Back in Hyundai era, we had a semi-professional Starcraft player in our team. He was too good. Nobody could match him 1-on-1 (not even close) and the game usually ends no longer than 20 min. There were always more units produced, his unit control fooled us to believe that it’s actually alive, and he understood the flow and the timing of his opponent. He was just invincible.
Now back to the corporate tournament story. In a real competition that happened every twice a year, despite his super performance our team never made it to the top. Never. I found that quite peculiar.
So I watched the next tournament event carefully and this is what happened. As the guy was pretty famous, every opponent team knew that leaving this guy alive until the end of the game would cost them a victory. Remember that the game was 3-on-3. All three players of the opponent team would always take the “fast unit production” tech-tree that aims for short-term battle, instead of “resource first” tech-tree which is usually for mid to long-term but large scale battle, and they will gather up their units (three times more than a single player can produce), then attack the semi-pro guy.
The guy may be invincible on 1-on-1, but for triple the size of his usual single opponent, there is no way that he can survive the joint assault. Now for sports like soccer or basketball, you may be able to mark a star player with multiple players (say, trying to block Lionel Messi with three defenders) that would create an open space or open players to their advantage. In the gaming world, like Starcraft, once your base is eliminated, you are out of the game — your team would continue the battle short handed (2-on-3), which is a huge disadvantage.
Now of course there are tactics to counter the joint assault, but unfortunately our team wasn’t the most strategic team in Hyundai..
Lesson? A team is stronger than a super player.