Now that 2013 Ladder Season 4 is officially locked, let’s talk about maps.
We’ve previously mentioned our goal of bringing the StarCraft II 1v1 ladder map pool into alignment with the maps being used in the World Championship Series. With 2013 Ladder Season 5, we’re taking this goal to a whole new level by mirroring the WCS and Ladder map pools exactly. This season, you’ll be able to ladder with the exact same collection of maps your favorite pro players are using in the WCS. Further, we think this may help matchmaking become a more effective practice tool for both aspiring and pro WCS competitors.
The 1v1 Map Pool
We're adding three maps to the 1v1 pool in Season 5, and as always, making additions to the ladder pool means we’ll be removing a few of last season’s maps. Since we’re making an effort to mirror the WCS pool, Ladder Season 5 will feature seven 1v1 maps in total. Here are the maps we’ll be removing, followed by the new additions:
Neo Planet S
Newkirk Precinct TE
Red City LE
Korhal Sky Island LE
Polar Night LE
This is a new map created by EastWindy for WCS Korea GSL. We believe Polar Night LE will create some interesting choices for players when deciding how to best take advantage of Destructible Rock and Line of Sight Blocker positioning. We think these map features will help make for some exciting games.
Yeonsu placed second in the Team Liquid Map Contest public vote, and third in the pro player vote.
Although the base and expansion layouts on Yeonsu LE are quite standard, we believe this map’s cool factor lies within the flow of its ground paths. The ways in which the various ramps by the natural and third bases interact feel unique, and seem to be a standout feature on this map.
Frost placed first in the Team Liquid Map Contest for both the pro player and public votes.
We were looking for a four player map to add this season that was not only solid overall, but different as well. We wanted to try Frost LE because of the variety in play styles it will provide depending on each player’s start location.
Now that we’ve unveiled the new maps you’ll be playing on this season, we’re pleased to show you the complete 1v1 map pool for 2013 Ladder Season 5 and WCS Season 3:
Complete WCS Season 3 Map Pool
Bel’Shir Vestige LE
Derelict Watcher TE
Polar Night LE
In addition to the changes being made to the 1v1 map pool, we are also making changes to the 2v2 map pool. Below are the maps that we’ll be removing, along with descriptions of two new 2v2 maps that we’re adding.
Isle of Slaughter
This fortress map is easy to macro on and has a very long rush distance. However, once the Destructible Rocks toward the center of the map are destroyed, the attack path between teams will become much shorter. The goal on Isle of Slaughter should be to macro up while keeping a close watch on when the combat starts, since reaction times will need to be much quicker during the mid to late game.
Resupply Tanker has an easy to take fast expansion, but allies can’t easily assist each other on this map, so be careful not to grab this expansion too soon. The two attack paths along the sides of the map are good for focusing attacks on one opponent, but taking some time to clear out the center Xel’Naga Watchtower area before initiating an attack will often be a much safer way to engage on this map.
All five of these maps are already published to the custom games list in order to give you a chance to check them out before the season roll. Feel free to fire up a few games on the new maps and let us know what you think in the comment section below. Once Ladder Season 5 begins at 12:01 a.m. PDT on Monday, August 26, they will then appear in matchmaking queues for competitive play.Good luck and have fun in the 2013 Season 5 ladder!