Chatter Plots: How Much Aggression is there in WCS Americas?

Published on 03/30/2019 05:36 PDT by Firnafth

Today in Chatter Plots we investigate how often players attack each other!

Are some races more likely to push out against or harass their opponents?
Do some races get attacked more often than others?

To answer these questions, we are using the WCS Winter Americas Ro32-16 population of games. We tallied every attack, from probe harassment to deathball moveouts, for all 144 games - just about 30 hours of StarCraft. We categorized 1932 attacks by the player who initiated them and whether they were harassment or main army pushes. Generally, we used gut judgement to decide if edge cases were harassment or not - judgment cultivated through years of watching SC2; but in the vast majority of cases harassment involves fewer units and avoids targeting the main army.

All Attack Frequencies

Attacks per every five minutes

Overall, Terran players were the most aggressive and most especially against Zerg players. In fact, Terrans launched attacks against Zerg players more than once a minute on average, nearly twice as often as they did against Protosses. On the other hand, Zerg players were the least aggressive, and attacked Terrans least of all - only about once every three minutes. Protosses were middlingly aggressive, although a bit more so against Zergs.

Push Frequencies

Significant army move-outs only; attacks per every five minutes

The push frequencies were largely very similar between matchups, hovering around one push every five minutes. Terrans did, however push out against Zergs more frequently, and Zergs also pushed out somewhat more often against other Zergs.


Harassment only, per every five minutes

Terrans were extremely antagonistic towards Zergs, harassing them over twice as often as they harassed Protosses and nearly four times as often as they harassed other Terrans. Zergs put out the least harassment overall, and Protosses harassed at about average rates, if more towards Zergs and less towards other Protosses. In fact, the three mirror matchups all showed comparatively low harassment rates.

Most differences in attack rates between matchups were a result of harassment, not full-on pushes. In general, Terrans were the most aggressive, mostly due to a somewhat increased rate of attacks versus Zergs and a very high rate of harassment against them. Protosses were middle-of-the road, while Zergs tended to be relatively passive.

All races were more aggressive towards Zergs. Protosses received relatively similar, average aggression from the other races; and Terrans were notably reluctant to harass each other, but still made serious pushes against each other as often as expected.

Further Exploration

Check out a more comprehensive series of graphs on this topic on Mina's Website, including raw attack counts and game length.

A thorough description of the data-taking method can be found in this document; see page 5 for an explanation of how attacks were counted.

The raw data will eventually be released to the public, but only after the conclusion of the WCS Winter season; and it will include all rounds through the finals.