I decided to finally start playing Starcraft 2 against other players instead of just the campaign. This is tricky because unlike playing the campaign other players do not allow me to reload and try again until I am successful; I will have to come face to face with my own inadequacies. While I am certainly a decent player I am not remotely as good as the best players and my desperate urge to be the absolute best at the things I do does not deal well with being mediocre. SC2 has three races and because the Terrans are the ones that are the basis of the campaign I am massively more familiar with them but I elected to play Zerg for my player vs. player matches.
I am terrible at Zerg. I don't know how the units work, I don't know which buildings let me do which things and my grasp of their upgrades and tech tree is weak at best. I played 3 games as Zerg on the beta and got utterly ruined right away in all of them so I began my placement matches to determine what league I should start in with very little idea what I was doing. The various leagues are as follows:
I figured since I am hopeless at Zerg that I would end up in the Bronze or Silver league and would have to fight my way up the line from there. There are 5 placement matches to play before the game picks an appropriate league for you so I queued up and prepared to get wrecked. Bizarrely I managed to win my first 4 games. I got one win because my opponent was even worse than me, but the other 3 wins were pretty much all due to watching Day9s videos about Starcraft 2 strategy. Despite having very little idea what many of my units or structures did I managed to figure out my opponent's strategies and counter them just as I have seen the pros do in the videos. By watching experts control their units and adapting those techniques I turned sure losses into wins. My fifth opponent was actually quite good and I got smashed leaving me at 4-1. My placement matches are over and the game announces that I have been placed in the Platinum league. Wut?
Platinum league... for someone who has never even built half of the units, has never built many of the buildings and who doesn't even know which of his units do what things? I think this says a lot about how useful watching videos of pros playing really is. Seeing how absolutely beautiful players do things can give you tremendous insight into how the game plays at a very high level and what key things players should watch out for in their opponent's setup. That exposure to tremendous play let me do things I had no business doing otherwise. I think that Platinum league is way too high for me though - I played only one match and won it because my opponent disconnected just before his army got to my base. I should probably play against the computer as Zerg a bit so I actually know how to play the game!