2019 Ladder S1 Map Pool Statistics from Premier Tournaments – The Curious Case of Year Zero

starcraft 2 - 2019 Ladder S1 Map Pool Statistics from Premier Tournaments - The Curious Case of Year Zero

So, there was a discussion earlier today about how the recent competitive games have been a lot shorter than in the past, and I realised that one of the factors could be because we see much fewer large maps in the pool.

I was curious about the pick rates of maps so I thought I dig up the statistics from each of the premier tournament and total them up. Basically, I added up the map statistics from Liquipedia for WCS Winter EU, WCS Winter NA, IEM Katowice, WESG, GSL Season 1, GSL Super Tournament and WCS Spring. I didn't include GSL Season 2 because it used Cobalt instead of Year Zero.

A summary of the raw data is in this Imgur link

To save you a click, of 1,963 games the ranking of maps played are as follows:

  • Port Aleksander (414 games, 21.1% of games)
  • Kairos Junction (355 games, 18.1% of games)
  • King's Cove (290 games, 14.8% of games)
  • Cyber Forest (282 games, 14.4% of games)
  • New Repugnancy (228 games, 11.6% of games)
  • Automaton (220 games, 11.2% of games)
  • Year Zero (174 games, 8.9% of games)

It was a bit surprising, as it never really occurred to me that Year Zero was played so little, as there seemed to be a lot of interesting and exciting games on it. In hindsight I kinda don't recall seeing that many games on it I guess.

So it then got me wondering, why Year Zero has so few games played on it.

From the raw data, I did an overall statistic of the win rates by match up. Var basically calculates the difference from 50% (in either way). Then I average the 3 variances. From the data, it seems Cyber Forest, Automaton and New Repugnancy are the most "imbalanced" in favour of a certain race.

  • Kairos Junction (1.5% average variance across all matchups)
  • Port Aleksander (2.1% average variance across all matchups)
  • Year Zero (4.2% average variance across all matchups)
  • King's Cove (5.3% average variance across all matchups)
  • New Repugnancy (9.5% average variance across all matchups)
  • Automaton (12.2% average variance across all matchups)
  • Cyber Forest (13.9% average variance across all matchups)

What the data seems to miss however, is the individual match up imbalances. New Repugnancy for example seems to be heavily Terran favored (11.9% advantage in TvZ and 16.7% advantage in PvT). However the reason it's not higher is it seems funnily enough, that it is perfectly balance in ZvP (at least from the data). The Top 5 (5th place is tied) worst culprits when it comes to individual match ups seem to be:

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  • Cyber Forest (20.9% Zerg advantage in TvZ)
  • New Repugnancy (16.7% Terran advantage in TvP)
  • Automaton (14.2% Zerg advantage in ZvP)
  • Cyber Forest (13.3% Protoss advantage in TvP)
  • Automaton (11.9% Protoss advantege in TvP)
  • New Repugnancy (11.9% Terran advantage in TvZ)

With "balance" kinda analysed by the above, I moved on to number of games involving each race, which will give a bit of an idea of how each races are picking/banning maps. Obviously, map picks may change by matchups, but to simplify the analysis, I just grouped all games involving the respective races together. If you want to do a more detailed analysis, you can have a look at the first data set anyway.

The data for games involving each race is linked

From the data, I draw a few conclusions:

  • The biggest disparity in difference in map choices seem to be Year Zero, Kairos Junction and New Repugnancy
  • Terrans do not like Year Zero (at least relative to the other races)
  • Zergs do not like Kairos Junction (at least relative to the other races)
  • Protosses do not like New Repugnancy (at least relative to the other races)
  • Year Zero is always the least picked, regardless of race and Automaton is the second least picked, except by Protosses who dislike New Repugnancy more.
  • Port Aleksander, King's Cove and Kairos Junction are all the Top 3 most favored maps by all 3 races (just in different orders)
  • New Repugnancy is map #4 for all races, funnily enough.

The pick rates are understandable for the most part, Port Aleksander, Kairos Junction and King's Cove are 3 of the 4 most balanced maps in the pool. Tosses do not like New Repugnancy because it's extremely unfavourable to them in PvT.

Yet it doesn't explain why Year Zero is generally the least played map. Or why Terrans don't mind playing Cyber Forest despite its seemingly imbalance vs them in both TvZ and PvT.

I then wonder if perhaps the reason Automaton and Year Zero aren't really played is because they're both huge. At 21,904 and 21,248 units respectively, they're both huge, but both King's Cove and Port Aleksander are larger at 22,644 and 22,120 units respectively.

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So why is Year Zero played so little? Just a side note, I don't really played SC2, but I'm just an avid watcher. Year Zero isn't even my favourite map of the previous map pool. I just find it odd that a map that seems balanced and has had some pretty fun games (Stats vs Maru, Special vs Serral just to name a few), it's picked the least.

Let me know what you guys think, not just about Year Zero but of the data in general.

TL;DR – Year Zero is picked the least of all Premier Tournaments this ladder season (excluding GSL Season 2). Not sure why, because it's seemingly well balanced, makes for good and exciting games and is not even the largest map in the pool.

Oh and overall consolidated map stats of all the Premier Tournaments, including games played and Win Rates, for discussion.

Source: Original link

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