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SSCAIT 2022 prospects

I may not have updated Steamhammer in 2022, but I am still following SSCAIT. I’m watching a lot of the games, and especially all Steamhammer games.

Krasi0 is participating, after sitting out recent tournaments. It has been missed.

I expect the top to be fought between Krasi0, Stardust, and BananaBrain. Krasi0 is the favorite to win the round robin phase. Monster has slipped a little as a few opponents have learned how to deal with it. PurpleWave put on a clinic for how to beat Monster as protoss, and so did Krasi0 as terran. Both won with one-base timing attacks at an early point when Monster’s build was weak. Monster needed better understanding of the opponent’s build to adapt. (Monster’s ZvZ build and adaptation are different, so zerg can’t simply copy the timing.)

PurpleWave is following its pattern of excellent preparation against key opponents it will face in the elimination phase, along with stray losses to weaker opponents. Will it be good enough to win the elimination phase and be the overall winner?

So far Steamhammer has been holding a position at the bottom of the top 16, with only slight wobbles. But the tournament is young. I expect it to finish about the same as last year. Only its top opponents have improved much, and they are all ranked higher anyway! And Steamhammer’s learning tends to make it robust against moderate updates to its opponents, at least once it has had time to adjust. But then, I have been over-optimistic in the past.

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Dan on :

I had time for only a bit of preparation for SSCAIT this year. Just a couple days of mainly debugging. But I caught some real zingers, so PurpleWave should be in prime fighting form. The biggest change was abandoning Psionic Storm in PvZ, because bot dodging is too strong, and making pure Archon-Zealot-Dragoon(-Corsair) instead. That is likely a permanent adjustment.

PurpleWave's only loss so far at time of writing (20-4, nominally) is vs. Iron bot. The rest of the games were affected by the SSCAIT bug where a client bot doesn't connect to the game at all. Which is not to say PurpleWave won't drop games to lower-ranked opponents -- BASIL shows that it will, especially vs. Zerg -- but it hasn't yet. In testing PurpleWave had winning records against everyone except krasi0 and Dragon so I 'm feeling pretty good.

I'm excited for the tournament! I think krasi0 is the favorite, with strong records against everyone but Stardust on BASIL, but after that the field is quite open. Among the top bots there are a lot more matchups that are 60-40 than there used to be; wins are more eked than yanked.

Jay Scott on :

I think storm remains useful even though it can be dodged. I’ve seen it pay off in SCHNAIL games, even though bots don’t have the skills needed to make it pay off.

Cast it on a bridge to weaken an attack. If units in front try to dodge backwards through the whole depth of the storm, some will likely die. But if they dodge forward you can pick them off cheaply.

Cast it behind units that want to retreat to put them in a dilemma.

Cast multiple storms in a blanket so they can’t be dodged.

Dan on :

Can be useful. But being in situations where it's not useful is death. Better to have the stat beast that's always useful.

The evidence was in the numbers: That change alone gave me +30% winrate vs Monster.

Surely the storms could be better, but you don't always get to pick your engagements, and don't always have the luxury of waiting to have enough to lay a blanket.

I hope I am wrong, and am proven wrong.

Jay Scott on :

Agreed, you want the skill you can use, not the skill you may possibly be able to use someday!

Jay Scott on :

Sure enough, PurpleWave’s first game against Stardust was a convincing win.

liongis on :

I've improved on Steamhammer and currently have a win rate of around 63% against BananaBrain

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