I think both sides of the bo argument are missing a crucial point for lower level players: Cognitive load.
If you're a 1k ladder player who has played some random map 100 times up vs another ladder player who's also 1k but hasn't played as much ladder and has never played that map before, who do you think is a bit more likely to win that?
The dude who has played it 100 times probably doesn't have a BO, at least not one past the first couple factories, and even if he does it's not going to be that refined (again, 1k rating). But, here is where he has advantages:
- Takes zero thought for him to know where to send acu.
- Knows how powerful air is on the map, if transports make sense, best expansions to go for, etc
- Has a better rough idea of how much power to make and how many factories the mass can support
- Knows what the passable terrain is without looking
- In general doesn't have to spend time looking at the map, reclaim, etc
- And probably a lot of other small things I'm too lazy to come up with now.
All of these things matter far less the higher you go because better players figure that stuff out faster and more accurately.
tl;dr: imo it's not bo, it's general map familiarity. I think experienced players are underestimating how much that matters at lower levels.
Edit: I mean obviously people responding like Thomas and Grimplex don't need BOs for maps, any shit they come up with on the fly is going to be better than what any 1200 is going to come up with after playing a map dozens of times. FAF at the 1800+ level is not the same game as FAF for the rest of people.