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Blacklizard vs Nova the Feared

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Blacklizard vs Nova the Feared
Match: One
Map: Showdown
Blacklizard Protoss Yellow Top
Nova-the-Feared Zerg Purple Bottom
Length of Match: 26:11

Blacklizard began the game with Protoss selected, while Nova elected to let whimsy decide his species. The luck of the draw gave him Zerg to work with, and the game was on.

Nova showed why he earned his reputation as "the-feared" by talking some whacked smack at the outset of the game. Everything from obscure song lyrics to cries of "Bruce is the baby!" filled the screen. Whether he was trying to psyche out Blacklizard or just expressing his feelings on the career choices of Mr. Willis will remain a mystery...

Nova chose to expand quickly, and soon had not only a second hatchery up, but was trying to run two outposts as well. The changes in balance have made this once common strategy much riskier for the Zerg, and he would have his hands full trying to keep both operations safe and running.

The Probe that Blacklizard sent scouting found Nova working on a spawning pool. While the gathering of this early knowledge of your opponents build orders is crucial, Blacklizard did miss the expansion due to the route his Probe took to get to the bottom of the map.

Meanwhile, Blacklizard had been building up his base and had a Zealot ready to go. This gave him the early lead in military units, which was to be expected with Nova trying to run two separate economies. A second gateway soon followed as Blacklizard prepared for a bloody ground assault.

Nova soon had Zerglings and scared off the snooping Probe that Blacklizard had sent in at the beginning of the match. As he scouted the rest of the map, he ran across the secluded second Hatchery and began gearing up an assault team to take it out. Sending in a pair Zealots, however, proved to be forces enough as Blacklizard found the base to be unguarded.

Blacklizard took the opportunity to construct not only a forward placed Gateway, but also a shield battery to allow his Zealots to attack groups of Zerglings, recharge, and then jump right back into the fray. This micro-management of an attack force can greatly increase their effectiveness and life expectancy on the battlefield.

Nova, realizing that defending this outpost would be futile, smartly abandoned it for lost and moved back to concentrate on his main base.

Nova also sent scouting forces of his own out, and camped an Overlord above Blacklizard's base for quite some time gathering vital information. Eventually, Blacklizard constructed Photon Cannons to clear the air above his outpost.

The first real conflict begins as Blacklizard sends in a group of Zealots to assault the main Zerg base. This Hatchery would not be so easy to slay, however, as Nova had built a well placed Sunken colony that ripped the approaching Protoss to shreds. Blacklizard, playing conservatively and taking his victories step by step, backed his troops out and planned for his next assault.

The first attacks behind them, both players begin to climb the Tech trees. Blacklizard starts work on a Cybernetics Core while Nova is concentrating on Hydralisks and getting to Lurkers.

Blacklizard seems to have the upper hand at this stage of the game in regards to resource gathering as he prepares to exploit the conquered resource node by building a Nexus. He has been sure to keep it well defended as this location has already proved to be a hot spot in the game.

Nova evolves his Hive to the point where Lurkers have begun hatching from eggs. Excellent defenders, and deadly when placed within an enemy base, he moves one near the Protoss expansion. Unfortunately, Blacklizard spots the Lurker and a group of nine Zealots give chase. Nova tries to lure the Zealots back into his web of burrowed defenders, but Blacklizard pulls them back before they get to far.

Although Nova did not lose his Lurker, he did lose the element of surprise, and Blacklizard wastes no time in constructing a Robotics Facility and begins working on Observers.

Nova, realizing that he needs to move with his Lurkers as quickly as possible, loads them into an Overlord and begins hovering towards Blacklizard's base.

Nova also starts mutating a second Hatchery to replace the one lost at the failed expansion. While the Zerg are known for their ability to make armies rapidly, they still need lots of Larva to do so.

Blacklizard starts working towards the Reaver drop strategy and soon has a Shuttle in the air above his base. He has also taken care to put in a smattering of Photon Cannons to spot any Lurkers that Nova may try to slip into his group of harvesting Probes.

As Blacklizard prepared his defenses at the front of the outpost, the Overlords had crept up along the left edge of the map and arrived at the ridge behind the Protoss base. Unloading their deadly cargo of two Lurkers and two Hydralisks, Nova begins sowing chaos within the hapless Probes. Blacklizard tries to get a Shuttle to the top, but sees the Hydralisks and flees.

At the same time, Nova dropped a Lurker and Two Hydralisks at the bottom of Blacklizard's expansion. Once the Lurker had dug himself into the hot sands of the desert planet, the attack against the Nexus began.

At this point Blacklizard realizes that needs to find a way to unmask the hidden attackers as quickly as possible. Knowing that he has to do something during the time that it will take to construct an Observatory and summon Observers from Aiur, he quickly throws up detecting Photon Cannons, hoping to inch his way closer to the deadly Lurkers.

Nova presses his attack by dropping in more Lurkers, but one of his Overlords strays too close to the Photon Cannon, alerting Blacklizard of the attack.

Blacklizard has not just been sitting idly by during this time, though, and that is the mark of a great player. While responding to the mounting assault put on by Nova, he has also been scouting the map and has spotted an expansion just getting under way. Loading up a Shuttle with one of the most devastating of all Protoss units, he moves over and unloads a Reaver to assault the gestating Hatchery while a pair of Overlords can only watch.

Meanwhile, the hotly contested expansion zone is heating up as the Nexus falls to the pounding the Lurker has been delivering. Blacklizard still has no Observers to detect the burrowed fiend, and must hold back his troops until one arrives.

Blacklizard gets Observers flying and quickly sends out a squad of Dragoons to remove the infestation of the burrowed Lurkers. Although the threat is finally removed, they have caused considerable damage to his home base.

Nova, who has taken to the air with a wing of Mutalisks, spots a line of Probes running their precious cargo back to the main base. Unfortunately, they follow the Probes straight into Blacklizard's defenses, which rip them apart. Although Blacklizard loses his Templar Archives, the Dragoons, combined with the network of Photon Cannons, prove to be too much for Nova's Mutalisks to handle.

Blacklizard tries a frontal assault on Nova, and meets up with Lurkers, Hydralisks and Sunken Colonies. After assessing the situation and getting some information on the layout of his opponent's base, Blacklizard decides that discretion is the better of valor and advances in the opposite direction.

Having killed the all the attacking Lurkers near his base and expansion outpost, Blacklizard begins rebuilding and prepares for a big push.

Although Nova caused a great amount of damage to Blacklizard, it was a costly assault. The weight of losing the early expansion is starting to take its toll on Nova's armies, and he is forced to try and start another expansion in the same area that Blacklizard already knows about along the left edge of the map.

Blacklizard catches wind of this, however, and vows to remove the Zerg from that part of the map once and for all. Bringing in another Reaver, he quickly dispatches all of the Drones working the mineral fields.

Nova Brings in a pair of Mutalisks to attack the Shuttle, and then the Reaver, but Blacklizard loads the ship back up and flies away from the battle...

...and Lures Nova's Mutalisks into a mass of waiting Dragoons!

Having staved off the brutal assault and knowing that Nova's economy has been choked off, Blacklizard starts bringing in the forces for what promises to be an epic battle. A combined force of Zealots, High Templar, Dragoons and Reavers come in with Observer and Shuttle support to make an all out assault on Nova's main base.

As the game comes to a close, everyone involved starts breathing again and congratulations on a great game of "back-and-forth" go around. Although it looked as if the early loss of the Hatchery could have made this a short match, Nova fought back hard and made it a game. The final result did show, however, the importance of keeping a strong economy going throughout the game and never letting up.

Length of Match: 26:11

Blacklizard vs Nova the Feared
Match: Two
Map: Fading Realm
Nova-the-Feared Terran Aqua Top-Left
Blacklizard Protoss Blue Bottom-Right
Length of Match: 11:06

(2)Fading Realm
Nova started the match by building a Supply Depot, and then moved an SCV to the hill commanding the choke point outside of his base. With ramps leading down to his base and into the connecting valley, he started building a Barracks in an attempt to take immediate control of the top part of the map.

Nova's next step was to construct a Refinery, which seemed a departure from the usual build routine. Perhaps this signaled an early move towards Wraiths, or the intention to train Firebats.

Blacklizard sent a Probe to scout out Nova's base and found Nova building two Barracks on the plateau. In a great display of micro-management, the Probe began attacking the SCVs that were building the Barracks. When Nova sent the SCVs to attack the pesky Probe, Blacklizard would run it away. When the SCVs would then return to completing the Barracks, Blacklizard would again send the Probe to attack the SCVs. This was a great strategy as it delayed and distracted Nova while Blacklizard's building process moved along unhindered.

His mission accomplished, the Probe finally stopped harassing the SCVs and was sent in to explore Nova's outpost. Nova ignored the retreating pest and returned to building his Barracks

Scouting is often the key to the early game and, of course, Nova had sent an SCV to explore Blacklizard's base as well. Blacklizard was able to attack the SCV and destroy it outside of the perimeter of his base with a Zealot before Nova was able to get a look at what Blacklizard was doing.

Nova built an Academy next to his two Barracks. Whether due to low resources or his attention being elsewhere, he delayed in building Marines immediately after the Barracks were completed. The Zealot that Blacklizard had sent to the hilltop arrived with only one Marine defending the vulnerable base. Blacklizard, expecting to be mowed down by Gauss Rifle fire hesitated at first, but when no groups of Marines came after him, he charged into the group of buildings with his Zealot.

The Marine got in a few shots at range before, realizing he was out matched, retreated

As the Zealot greedily eyed a potentially crushing opening, two Firebats emerged from the twin Barracks and drove the now overpowered Zealot away. Although he would not have the chance to take down Nova's structures, Blacklizard went away with a key piece of information.

Nova's early Refinery move now became apparent as he began massing Firebats at the elevated military compound.

Gathering together a Marine, a Medic and a squad of Firebats, Nova headed down to attack Blacklizard's base.

Meanwhile, Blacklizard had constructed a Pylon, a Gateway, a second Pylon, an Assimilator and a second Gateway. He then built a third Pylon, a Forge, and a Cybernetics Core. During this construction, he began gathering a group of Dragoons and Zealots. Although Nova was finally able to sneak an SCV into Blacklizard's base to scout it, he quickly pulled back upon running into a group of Zealots and Dragoons.

At this point the race was on. Who would make it to the top of the first ramp leading into Blacklizard's base first? Nova was sending his Firebats, Marine and Medic while Blacklizard was chasing the SCV with Dragoons and Zealots. Unfortunately, Nova delayed in climbing the ramp and Blacklizard beat him to the all-important high ground.

At this point, Nova had no choice but to retreat back to his outpost. Blacklizard chased the group all the way back to Nova's base as the Dragoons and Zealots made it up the ramp into the waiting, massed troops

Nova had already built a Factory and was beginning the construction of a Machine Shop and a Starport. Rather than creating mass groups of ground Troops, he had elected to try and catapult up the Tech tree as quickly as possible. Although the two Barracks were training troops, would it be enough to stop the oncoming attack by Blacklizard?

The battle begins as Blacklizard moves his troops onto the plateau and engages the Firebats. The twin Perdition flame throwers quickly burned through any resistance the Zealots could muster.

However, without the proper Marine support and just a single Medic to administer battlefield care, the Firebats were no match for the firepower of the Dragoons.

At this point Nova had nothing left to defend his base. A Siege Tank completed training, but was destroyed as soon as it rolled off of the showroom floor. At that point Nova realized there was nothing he could do and raised the white flag.

Length of Match: 11:06

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