Hey, as a SC2 and Protoss fan, I'm worried about 2020 for Protoss at the highest pro level. Unless something changes with the game, I predict we will not see a Protoss champion this year for an important tournament for the second year in a row and Protoss will have a very weak representation in RO8 and beyond.
I want to have a honest discussion with the community about this, because I think its going to hurt our esports and Blizzard should do something about this ASAP.
Highest ranked player of each race on Aligulac:
Zerg (Serral): 3248
Terran (Maru): 3053
Protoss (Zest): 2736
Now you can say Serral and Maru are outstanding players, but there are many Terran & Zerg with way way more points than the best Protoss Zest (e.g. Reynor, Dark, Rogue, Cure, Innovation etc.). Obviously Aligulac is not the only metric, but just think of which Protoss you expect to win a tournament this year? No one comes to mind.
Why are there no good, stable Protoss players?
The answer is that outside of PvT, Protoss can't viably play stable defensive games at the highest level. Both PvZ and PvP are matchups that depend on preparing some kind of cheesy all-in.
Example PvZ: Protoss needs to pull out a series of one-trick pony strategies to win. Sometimes they work, and Protoss wins, and then the next time, these Protoss players get completely destroyed. You can see this in series like Zest vs Serral, followed up by Zest vs Rogue in Kattowice. Same for sOs vs Rogue, followed up by sOs vs Dark in ST2.
Playing a stable game in PvZ feels completely hopeless – just watch Trap vs Dark in GSL ST from yesterday. I really don't know which of the best Protoss players I would put up against either Serral, Reynor, Dark or Rogue and would give them even a 20% chance to win a BO5 in macro games. Zest? Stats? Parting? Trap? Almost all series these guys played against top Zerg players since the patch (Nationwars, HSC 20, Kattowice, GSL ST) were 3:0 stomps, where the Protoss looked absolutely hopeless.
The last great PvZ I remember was 2018 between Serral vs Stats in the Blizzcon finals. After that, the carrier was nerfed and a real macro game was never seen again in this matchup because it seems Protoss always loses by default in late game.
I would rate PvP as the smaller problem as PvZ, but there it frequently happens too that the weaker Protoss player wins the rock, paper, scissors game, making it very hard to play Protoss in a stable way and dominate with pure skill.
To sum it all up, at the current state of Protoss, it's not possible to have a "Serral" of Protoss that can reliably outskill worse players. In 2 of 3 matchups, Protoss has to rely on all-ins & luck to win – which can't always work – and hence in the Top 10 on Aligulac we have 0 Protoss – and we are unlikely to see any Protoss tournament winners. This sucks for Starcraft as an esports, and will keep viewership down, and for the enjoyment of us all, we should ask Blizzard to fix it.
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© Post "The dark side of the state of Protoss in 2020" for game StarCraft.
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