Polt Season 2 Ladder Map Analysis – Part 1
The 2014 Season 2 ladder maps were released recently. Three maps (Habitation Station, Alterzim Stronghold, and Frost) were from the last season’s map pool and 4 maps were newly chosen. Since pro and amateur players are very easily influenced by a map pool, every gamer pays attention when new map pool is announced. Now we go over traits of the new maps. Part 1 is about King Sejong Station and Merry Go Round.
King Sejong Station is probably the most familiar map to everybody. This map has been used since the first round of 2014 Proleague. It seems it is a typical two-player map, but this map is sophisticatedly made. Basically, because the map is big and the existence of debris and canyons help defend the natural and third base, players might think this map is proper to play a long macro game. On the other hand, if you suppose the debris is broken, you realize that the map has two entrances to natural and the distance between naturals is closer than you’d think. In other words, it is possible to make early aggressions. Moreover, if you put Siege Tanks beside the debris they can paralyze one vespene geyser and two minerals.
The location of the fourth base is also interesting. A player can choose one of these three options: one close to the natural, another one which is close to the third base, or one close in the center. Most players perhaps have their fourth base close to their third base, but some Zerg players choose one close to the natural and some mech players get their fourth base in the center of the map. Wherever you choose for your fourth base (except the one in the center), remember it is possible that your opponent can harass your fourth base on the ramp. Also do not forget there is a way Reapers can climb up into the main base.
Merry Go Round is a completely newly chosen map and is the second officially chosen three-player map in Starcraft II history. Merry Go Round is very similar to Xel’Naga Fortress, which was the first officially chosen three-player map. Both maps have a Xel’Naga Tower in the center of the map, have relatively short distance between naturals, and have an opened third base. Hence, having map control is very significant on Merry Go Round and it is required for players to play aggressively. Moreover, since fourth base should be closer to the center of the map or opponent’s base, the longer game goes on, the more important having map control is.
The most unique characteristic of Merry Go Round is that there are structures surrounding the whole map. Normally, air units are possible to move to any place of the map but they can’t on this map. Because the boundary of the map is made of the structures surrounding the map, it is better to think this map is an octagonal shape rather than a square. The point you have to be wary is not to queue air units outside of the structures’ boundary. They will be just stuck at some point and not move to anywhere.