The winner of this MOTM-2/2008 is the Nightmarjoo-Testbug team who score with the elegant map "Faoi" that is also representing us at the ICCUP event.
In this map we see the application of the rotational symetry concept with the repeating unit being a high ground main leading to a low ground nat at the end of a dirt corridor which is connected by two ramps to a high ground center. This corridor with its two ramps is one of the salient strategical features of this map that clearly separate it from your classic "linear" map where you move towards your opponent's base while setting rally points further along the way. Here an army may set on the move up one of the ramps just to find halfway to the opponent's base that the enemy's army has descended down the other ramp and is proceeding to ransack their nat! Scouting this area and even placing sentries here may be crucial when you play this map. Resource wise the map has 8 gas in the mains & nats which means that, at least by land, the third gas for the players is a long way away unless you count the extra two gas in the islands close to the 3 and 9 positions. There is some dispute as to the effect on map balance of these two islands as they are not equidistant from the bases, but they do have a mineral block. Finally there is a minonly between the two ramps but having the central high ground just behind it, it is quite vulnerable. All in all this is a simple but challenging map that was made having fluent gameplay in mind and should generate some fun games.
The second place goes the map "Double Edge" by a mapper that is no stranger to MOTM or even EMOTY for that matter, we are talking about Lost Tampon.
This map is again another example of rotational symmetry with high-ground mains that have two chokes, one leading to the low-ground wide center of the map and another at right angles leading to a low ground gas-nat. The interesting twist here is that this gas-nat is connected to a second gas expo by a small hill with two ramps blocked by minerals (100 and 75 value) and this second gas expo is connected to the center of the map by two bridges. Although the value of the mineral blocks seems too high to make it practical for attacking units to gain access to this small hill by land, it is nevertheless an area that not only can be used for drops but that also can serve to allow (or impede) air access to a hill behind the gas-nat and to the main itself. Because of this it will be probably a good idea for the defending player to clear the minerals to control this vital high ground. Apart from this feature, the wide center, 12 gas and 4 minonlies just outside the mains should favor macro play. This map actually ended one point ahead of Faoi but due to uncertainties about the nature of gameplay (no replays) it ends up in the number two position.
And the third place goes to the map Scratch 0.93 which is the twentieth map contributed to this database by LML.
This is a 128x96 two-player map with a high ground main and a low ground nat which opens to a dirt corridor that runs parallel to the main to the opposite side of the map. A high ground center joins the ends of the corridor through wide ramps and to the middle through a smaller vertical ramp. This setup allows for a lot of interconnection, you can get to a given place in the map through several routes. Therefore control of the high ground behind a particular ramp will not necessarily block the mobility of your opponent. The central landmass features a very vulnerable gas expo and minonly at the foot of the large ramps plus a small minonly adjacent to the mains. Although both the main and nat are relatively safe and defendable, taking your third gas here will be risky unless you control the area around the expo. However, there are also two corner-island gas expos that can serve this function. This is a pretty straightforward and stylish map that should provide some fun games.