Over the last few months my father, brother, and I have been spending our leisurely free-time playing Blizzards StarCraft 2. We got the game because we were obsessed with the first one, and we like the 2nd one even better. Although when we initially started the 2nd one, we struggled. We kept on playing, but just could not win a game, almost to the point of demoralization. Around a month ago, however, we started winning games by elevating the level of our play through strategy and unit selection. The latter is particularly important, as the units seem to have a rock-paper-scissors relationship. Marines woop void rays, Collosy woop marines, etc.... We eventually got up to rank 8 in the bronze division. OK, maybe the bronze division is the worst out of Silver, Gold, Eagle, and Diamond, but its still pretty good, the players are no noobs and sometimes we beat guys from the Gold and Silver divisions. Tonight, however, we engaged in some trash-talking with some players, and we were infuriated that they won, quite quickly I may add.
Their strategy was to build as many of the basic units, such as marines and zealots, as possible early in the game, and not to worry about a long term strategy. And with those units they attacked us persistently, concentrating on eviscerating our resource gathering units so as to cripple our productive abilities. It was embarrassing.
But as the old adage goes, one learns more by losing than by winning, so we incorporated that strategy on the next few games. I built a hoard of marines while my Dad and Bro built zealots and then we eventually built Banshees and Void Rays respectively. The results were immediate, as we won our next 4 games, launching ourselves into rank 4. We even won one game where Taylor was rushed immediately by zerg and barely survived, which left my father and I the burden of shouldering the offensive against the 3 opponents.
I don't think you have to play for hours upon hours a day like some Koreans to become a top player, just deliberate practice through intelligence and feedback, just like we did today.