November 15th, 2009
Interview and photos by Sora Lee (email@example.com)
Opening notes from DES: Through the “Best friends” interview with Jaedong (Lee Jaedong) and Lomo (Son Ju Heung), we found out that Jaedong has a pet peeve where people use his cosmetics without asking him. Interestingly, Stork (Song Byung Gu) said he found some common ground with Jaedong on that point, as he too hates it when people use his things without asking.
DES: It’s funny that you guys have bonded through men’s cosmetics.
Stork: It might not be a big deal to you, but to it is to us! I get angry if I see that my skin care products have been in a different place than when I last saw them, or if a lid has been left open *laughs*. I sympathized with Jaedong very deeply when I read that interview *laughs*.
Jaedong: See, it’s not just me! *laughs*
Stork: Not closing the lid is one thing, but I get really annoyed when people steal my cotton pads. I actually count them to make sure. When they start disappearing without a word, it gets me angry.
Jaedong: Seriously, cotton pads aren’t that expensive but it can still piss you off. I use them too, and they keep disappearing. So I started hiding them in hard to find places *laughs*.
Stork: I really hate it when other people use my stuff. It would be nice if they at least used my cosmetics knowing what they were actually for. People just assume they’re good because they look expensive and then just try everything on. But you have to use skin products that are right for your skin! Grrr, it makes me mad.
Jaedong: And like I said before, it sucks when people wear your clothes without asking, too.
Stork: Me too. There are some guys who just take my clothes without asking. There’s even some people who wear some pieces of clothing more than I do. Sometimes it just makes me go “WTF.” *laughs* On top of that, I only do laundry once every few months *laughs*. So sometimes, I just can’t find any socks. So these days I’m experimenting with communal socks.
DES: Before the interview, Jaedong was browsing the web through Naver (major Korean search engine and web portal). He thought that if he typed “Lee Jae Dong” that the search engine would auto-complete the query with something like “Lee Jae Dong WCG,” or something timely, but he was startled to find that it showed “Lee Jae Dong Nae LOSER,” and it’s recent popularity.
(Long note: Two Korean internet memes involved here. The first one is Jaedong’s perjorative nickname, Lee Jae Dong nae buk, which means “Lee Jaedong, neighborhood drum,” as in every ‘beats’ him. Jaedong’s detractors call him simply ‘Buk’ (drum) for short sometimes. The other meme is the recent ‘Loser’ meme. On a popular Korean television show, a young attractive female college student said something along the lines of ‘Looks are competitive now, any man who’s under 180 cm is a loser!’ For some reason she said loser in English, which added to the overall hilarity of her statement. Korean internet users jumped on this to viciously mock her, and dig up extensive lists of so called 'losers.' On a side note, Korean women are relatively more concerned about the height of men, at least compared to American women. Anyway, combined, it means “Jaedong, the neighborhood Loser.”)
DES: Pretty ridiculous, don’t you think?
Jaedong: I was looking for some articles on WCG, but it’s showing ‘Lee Jaedong, neighborhood loser?’ I’m not 180 cm tall of course, but this is just dumb.
Stork: Am I a loser too? I’m 179.8 cm tall you know.
Jaedong: Come on, because of 2 millimeters? I’ll look it up. *moments later* Hyung, you’re not a loser. Your Naver profile says you’re 180 cm tall.
Stork: I don’t know if I can say that’s a relief or not. *laughs* What’s all this stuff about calling guys winners or losers based on their height? It’s ridiculous.
Jaedong: Exactly. Do you know how many progamers aren’t 180 cm tall? How come I’m the loser here? I think I’m almost fully grown too, so this is bad news. I can’t live as a loser!
Stork: Don’t worry about it. It’s not all about height you know.
DES: Why are guys so obsessive about height?
Jaedong: I don’t really know, but I think it’s just instinctive that you worry about it. It’s not that you can’t get a girlfriend or have a good social life just because you’re short, but you keep thinking that you’d look cooler if you were taller. Clothes would look better on you.
Stork: That’s right, clothes do look better on taller guys. If you’re tall, anything you wear looks alright.
Jaedong: In any case, I need to grow just two more centimeters. *laughs*
DES: You’ve got contrasting momentum going these days…
Jaedong: It’s strange, I’m just not doing well. I’m even practicing more than I did last season, but I just can’t get that feel I had last season, where you feel like you just can’t lose. It was that feeling of invincibility that let me take the most wins award, and maintain a good win ratio. When I go to the stadium these days, I feel a lot less confident.
Stork: People say I’m on a roll lately, but that actually makes me angry. It means that people’s expectations from me have really hit rock bottom. Getting into OSL and MSL are things I’m supposed to do by default, and all I’ve done is go 2-1 in proleague. And here people are saying that I’m doing pretty well, and it hurts.
Jaedong: That’s the opposite of my situation. Things aren’t so great, and it’s stressing me out *laughs*. I’m getting feeling a lot of stress early on in this season. A lot of people are saying I’ve lost that killer look in my eyes, and it’s true that I’ve lost confidence. Whenever I enter the booth, I get the strangest feeling of not my true self.
Stork: Come on Jaedong, in your case, people will jump all over you if you slump the slightest bit. That means people expect big things from you. For me, people think it’s good news that I haven’t been knocked back to the preliminaries. Honestly, I’m not that bad yet. All I'm doing is getting to a level I should rightfully be at, and it hurts my pride when people think that’s some sort of accomplishment.
Jaedong: I guess you could look at it that way. Saying someone has momentum is really a relative thing.
Stork: That’s what I’m saying. Jaedong, you’re in both individual leagues, and doing better than me in the proleague. But people are saying that I’m doing well while they say you’re not. What I really hated about doing well was that even the smallest stumble made people say you’ve lost your momentum, but now I know it’s just as bad to get compliments for the smallest achievements.
Jaedong: If I think about it that way, I guess that’s true too. I should take your advice and stop being stressed out over all that. I don’t think I’d feel good either if people said I was doing well over things I should be doing at a minimum. But still Stork, you have to consider that people are saying you’re doing well because other Protoss players are doing so poorly right now. That’s what I think.
DES: Kim Tae Hyung (one of the OSL announcers) picked Stork as the winner for this Starleague.
Jaedong: It’s the power of the ‘Line’ (in English)! *laughs* Lining up well is important, I’m telling you… *laughs*
(Notes. 1: Kim Taehyung is notorious for making predictions and having the exact opposite come true. Players jokingly fear being picked to win a match by Kim, and he has never correctly guessed an OSL final yet. 2: Players who have similar characteristics are often said to be in a ‘line.’ For instance, the Kong/Yellow ‘line’ is players who have taken second place multiple times. 3: So Jaedong is in fact, making a bilingual pun. A terrible one, at that. So terrible, I’m going to stop being a Jaedong fan.)
DES: So how’s China?
Jaedong: Personally, I like going abroad and it makes me giddy when I get out of Korea. But this trip was a bit different *laughs*. The flight was so short since it was within Asia, and there wasn’t much to see here anyway. I just want to wrap this up and go home.
Stork: Me too, I want to finish this thing already. I don’t really like going abroad *laughs*. It’s because whenever I really get motivated to play a lot of games and do well, I keep getting pulled abroad and get distracted. That’s why I’ve always done poorly after WCG. Going abroad hurts your practice time and ruins your overall rhythm, so I don’t like going outside Korea. Also, the new flu strain going around is scary, but I doubt I’ll die if I catch it? *laughs* Also, I’m just too lazy to travel to a lot of places. *laughs*
DES: Still, it seems like you guys are pretty ambitious about WCG.
Jaedong: Yeah, I have high hopes for this tournament. I think I’ll have to win the whole thing if I want to return to Korea with a smile on my face.
Stork: I think I could return laughing even if I was eliminated by a foreigner. *laughs* I’ve really emptied my mind for this tournament.
Jaedong: That’s what he says now, and then he’ll go onto win. *laughs* Still, the guy who plays without anything on his mind is the one who wins.
Stork: I might play Jaedong in the finals.
Jaedong: If that happened, I think it would be great. I could get revenge for my quarter-final loss at last year’s WCG.
Stork: Hey, you beat me in an OSL final!
Jaedong: Oh, I forgot that a long time ago. And this is different, it’s WCG!
DES: Let’s wrap this up. Anything you want to say to each other?
Jaedong: Byung-gu hyung has lost a lot of weight lately, I think if he put some more meat on his bones and worked out some, he’d look great. Though personally, it’s nothing to be jealous about *laughs*. I have to eat for stress relief. I have no intention of losing any of the happiness and joy I get from searching for and eating delicious food *laughs*.
Stork: Alright, I’ll keep that in mind *laughs*. Hey, Jaedong. I sit next to Yeong-mu (Jangbi) at practice, and I saw you two guys chatting on NateOn (instant messenging program) about you buying him some Korean BBQ. You gotta take me along *laughs*.
Jaedong: It’s not like I was intentionally excluding you, hyung. I was just joking around with Jangbi *laughs*.
Stork: I was joking too, just now *laughs*.
Jaedong: But really, I’ll buy you a meal sometime. But you have to be in front of the Hwaseung house right when my practice hours are over, okay? I’m buying, so you can do that much for me, can’t you? *laughs*
Stork: Sure, just tell me what your practice times are. Jangbi, Myunghwan (Great), and I will rush over there. *laughs*