|Round||Division 128 Semi Final|
|Match Date||Saturday, May 29th, 2004|
|StarCraft - 44.57%|
5 for - 51 against
|StarCraft - 7.91%|
Starcraft shocked the world by getting this far. It wasn't even supposed to beat Halo, and even then, it was supposed to get crushed by Kingdom Hearts afterwards. Yet here it sat on top of the world after two matches, ready to take on the defining Zelda title of the modern generation. But it was a nice run. Surely Starcraft couldn't begin to have what it takes to take on a Zelda title, correct? Hated game or not, this is GameFAQs. Zelda rules around here, as the 11-0 record coming in would suggest.
But back up a minute here. I ran a silly little pre-poll once Starcraft was done beating Kingdom Hearts, and Starcraft had the support of 80% of the people that posted within the topic. It led me to believe that Starcraft had the board's support going into the Wind Waker match; it was all a matter of where everyone else's support would go. But even then, how could a seven year old PC 16 seed ever stand up to a Zelda title? Beating the Xbox mascot and a Square RPG is nice, but this is Zelda. The match was decided weeks before it even started.
No sooner did the words come out of our mouths did Starcraft shock the world again. For the first 3:30 of the poll, Starcraft went shot for shot with the almighty Wind Waker. And on top of that, it had the lead for the entire three and a half hours. It wasn't anything large (70 votes at its peak) but it was enough to let everyone know that Starcraft was not the little 16 seed everyone thought it was. We'd released a monster upon GameFAQs when we supported Starcraft like hell in the first round. Now it had come back to kill us all.
However, The Wind Waker managed to catch the support of the morning vote. It wasn't anything large, but it was enough to give The Wind Waker the match. It was 6:45 PM EST, and The Wind Waker had a lead of 2022 votes. If it took Starcraft all that time to come back against Halo from a gap of 1108, how in the hell was it supposed to double that performance against a Zelda title on GameFAQs?
Those of us who called the match far too early (including me) forgot one very simple fact about this matchup. This match occurred on a Saturday night, which happens to be the busiest night of the week for battle.net. To put this in perspective, I once had a theory that Bnet traffic was static throughout the week. LordOfDabu and company completely blew that to bits when they went on Bnet on a Saturday night and noted that there were over 340,000 people logged on, over 100,000 more people than I saw during my observations.
Now during Starcraft's first two matches, there was an increase in votes in the evening as can be attributed to the static traffic on Bnet. The spamming that went on over there was high during all of Starcraft's matches, but it was proven later that the overall effect of the spamming was somewhat static. Save for one match: this one. Starcraft was down by 1100 votes against Halo, yet managed to come back to win in the final hours based off of the strength of how strong Starcraft was in the evening.
For all of us who assumed that The Wind Waker was strong enough to combat this, we were proven dead wrong. Up until and including midnight, Starcraft began its massive comeback trail in the match and finished it off by only being down 1000 votes. But even then, a static Bnet would not have been enough to save Starcraft from defeat. However, this was still during static Bnet hours. After midnight on Saturdays, traffic on Bnet goes up dramatically; thus, the spamming was more effective with it reaching a potential new total of 100,000 extra people. The result, you ask? (check the graph below)
"But Ulti, there was cheating!"
After the Starcraft/SSBM matchup, I have faith that CJayC checks for these sort of things. He said that there was no cheating in the topic he made that night, and even told us where the votes were coming from in his lovely post where he subliminally bashed the holy hell out of every AOL User/Zelda fan alive.
I once thought that Starcraft came back simply because of the varied strength of Starcraft, but as I said before, LordOfDabu completely owned my ass on that subject. The high points of the comeback coinciding with Bnet's peak hours are no coincidence. All you need to do is hit Alt + Tab to go to your open web page, then Alt + Tab back to Bnet. I would assume that a small fraction of the 100,000 extra Bnet users that night coming to our poll made the difference. I believe it to be true, and it's the one thing that makes enough sense.
If this match helped prove anything, it's that Starcrafts strength in this contest was not half as variable as everyone makes it seem. It's a strong game on this site that put out a consistent showing in all of the matches it was involved in. One night in which Bnet was busy as hell for a few hours doesn't change this much.
Interesting fact. 41480 - 40698 = 782. Starcraft only managed 782 extra votes between the second and third rounds, so while the Saturday Bnet spam made the necessary difference, it doesn't disprove my belief that Starcraft was static in the contest. And did we ever release a monster or what? After the Halo poll, everyone was all happy-go-lucky when the Starcraft fans started celebrating. After this poll, the wars between Starcraft fans and everyone else were as out of hand as it could have gotten. And it would only get worse.
At this point, it was all up to either FFX or SSBM to make its claim to be the favorite in the division. And the door was wide open with The Wind Waker gone as well. If the games underperformed against each other, then Starcraft, Starcraft, would look like the favorite in the division. I mean honestly, who the heck could have thought that up before the contest started?
Match Trends Edit
In the spring games contest, Starcraft was the little 16 seed that could. It upset Halo and Kingdom Hearts, but most people figured that the Zelda series would be its end. IIRC Zelda hadn’t lost a match yet in the contest, and most people felt that it would continue its dominant streak past poor little Starcraft and on to the Division 128 finals.
Poor little Starcraft my ass. Wind Waker started off in the lead, sure, but then…
Link’s face in that last one makes me laugh every time I see it. Starcraft came back and gave an ass-whupping to Wind Waker. If there was any doubt in people’s minds at this point, Starcraft was definitely making a name as a legitimate player in the contest, and this, its most crushing victory, was only proof of that fact.