Starcraft Statistics: Premier Winners and Age

Published on 11/08/2016 22:20 PST by ROOT Gaming

Starcraft 2 is a game that is often connected with a players ability to act quickly and that is usually expressed through the metric of actions per minute, or APM. As you age the average human's dexterity usually decreases, which is often linked, by some, to why most players retire in their 20's. Now some players and casters have disagreed with this idea, iNcontroL disagreed with it vehemently for example, but I wanted to take a look at Starcraft 2's history to see what players had success at younger ages while which players won tournament while they were "older" (relatively at least). Now we will likely look at APM specifically in another article but for now we are merely looking at tournament results.

To look at this topic I took each Premier tournament winner and measured their age at the time of winning that tournament, so let's start by looking at the top 10 youngest players to win tournaments:

Player
Race
Tournament
Tournament Date
Age
Creator
Protoss
WCS South Korean Finals
Aug 25th, 2012
15.51
Creator
Protoss
TeamLiquid StarLeague 4
Sept 8th, 2012

15.55
Life
Zerg
GSL Season 4
Octo 8, 2012
15.78
Life
Zerg
MLG Fall Championship
Nov 4th, 2012

15.82
Life
Zerg
GSL Blizzard Cup
Dec 22nd, 2012
15.96
Maru
Terran
WCS Season 2 Korea OSL
Aug 10th, 2013
16.05
Life
Zerg
Iron Squid - Chapter 2
Jan 26th, 2013
16.05
Life
Zerg
MLG Winter Championship
Mar 17th, 2013
16.19
Leenock
Zerg
MLG Pro Circuit Providence
Nov 29th, 2011
16.65
Life
Zerg
DreamHack: Bucharest
Apr 27th, 2014

16.76


We obviously see some of the legendary young Starcraft 2 players here with Maru's early career the stuff of legends and Life's career may have had a tragic end but his early career was packed with wins. Creator hasn't had the sustained success of Life or Maru but his two tournament wins came about three weeks apart and were among the best month's a player could have and he finished in 2nd place at the 2012 Battle.net World Championship the same year, losing to PartinG.

Another thing I loved seeing was how 2012 and 2013 was really the coming of age year for Starcraft 2's rising stars. You got to see a lot of the future stars of the game come into their own as they replace many of the older Starcraft 1 veterans and begin to climb the KeSPA ladder of success.

But let's take a look at the top 10 oldest players to win a Premier Tournament:

Player

Race

Tournament
Tournament Date
Age
White-Ra
Protoss
IGN ProLeague Season 2 AtA
Aug 14th, 2011
30.76
Nestea
Zerg

GSL July
July 30th, 2011
28.65
Nestea
Zerg
GSL May
May 14th, 2011
28.44
Nestea
Zerg
Sony Ericsson Open Season 2
Nov 13th, 2010
27.94
Polt
Terran
WCS Winter Circuit
Mar 5th, 2016
27.69
Sen
Zerg
Taiwan eSports League 2014 TWOP
Aug 9th, 2014
27.58
MMA
Terran

HomeStory Cup XII
Dec 20th, 2015
27.16
Polt
Terran
WCS Season 1
Apr 5th, 2015
26.78
Bomber
Terran

WAS Season 3 NA
Oct 12th, 2014
26.76
Bomber
Terran

Red Bull Battle Grounds: Washinton
Sept 21st, 2014
26.70


Now we all know "more GG, more skill" and White-Ra proved it when he won a Premier tournament after the age of 30, something nearly unthinkable but he almost wasn't alone. Nestea was a force to be reckoned with prior to Starcraft 2 but he continued this trend in Wings of Liberty with two tournament wins at the old age of 28. Sen was similar, having success in both Starcraft and Starcraft 2.

As for our three Terrans, all three truly started having success in Starcraft 2 but were generally older than their peers when they began their careers. All three are currently 28 which means compared to the other great players of their time, they started in the 20s rather than in their teens. While Bomber never had the success of Polt or MMA, he had a very strong 2015. Polt and MMA are in unique class, both are unique in they are the only players to win a Premier tournament in all three versions of the game. Polt takes that even further, being the only player to win a Premier tournament in every single year it has existed. When MMA retired shortly after his HomeStory Cup win to fulfill his military service many thought Polt would carry on the old guard banner and he went on to win the first WCS Championship of 2016. Had Polt not been recalled to Korea to serve in the military it would have been likely he'd have passed Nestea's finishes.

I will say, both MMA and Polt's style weren't not as known as APM heavy so if either of them manage to defy the odds after they return, if anyone can break Papa Ra's record, it'd be one of them.

So let's close this off by looking at the average age of Premier tournament winners by race:

Race

Average Age

Protoss
21.25
Terran
21.63
Zerg
21.32


Kind of surprising, or maybe unsurprising, that all three races are so close in age that their average player wins a tournament but shows that age doesn't seem to favor any one race. If you have any questions about trends or specific player on this topic, let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

Next week I'll be looking at how Starcraft 2's community tournament scene separates itself from other games.

About the author:

Topher is an NFL and eSports writer with a focus on statistical metadata research.
You can follow 
Topher on Twitter

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