PLAYER INTERVIEW: MODELS
On July 13th, 2019, the Canadian invader Models took first place in NYC LAN 2019 1 in what some may consider an upset victory over regional favorite, SuGo. Along with the silverware and glory, Models walked away with over $700 USD (at least twice that in CAD, I've been told). This is the largest sum won in an NYC-based Brood War tournament in a decade, if not longer. Despite this grand achievement, it has been brought to our attention that some may not be familiar with who Models is. Thus, Tim has arranged a quick questionnaire to find out once and for all: whose mans is this?
Tim: Congratulations on your victory!
To start off, I want to ask you some questions to introduce yourself to those that don't know you.
Where are you from?
Models: I live in Toronto now, but I grew up near Niagara Falls (on the Canadian Side)
Tim: How long have you been playing starcraft?
Models: I know I played a bit of the campaign when I was a kid, but I started online sometime around 2006 I believe.
Tim: I know you play a fair amount of fastest and 3v3 bgh where its common to play as random, what made you stick with protoss as your 1v1 race?
Models: I just play a lot of Starcraft, I've always enjoyed all game types (used to do primarily 2v2 on ICCUP and always played fastest). To be honest I've always played all 3 races and gone through many switches over the years, saying 'now THIS is my main race'. However I finally landed with Protoss simply because I had already known the most build orders with it whereas with Z/T for 1v1 I knew about 2-3 openings per matchup and the rest was unclear. Plus I like the aesthetic of Protoss.
Tim: Have you ever been on any teams/clans?
Models: I played for LRM) but it was pretty much when teams were fairly inactive, and I now play on team SouL). I never really tried to join teams and kept to myself a lot in Starcraft.
Tim: What other tournaments have you played in? Any that stand out to you in particular?
Models: I played in a few back in the day but nothing notable, one that stands out that I enjoyed even though I was out 2nd round was an island map tournament, I always think those are fun.
Tim: What do you do when you aren't playing SC?
Models: Currently I'm in-between a lot of things, but I play drums in a band and have toured pretty heavily for the last few years which is why I didn't play when remastered originally came out. Our band is called Single Mothers if you want to check it out, its of the punk genre so be warned. [ED: Here's Single Mothers on bandcamp; here is their Wikipedia page]
Tim: Now that we know a bit about who you are, let's talk about your thoughts on the LAN itself!
Playing in a LAN event is a very different experience from playing in the comfort of your own home, how much did this affect you during the event?
Models: I was worried about it, plus in the little tournaments I've done recently (such as Lets Go!, run by Ty2) [ED: Lets Go! ] I've noticed myself being nervous, maybe its the caffeine but I was jittery and my apm goes down cause I have to use extra energy to micro properly. That being said I was worried it would be the same/worse at the LAN, however I just kept playing a chill playlist and I think since I played for so long throughout the day I got quite used to it, and by the end of the day it didn't feel too much different from playing at home, after all I did bring my own mouse + keyboard. To answer the question more directly, I don't think it affected me much.
Tim: When you first signed up for the event and saw who you would be competing against, what were your thoughts going into this? Were you intimidated by the competition? Confident?
Models: I was a bit of both, as I always am. Ah, the duality of man. My personal goal was to place top 3 cause I knew I 'could'. I also told myself that it was just for fun and if I was somehow eliminated instantly that I could still enjoy the trip and experience, after all it was my first LAN! And it was a lot of fun regardless.
Tim: Were you surprised by any of your opponents throughout the bracket?
Models: I was a bit apprehensive going into the games vs Widowkiller since he 2-0'd everyone before me. I was a little bit worried about you (iRk-Tim) and Faust as well, but Faust was fear and loathing in NYC and I beat him on ladder the day before so I had the mental advantage. My biggest worry was Sugo because I lost to him 0-2 on ladder a few days prior, however I did analyze the replays and realized it was my fault I lost, not his, which is a distinctive difference that can be fixed.
Tim: Do you have a favorite game/match for the whole tournament?
Models: A lot of it feels like a blur, but the final game of the bo5 grand finals was fun because I almost NEVER do 1g robo reaver expand, so to 'test it out' in such an important match felt weird, but it just felt like I could with cross spawn on a big map, so I did it and it paid off. I was about to cancel my Nexus and everything at the front but I saw reaver at around 75% done when his army was thundering across the map and said "nah screw it" and sent some probes out and prayed to my lord and saviour, Snow.
Tim: SuGo had already sent you to the losers bracket 2-1 in winners finals before you met him in the grand finals, were you confident that you could win it all when you got to the finals?
Models: By that time I was pretty tired from playing all day, its more exhausting when its a tournament because you're focused every second, as opposed to laddering at home or something where you have the freedom to mess around. I think this worked in my favor, I was happy I secured 2nd at this point and just went for it, I realized a lot of SuGo's strength is in his early game decisions, so I figured as long as I try and counter any of that I have a fighting chance.
Tim: Aside from the competition, what was your favorite thing about the event?
Models: It was cool to meet everyone! Like I mentioned I've never been to a LAN or any Starcraft related event, and I've played the game for so long and have no friends that play either. It was cool to just see people playing in person, it was even cool to see you and your crazy way of hot keying 8/9/0. Also the Korean BBQ afterwards was quite enjoyable! And joking around with Abstract Daddy before the tournament started, teaming up in an FFA (since we sat next to each other) and winning it all to ourselves like the champions we are.
Tim: Some people are very different in person than their online persona would suggest, were you surprised by anyone that you met at the event?
Models: I mean, I only really knew Faust, yourself, and Sugo beforehand. Sugo has always been chill to me online although I've heard he can be BM as well, you're just a gentle soul online as well as in person so that wasn't a surprise. And Faust is Faust, which wasn't a surprise either, I mean the guy was both full of fear AND loathing for goodness sake. To speak for myself quickly though, I know I can be quite BM online but its all a joke, I'll say things like "wow Jaeyun you suck and have never ever beaten me" (which is true by the way) but in person I'd shake his hand, just to provide an example. I'm GM in person.
Tim: Did you enjoy the general atmosphere of the LAN?
Models: Yeah! It was really cool, was nice to have time to setup/get used to things, and do whatever I could to feel as comfortable as I could (music etc.) and then to also be able to walk around and see others play was a neat experience.
Tim: Do you plan on coming to the next event in October?
Models: Currently I'm 50/50 on it, I'll definitely try but can't guarantee it, though I'd love to.
Tim: Finally, do you have any shouts outs?
Models: Totally. I guess ultimately to yourself, jealous and sugo for making it happen and be a success. And then to abstract daddy and overtime for being MVP chillers
Tim: Once again, congrats on 1st place, I hope to see you at more events in the future!
Models: Thanks for the interview Tim! I hope to see you as well.
There you have it folks: NYC BW LAN #1's champion, Models!