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Basic 2on2 Principles

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki

2v2 is the only other game type apart from 1v1 played professionally and is arguably one of the most popular game types both on ladders and in public games. 2v2 is very different from playing 1v1, and the emphasis is usually on micro, teamwork, and map control. To properly understand 2v2, you must understand several key terms or concepts. Please note that no specific map is in mind and that these concepts are universal to 2v2.

Map control[edit]

Map control is important in 1v1, but in 2v2, it is the one factor that overshadows almost all others. Your team must manage to take map control since this will allow you to double attack one of your opponents or help each other out in case of an attack. You never want to face two armies by yourself, but if your opponents have managed to separate you from your ally, you have little choice. The reason you will almost always see at least one Zerg player on each team in any serious 2v2 is that Zerg is perfectly suited to gain map control throughout the entire game. Early game it’s with mass Speedlings and later on its with Mutalisks. Both of these units are extremely fast, allowing them to be anywhere on the map within seconds where they can help defend their ally, assist in an attack, harass the mineral line while your ally threatens the ramp, and so on. Zerg is amazing in 2v2, and it all comes down to map control. If your team loses the ground battle, you can still maintain some degree of map control by other means, such as relying more on drops or mass air units. Relying on drops is not recommended, but the important thing is that you’re able to attack and defend in tandem with your ally.

Teamwork[edit]

A concept completely absent from 1v1, teamwork can be the difference between a mediocre team and an amazing team. Agreeing on a plan and executing it properly is key to winning any game, but it’s much easier said than done. Different people think differently, and having an ultra-aggressive player paired with an ultra-defensive player might not make for a great team, regardless of their individual skill. Properly microing a combined army together with your ally can be very difficult since it’s hard to know exactly what your ally has in mind and how he wants to fight a battle. Only experience can truly develop good teamwork, so find a partner and stick with him as much as possible and you’ll get much better results. As overall rules, though, always help defend your ally, always help your ally attack, and always make sure that your unit combo makes sense. Speaking of unit combos!

Unit combos[edit]

Some units complement each other incredibly well in 2v2, while other combinations are absolute garbage and countered with incredible ease by the opposing team. A good way to expand upon this issue is to make an example. Arguably the most imbalanced match-up in 2v2 is TZvPP, and this is all due to unit combos and the map control that comes with it. Early on, PP will seek to rush with Zealots, but once Vultures enter the fray, these effectively become obsolete. To counter the Vultures, PP needs Dragoons, but Zerglings are a pretty good counter to goons, so PP still can’t move out. Later on, TZ will have Ling/Muta and Tank/Vult, and the Protoss counters to these are wildly different. Corsairs and Archons are great against Mutas but royally suck against Terran mech armies, leaving PP stuck either trying to each counter separate things or trying to overwhelm TZ with sheer mass. The point here is that unit combos will keep the TZ team in control throughout the entire game and enable them to get easy map control and double whichever Protoss they wish. In all matchups, these unit combos and counters should be carefully considered before a path is chosen.

Matchups[edit]

The two standard teams of 2v2 are TZ and PZ, with ZZ sometimes seeing play. However, ZZ is generally considered imbalanced and was banned from the Proleague back when 2v2 games were part of the team matches. (You could still have one of your players go random and hope for him to draw Zerg, but this was pretty uncommon.) PT can also be somewhat viable, but not enough to be played professionally, except in rare situations. In lower levels, a possible solution if the team's preference results in PP, TT, or PT, is having the player with the most Zerg experience play Zerg and the other player remain his/her preferred race. It is agreed that all teams without a Zerg are at a slight disadvantage to teams with a Zerg when skill is even.

Early Game Mindset[edit]

The 2v2 early game mindset is rather simple. When your ally is attacked, there are 2 options: assist your ally or counter the opponent's undefended base. Never let your ally fall in vain, as it means an unfavorable 2v1 match-up, and in most cases, a loss. If you decide to counter, you must be as effective as possible, as the opponent may choose to pull back and defend. Commonly effective strategies are destroying key buildings (pylons, tech) or going for the Workers. Your opponent may try to finish off your ally. In that case, you must finish your opponent. This will end in 1v1, where 1v1 strategies apply. If you prefer not to risk playing 1v1 for whatever reason, then it would be smart to defend your ally instead of going for a counterattack that could create a 1v1 situation. However, if you decide to counter and your ally repels the attack, you will be at a great advantage.

The Counter[edit]

When an ally is being attacked, you must decide whether you will be able to get there in time to help him while he can still recover. If you think he will be too far behind to make a speedy recovery, counter a vulnerable enemy who lost units in the first attack.

Expansions[edit]

It is nearly twice as difficult to expand in 2v2 games than 1v1 games because you will have to deal with twice the number of enemy units combined to fight against you.