After watching the Iron Squid tournament I looked at the bracket and saw something rather funny... after the quarter finals there were ONLY Korean players left in the tournament. It seems that every tournament that has Koreans, it is all but over for the poor non-Koreans. This can be seen in almost any international tournament and many different streams. I remember sitting with a friend watching Destiny's stream when he decided to play a Korean... Destiny did not do too well. My friend, also an avid Starcraft 2 gamer said " Oh god every time you hear that awr hewrooo.... you might as well just GG....byyyeeee".
While this is a bit racist (and funny) It is true, I would expect to lose anytime I hear either an Asian accent or see Korean type. So what is it that makes Koreans so good at Starcraft? There are many reasons and many myths; we here at progamingtours.net will go through some of the cultural truths and myths about Korea's dominance in the Starcraft 2 scene.
1. The original Starcraft was, and still is a national sport in Korea.
Stacraft 2 isn't the same game as Starcraft, obviously, but much of the mechanics, strategy, and units are the same or similar. The only difference is that Starcraft 2 requires much less APM. There are many things that players of Starcraft 2 take for granted; big differences that make Starcraft 1 more difficult in some ways. Here are a few to start:
AI pathing Multiple
Individual Micro Sequences for almost EVERY individual unit.
Control Groups in BW: Max 12 units, in SC2: Max 255 units. Micro buffering in SC2, 20 templar don't all storm if you have them all selected, only 1 of the group does.
If a player has played a game very similar but more APM intensive there is a strong chance they will do quite well in the new game with a more streamlined interface.
2. Koreans spend more time training.
Because Starcraft 1 and 2 are both taken very seriously in Korea, there is more money in the sport. This means that there are more training houses and more teams which actually pay their players. It is not unusual for the pro players to be practicing 14 hours a day! In the rest of the world this has been a bit more of a rarity until recently with Starcraft 2 and a few other games. This advantage will probably stay the same for at least another few years while the rest of the world catches up on taking E-sports, and particularly Starcraft, as a serious sport.
3. Koreans have incredible APM (actions per minute).
This is related to the 1st and 2nd reason but it is still worth mentioning. Because of their crazy amount of practice on both Starcraft 1 and 2, they have an incredible APM (actions per minute). This helps them in maintaining army production, mining, unit micro, and just about anything else... all at the same time! Check the video below to see what I am talking about.
Some people have said that the original Starcraft was released just when infrastructure in Korea was beginning to become first rate. As a result the game became popular and Koreans are good at the game because of the original.
5. It is encoded in their Genes.
Who knows? This may be proven in the coming years and we can finally use the starcraft gene in our non-Korean players :)
6. There are more great players in Korea so the competition keeps people on their toes.
The scary thing is that there is still a very strong Starcraft 1 scene in Korea... some of the best players still only play Starcraft 1. Starcraft 2 has created a new opportunity for both Koreans and everyone else in the world. As we see top players coming over to Stacraft 2 from the original, non-Koreans will most definitely have their work cut out for them.