In addition to choosing one of the three main races (Protoss, Terran, or Zerg), players may also choose Random at the beginning of a Starcraft match, giving them an equal chance of spawning as each of the three races.
The main advantage lies in the first few minutes of the game where, since build orders are often dependent on an opponent's race, playing Random forces an opponent to scout your race before solidifying their opening strategy. Also, the opponent is much less likely to cheese with your race unknown. For tournaments it is also hard to practice against Random, or have a game plan beforehand, because you do not know which race you will face until the game begins. Despite that advantage, pros almost always pick a race as the three races are very different in their style and mechanics.
Some players choose Random for no reason other than the desire to play all three races equally. In this case, they will often opt to tell their opponent at the beginning of a match which race they have spawned as, thus forfeiting any intel-related advantages of playing Random.
Notable Random Players
Current Random Players
Former Random Players
- GuineaPig (played as Protoss since September 2011 until his retirement on the 23rd of June, 2012)
- GuMiho (currently plays as Terran)
- Nerchio (has been playing as Zerg since February 2011)
- TLO (currently plays as Zerg)
- GARIMTO is retired ex-Brood War progamer (played as protoss), famous - among other things - for winning two OSLs and denying BoxeR golden mouse. GARIMTO was supposedly random player during his SC2 career, though there are only two of his games in TLPD - he played both as terran.
- SUPERSTAR (played Zerg when playing seriously until his retirement)
Random is popular among game observers, analysts and casters as it gives them insight into tactical and strategical decision making. For non-progamers technical refinement isn't as crucial. Noticeably:
- Day9 plays as random (though he reportedly rolls a dice to pick which race he will play on one of his 3 smurf accounts). He played as straight Random in at least one Wings of Liberty beta
- Dayvie or Blizzard's David Kim and balance director plays as random (though not competitively as he works for Blizzard) and is one of the top ranked players on ladder.
- Apollo eventually switched to random to improve his casting quality.
- itmeJP is an SC2 show host and random Master level player.
- chill is member of Team Liquid staff, random player and administrator of TL strategy forums.
- Gretorp while formerly a terran player, Gretorp soon switched to casting at NASL, coaching and playing as random.
- Frodan is another example of random player and caster. He casts for NASL and is reportedly master level player on NA.