Q: The psychological battle has started with even the preparation phase.
A: It's an inevitable reality due to the fact that I'm going against a teammate in the final. Our coach suggested that we might as well just practice between ourselves but I refused because I think that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
Q: Can you make any predictions about the final?
A: To be honest it's hard to make any predictions. I think who wins will be decided by a mental battle more than anything, since we won't be able to practice together until Wednesday.
Q: Can you give your judgement of Choi, Yun-sung? (iloveOOv)
A: He's a gamer with big dreams who practices and researches endlessly. When I watch him play, he gives the impression of an impregnable shield without any weaknesses. However, I'm worried that Yun-sung (OOv's first name) has been too single-mindedly focused only on moving forward to realize his dreams. I hope that he will realize that if he at some point gets fatigued, that he will have an endless fall.
Q: There's alot of difference of opinion about the bunkering you showed us in your semifinal with Yellow.
A: What I think of as most important is to play winning games. From the perspective of fans, they may have been disappointed that the games might have been decided in a boring fashion, but I wanted to play winning games.
Q: It's been 2 years since you have advanced to a Starleague final.
A: It's been a difficult road making it to the final, and it's my bad luck and it's discomforting that my opponent happens to be a teammate as well as the currently most successful player. In addition, because we have practiced together so much, Yun-sung knows me so well that I almost feel like I am going against myself in the final. They say the most difficult fight in the world is the one you wage with yourself and I think I understand that sentiment.
Q: Are you preparing a surprising strategy as in your semifinal?
A: The final won't be as one-sided as the semifinal. Because we know each other so well, it will be a mental battle. If you watch the matches keeping in mind our psychological conditions, it will be that much more entertaining to watch. In this final we will play incredible matches that many people will not soon forget.
Q: This is your first OGN Starleague final.
A: I'm not particularly nervous or insecure. But because the Starleague is such a major league, I'm not sure what will happen once I step on stage. Winning the Starleague is a prestigious achievement that all gamers dream to one day accomplish. Although you can make money and gain popularity being a progamer, the OGN Starleague's greatest asset is that winning it can give you satisfaction within your heart that you cannot get from winning any other tournament.
Q: Can you predict the final?
A: It will go to 5 games. However, if my opponent comes out strategically-minded, the games could end faster than expected. I regret that I didn't get to practice much because my opponent is a teammate.
Q: It is a meeting between teacher and student.
A: Rather than placing importance on beating my master, I'm more emphasizing the fact that our first meeting is in a final. Many people point out that Yo-hwan(boxer's first name) hyung is very different when he plays in a real match from when he practices, and I want to fully experience this in our final. It would be a lie to say I felt no stress in preparation; instead I think that only by overcoming this process will I be able to embrace the winner's trophy.
Q: What is your judgement of Im Yo-hwan (boxer)?
A: If I have an advantage in my troop production (macro), Yo-hwan hyung is incredibly gifted strategically. His judgement during games is so accurate that there were many instances when we practiced together where I would be wrapped around his finger the entire match and lose. Because of this, in this final I'm going to play according to where my hands instinctively go instead of trying to think too much.
Q: Your determination about the final?
A: Although I've learned so much from Yo-hwan hyung, I've never once given a thought to losing. I believe that an ability to counter the Lim Yo-hwan style has already grown deeply within me. However, unlike in other tournaments, no matter who wins in this final there will be heartfelt congratulations by the loser.
EDIT: I'm also adding an interview with the SK T1 coach, Joo, Hoon (hoon is his first name).
Q: The final is between two members of your team.
A: I've never had a more comfortable final. In the 4th MSL final between Park, Yong-wook (Kingdom) and Choi, Yun-sung (OOv), there was a team league final the day before. Because we were preparing for the team league, I didn't have the luxury to feel comfortable in my mind then. So because this final is between two members of our team, I feel like I'm on vacation.
Q: Did you give any special advice to each of the players?
A: There's not much I could say. Because they each know themselves the importance of this match, they are practicing on their own. So it's not something I could advise them on. In other finals, I helped in practicing builds or measuring timing, but because I can't help in any way this time I'm slightly saddened (laugh).
Q: Where is Choi, Yun-sung (OOv)? (guessing that interview was conducted at SKT1 team headquarters).
A: He has gone somewhere in Seoul to practice secretly. I don't think he'll be back today... I'm thinking of packing his stuff around 1AM and going to where he's practicing. Because I've sat next to Yo-hwan(Boxer) all day to watch him practice.
Q: Do you have a player you're rooting for personally?
A: It's a secret (laugh). If Yo-hwan(Boxer) wins or if Yun-sung(OOv) wins, each has a special meaning. As a coach this is a happy dilemma so I don't have to root for anyone in particular. I'm very comfortable.
Q: Can you predict the final?
A: I think I should start from when Yun-sung (OOv) first joined the team. Because our team has internal matches on a regular basis for judging purposes, it's easy to report won-loss records between the two (laugh). When Yun-sung(OOv) first came into the team, Yo-hwan (Boxer) would win 8 out of 10 matches. But after awhile Yo-hwan (Boxer) was winning only 6 out of 10, and after some more time passed Yun-sung(OOv) was winning 8 out of 10. However, during this Ever Starleague the gap has again narrowed. In the most recent matches between the two, there has been another flip, with Lim Yo-hwan 6: Choi Yun-sung 4. So to be perfectly honest the difference between the two is like a sheet of paper. Isn't it really impossible to predict winning? It's very difficult to guess what the outcome of the matches between the two will be.
Q: When are you planning to go to the site of the finals?
A: We're planning to go to Taejon (city where final is being held) on the day of the final. The two players will also be finishing their respective preparations by then.