After the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, and into the beginning of 2011, the only website where StarCraft II players were ranked worldwide was on www.sc2ranks.com. If you've never heard about the website, you might ask, why was it used? Well, in the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty game itself, ladders in your League were separated by Divisions. It is quite the same today. However, if you wanted to know how you placed among all of your peers in your region and over the entire world, SC2Ranks was your unofficial source. Obviously, Blizzard did not run the website. In today's times, you will find similar compiled-rank websites for games such as CS:GO, Overwatch, and others. According to Liquipedia: The StarCraft II Encyclopedia, "Aggregators such as SC2Ranks.com can be used to compare points within a league over an entire region."
Unfortunately, the SC2Ranks website is now defunct. You can find old caches and archives of the website on archive.org, but the forms to search within the archives don't work on archive.org. At the time, the highest ranking in the StarCraft II multiplayer ladder was still Diamond League (you can find out about that here). Above are 2 screenshots of my 2v2 rankings (taken either a day or two before the Master League was introduced). You may be wondering: have I played matches against the other 2v2 North American teams that were high on the ladder? Yes, I did. The ironic part is that my teammate and I were already paying attention to who they were and how high they were ranked- so at the times when we were randomly matched up, we were ready. How were we that good back then (in 2010 and into 2011)? My buddy and I studied the best 1v1 strategies on http://www.teamliquid.net/, and used them for 2v2. I have to say that my buddy actually studied it quite a bit, and most of the time he had me read it over and implement my part in order to see how it played out. Yes, we did win a lot.
Both my teammate and I had been playing StarCraft since 1998 and began multiplayer gaming on Brood War soon after the expansion was released. With Sephiroth (P) and me, eldoncloud (Z) - on StarCraft II - we played matches until we landed at the #1 spot in the ladder rankings for 2v2 North America. This exact spot amounted to a #4 spot in the Global 2v2 rankings. Again, the top ladder rankings during the beginning of StarCraft II were within the Diamond League. I had since placed in Master League for both 1v1 and 2v2 after it was introduced in early 2011. However, I stopped practicing by late 2011. The Grandmaster League was also introduced for 1v1 in 2011, but by then I was already on my way out of competitive multiplayer gaming at the time, only to return years later to find the game's statistical mechanics to be quite different. Blizzard does not run official tournaments for 2v2; if they did, we would have been there. Thus exists the reason why serious teams used SC2Ranks. I still play StarCraft II to this day - mainly Co-Op Missions and other stuff just for fun. However, I keep up with the latest official Blizzard streams and tournaments on twitch.tv/starcraft and twitch.tv/GSL, as well as the official Twitter handles for Starcraft and Starcraft Esports.
- Eldon Cloud
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