In keeping with our goal of providing a variety of map styles within the ladder pool, we created three new 1v1 maps and two new 2v2 maps that should shake up gameplay this season. However, making additions to the ladder pool means we’ll need to swap out a few of last season’s maps. Before we check out the new digs for 2013 Ladder Season 3, here are the maps we’ll be removing:
- (2)Newkirk Precinct
- (4)Korhal City
- (4)Desolate Stronghold
Additionally, we decided to take a new direction with the map creation process heading into season 3. Once we decided which maps would be included in the pool, we sent them over to an array of major tournament organizers for review, including: GomTV, OnGameNet, KeSPA, ESL, MLG, Dreamhack, and NASL. Based on their feedback, we implemented a variety of suggested changes and tagged each map that underwent this process as “Tournament Edition”, or “TE” for short. If this experiment works out well this season, we’ll continue to iterate and improve on it going forward. We’d also like to thank all of our tournament partners for participating in this endeavor to create exciting new maps.
The 1v1 Ladder Map Pool
(2)Derelict Watcher TE
Derelict Watcher is a 1v1 map with a comfortable rush distance, and a straightforward third base location. Don’t let this fool you into taking it easy though, as the additional base locations after your third will require that you keep a close eye on the variety of attack paths that become available during the later stages of the game. You can also utilize the terrain to help coordinate your attack and defense tactics by breaking or protecting the rocks and towers near these expansion locations on the North and South sides of the map. Additionally, Xel’Naga Watchtowers overlook the two side paths that lead toward the corners of the map. However, they don’t provide vision of the map's center area, nor the additional attack paths that can be opened up by breaking the destructible rocks found near the twelve and six o’clock expansion locations, so make sure to watch these areas well if you are expanding toward those directions.
(2)Klontas Mire TE
Always be prepared for early aggression on this map, as the narrow bridge to the North makes for a very short rush distance. You can make use of the fact that the bridge is very narrow and can be blocked off using structures, but keep in mind that there are still additional attack paths available for use by your opponent. In the mid and later stages of the game, the map will play similar to other macro maps. Just remember to always watch for small groups of enemy forces crossing the bridge throughout the game. There are no Xel’Naga Towers on this map, so you might want to move a few scouting units out to key regions of the map in order to watch for incoming attacks at your defensive locations.
(4)Zerus Prime TE
Though Zerus Prime features four starting locations, vertical spawns have been disabled, which means your expansion flow will be similar each game. You can take advantage of the choke point leading into your natural expansion to defend it with some ease, but keep a close eye on the destructible rocks to the south, which will open a backdoor path to your natural when destroyed. There’s just one very large central attack path toward your opponent’s half of the map, but it is possible to sneak small squads of units around the vision granted by the Xel’Naga Watchtowers, so keep an eye on your far away base locations lest they fall victim to surprise attacks.
The 2v2 Ladder Map Pool
There are plenty of expansions that can be taken safely on this fortress-style map, including a rich-mineral base found inside your team’s fortress, which can be taken once the destructible rocks there are cleared. Coordinate with your ally with this in mind, because this map will play very differently compared other 2v2 maps you may have become comfortable with. Taking control of a Xel’Naga Tower near the center of the map will give your team access to a second rich mineral base. If you can keep control of this base, you probably won’t need to expand along the sides of the map. Play a defensive, macro-heavy game and remember to watch your backdoor rocks closely for sneak attacks.
On Reclamation your ally won’t start right next to you, so expect rushes during the early game. You can us the Xel’Naga Watchtowers to help monitor attack paths leading to your bases with some ease during the mid to late game, as the towers overlook both attack paths that lead to your team’s half of the map. This means that a lot of games will come down to which team can secure more bases along the sides of the map. Focus on securing and defending the additional bases while holding the Xel’Naga Watchtowers to spot for incoming attacks.
All of the maps above have already been published to the custom games list in order to give you a chance to check them out before the season roll. Once the season has rolled on May 1, they will then appear in the matchmaking queues for competitive play. So feel free to play a few games on the new maps and let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Good luck and have fun in the 2013 Season 3 ladder!