A First-Person Look At The World’s Best StarCraft Player’s Skills

Those are the blazing hands of the current StarCraft II World Champion and by far the best player in the world, STX_INnoVation, participating in the WCG Korea Qualifiers. He’s easily tearing apart a Protoss opponent with his unmatched Terran skills and rapid-fire decision making.

He probably doesn’t even recognise that GomTV’s own StarCraft II caster, Khaldor is behind him, capturing every moment. Oh and nice keyboard by the way, with that F1 key removed — no one’s using it — you don’t even have to see the game to know it belongs to a StarCraft player.

Innovation First Person APM video – WCG Korea Qualifier 2013 [YouTube, KhaldorTV]


  • cant help but find the first couple mins almost comicly wasteful, I have a mate who plays SC2 exactly like this, it may seem like they are doing alot, but essentially because of how the game works, your spamming the keys so that the instant the cooldown is over the next task is being done, its like almost 80% of those key strokes are just invalid for the first 3mins, tabbing between units. it becomes way more intense later on but its still a good 5mins + before your not there just clicking keys phenomenally fast just for the sake of saving a second or 2.

    I’m just surprised theres guys out there who can multitask so well, when I play AOE2 I completely forget about half my units after the first 5mins because I’m stupidly focusing on my small army trying to take out enemies before they can spread.

    • Yeah there’s a lot of spamming in the first few minutes although pro players tend to do it to keep their fingers warmed up and keep them in the right mindset for when the action gets more intense later on. If you’re going at that pace from the start of the game it’s easier to keep going at it, instead of suddenly getting faster when required.

      • Exactly what WhitePointer said. They’re setting the pace and staying at it.
        The muscles in your fingers need to warm up to work at maximum efficiency just like any other muscles in the body.

    • just clicking keys phenomenally fast just for the sake of saving a second or 2.

      Also, at that level, a second or two could mean the difference between winning and losing. And a 2 second mistake in the early game tends to compound over time, so it’s much bigger later in the game.

  • I don’t get the point about the F1 key. By default, it selects all idle workers. At a pro level, that is useless but it’s incredibly common to bind the F keys to location hotkeys which let you jump the camera to a specific spot on the map. You can see that he uses F2 and F3 to jump to his expansions.

    Did Brood War not let players use the F1 key?

  • Do you *actually* enjoy the game at this level though? I think that’s a legitimate question? That’s not a reason to quit playing it though. When it becomes an esport to you, do you actually *like* playing it for the game or the competition?

    • If you watch player’s streams, it’s clear that there are people out there who genuinely love the game and that’s why they play it at such a high level (TLO and Grubby are probably the best examples). There are also players out there who don’t love it but it’s the niche they’ve carved out for themselves.

      In the end, it comes down to the player. Even if they’re playing it for the competition, is that really such a bad thing?

      • Never said it was. It’s a valid question, there’s people who play rugby for the love of the game, there’s people who play rugby for the love of competition itself for instance due to their competitive nature. I do karate because I love karate but at the tournaments there are people literally addicted to winning and the feeling that competition brings on. It’s an individual thing of course, it’s not something you can apply in a blanket way across everyone. I’d never be that foolish to do so. I’m merely wondering, at that level, when the keystrokes are so fast, when the game is so rapid, I guess there’s truly ‘no time to stop and smell the roses’. But on the OTHER hand, you’d find a whole new level of enjoyment in it that can only be ‘unlocked at that level’? In 2010 when I stood on that mat, knowing I was fighting off for first place in Australia in my division, that’s a feeling you don’t get in the local competitions, that’d be the same in theirs, if not more by all means when you hit the world leagues. It’s something that’s always fascinated me in terms of competition. I think their skill playing these games is phenomenal, I also find it hilarious that people buy 200 – 300 dollar keyboards to make themselves ‘better games’ yet you see pro gamers using keyboards and mice (always corded!!! I myself went back to corded kb and mice, so much better) that would only cost 20 – 30 bucks in most cases due to their minimalistic nature lol.

        • Innovation is using a $100-$150 keyboard (Skydigital nKeyboard is what a quick Google search told me). The same sort of keyboard that an amateur would grab to feel more pro.

          It happens in all sports. How many people grab expensive cross trainers to go jogging when much cheaper sneakers will do the same job? Sometimes it’s just a comfort thing. I have a similar keyboard and I didn’t buy it to be a better gamer. I bought it because I like the way it feels while typing. Clack clack clack.

          Anyhow, everyone knows that wireless keyboards and mice have slower response times. Input lag is for scrubs yo.

          • Yep. I had the biggest, nastiest Logitech Wireless mouse and kb combo coz they were badass yo!

            Then I realised they were affecting my gaming and that these new lasermice from Logitech with their super high dpi were needing recharging like, every six hours of use!? I sit like, five feet to six feet away from my LCD monitor (40″ lcd tv, helps me use 4 – 5 docs at once for Uni) and I realised if I have a corded mouse and keyboard, I NEVAH need to recharge and my gaming has never ever suffered. Plus it’s better reaction time makes up for it lol.

            Even at that 100 – 150 I find that to be a much better price than a lot of the supposed ‘gaming’ keyboards. Mines a Challenger Keyboard (not the pro) cost me 35 at EB when it was on special, last one in stock. Have not regretted it, such a beautiful keyboard. My son totally digs the fan lol. Ive never used it personally.

            My mouse:


            Cost me 40 I think from memory? Near cost price when I was working in IT. It’s served me very well. It’s got lots of little buttons I dont use, well, I did assign 2 to volume control lol.

          • I’ve got a Challenger also (although it’s the Pro version, I’ve never used any of the “pro” features on it). It’s the best keyboard I’ve ever had.

          • Same, best kb Ive ever used. Simple design, solid feel and reliable. The mouse less so. The wheel squeaks.

            Haha… I have a mouse that squeaks 😀

    • Nah, I do these keyboard actions at work all the time, I just didn’t know I could actually apply it in a productive way.

  • A fan, on a keyboard, to keep hands cool? Most people have a problem where their hands get cold while playing, not the reverse. So very bizarre.

    Most mechanical keyboards are in that $100-$150 price range. A Razer Blackwidow, probably the most readily available one, costs $125 if you buy it direct from Razer. If you look around, you can probably find it for around $80. Anyone buying a keyboard that thinks that it’ll make them better at an RTS is going to get something like that.

    There are flashy keyboards with lights and macro keys and all other sorts of nonsense. I never got the point of them. I don’t look at my keyboard, why should I care what it looks like (for the record, mine’s black with black lettering on the keys).

    • I just bought a Corsair Vengeance mech keyboard and while I am finding myself having to learn to type again, I can feel myself typing faster, there is also a great deal less resistance and jarring on the fingers and joints and as I am pretty sure I am developing RSI, years of working in a bar, time infront of my computer and working at woolies has taken its toll. There is something to be said for spending a little bit extra.

      As to the fan on the keyboard, cooped up in a cubicle playing at pro level, stress and sweat etc all contribute to potential fat finger syndrome that could mean the difference between solid macro or building a slew of wrong units. The fan helps alleviate this by maintaining a static environment around the keyboard.

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