Starcraft 2 Vs Starcraft 1 – What’s Different?

Starcraft 1.5, or Starcraft 2?

There’s been a lot of weary forum users making the claim that Starcraft 2 is really just Starcraft 1.5. This will be the topic of this article. I’ll start out by listing all the new changes for Starcraft 2 and Battle.net 2.0.

Changes:

Terran:

Units Removed

Removed Vulture

Removed Firebat

Removed Goliath

Removed Wraith

Removed Medic

Removed Science Vessel

Removed Valkyrie

That’s a pretty hefty chunk of units from the Terran arsenal that have been removed. Mind you this is still beta so this is all subject to change.

Units Added

Banshee

Hellion

Marauder

Reaper

Medivac

Raven

Thor

Viking

Units Kept

SCV

Marine

Siege Tank

Ghost

Battlecruiser

That means that 62% of the the Terran units are brand new.

Terran Macro Mechanics

The Terran has a unique macro mechanic that is used after upgrading the Command Center to an Orbital Command center. What it does is collect 30 minerals every load, but takes about 3 times longer than an SCV per load. Basically that would mean it independently collects about twice as fast as an SCV does.

The downside to using the MULE however is that a player must sacrifice the usage of a scanner sweep; both abilities take your Orbital Command’s Energy. This has been the cause of some lost games. Terran players must be careful not to get greedy.

Now we’ll take a look at the Protoss.

Changes:

Protoss:

Units Removed

Removed Dragoon

Removed Arbiter (debatable)

Removed Corsair

Removed Dark Archon

Removed Reaver

Removed Shuttle

There weren’t as many units removed from the Protoss arsenal, let’s take a look at the units added though.

Units Added

Colossus

Immortal

Mothership

Phoenix

Void Ray

Warp Prism

Sentry

Not bad, only one less unit than the Terran side.

Units Kept

Probe

Zealot

Dark Templar

High Templar

Carrier

Observer

Archon

54% of the Protoss units are brand new. The Mothership is almost exactly like the Arbiter however so there is room for debate there.

Protoss Macro Mechanics

The Protoss have an ability called Chronos that is available directly from the Nexus. It costs 25 energy, and speed up any building production by 30% for a period of time. This is an extremely powerful macro mechanic because it can be used to build fast probes in the early game, it can be used to get a Zealot harassing very early game, or it can be used to get some very fast upgrades.

The only downside to the Protoss macro mechanic is what you don’t use it on. If you decide to pump out a heavy amount of units, your economy will most likely fall behind your competition’s economy. It could put you in a position to make a push but if the push fails you’ll probably be in trouble.

Now my personal favorite: the Zerg.

Changes:

Zerg:

Units Removed

Removed Guardian

Removed Lurker (This has been causing some controversy)

Removed Scourge

Removed Defiler

Removed Queen

Removed Devourer

Not bad… not bad. I may catch some flak for adding the Queen to this list, but I think it’s pretty apparent that Starcraft 2’s Queen isn’t even close to the original.

Units Added

Roach (woot!)

Queen

Baneling

Changeling

Infestor

Corrupter

Overseer

Brood Lord

Infested Terran

Zerg got the most new units. The Infestor is kind of like the Defiler, and is certainly meant to be it’s replacement. Right now I question the viability of it however.

Units Kept

Drone

Zergling

Hydralisk

Overlord* – No longer has detection capabilities. This was replaced by the Overseer.

Ultralisk

Broodling

56% of the Zerg units are brand new.

Zerg Macro Mechanics

If you compared the new Zerg macro mechanic to the other Macro mechanics, I think you’d find that there’s less room for debate on which Queen option is the most effective. The Queen has three macro abilities: Spawn Creep Tumor, which extends creep radius in a spiral outward from the tumor. This can be used to connect bases or perhaps for scouting. One of the most important upsides to this is creep allows vision, and faster movement for your units.

The other ability is to restore a units health or a building’s health. This can be used on defensive structures. I think the downside to this though is that any mediocre skilled player will attack the Queen relatively quickly. And to save the best for last, the Queen also has spawn larvae. For 25 energy (like her other abilities), the Queen injects larva into your hatcheries and after a period of time, the hatchery will spit out 4 extra larva. This can be quite devastating early game, and the only reason I can see players using the other options is if the game gets past early game. This is by far the most effective option for your war camp. More units = more power, more economy, or whatever you want.

Updated Mechanics

Some of the largest changes in Starcraft 2 do not come with the new units. They come in the form of new mechanics. Starcraft 2 is now an actual 3-dimensional game. What this means is the Terrain levels are for more than just looks now. Units like the Reaper and Colossus can actually go over higher level terrain.

Now this might not seem like much, but this changes entirely the effect of ramps in the game. In Starcraft 1, you absolutely had to go through static defenses to assault a base barring drops and Nydus canals. This made the ramp an extremely powerful (and sometimes irritating) map feature. Economy harass can now be accomplished much earlier in the game should your opponent decide to mass photon cannons outside his ramp.

Another new gameplay mechanic that Starcraft 2 has added is in the form of destructible rocks. These are generally back-doors into your opponents base, and if they aren’t watchful you could have a 1-way ticket straight to their main. Or they to yours. These new mechanics have seriously hindered the effect of turtling, which means you wall up in your base (generally a Terran favorite with siege tanks). I consider this a very good thing, because turtling is a very bad strategy in the fact that it allows your opponents free reign over the entire map. You may be able to hold them off for a few minutes, but they’ll eventually get enough minerals, gas, and units to pummel any sort of defenses you may be able to build on one base.

Maynarding

The economy in Starcraft 1 is generally very confusing. It’s an almost organic system that scales un-proportionally to how many workers you have gathering. While the law of diminishing returns was very much in effect (each worker past a certain point was less effective than the previous) [especially due to the bad pathing in Starcraft 1], it did allow a viable strategy called Maynarding. Maynarding is credited to a certain player of the same name, where while building an expansion, you could make all the extra workers you needed for the expansion, effectively saturating the minerals as soon as the expansion was built.

In Starcraft 2, worker pathing and pathing in general is very much improved. Workers don’t fly around trying to find an available mineral patch. In fact, they’ll patiently wait the few milliseconds it takes for another worker to finish mining. What this means though, is there is nearly a cap on how many workers per base is effective. It’s generally thought to be 2 workers per patch in Starcraft 2. This is a great thing, but it does severely hinder the benefits of Maynarding. While those workers you were making in Starcraft 1 would still help your economy while you waited for your expansion, the benefit is severely reduced in Starcraft 2. What this effectively means is that every expansion takes much longer to actually saturate to be efficient. This also means that losing an expansion early on is devastating because you won’t earn back the cost quickly.

Unit selection cap, and multiple building select

Another widely debated topic amongst hardcore fans is the new unit selection cap. Starcraft had a cap of 12 units that could be selected at once due to old user-interface problems. The new game though, Starcraft 2, allows for up to 255 units to be selected at once. This changes gameplay so much! Instead of 1a2a3a (Hotkey, attack, etc.) it’s click and drag mouse, a. I actually really like this new mechanic, as it doesn’t take 150 APM to simply assault a base. I think it allows for more strategy as a newer player, and welcome it.

Pro players may find a distaste for it, because they may assume it lowers the skill cap between pro players and mediocre players. I somewhat disagree, because just sending all your units into an attack can be a very bad thing as well; it can cause you to lose your entire army if you don’t pay attention. Pros will still use hotkey groups and try to attack from multiple places at once.

Multiple building select is another thing that may be seen as lowering the overall skill ceiling of the game. It’s yet another thing I disagree with. MBS lets you select multiple gateways, hatcheries, or any other production buildings at once. What I think this really means is less hotkeys to worry about. Macro certainly has been made easier (especially with the new rally attack), but it isn’t something I find has lowered the skill ceiling. If a player makes 400 Zerglings, but your opponent has a good mix of colossus, zealots, or carriers, the player with the Zergling army will be destroyed barring a Nydus canal (at a similar unit cap). And the fact still remains that you should never let your opponent make 200 of anything!

You can produce units in a more efficient manner, but all the strategy is still there. If a player forgets to use the previously mentioned macro mechanics, he/she will also be at a very strong disadvantage.

Conclusion

I think the game is deserving of the title Starcraft 2. Many of the originals bad interface chokepoints have been fixed, thus making it a bit easier for players new to the series to jump in. Blizzard however also kept E-sports a very important priority, and has maintained a level of multi-tasking that certainly is not easy to master. I think we’ll be seeing plenty of exciting games from lots of Starcraft pros like Jaedong, Flash, Bisu, etc. should they choose to switch over. This game is new, gorgeous, has excellent music, and certainly has a competitive edge to it. There are more -hard- counters than the original, so the way the strategies need to be implemented are different.

Here are some Starcraft 2 Videos and Replays in 1080p! Hope you enjoy!

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The Greatest Of All Football Matches Played Ever – The Death Match

Those die-hard football enthusiasts who eagerly watch all the live coverage of UEFA Champions League matches, often by spending sleepless nights, are aware of a Ukrainian football team Dynamo Kiev, which hails from Kiev, the capital city of the country. But only a few of them know about the striking history of the club and what happened to the players after they won a match convincingly against German Army Football Team when Nazis invaded the country during the Second World War.

Those Early days of Dynamo Kiev (Before Nazi Invasion)

This Kiev based club was founded in the year 1927 as an amateur team as a part of Dinamo, a nation wide Soviet Sports Society and later it became officially funded and sponsored by NKVD which was a Soviet Secret Agency. During the 1930's, Ukraine suffered terribly under the leadership of Stalin as he always feared a possibility of Ukrainian breakaway from the Soviet Union Empire. So, a special attention was given to suppress any possible nationalist movement which made the lives of thousands and thousands of inhabitants of Ukraine miserable. Each and every city was taken over by Soviet Secret Police and they used to look at every movement made by any citizen from a suspicious point of view. Innocent citizens were arrested, deported and often shot dead by them for committing mistakes which were as simple as arriving late at work or talking to the foreigners or for quarreling with neighbors etc. Even Ukrainian Government Officials and Police men were not spared from this hellish act. Moreover, Stalin's repressive Farming policy shattered the Ukrainian economy and led to a great famine for which 14 million Ukrainians lost their lives. So an atmosphere of fear, hatred and terror loomed large during those days and there was no ray of hope for the Ukrainians.

Football was like a breeze of fresh air in those days of uncertainties and insecurities. At that time, Football was very much popular a sporting activity in all over Soviet Union and it was easy for a citizen to book a football match ticket and to be engrossed with all the thrills and happenings of the match and to enjoy it's every possible moment . For them, it was like a temporary relief from a very tense situation, from the constant fear of deportation or execution. Then, the most popular clubs of Soviet Union were Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow, two clubs from Moscow and in the field of Football, Ukrainians had something to cheer about – the achievements of Dynamo Kiev. Those fiercely contested matches played between Dynamo Kiev and those two clubs from Moscow were followed by a huge number of supporters and often they defeated the Moscow Clubs to win the Soviet Championship and also to break the Moscow Dominance in the football field. The matches played by Dynamo Kiev were not just mere games but they also involved National Pride. This club is often regarded as unofficial Ukrainian National Team by the Ukrainian Government and the team was funded by the Government. It participated in the first "Soviet Championship" played in 1936 and became second after fighting hard with all the tough opponents. In 1937 and 1938, they finished the championship in 3rd and 4th place respectively and in their 1938 they scored a record 76 goals which is quite an achievement considering the hardship they suffered and tough situation they endured. However they did not perform to their potential in the next two seasons (1939, 1940) and in the next season (1941) they were playing well as a unit till the 4th game but after that Nazi army invaded the whole Soviet Union on 22nd June , 1941.

Dynamo Kiev during Nazi Invasion

When the Soviet Union's Red Army lost in the battle with the Nazi's then some of the Dynamo Kiev players registered themselves in the army and were sent to the battlefield to fight for the country and rescue their land from foreign invasion. After 3 months of horrible bloodshed finally Nazis gained the full control over the city of Kiev. Those Dynamo players who were in the army were captured as "Prisoner of War" and sent to the Prison Camps. The Prison Camps were short of food and water and all the prisoners were forced to live in a very short enclosure earmarked by barbed wire fencing. After Kiev fell to the Germans, it witnessed a horrible scenario of devastation, death and destruction over a period of 1 year (which included the murder of 33,771 Jewish men, women and children in just 2 days, 29th and 30th September and by the end of 1941 over 100000 Ukrainians died either shot by the Nazi army or died of starvation). But some of Dynamo Kiev players were fortunate to be released from the prison camps and then they came back to the Kiev city in search of a job. From there onwards, Dynamo's story again started with a positive note.

Bakery Number 3

Iosif Kordik, a die-hard fan of Dynamo Kiev, was the manager of the huge Bakery Number 3, in Kiev when Nikolai Trusevich, the tall goalkeeper of the team came back to the city looking for a job and offered him a sweeper 's job in the shop. Those days those who were released from prison camps were not given any work permit to work or to live in an apartment. So indeed offering any job to Nikolai was an illegal activity but Iosif, the manager had something else in his mind. This enthusiastic soccer-fan dreamt of constructing a strong Bakery Football Team and gave the responsibility of finding quality football players and his former teammates to Nikolai. The ever enthusiastic goalie, began his search for former teammates by walking through the lanes of Kiev and then slowly one by one, he was able to find nine of his former Dynamo Kiev teammates (they were Nikolai Korotkykh, Mikhail Svyridovskiy, Mykola Korotkykh, Oleksiy Kilimenko, Fedir Tyutchev, Mikhail Putistin, Ivan Kuzmenko, Makar Goncharenko, Makar Honcharenko) and also some of the players of Lokomotiv Kiev (Vladimir Balakin, Vasil Sukharev and Mikhail Melnyk). So in the next few weeks, in those days of insecurity, all the contacted players slowly moved to the Bakery Number 3 where they got much needed food, shelter as well as job. From then onwards, all those players working in the bakery, some of whom were suffering from malnutrition, started to train though they were tired of 24 hour shift and started to believe that they have the potential to be a powerful team. The tall and skillful goalie Nikolai gave their brave unit a name "Football Club Start (FC Start)" as participation in football and getting job, shelter in the Bakery Number 3 gave them a new life which was previously guided mainly by terror, fear and confusion.

The Journey of FC Start

They first played a match in the local league run by Georgi Shvetsov, a former footballer and sports instructor and Start's first opponents were Rukh, Shvetsov's own team. They convincingly won that particular match by a margin of 7-2 though they haven't got a proper shoes as well as football jerseys. Shvetsov became very much embarrassed and went to the German authority and asked them to ban FC Start from training at Rukh's Stadium. Without the training facilities, they still won all the matches by huge margins.

They beat the Hungarian Garrison by 6-2 on 21st June 1942, Romanian Garrison by a huge margin of 11-0 on 5th July. This winning sequence boosted the morale of all the Ukrainians, who were morally low and dejected for all what happened to them. They used to turn up at large numbers to see their favorite team mercilessly crushing the other teams coming from the regiments of ruling power.

Their winning streak continued as they again won by a margin of 9-1 Military railroad workers team on 12th July and on 17th July, they also defeated PSG (a German unit) by 6-0. But slowly the German authorities were becoming annoyed to hear about the supremacy of Ukrainians in the soccer fields. They could also see the enthusiasm generated by the football team among the common mass and they sensed that this enthusiasm could pose a great threat to the foundation of German supremacy. This enthusiasm can also start a sudden freedom movement. On 19th July FC Start won against MSG.Wal, a Hungarian team by the margin 5-1 and they again won the rematch on 21st July by a narrow margin of 3-2. To prevent the joyous journey of FC Start in the football field, the German Authorities fielded a team named as Flakelf in the same league and the players of that team were physically far more superior to any players from any other team. When FC Start was playing their last match against MSG Wal, the Flakelf team was playing against Rukh (against which team FC Start started their incredible journey) and Flakelf almost demolished Rukh and there were rumors that Flakelf team had not lost any matches before.

So on 6th August, 1942 FC Start met Flakelf in the football field and to the astonishment of the German Authorities, FC Start won the match convincingly by a huge margin of 5-1. Now the German Authorities took this matter seriously and they announced a rematch of the same two teams on Sunday, 9th August at Zenith Stadium. The posters were put up in the walls to announce the rematch between the same two rivals.

Finally: – the Game of Death

On 9th August, Sunday spectators gathered at large number at the Zenith Stadium to watch the match between the resurgent FC Start and the yet undefeated Flakelf football team. The atmosphere was very much tense and it took a very much effort for the Ukrainian and German Police to control the huge crowd. Just before the match started, the referee of the match, a SS officer came to FC Start's dressing room and told them to greet their German team in their fashion by giving a salute and saying "Heil Hitler". The FC Start footballers already sensed that the referring in the match would be biased against them. After the referee left the dressing room, there was a state of pandemonium. They clearly understood that the authorities had planned in such a manner that if somehow they managed to win the match, they will face dire consequences. Some of them thought of giving away the match and some of the players suggested to play a clear game. One Romanian delegate also came to the dressing room and congratulated them for their successful journey in the league and wished them Good Luck. After that, all the players unanimously decided to go out to the field and play football.

Just minutes before the kick-off the strong and stout Flakelf team lined up in the half-line and gave a Nazi Salute "Heil Hitler". Then it was the turn of the Start players and they decided not to give a Nazi Salute and instead of that, brought their arms back to the chest and shouted a Soviet slogan 'FizcultHura!' which means "Physical Culture Hooray!". This chant got a very wild response from all corners of the stadium which infuriated the German Authorities to a larger extent.

Just as it was thought, the referee totally ignored any foul committed by the Flakelf team and they targeted Start goalie Nikolai to attack physically. After sustaining blow after blow, suddenly a Flakelf forward hit Nikolai in the head leaving him almost unconsciousness. While he was recovering from the injury, Flakelf went 1-0 up. The Flakelf team was pulling the jerseys, tackling dangerously and also while tackling they were going for the players instead of ball but still those tackles could not draw any kind attention from the referee. Despite these facts, FC Start scored a wonderful equalizer from a free kick by the winger, Kuzmenko. This goal got a huge cheer from the large congregation of people who previously were hurling abuses for the Flakelf team for their ugly play. A few minutes, after the equalizer Goncharenko, another Start forward, dribbling through the venomous Flakelf defense scored another wonderful goal and they went ahead. Just minutes before the half time they again scored another goal and the scoreline read 3-1.

During the halftime the team was ecstatic to overcome the strict challenges faced by them in the match and the scoreline was also in their favor. However, Shvetsov, a former football player, suddenly came to the dressing room and told them to protect themselves from their opponents. Soon after he left, another SS Officer came there and told them politely that though they are a good team but they should lose the match otherwise they will get harsh punishment from the Authority.

Amidst the confusion and in a state of indecisiveness, the Start players started the second half of the game and this time, the Flakelf team, afraid a crowd trouble, played less violently. Start as well as Flakelf scored two goals each and Start was leading at that time by 5-3. Then, Klimenko, a Start defender, got the ball in the midfield, beat the entire German defenders and went to the penalty box. Then, instead of pushing the ball towards goal line, he turned around and kicked the ball back towards the center circle. This was a total humiliation for the Flakelf team as the defender himself chose the option not to score against them. Soon after that, the referee blew the final whistle.

The After Effect of the Match

FC Start players' enjoyment was short lived as they can see that the German soldiers were hitting the crowd as they were shouting loudly after their favorite team's success. It was a total humiliation for the Nazi army as well as for their Hungarian and Romanian allies. The axis troop cannot take that game lightly as their team of Aryan descendant was comprehensibly beaten by a bunch of "Sub-Humans". They could sense that for the first time in a year or so, there is public outcry against them and if it is not handled prematurely then this sentiment could spark a revolution against them and it may spread in all directions just like infectious disease.

But nothing could stop the successful run of the Start as they again demolished Rukh by a margin of 8-0 on 16th August. Soon after that, Bakery Number – 3 was invaded by a number of Gestapo members (intelligence group of German Police) and almost all the FC Start players were arrested, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo, allegedly for being NKVD members (as Dynamo was a police-funded club). The Gestapo wanted them to confess that they were criminals or saboteurs which would have given them enough reason to execute the players. But none of them had confessed. One of the arrested players Nikolai Korotkykh died under severe torture as his sister identified him as a NKVD officer. He was first Start player to die who played in "The Death Match". The German Gestapo, unable to break the silence of the players, sent the ten survivors off to a nearby labor camp at Siretz. At Siretz, they were expected to work, until do not die of starvation, malnutrition or dehydration.

The Fate of the other Players

But other players survived in different ways.

Pavel Komarov, one of the players escaped from the labor camp at Siretz and then he disappeared from public view.

In 1943, following an attack of anti-German allies, the camp commandant thought of killing every third prisoner as reprisal. So, the entire camp was lined up in the freezing mid-winter cold. Kuzmenko, the tall FC Start striker and scorer from the free kick in that particular match, was one of those who gathered in the ground with others and shot dead. Young and talented defender Klimenko, who had have not scored despite getting the opportunity in the penalty box and kicked in to the midfield was the next one to die.

He was asked to lie down and was shot behind the ear as he lay on the ground. Nikolai Trusevich, the giant goalkeeper and captain was also knocked to the ground. According to an eyewitness, he sprang back to his feet and shouted out a Communist slogan 'Red Sport will never die!'. A German guard opened fire. He reportedly died on his feet, wearing his favorite goalkeeper's jersey. The bodies of the three players, along with those of all the other murdered prisoners, were taken to Babi Yar and thrown into the ravine.

Three of the other players, Goncharenko, Tyutchev and Sviridovsky, who, fortunately, were in a work squad in the city, were shocked when the news spread. They became very much panic-stricken and they guessed that, because of their profile as FC Start players, it might be their turn next. They thought that the German Authorities are planning to execute all the FC Start players to take a revenge for the humiliation they suffered in that particular match. All three quickly made the decision to escape and they stayed hidden in the city until Kiev was liberated from German occupation in November 1943. But it did not help them in other way. When Stalin regained the control over Kiev, he ordered the intelligence to interrogate all the persons who came close to the Germans or their allies previously. So they were also tortured during the hours of interrogation. These few survivors were the persons responsible for the popularization of the dreaded fate met by the FC Start players and the account of their struggle.

The Death Match is that Real or a Myth ??? Different Views

At first, the Soviet Authorities had suppressed the real truth revolving the death match though that successful run by the FC Start team has boosted the morale of all the Ukrainians during those horrible days of Nazi occupied Ukraine. And later on, the Soviet Minister of Sport in Ukraine, Timofei Strokach, suppressed the story about the heroics performed by the FC Start players because of 3 reasons: –

1. The FC Start footballers had actually agreed to play in the Nazi-organized league – which meant possible collaboration with the Nazi's and their Allies, which was totally opposite to the Soviet's stand during those days. When Soviet army was heavily fighting against Nazi's then FC Start players decision to play in a Nazi organized league, according to the Communist Party of Soviet Union, was something that was not desirable or should be condemned. So their heroic performance was not officially regarded.
2. Those players decision to beat the Germans was a spontaneous act and not approved by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – this kind of individualism was hara-kiri. They consider this as an act of foolishness, not as an act of heroics.
3. They were Ukrainians.

On 16 November 1943, Izvestiya was the first newspaper to report the execution of the sportsmen by the Germans but the relation with the match was not mentioned in that particular article.
Later, in 1959 a Ukrainian writer Petro Severov written an article titled "The Last Duel" which came in "Evening Kiev" newspaper in which for the first time the official recognition of the heroics shown by the FC Start Players during the match was published. He said that the murder possibly took place several months after the match and in the prison camp.

In 1997, an Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano, in his book "Football in Sun and Shadow" written that all the FC Start players were given a condition before the match that if they win they will die, but still the players after going to the ground , they totally forgot about the probable outcome of their victory and playing their natural game they went on to win the match. They were shot wearing their Club jersey. This version is totally different from the one that was told to others by the surviving members of the team Goncharenko, Tyutchev and Sviridovsky and also from Petro Severov's account.

Also only survivor of the players, Goncharenko gave an interview to tell about the horrible experience they have suffered during and after the match which revealed all the parts that were previously shrouded in mystery.

The Relevance of that Match in Popular Culture

In 1971, in memory of their heroics, a monument was placed outside the Dynamo Kiev stadium to commemorate their contribution, their sacrifice and their true passion for a game, Football which they had exhibited after knowing fully well that they will lose their lives if they win. In 1981 the Dynamo Kiev Stadium was renamed to Start Stadium.

Quite a few famous films like 1961 Hungarian film drama "Két félidÅ 'a pokolban" and "Escape to Victory" was also made taking inspiration from the story. In "Escape to Victory" film many renowned football players like Pele, Bobby Moore took part and it also featured Sylvester Stallone. A few other films like "Third Time" and "The Match of Death" were also made on the same story. Based on the same story, a few other Ukrainian plays were also made.

Why the Players Should Remain in our Memory Forever ??

More than 320000 Ukrainians died during the Second World War and those who have survived were sent for deportation or prison camps. Finally, when in Ukraine, where so much death, devastation and destruction were taking place in Stalin era as well as Nazi regime, how much important was the incident of the executing the Start Football players and was this incident is of historical significance? So, does that incident carry any historical importance or should this act be termed as a freedom struggle or as an act of foolishness or they were impulsive while taking their decision? These questions will always remain unanswered as we cannot assess the political scenario without actually going back in time. But definitely they will be remembered for giving their precious lives for the sake of playing a clean game, not yielding to the pressure exerted by the authorities, even if they were threatened to be slaughtered if they win and also for boosting the morale of the millions of fellow war ravaged countrymen who totally lost their hopes.

Though the FC Start players, like common mass, lost their lives during Second World War, but they lost their lives for their passion of a game. They exhibited their wonderful skill in the football field to defeat the German team which brought smile and happiness and some ray of hope to all those Ukrainians in those dark days of horrifying devastation, death and destruction. So they will remain forever in the memory of all die hard football fans allover the world for their courageous effort in that match. No where in the world, the players were met with such harsh punishment for winning a football match.

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Oswestry Town FC

Oswestry has been a home for football for as long as anyone can remember, in fact there are no official records relating to when the team was formed but it is a common perception that Oswestry FC would have been one of the first football teams formed in the world … maybe even the first. Originally born as Oswestry United, friendly matches were played on the local cricket pitch against local teams such as Chirk, Ruabon and the Druids, all of which are from the surrounding areas of Wrexham in North Wales. Oswestry United was a founder member, along with Ruabon, Chirk and Druids of a league which covered North Wales and the Northern west of England known as "The combination".

In 1876, Oswestry became a founder member of the Football Association of Wales, subsequently entering the first ever Welsh cup the following season. Following the war, the team was renamed to Oswestry Town and they began competing in the Welsh Alliance league Oswestry Town would later move to face different competition in the Birmingham league having been crowned champions of the Welsh Alliance in 1924 and desiring new challenges which came in the face of renowned teams such as Telford United, Shrewbury Town and Kidderminster Harriers.

Spells in the Cheshire League, the Southern Premier League and the Northern Premier League would follow put over time Oswestry Town began to struggle both on the pitch and off the pitch as the finances became strained and debt mounted This resulted in the sad sale of their long time home, the Victoria Road Ground and a period where football in Oswestry was suspended, possibly for the long term. Eventually fortunes began to upturn with the use of the Park Hall site situated on the outskirts of the town. Park Hall was an army built facility that already hosted many different sports in the area including Rugby Union and horse riding.

During the clubs stagnant years the face of football had changed with the introduction of a national league of Wales. As mentioned earlier Oswestry Town had been founder members of the Welsh Football Association and so had the right to play within it's league's. Oswestry Town recommenced their football by entering the Welsh Nation League (Wrexham area) and began to clime the pyramid system of welsh football Leagues. Upon reaching the Cymru Alliance league which is one of two feeder leagues to the League of Wales. Oswestry Town won a League and Cup double at the first time of asking. However, sadly they were denied their chance of life in the top tier of Welsh football due to the Park Hall ground not meeting strict stadium requirements of the league. After much fundraising and donations the club were able to raise money to purchase floodlights which brought the ground up to the correct standard and another successful Cymru Alliance season in 1999/2000 was met with further financial difficulties which again prevented the move to the League of Wales . This time the financial difficulties were too severe for the club to overcome and Oswestry Town have now played their last match. Football in Oswestry continues, at Park Hall due to the relocation of The New Saints who were previously based in nearby Lantsantfraid.

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IPL 2018: Top 3 Players to Watch Out for on the Rajasthan Royals

Post the IPL 2018 auctions, the franchises have a new look to the team with many new faces coming up and some old veteran players to represent their local franchise. With the 11th edition of Indian Premier League to start off in April, team Circle of Cricket gets down to list the key players from Rajasthan Royals squad who can make a difference with their performance this year.

The team which won the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League under the captaincy of Shane Warne is making their way back after two years of suspension. From the start of the tournament, Rajasthan Royals are said to have unknown talent hidden in them. Royals of Rajasthan had a very decent IPL 2018 auction building their team around Steven Smith. Manoj Badale’s blue army will definitely have some firework this season with many match winners in the team.

Rajasthan will get full support from their fans as they have Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur as their home ground for the coming season.

Steven Smith

Smith who led Rising Pune Supergiant in the nail-biting finals of 2017 IPL against Mumbai Indians was retained by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 12 Crores. Steven Smith will prove to be very effective for the team at the top order as he was a part of the franchise before it got terminated for two years. Steven Smith leading a whole new Rajasthan Royals will be very valuable for the team with support coming from experienced Ajinkya Rahane who can bat up in the order and stimulate quick runs on the board.

Smith has more than 1700 runs in the tournament with an average of 37 plus Rajasthan will be heavily dependent on their captain.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes who was bought by Rajasthan as the most expensive player at IPL 2018 auction for Rs 12.5 Crore will have the liberty to free his arms in the middle over and take wickets at intervals with his bag full of different all-rounding skills.

The latter from England was one of the most valuable players in the previous edition of IPL with scoring 300 plus runs and taking 12 wickets in the tournament. Ben Stokes’s presence in Rajasthan Royals team will be very beneficiary for players like Stuart Binny and Jofra Archer who have the ability to single handily change the fortune of a game.

Rajasthan will be hoping for their star all-rounder player Ben Stokes to play every game for them.

Jaydev Unadkat

Unadkat who was the most expensive Indian player to be sold at IPL 2018 auction fetch a mind-boggling amount of Rs 11.5 Crore. The player from Saurashtra has been in a decent form in the recent past. Jayadev is a very skilful player for Rajasthan as he has performed well for RPS in the previous edition of IPL.

The left arm pacer has better IPL economy from most of the other known bowlers. He will be opening the bowling attack with Dhawal Kulkarni who was retained by the team using Right to Match card.

Unadkat is well known for his responsibilities and his wickets taking spirit. He becomes one of the contenders to grab Purple Cap at the end of the tournament.

The players listed above, form the core strength of the franchise and have the ability to win matches for the team. It will be great to see how each one of them performs under the mentorship of Shane Warne.

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Can Soccer Be Explained By Statistics?

Can a game as fluid and – many would argue – nuanced, and even elegant, as the game of soccer is, be explained by statistics? After all, there are hundreds of variables which all come into play during each and every soccer match – and, in some cases, pure luck seems to be a deciding factor in winning the game. A player’s performance in that particular match surely cannot be explained by the numbers alone, so those unknowns cannot be discounted neither.

Can any win or lose in the game of soccer be attributed to something as unpoetical as numbers, skeptics wonder. Soccer fans have never demanded more than to know the score, and time elapsed. Unlike those dedicated to baseball, soccer websites typically display only a handful of categories that could be useful for statistics: goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, game-winning goals and game-winning assists. Looking at those, one could conclude that soccer is just not a numbers game.

Still, in this age of big data, even a game as free-flowing, variable and seemingly unpredictable as the soccer undoubtedly is, has started to take data analysis more seriously. It was only in 1994 that FIFA has started counting assists, but now it looks like the game of soccer may be on a brink of statistical revolution. The biggest clubs, like Arsenal, Real Madrid, Chelsea or Manchester United, have already spent hundreds of thousands on statistical data analysis.

However, it looks like top clubs intend to keep the data for themselves! They have staff members dedicated to interpreting the data that has been generated on their matches. It seems like they are not too keen on making the methods they use to do so publicly debatable. They prefer to use them internally, to their team’s advantage.

Data analysis companies they employ will watch a live feed of the game, chart any distinct action, enter all this data into a database, and crunch the numbers. Statistics such as individual player touches, number of passes, number of balls lost and won, and others, are then revealed. While it seems that the resulting numbers still can’t accurately predict who will win the game, they can tell you a lot about the quality of the game. For example, a team’s number of touches is found to correlate with his FIFA rankings.

Still, unlike baseball and other similarly structured sports, analyzing soccer data is hard. Yet, there is no going back to hunches-only approach any time soon.

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Lionel Messi V Cristiano Ronaldo – Who Is the Greatest?

Last night saw yet another epic El Classico where Lionel Messi and Cristano Ronaldo continued their ongoing battle for World supremacy. Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a spectacular 2-2 draw with Ronaldo and his arch nemesis Messi scoring all of the goals. These two players are taking the art of a footballer to whole new levels, but whilst there is no denying that they are the stand-out talents of their generation, and perhaps of all-time, the ongoing question is' who of the two is the greatest? ' Whilst there is no definitive correct answer to this, the widely held view over recent years has been that Messi is the King and Ronaldo the very talented Prince. However, the gap between the magical Argentinean and the Portuguese adonis appears to be closing, with some feeling that Ronaldo now deserves the crown of 'World's Best Player'.

Despite often playing just behind the main striker, Messi seems to be able to score from anywhere and everywhere. Last season, at the age of only 24, he became Barcelona's all-time leading scorer. In addition to that he also broke the 39 year old record which was set my German super striker Gerd Muller for most goals in a single European season. Amazingly, Ronaldo has managed a similar record to Messi and their overall 'goals to games' ratio since 2009 is almost identical. Despite starting his career as a winger, Ronaldo's 'eye for goal' became apparent under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. His trademark 'dipping' free-kicks and solo goals prompted Real Madrid to break the World transfer record to bring the Old Trafford hero to the Bernabeu. Just as Messi can often be found collecting the ball in his own half, Ronaldo often drifts back in search of possession, and is also found in wide positions tormenting the opposing left and right backs. Given the fact that neither player is what is referred to as a 'goal poacher' makes their records even more unbelievable.

With regard to awards, both team based and personal, Messi is the clear winner at present. He has won the Ballon d'Or three years running (much to the obvious dismay of Ronaldo!), And his La Liga and Champions League silverware outweigh Ronaldo's.

In conclusion it is evident that both Lionel Messi and Cristano Ronaldo are head and shoulders above any other current players in World football and there are no signs of this changing any time soon. Given their relatively young ages there is every possibility that they will go down as the two greatest players in the history of the sport. For all the achievements of Pele, Maradona, Eusebio etc, there is already a case to be made that Messi and Ronaldo have matched and surpassed them all. The fact that two such players are present in the same era, playing in the same league and at almost the same ages makes the comparison slightly easier, so here goes …

Lionel Messi is currently the 'World Greatest Footballer' with Cristano Ronaldo an extremely close second. The fact that Lionel Messi has been officially awarded this title three years running with the Ballon d'Or adds weight to the argument. That along with minor points such as his superior assists record, the fact that he has consistently made more appearances than Ronaldo and that his all-round team-play is slightly better just edges it for the Argentinean genius at present. In Ronaldo's defense he is the faster / stronger physical specimen, has better heading ability and does not have a Xavi or Iniesta to link up with, but this just doesn't quite level it – for now !!!

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