, less teamhouses, and really none of the team prep I’ve discussed above. Sure, there are some foreigners who can take on Koreans now. And these guys are really good, don’t get me wrong, they’re young, talented, and can strategize well, but what are they going up against? Are we really in the golden era of Starcraft 2? Are you really going to tell me these guys are better than the Proleague era? If you put the current top 10 Starcraft 2 players into HotS, you think with a couple months to get used to the meta they’d win? I really doubt that. On the other hand, if you put this era of players and teamhouses into 2020, do you really think foreigners would still be winning the Global events?
Thanks if you made it to the end! Please give me some good reasons why I'm wrong.
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