Chatter Plots: Nydus Worms in GSL Season 2

Published on 10/17/2019 05:27 PDT by Firnafth

We counted all attempts to build Nydus Worm heads in GSL Season 2!

18% of Zerg player-games involved Nydus Worms. In these games, the average number of Nydus heads attempted approached four, but this hides a great deal of variation: players attempted anywhere from 3-13 Nydus heads per game.

Most Zergs didn't use Nydus Worms at all, and soO only cracked them out once in 20 games. Dark, on the other hand, used Nyduses in nearly half of his 23 games and had a greater chance of winning when he did so:

Nydus Worms were seen on every map aside from Automaton and Turbo Cruise '84. Zergs were most likely to make use of them on Cyber Forest and Thunderbird, although the sample size for these is small.

Taking a closer look at Dark's tournament run specifically, he used at least one Nydus worm against every one of his opponents. In the later stages of the tournament, he also started cracking out proxy hatcheries, creating them twice (and with success both times) against Hurricane:

To note: Dark lost every game on Turbo Cruise and he never used Nydus on this map (nor did any other Zerg).

In games where Nydus worms were used, players were more likely to attack/harass with Queens (found attacking in over half of Nydus games), Overseers, Swarm Hosts, and Vipers; but less likely to have ever used Banelings or Mutalisks. Other units were found with less than 10 percentage points difference in Nydus and non-Nydus game appearances.

Overall Data Collection and Analysis

We collected data by watching VODs of all games played for 2019 GSL Season 2 (182 games). For each game, we notated the players, matchup, winner, and game duration; during the games we also notated the first four nonsupply buildings built by each player and any proxies attempted; and we tallied all attacks, their initiator, whether the attack was harassment or not, and its general unit composition as well as the unit composition used to defend against it.

For fully detailed methods, see this document.

For raw data, see this spreadsheet.