Of the past 7 MOTM Tesbug has won 3 by himself, shared first place with another map in one and won 2 more as part of teams with either Crackling or Crackling and Flo. In this MOTM Testbug's "reign of terror" continues with his map "Odyssey".
This visually stunning map is a 2vs2 player map where each main has access to 2 low ground gas-expo/nats, one with an exit to the high center through a wide ramp and the other being landlocked on sunken ground. The twist is that these two expos are right next to the expos of the adjacent mains with the mineral lines almost "kissing" each other. So while one expo is on the sunken ground the adjoinig expo is on higher ground. The idea is that in 2/3 of the match-ups you will be able to have an expo right next to that of your partner's and be able to support each other without zerg's creep interfering with the warping or building of your partner if he's Protoss or Terran, respectively. If on the other hand the partners end up across from each other, well, shit happens. The gameplay then will be micro oriented as taking a nat will be a risky endeavor although each main has an additional expo in front of it with a mineral block that the players can take once they have air transport capacity plus there are minonlies in the center.
This is not to say that the map is perfect. As of this post it still remains untested and several posters in the map thread have raised concerns about the possible predominance of Terran by virtue of the long range of siege tanks as well as the uneven space of the E/W vs the N/S mains. However, just out of sheer "brilliance" and "sexyness" our mappers have selected it as the winner with 33 points.
The second place goes to a map that had previosly attained third place in MOTM-10, and was played in one of the Avaton tournaments. It's the map Rise of Teotihuacan by ProTosS4EveR who must have been inspired by the ancient God Quetzalcoatl to make this map as it has all the underpinnings of a place of worship and sacrificial slaughter!
It has what I guess we will call 4 "corner" mains but displaced towards the center which, of course, means shorter main-to-main distances. However, this also leaves a large amount of space behind the main where the gas nat resides easily reachable by a back door and sheltered by the hulk of the main's landmass in front of it. But alas, all is not peaches and cream. This nat area has several vulnerabilities. It is connected to the rest of the map by two lateral chokes on the edges of the mains that are blocked by Xel-Naga temples and in addition to this it has high ground right behind it.
So, although players can still engage in the good old "ramp to ramp" attacks they have the option of destroying a neutral and invading their enemy's nat from the side or dropping behind the nat or both! Adding to this is the fact that the other gas expos in the map are relatively far away from the main's entrances in the N/S/E and W positions between the XelNaga temples on the borders of the map. This assures the map won't just turn into a macro-fest and will give rise to many interesting battles.
Our mappers gave this map 25 points qualifying it for 2nd place.
And last but most definitely not least and trailing just 3 points behind "The Rise of Teotihuacan" the third place goes to the lavishly decorated map "Hillfire" by our very own Reichfuehrer flothefreak who authored it under the pseudonym "JustGuess". Needless to say the author's name was irrelevant as his mapmaking talents shone right through!
A salient feature of the map like the name indicates is the hill next to the nat. It is connected to the nat by a backdoor and to a gas-expo just off the center of the map by a ramp blocked by a protoss temple. A fight for the control of this very important strategic point can literally set the hill "on fire"! The high-ground center which contains 2 gas expos is surrounded by two dirt-mud semicircle corridors with 1 minonly each as well as 2 low ground to high jungle transitions toward the center on each that can lend themselves to interesting ambush and roundabout gameplay. The corridors connect to the gas expo that leads to the hill next to the nat by two bridges. All in all a map with many interesting strategic possibilities.
"It's the map Rise of Teotihuacan by ProTosS4EveR who must have been inspired by the ancient God Quetzalcoatl to make this map as it has all the underpinnings of a place of worship and sacrificial slaughter!"