Video Game / StarCraft Multiplayer

Sometimes jokingly, sometimes seriously referred to as "the national sport of South Korea", StarCraft Tournament Play is one of the most popular of all time, and is well-known for a metagame that rivals Pokémon for complexity (or should we say that Pokémon rivals StarCraft?).

See also UsefulNotes.Professional Gaming.

Tropes appearing in the StarCraft multiplayer scene include:

  • Always Second Best:
    • Hong Jin Ho (Yellow) was famous for being "King of Second Place", since he had so many silvers but no gold medal in a big tournament. Although to be fair, most of his second place finishes were because of Boxer and Nada (widely considered to be two of the greatest players at the time).
    • Song Byung Goo (Stork) has taken up this role, though he has finally won a single gold medal.
    • Jaedong could also be considered this, considering how his entire Starcraft 2 career has had him at the 3rd rank globally through tons of second - place finishes, most recently at Blizzcon 2013.
    • Eo Yoon Su (soO) made the finals of the premier tournament of StarCraft II, the GSL, 4 straight times... and lost all 4 to 4 different players. Only one other player, Jung Jong Hyun (Mvp), has made 4+ GSL finals in their entire career (4 wins, 2 losses), but only soO has made 4 straight GSL finals, ever. Nobody else has lost as many GSL finals as soO. soO has not made a GSL finals since or before his run of 4 straight; it took him almost 2 years after his first GSL finals loss to finally win any offline tournament.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hyuk. Starting with an infamous match against Pure, he gained a reputation for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, to the point where the term "hyuk" made it into the Urban Dictionary with the meaning "the act of losing after having a seemingly insurmountable lead". It reached the point where he was impossible to take seriously, and most of the English commentary on his games was spent mocking his inevitable defeat, as in this game against UpMagic. Is now terribly inconsistent.
  • The Chessmaster: Lee Young-Ho (Flash)
  • Creepy Twins: Park Chan-Soo (Luxury) and Park Myung-Soo (Yellow[arnc]).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Oh so often. Most notably, INnoVation—then acknowledged the single best player in the world—vs. the Child Prodigy Maru. Commentators expected a 4-to-0 curb-stomp. They were right... but in a jaw-dropping upset, it was Maru who dealt it.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Has happened a few times.
  • Death Glare: Anyone who's seen Jaedong's death stare.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Park Jung Suk (Reach). Appropriately nicknamed "The Mantoss"
  • Fun Personified: Firebathero
  • Gratuitous English: "Resluts".
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Subverted in that players are required to wear headphones to blot out all cheers of joy from the crowd when something happens. Double-Subverted in that it doesn't always work. Crowd noise does bleed in if its sufficiently loud, and crowd reactions have been known to influence pro-gamer decision making (stopping an army right before walking into a Spider Mine ambush).
  • Heel: IdrA is something like this. Well known for his arrogance and bad sportsmanship, he has even been labeled the "villain" of StarCraft by some. Embraces this image by his sequential career, frequently leaving without the customary "gg" and insulting fans and fellow pros alike, but otherwise being fairly pleasant IRL and critical of his mistakes rather than criticizing others.
  • He's Back: Julyzerg, Ever OSL 2008.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Terran players often get mine-dragged. Sometimes pretty badly.
  • Ironic Nickname: Flash, one of the greatest players of all time, who's decision-making really wasn't very fast for a pro player.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Happens with hidden tech and buildings.
  • Metagame:
    • To a terrifying degree. The metagame has gotten so intricate that good players can tell exactly where the other player's base is simply by how long it takes for an enemy scouting unit to find them. The presence or absence of gas production buildings at certain points in the game can reveal volumes about a player's strategy. And of course, feigning one tactic and going for another can have devastating consequences.

      To give a specific example, one common Terran strategy vs. Protoss was to put down two factories and produce lots of units to make an attack. Then the Terran metagame evolved to incorporate acting like you're putting down two Factories and making a little attack to put the opponent on the defensive but you're actually only making one Factory and saving for an expansion to gain an economic advantage - the fake double. This became so popular that it is normal and Protoss players anticipated it, so now Terrans can now also try to give the appearance that they are doing the fake double but meanwhile they actually really are putting down two Factories to make a serious attack. Which is known as the fake fake double. Mindbending.
      • Not the end of the story. If they're going for a fake double, they often show that they are mining their Vespene Gas at maximum efficiency in exchange for Mineral mining. This is a sign that they are going for a double. In fact, many players mine gas at maximum efficiency until their opponent's scout is gone, then stop, to make the opponent think they are going double. Most Protoss players have figured this out though, and now usually know it's an early expansion. In fact, the Terrans adapted to the Protoss, and actually do go for the double. Yes, the Protoss adapted again, and play safer, but then the Terrans just go for the expansion. Continuous metagame development.
    • This becomes much more prevalent in StarCraft II where scouts are crucial in knowing what you are dealing with. For Zerg it is fairly straightforward, early expansion or just go for the safer spawning pool? Do you produce a slew of Zerglings to prep yourself for Tier 2 or go for Roaches to buff up your defenses? Did your opponent research Burrow? Or did he go for the Ventral Sacs? The questions are never answered unless you know what your opponent is doing. Because of how fast the games get (due to the bases getting mined out earlier) it makes it all the more important to scout because everything moves quickly. Ironically it also makes the Terran much more difficult to predict because of the ease to build and swap attachments. Since buildings can swap, it means that when you thought he was going for Marauders when he built that Barracks for the Tech Lab, he can just fake you out and swap it for a Factory to build Siege Tanks and Thors.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: It is possible by the rules of the game (but forbidden in tournament play) for a terran player to ally their opponent in game, wait for them to walk over a minefield, then unally them and laugh at the carnage.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Lee Young Ho (Flash).
    • Tempest's Dragoon in this game.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Top-level players perform about 300 actions per minute, such as a command issued to a unit or a macro set in action. That's about five per second; you'll think the footage has been sped up. An enthusiastic home player might hit 80 or so APM.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In MLG Anaheim 2014, pro Zerg player Scarlett mistakenly picked Protoss in her second game vs. Dong Rae Gu. She decided to play as Protoss anyway, and ended up winning the game.
  • The Rival: There have been a number of famous rivalries between StarCraft players. Biggest ones would be Boxer vs Yellow and Jaedong vs Flash, though there are others.
  • Serious Business: The very image of stadiums filled with people watching people play a computer game may seem unusual, however, there's a reason why South Korea's two national sports are actually football and StarCraft. And then, there're the schools completely dedicated to StarCraft with 10 hour training sessions, six figure salaries and the screaming fangirls for the more victorious players. The top of the iceberg? The Korean Air Force has its own team. As Air Force pilots tend to need the same skills as a top-level Starcraft player (cool under extreme time pressure, amazing reflexes, ability to make split second snap judgments) that actually makes complete sense.
  • Throwing the Fight: A great controversy. One of the best Zerg players, Ma Jae-Yoon (in-game ID "Savior") has been found to be one of the ringleaders in fixing the matches, and could face jail time. Because of the incident, he is being called "Marbage" (play on "garbage") or "Marthas" (play on Arthas Menethil, who got corrupted by Frostmourne).
  • Tournament Play: The biggest.