How to improve in StarCraft II

One of the most asked questions I get is: “Lowko, how do I improve effectively in StarCraft II?” This is quite a difficult question to answer because you need to really know what you are doing wrong in order to fix certain leaks in your game. If you do not know what is going wrong and why you are losing then it becomes really hard to improve this the next game.

Remember: Losing is always better than winning because it shows you a leak in your game.


Benchmarking in StarCraft II and in Zerg versus Protoss

One of the best ways to know whether or not you are doing something wrong is using benchmarks and spreadsheets. I know… This isn’t high level math! But it can surely help you out to find leaks in your game. So what I want you to do right now is to open up a Zerg versus Protoss replay that you have played recently, and make sure these rules apply to the replay:

    1. Your opponent is Protoss, you’re playing Zerg
    2. Your build order is quick three Hatchery (no hatchery first) with double gas taken at 6:00
    3. The Protoss player goes early Nexus, either forge expand or Nexus first (no 1 gate expand)
    4. You make drones and play defensively (standard Zerg play)


What I want you to do now is to check the replay and speed to the exact 8:00 minute mark. How much supply do you have?

How much supply you should have? Read below on what the pros have at exactly 8:00 minutes in StarCraft II, Zerg versus Protoss.


StarCraft II spreadsheet

The list below shows you different pro gamers (and some guy named Lowko, better known as me) and how much supply they are at at 8:00 minutes in game time in a standard ZvP where the rules listed above apply. Different numbers represent different games, each number is the amount of supply the player was at at the 8:00 minute mark.

    • Stephano: 73, 63, 75 supply
    • Nerchio: 73, 63, 75 supply
    • Leenock: 75 supply
    • Scarlett: 71, 65, 69 supply
    • Life: 85, 73, 76 supply
    • Symbol: 68 supply
    • Lowko: 64, 71, 61, 69, 70 supply


If you do not hit at the very least 60 supply at the 8:00 minute mark in Zerg versus Protoss where the rules listed above apply: You just found yourself a huge leak in your game. Why 8:00? 8:00 is right before any kind of 2 base aggression or expanding comes from the Protoss. Up until this point you can have perfect macro.


Fixing leaks in StarCraft II

If you do not hit at the very least 60 supply at 8:00 exactly, open up custom games versus AI and play and perfect your play until you do. Once you actually start hitting between 60-70 supply consistently, try it once again versus real opponents but up until that point: Play versus the computers or no opponent at all.

I hope this helped you out! And as always, don’t forget to smile and stay awesome!


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