18 year old American StarCraft Player goes Pro
Posted: 31 Dec 2007 06:33 PM CST
IdrA an 18 year old from New Jersey has been chosen by eSTRO to play professional StarCraft for their team…
This news is just on the heals of StarCraft commentator Tasteless heading over to Korea. The interview from GameReplays follows…
GameReplays: Hello IdrA, thanks for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to talk with us at GameReplays.org. By way of introduction, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself and you history in Starcraft pro gaming?
IdrA: Hi, I’m Greg Fields, I’m 18 and live in New Jersey, USA. I’ve been playing competitively for about 2.5 years now, just played casually for fun before that. I don’t have too much in the way of accomplishments, went to WCG USA this year and won various online tournaments, the most notable being the eSTRO SuperStars tournament.
GameReplays: If any of our readers are unfamiliar, IdrA was recently chosen by eSTRO to go into Korea and play Starcraft. So IdrA, going into a foreign country how do you feel about the language barrier? Do you know if any team members speak English well enough to communicate? If not, do you think that it will affect the quality of your training?
IdrA: Judging from experience with Koreans in general online most of them speak a little English, and I know the manager speaks fluent English. Also I’m taking a crash course in conversational Korean at the moment, so I’m not too worried about it.
GameReplays: Have you read about the recent undertaking of creating a so-called ‘Minor League’ for second tier pro-gamers in Korea to show off their skill? If so, do you think it will increase the chances of ‘foreigners’ qualifying for televised games.
IdrA: Yes, the standards are, obviously, lower than for the ProLeague and you don’t have to go through the rigorous qualification like for the individual leagues, so it should be a bit easier to get a spot on the minor league team. But it still won’t be easy by any means, just because the average skill of pro gamers today is so incredibly high.
GameReplays: During the tryouts, none of competitors managed to defeat eSTRO members. How do you think, the team came to the conclusion that you have the most potential?
IdrA: Well, I won the initial tournament for the North Americans, so I had a bit of a head start from that. And while we all lost I think me vs. Soyeon[WHITE] on Tau Cross, along with IefNaij’s games vs. Sea.Really, were the closest games of the matches, so that probably helped as well.
GameReplays: In an interview for Micro Media you said that whether you stay longer in Korea depends on the nature of the deal with eSTRO. Has anything been settled since then, and can you share some of this with us?
IdrA: Yes, after talking with the manager its clear that they don’t just want me for a publicity stunt, it’s an actual offer to become part of the team. As such I intend to stay as long as it seems worthwhile, and as long as they are willing to keep me.
GameReplays: Everybody knows that Koreans are training very hard every day. You considered yourself playing for fun before this opportunity. Are you sure that you can manage the Korean pro gamer’s routine? If yes, what is motivating you to put so much effort into becoming a pro-gamer?
IdrA: While the game is very fun, and that is what drove me to play a lot initially, it is the competitive aspect of the game I really love. That kind of motivation helps a lot in terms of training. Also I have had days where I practice non-stop, before a tournament or helping a friend practice. While it isn’t the same as playing 12 hours a day, every day it won’t be entirely new, and I know I can deal with to some extent, at least.
GameReplays: The tournament you competed in was North Americans only. What are your thoughts on this? Would things be different had the tournament been open to say, Europe and Asia?
IdrA: I don’t think there was anything wrong with it, some people felt it was unfair but there is a similar tournament being planned for Europeans (I think). If the tournament had been open to Europe and Asia the competition obviously would have been much more difficult, mainly because of Chinese players. However most of the top European players, like Mondragon, Draco, etc. have gone inactive or have no interest in a pro gaming career.
GameReplays: What do you think about playing the Terran Race? Nearly half of the Korean professional gamers play Terran and many have been dubbed as boring or standard: such as Midas and Goodfriend. How do you plan to stand out from this crowd of Terran players?
IdrA: I think a lot of Terran players are labelled boring because its possible to play well with a strictly mechanical approach to the race, without focusing much on outsmarting your opponent, although to be great you do have to out-think, as well as outplay your opponent. However I think those two are pretty bad examples of boring players, Goodfriend has one of the most unique pro TvP’s, with his aggressive 2 fac and dropship builds, and while Midas is not as flashy as Boxer his play is incredible in its mechanical precision as well as his insane macro, when he is performing well. I have no real desire to stand out from the crowd, in terms of style, because while many people find that mechanical style of play boring I’ve never had a problem with just focusing on having perfect macro, micro, timing, even if it means I wont end up on pimpest plays.
GameReplays: To wrap up this interview lets take one final question, which will probably be of the most interest to the readers at GameReplays.org. I am sure you have been following the development of StarCraft 2 at least a little. What are your thoughts on it, and while it’s early to say, do you like what you are seeing? Do you think you will make the switch once it comes out?
IdrA: I like the general concept, some of the new units look cool, the graphics of the in game videos look very nice and it seems that, in terms of the game itself, they are staying pretty true to what made StarCraft so great. However, I worry about the updates they’re making to the user interface. I think adding MBS and auto mining is likely to ruin the potential StarCraft II has as a competitive game. If done properly, StarCraft II could kick start a professional gaming scene similar to Korea’s in Europe, or even America. But adding MBS will dumb down the skill cap and turn StarCraft into a micro intensive game and, as war3 demonstrates, a game like that can support competitive gaming, but on nowhere near the level Starcraft has maintained in Korea for nearly 10 years.
GameReplays: Thanks for spending the time with us IdrA. We would love to talk to you again as the release of Starcraft 2 approaches. Perhaps we can see you posting a bit on our forums once Starcraft 2 comes out.