In martial arts competitions people tap out by tapping a limb against the mat to indicate that they give up. Usually they do this if they are hurt or are in a lock they aren't getting out of, and almost always when they do it they have 100% lost the match and are in danger of being badly hurt. When playing Starcraft 2 things are very different because type out instead of tap out. The situation is very analogous, but instead of tapping a limb against the mat you type "gg" (Good Game) and quit the match, and you do it when you are convinced you can't win. I was playing some matches yesterday and found it intriguing to consider exactly how people choose when to give up.
One opponent I played against went for an early air attack, (Void Ray) clearly investing a lot of resources hoping I would have no answer to it. I figured out his plan quickly just by seeing how his base was set up and smashed his first air assault easily, losing almost nothing. He immediately typed out and left the game. I wonder a lot about that since none of my forces were anywhere near his base and even if the troops I had built at that point could beat him he did have quite a while to live and could have made a decent go of getting back into it. To be fair I figure my chances of winning at the point where he quit were easily higher than 90% but still, to quit when you have a solid base going and your opponent has not attacked at all seems strange to me. As a counterexample I played a game a week ago or so where my opponent ended up trapped on an island base and everything else of his on the map was destroyed. It was abundantly clear that I could take my time, mine out the entire map and go smash him whenever I felt like it but he absolutely refused to give up. He kept on trying to drop a few guys back onto the main map and make some buildings and each time I walked over and crushed him. I ended up having to chase all of the buildings he made all over the map as he desperately tried to live as long as possible even with literally zero hope of victory.
So why do some people type out as soon as anything goes wrong and some others stick it out to the very end? I personally only type out once my army is destroyed and my opponent's army is smashing my base, when I truly know he can go make himself a sandwich and I still cannot come back to win. Do people who leave right away tend to be those with short fuses and control issues, the sorts of people who rage when things go wrong in general? I tend to figure that staying in the game longer and fighting it out would be correlated with patience and control, and I find that those who stick it out to the end tend to be enjoyable people to chat with as they aren't raging mad at whatever tactic it is that defeated them. I wonder sometimes when I see professional match replays and one of the players quits when the game is far from done, at a point where I think they are at a disadvantage but I cannot see the necessity for quitting. I would figure that professionals would stick it out to the end since the stakes are much higher, but that is not the case. Perhaps their abilities are so much greater than mine that they know when their chance of victory has gone to nothing even if lesser players cannot tell. I know that is true for chess or go where masters would stand up and say player X has won but two lesser players could sit down and have a very good match from that point; this could be true of Starcraft 2 as well.