First off congratulations on winning the OSL.
-Thanks. When I saw Skyhigh and Movie get interviewed, I thought “wouldn’t it be great if I could get interviewed when I’m in good form?” Getting an interview like this after winning makes me very happy.
Seems like it’s impossible not to talk about the finals. Your opponent was the Flash, who is being called a god, and you managed to make a reversal after being down 0-2. Seems like it’s a very fortunate and exciting thing, but you didn’t seem to be as happy as we expected. Why?
-The reporters have a good eye [laugh] Usually I don’t like being too expressive, but I guess you can still tell. From the re-re-re-re-game in the Ro16 to the finals, I felt like I was scripting an impossible TV drama. When I got the gold, obviously I was happy, but the content of the games didn’t satisfy me. In games 1, 2, I wasn’t able to play what I prepared, and I lost without much of a fight. I think I would’ve been happier if I won games 1-2, but I wasn’t fully satisfied with my abilities. I kept thinking about that, so I wasn’t totally happy. Even though I’m not a perfectionist, I was exceptionally disappointed.
You’re not an expressive person, and this final confirmed that.
-Up until now, Effort hasn’t been a very expressive person. But lately, I’ve discovered that as a progamer, emotions are a must. So I’ve changed a lot. If I’m happy I’m happy, if I’m sad I’m sad. I wasn’t trying to control my emotions in the final, it was I just only felt so much happiness.
Thinking back, out of the three CJs, you’re drawn attention the latest, but you’re the first to get a win.
-Movie and Skyhigh are jealous of me now. But from when I first started until now, I’m often envious of them. Skyhigh past both Prelims when he first started, and got a reverse all kill on SWL, and drew a lot of attention. I was jealous.
I was still a newcomer back then, and I would often play first to get used to live games. I was close with Nbs-hyung, and he didn’t order me around just because I was new. Sometimes I would feel it’d be better to play some different strategies and styles, and I wouldn’t play according to what I practiced. But if I lost, a lot of criticism would immediately fly my way. You have no idea how hard it was, everytime I saw Skyhigh I would grit my teeth.
Last season Movie got into the OSL final, and even though I was sincerely happy for him, I was still sad. But now I’m in the foreground now, I don’t know if Skyhigh and Movie share the same kinds of thoughts I had? [laugh]
Did your teammates give you a good celebration?
-We had a good time. But I heard from Nbs-hyung that Movie had an ugly expression [laugh] A kind of “that should be me” expression [laugh] But I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I was jealous last season of Movie too.
Your parents must be just as nervous watching the games. When you started Starcraft, were your parents opposed?
-Suddenly saying something like that definitely startled them [laugh] They were strongly opposed. They hoped for me to go into the literary or business world. Back then, the general opinion of the business world was bad, and I’d rather play Starcraft. Even if I wanted to go into the IT department of business my parents would’ve been unsatisfied. My mom especially was opposed, and even went to my school to talk with my teacher. The teacher said to not have a computer at home, so my mom threw the computer away. For a while I couldn’t play.
I think it’s cause I’m the oldest [T/N: a bit unclear, it seems to be saying both he’s the “oldest child/son” as well as saying “only” child/son. Not sure if he’s only child, or if it means he has a younger sister.] that they opposed so strongly. I was in anguish then. I didn’t expect that as a son, I would cause my parents disappointment. But, when I played in the tournaments and got pro status and joined CJ, they changed their attitude. Now I can look back at this and laugh, but it was really difficult back then. I’m a stubborn person, the kind who’ll definitely do something if they set their heart on it [laugh]
Can you understand where you parents were coming from?
-Thinking about it now, it’s easy to see why. Even I would’ve opposed. But this champion win is a great repayment, which makes me happy. From now I’ll do even better and do well for them. They need to trust that their son will get even more for them from now on [laugh]
Who do you envy as a player?
-I look up to the two Lees. Not only are they the best players right now, but more so because of their rivalry. In their minds, there’s only each other. I’m really jealous of the relationship between Flash and Jaedong. If from this final I could make Flash think I’m a rival too that’d be great, but I think replacing Jaedong is kind of difficult [laugh] I want to be the third person between the two Lees [T/N: progamer rivalry love triangle gogogo], but that’s going to be difficult.
Also in 2009, I thought I did really well. I was 17-1 ZvT, with a 15 win streak, but I couldn’t win a league, and I wasn’t a part of the Jaedong-Flash-Stork-Bisu group, which makes me a bit sad [laugh]
It’s impossible not to mention the re-re-re-re-game. The players were tired, the reporters were tired, it’s so memorable.
-After the games ended, I walked into the reporters’ room for the interview. Everyone had a grateful expression [laugh] Sorry to everyone. Only when do I think about it do I realize “wow, I played so many games.” [laugh]
I kind of want to forget the re-re-re-re-game. It’s the worst games I’ve played and I don’t want to remember it. I don’t know why I had to keep going. During the games there was light shining in, and it was warm, and made me want to sleep [laugh] During the last game, I thought “no matter what I’m not playing again,” and then I ended it [laugh]
Skyhigh said if he had a sister, he’d definitely set her up with you. Skyhigh says you’re a straight-up honest guy, is this true?
-Definitely honest! [laugh] A lot of people say I don’t do much, and seem cold, but I’m a warm and emotional man [laugh] If Skyhigh really said this, then he’s a good guy. I love you Skyhigh!
Let’s look at some questions from fans. What’s the biggest difference between Skyhigh and Movie?
-A boring answer is height. Movie’s shorter, and Skyhigh’s tall [laugh] From specifics, Movie’s a boring person [laugh] Compared to him, Skyhigh talks much more. Fun things, troubling things, he’d tell it all. It’s hard for people to become close like that.
And also, I have to expose something. You know how he always seems cool and handsome? It’s totally an act. His personality is totally not cool like that [laugh]
Last time Movie said you had a serious injury before.
-I talked about this with Skyhigh once too. They all said it from their perspectives, I need to tell my side too. We went to the convenience store together, and a few players suggested throwing snowballs at Movie. After we threw the snowballs, we ran, but Movie didn’t respond at all. This unsettled me, I ran a few steps, and ran into a pole. Movie’s laugh was too hearty. It’s true I started it so I can’t say much, but I was hurt so bad and all I heard were laughs [laugh] I went to the hospital and couldn’t walk for a few days. When I think about Movie’s laugh back then, I even considered that maybe he wasn’t my friend.
Can you rank the looks of the three CJs?
-What a difficult question [laugh] First is Skyhigh. I’ll modestly put myself at second [laugh] The pretend-cool Movie can be last.
Recently Movie always says “everyone around me thinks I’m pretty handsome,” it’s getting tiring to listen to [laugh] He needs to face reality.
And also, please reporters, don’t worry about Movie’s skin anymore [T/N: ie, Photoshopping the acne lol]. Movie really thinks he’s too handsome right now, you need to put up the original photos as a wake-up call and let him realize, “ah, my skin’s actually like this.” [laugh]
Your nickname is Messiah, are you satisfied with this?
-After the finals it became Phoenix, but I like Messiah. It seems to be a very expressive nickname. Not only is it awe-inspiring, it’s satisfactory.
Before, I thought Bisu’s nickname Revolutionist is pretty cool, but now I think my favorite is Jaedong’s Tyrant. Very awe-inspiring. As a Zerg player I kind of wish I can steal it.
We heard you were going to take Snow to get his hair done after the finals.
-Snow’s too good at manipulating rumors. When helping me practice, he said “if you win, take me to do my hair.” I could only say “if you help me it’d help you.” But in the interview he straight up took that as I’ll take him to get his hair done. Under these circumstances it’s impossible for me to back out.
But luckily, the head coach says “if you screw up your hair I’m not putting you in the lineup.” Only then did the hair thing stop. Before, Movie got his hair done too, but the head coach said he didn’t really like it, so he got depressed and reverted his hair [laugh]
When picking the most calculating player, Movie chose Effort.
-I’m actually more envious of those careless players. Being so careful all the time is tiring [laugh] I remember when I was playing, Movie was carefully watching on the side. In the end he said “you seem so busy.”
Who do you want to become closer to?
-I want to become closer with Jaedong. In reality, both Jaedong and I are quiet people, if we met, it’d probably be awkward. I remember at places like group ceremonies when I meet him, saying even one sentence to him feels unnatural, and I end up not saying anything else [laugh]
Lastly, what kind of player do you want to become?
-Obviously a representative of esports, like Boxer. I hope after I retire, people will still occasionally think “that player was really good.”
Recently, I saw a show with Han Bi-ya [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Bi-ya] “If the world has to push you to the edge of the cliff, you might as well jump off. Then, you’ll realize you have a pair of wings.” At that time, I was in my longest slump. After I heard that, I thought “do I really have a pair of wings?”
And after falling off and into the re-re-re-re-game I immediately woke up. I really am a “hawk.” Because I fell down the cliff, I was able to discover my wings, and I was able to win the gold.
Now, standing on a high place, I really have become a hawk. Now all that’s left is to fly to an ever higher place. I will definitely become an awe-inspiring hawk that soars high in the sky. I hope to become that sort of player. I sincerely hope everyone waits for it.
T/N: Wow, Effort does some really interesting interviews O_O Another one: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=129497