StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void (LotV) was featured in the first premier tournament when Red Bull Battlegrounds decided to use the latest expansion instead of using Heart of the Swarm (HotS), which is widely used in most of the tournaments. Not only was this the first time LotV was being played competitively, but it was also the first time Archon mode was featured. While standard StarCraft 2 is only 1v1, Archon mode is a unique mode where two people are controlling a single base and army, fighting against two others who are controlling one base and army. This is very different from the normal 2v2 mode available in HotS and previous games as those 2v2 consisted of two bases and two armies.
Controlling a single army and base at a professional level takes months of practice and over 300 Actions Per Minute. This is a lot of stress and management for one person, but when the task is split into two, it allows for more action packed games. One player can strictly focus on the macro plays (building units and keeping the base running) while the other could focus on controlling the army to harass and gain map control. Having an extra player to control the army allows for more aggressive openings. The focus of the tournament was ‘drop oriented’ plays in light of the new changes to Warp Prism and Medivac being able to pick up tanks under siege. These new changes gave way to some abusive harassment and some of the games were won simply due to the effectiveness of the drop plays.
This tournament was particularly note worthy for some of the players participating. Bomber was a returning champion from last year’s tournament with required military service approaching (male Korean citizens are required to serve in the military for two years). Huk, who hasn’t performed to his expectation, called on his old friend MC to show that they both have what it takes to be a champion. MC, once considered the best Protoss player and one of the most successful StarCraft 2 player, came back from retirement to play in this tournament to form an Archon due to Huk’s request.
Huk and MC would go on to win the tournament, claiming the $15,000 prize pool, while showing how to play the Archon mode at a pro level. They dominated the tournament dropping only two maps and even a clean sweep against viOLet and MaSa. They contributed their performance to their hard work and practice as well as their friendship. Huk and MC were friends from when both the players were in their former team, Team Liquid and oGs, when the team had a partnership to help each other. Huk even lived in the oGs team gaming house to train with the team. Though they touched on how having a partner made it easier to play since they could share the stress, there were also times when having a teammate led to disputes. Check out the interview below to see what they had to say about how they were able to move forward and claim the championship.