Playing to your strengths

‘Chiu on this’ is a short and regular opinion blast.

There are generally two accepted methods of finding success in competition. One is to stick to your strengths and the other is to figure out what the standard meta is of the current system and play that. Both have positives and negatives, but in general I think the former is better than the latter. Here is a basic overview:

Championship level teams/players generally get there because they have unique qualities of play that make them better suited to the meta, have a better system or have better players compared to everyone else. Because of that they end up setting the meta and becoming standard, but how they got there was by honing their strengths and minimizing their weakness.

Mid tier teams/players have two choices. If they copy the meta, they’re just a weaker version of the best teams and because you’re treading the exact same path as the best team, they should theoretically know the meta better than you and can have an answer for everyting you do. There is a positive in that sometimes your strengths don’t fit the meta so it is easier to copy someone else and you get faster immiedate success. On the other hand if you play to your own strengths you walk a different path and you might get a stylistic advantage against a particular team.

Low tier teams/players should always stick to their own style. The biggest example I can think of is Has from SC2. He is in every category worse than nearly every other player in his peer group. Despite that he has multiple upset wins and continues to make them because his style is unique and he is the only master of it which creates chances for him to steal and take series from much better players.

This is just generally speaking. In a case by case scenario it changes, for instance everyone should have played the forcebuy meta back whne tec9s and Czeds were stronger. In the same vein, every Zerg should have given up muta/ling/bling for BL/infestor.

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

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