The Bomb Defuser Analogy

Back when I was watching SC2 in 2012, I came up with an analogy to quantify the level of choke a player has. It came about when I saw ByuN lose to Seed in g4 of the GSL semifinals where he spent 8-10 minutes doing nothing. He could have either stayed home to defend DTs and get ahead or attacked and won the game. Instead, he did neither, and as Mobb Deep says:

Son, they shook…
’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks
scared to death, scared to look
they shook.

It took me a bit, but if I had to explain that moment to a non-SC2 spectator. Imagine a person who is defusing the bomb. The bomb has two wires. He can cut either wire to stop the timer. Essentially, ByuN stared at the wires delirious and screamed “Which one do I cut? Which one do I cut?” then broke down crying as the timer went from 10 minutes to 0, and then he blew up.

I was reminded of this as I was watching the Na’Vi/Astralis game at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2 LAN going on this week. Astralis is the kind of bomb defuser that kills all of the kidnappers, rescues the hostages and right when they are about to cut the wire, their palms get sweaty, the scalpel slips out of their hands and accidentally cuts the wrong wire and blows them all up.

This was why the Kjaerbye swap was so interesting since many were hoping he was the factor that could bring them across that line. It didn’t work out that way, but at least it did today. At least for this one game, when the scalpel slipped out of their sweaty palms, they caught it and cut the right wire.


Photo by

Slingshot senior columnist. StarCraft and CS:GO expert who pushes narratives over numbers.

Facebook Comments