Translator Note: Savior was one of the top Brood War players in history. However, after the 2010 match fixing scandal, he mostly disappeared, never to return. He was interviewed once, but the transcript was never released. Now this is the second time he is interviewed (around December 2013). I couldn't find the interview anywhere else, so I'm posting it here.
Part One: After the match fixing scandal, he comes to China to find a lot of supporting fans, who encourage him to compete.
Q: How did you end up playing in China? Also, did you know that this has sparked a great wave of controversy back in Korea?
Savior: First the Chinese emailed me about this. We exchanged a few emails and then I participated in a 2v2 match. I knew it was controversial, but I have my reasons. They are the same reasons why I also stream on afreeca. I'll tell you more later.
Q: What do you think of the people in Korea who criticize you?
Savior: This is impossible to avoid. I still have to deal with the criticism today, even though this happened a while ago. I don't know how long this will go on in the future. Maybe I'll have to deal with this for the rest of my life.
Q: Even though you know that you're going to get insults, you still show up to events. Why?
Savior: Participating in a Chinese competition might be a very selfish decision. I know the competition and fans will really hate me for this. But considering my current situation, I have to do this. I know I might as well confront the haters are out there. It's the same reason that I go on afreeca to stream.
Q: Can you tell me anything that happened while you were in China?
Savior: Back I was a pro player, I used to go to China. Even now, I'm surprised people there still treat me the same as I was back then. As long as people over there support me, I'm fine with it. But during the competition, there was someone who asked a question. However, one of the workers didn't allow this question to be translated. Later I found out what that question was. It wanted to know how I felt after the match fixing scandal. It was then when I realized that Chinese fans knew all about my background in Korea.
Q: Do you plan on participating in more competitions in China?
Savior: From now on, if the Chinese invite me, I will go. Korean players have participated in Chinese competitions before, and they still will in the future. An event like this happens once or twice a year. Most of the events happen online. This time I was invited to participate in my first competition. I asked one Chinese, 'If I participate in this competition, I will continue to get criticized by my own people. What do you think?' He said that he will support me regardless. He even asked me if I needed any help, but I wasn't sure what to say.
Part Two: Before the matchfixing scandal, he decided to retire. He never participated in matchfixing himself.
Q: Now for a real question. Why didn't you talk or interview after the matchfixing scandal?
Savior: I didn't have a chance to get interviewed, not because I was avoiding it. Also, I was interviewed by Fomos not long after the scandal happended. However, that interview was never released. This was during one of the hardest times in my life, the only interview I had. For some reason, that interview disappeared. Something's not right I thought. I decided to wait until I was ready. All I wanted at the time was for this to be over. After all, it was my biggest mistake in my life.
Q: What was that interview about?
Savior: At the time, I was getting surgery in the hospital. Two reporters who knew me came over for to interview. I was in the hospital because of a knee injury, so I just told them about my physical condition. I also apologized to certain pro players and my fans. Besides that, I also told them what I heard before and after the scandal. However, for some reason, I waited a while but I never saw this interview published. I was very disappointed. Even when I was streaming on afreeca, no one ever came to me for an interview. If someone ever wanted to talk to me, what I'm saying now would have been available last year or even three years ago.
Q: This is basically your first formal interview, so I can't avoid mentioning the matchfixing scandal. Even though it happened a long time ago, talking about it now might make you feel uncomfortable.
Savior: I don't think there's much to lose, so go for it. I have nothing to hide, nothing that I can't say. Also, I don't think anyone reading this interview is going to change their opinion of me.
Q: Do you have any grievances about the scandal?
Savior: I never participated in matchfixing, but most people don't really care about this fact. Even though these people know me, they see my actions as much worse than the matchfixing itself. It was extremely awkward and uncomfortable, very hard for others to think about this. Anyway, people think I deliberately lost a match to Hyvaa, but there's no proof for that.
Q: Wait, so you didn't matchfix that game?
Savior: Even though my salary was cut by a lot, I still got a lot of money from sponsors. Even though it was one match, I still wanted to win. From December 2009, I didn't go out much, only slept around 4-5 hours, and then trained. It was a tough time in my progamer career. For two months, I seriously considered retiring, so I decided to play my best before then. It's hard for me to justify that match was legitimate. Other people didn't believe me, so I felt even worse. Even later, no one believed me, but I want to prove that that match was just another match. Even though no one really cares, it still matters to me. It really hurts when people mistakenly label it as matchfixing.
Q: Back then you considered retiring?
Savior: I didn't want to just stay on the team doing nothing. I needed to protect my dignity. But I kept losing, so I couldn't just leave like that.
Q: What hurt people the most was that you did something egregious like matchfixing?
Savior: The person investigating asked me a similar question. He asked, 'Through this scandal, you only earned 2 million Korean won (around $1900). Why did you still have do this?' At the time, I could only stand there and answer. I didn't think it was that big of a problem. When someone said something like this, I knew it wasn't ok. I already planned on retiring anyway.
Q: And then?
Savior: It happened like this. I was on an online gaming site talking to Hwasin. I told him I knew a guy who would pay people 3-5 million Korean won (around $2800 - $4700) to lose games. At the time, Hwasin had already been eliminated from OSL round of 16. Even though he won a game, it didn't matter. If he was interested, I would introduce him to the guy. Later, Hwasin said that I was the one who mentioned matchfixing. I started this conversation in the first place, so it was my fault. I could have just gave this guy's contact information directly to Hwasin, but they didn't know each other, so I had to act as a middleman, giving money to pro players. Even though me and Hwasin didn't know how bad this was, we knew we couldn't let anyone else find out. But later, I don't know how another player Justin found out. He even called me, but I told him I wasn't involved in matchfixing. He told me to ask other people, so I asked DarkElf. I only gave money to Hwasin and DarkElf. DarkElf was the only one who I encouraged to matchfix. You can see all this in the court records.
Part Three: He never imagined that matchfixing would cause such an outarge. Now he streams to make money.
Q: A lot of people are mad that you disappointed your own coach Cho Kyo Nam.
Savior: After the (Korean) New Year ended (around February), I was supposed to go back to my team at around 6. However, I received a call from coach Cho saying that someone from KeSPA was coming over. Before coming over, the coach told me I must answer his question, which was whether or now I participated in the matchfixing. To be honest, I was extremely nervous, realizing that the situation had become really serious, that it had reached this step. After explaining the situation to coach Cho, he let me go home, and told me not to come back. Realizing that this might become something big, I was extremely scared. I tried to called Hwasin to ask him if only our coach knew or if the STX coach also knew. But Hwasin didn't answer my calls, didn't respond to me texts. Besides Hwasin and DarkElf, I don't know anyone else who was involved in matchfixing. In fact, I don't even know how to get into those gambling sites.
Q: Do you have anything to tell us?
Savior: Of course it would be that I'm extremely sorry, not just to the other players, but also the people who worked for CJ as well. It's even worse for my coach, who had a lot of trust me. Not long before, there was a streamer 김봉준 (transliterates to Kim Bong Jun, ID might be mong) who said , back when I was training, I was cut from the team because of you. I could not open my mouth. It wasn't just one or two guys who got screwed over. I'm really sorry to them.
Q: You mentioned before that the reasons for participating in the Chinese competition are the same reasons you stream on afreeca.
Savior: If anyone was interviweing me, their first question would definitely be why I didn't just stop, why did I have to stream on afreeca. There's many reasons, some of them private, but I can tell you how I think about this. Every since I was punished and branded, it is very hard to look at other people, causing me to become isolated and anti-social. I often had to take sleeping pills to fall asleep. But I couldn't keep going like this or it would be disaster. I had to earn money, but since I was part of the scandal, I didn't have to guts to even consider finding a job. But streaming on afreeca allows me to stay at home and is the best way for me to make money.
Q: Is making money your main goal?
Savior: Now it's that way, but back then I wasn't thinking about making money. I didn't want them to reveal my identity, but people still found out. I didn't even use a camera in the beginning, but slowly changed. As long as I'm determined, I can stream daily, but now I don't even think about it, just stream. I wasn't sure how long I was going to stream for, so I looked for other opportunities. At first, I just wanted to chat in stream, just to feel better about myself. I spent a year inside, so during this time, streaming really helped me recover. I think that streaming was a necessary step because it gave a chance to communicate with the outside world.
Q: I heard that if you saw anything that mentioned "matchfixing", you would kick that person out of the chat room. Can this kind of behavior foster open communication?
Savior: You didn't see the stream, so you would say something like that. Around one and a half to two years ago, I've had a few people mention this topic. But most people just watch the stream. After a while, I didn't really care too much. Even if these people lost hope in me or hate me, at least they watch my stream. If you say anything about me, whatever. But if you say bad things about my parents, I told that this is unacceptable. If I encounter anything like this in the future, I will definitely confront the person.
Part 4: He's very sorry to his close friends, regrets his actions back then.
Q: Do you regret not doing other things instead of matchfixing?
Savior: I definitely regret it. Honestly.
Q: A lot of people say that you have "thick skin"
Savior: I don't want to be hated, but since it's already happened, I just have to deal with it.
Q: After this interview, do you have anything to say?
Savior: Because of me and this matchfixing scandal, the world of esports was engulfed in chaos. I'm really sorry for that. I know that my actions hurt other players and fans. So much time has passed allowing me to reflect on this incident. I want to say that I don't want to try to change people's view of me through this interview. I can only say I broke the rules, and have to keep apologizing and feeling regret.