We interviewed a few more TSL Ro48 qualified players about their experience on the TSL Ladder and their thoughts on the upcoming TSL Ro48 Qualifiers. Check out the TSL Top 48 Qualifier Groups, where you can find where your favorite player finished and who he's scheduled to play in the TSL Round of 48.
iNfeRnaL finished #36 in the TSL Ladder. He is a big Korean progaming fan and is quite active on the TL Forums, helping represent TL in our showmatch against YGosu a year ago. Infernal has his work cut out for him, as he is in Group L, which many consider the "Group of Death."
Congratulations on qualifying! Were you ever worried?
I was worried in the last ~5 hours when the cutoff came really really close to my points at that time (like 9,900) but I wasn't really worried after my lucky streak I had. Also, obviously I couldn't have known that there would be 10 bans..
What lucky streak?
I went 8-2 vs Kolll, 4-0 vs ChOseN, 3-0 vs Mondragon. Especially the streak against Mondi was lucky cause he usually beats me with ease I guess sometimes my PvZ is pretty decent.
You are actually quite active on TL with almost 800 posts. You are a big progaming fan right? Who is your favorite pro and why?
Actually I've been on TL for 4-5 years. But I was a lurker until like 1.5 years ago. And obviously I love progaming, I love Kim Taek Yong and I'm a really really really big T1 fan. As for why Bisu is my favorite, I guess it's because I love PvZ and Bisu always been the best player in it, so it just fits
Well, Bisu has his own problems qualifying for leagues right now, maybe you need to pick a new favorite during TSL qualifier stages
BM question He tends to underestimate people a lot. It's kind of sad, however even though he's doing bad right now, I will never stop being a fan of him. In my opinion that's what makes a true fan. Not to mention that I've always loved Stork as well so there's little need to worry.
Bisu is very difficult to mimic in style. How would you describe your style to someone who has never watched you play before?
Usually I'm pretty aggressive and I like to harass. However my play mostly relies on my macro, which is by far my best ability, though there's a huge difference between my PvT and PvZ, just because you can't attack a good Terran before he moves out, except for cheesing him. Oh and I hate those new maps like FS and Tornado, because those maps play out so turtlish in ZvP/PvZ. I guess I've been choosing the wrong race, because PvP is also "wait and macro up" as well.
Do you have any particularly memorable moments from the ladder?
3-0 vs Mondragon by faaaaaaaaaaaaaar.
What happened there?
He underestimated me? It's more memorable because of the fact that I won. He's the player I respect most out of every foreigners (no offence to Greg and Jos) - it's just that this guy has taught me everything I know about this game and made me the player that I am, and I'm just really grateful for it.
But doesn't Mondragon play Zerg? Is his offrace Protoss really that good?
His PvZ is probably almost as good as mine, still - and when it comes to knowledge and so on he has a lot. The only thing that makes me better would be my mechanics, and well, he knows a lot about PvZ because of his ZvP as well. I guess he didn't help me all that much with my PvT for example but I never really had to practice it a lot. [Editor's Note: hahaha... PvT]
Are all the German players friends who practice with each other? There are a lot of Germans in the qualifiers so far.
I am friends with (almost) every other German. They're not "all friends" with each other I'd say, but I just happen to have good connections with everyone, to be honest I am the only "good player" in Germany that always has watched out for potential, etc. I was one of the first ones to notice and play with Ace, Kolll, and Gan who all got good quite recently, don't wanna say I helped them big time (only did so for Gan). But I guess I've always been quite interested in the community rather than only caring about myself
Have you taken a look at your group yet? What do you think your chances are against these players to qualify? Many players and fans think your group is the hardest one!
Probably only Ret's group is harder because he's just soooo sick and theres little chance for anyone else to advance. My group is pretty hard to predict, let's just say if I'd play like I do in practice I would advance, however history shows that I suck in tournaments. I'm practicing hard to improve it, but anyone can take it I guess.
Yes, both Idra and Ret both said you had great skill but also had a tendency to "choke" in big moments. Maybe this time you can focus or relax a bit more.
I guess the main "choking" happened at WCG Germany where I failed to make it three times even though I was a top favorite. I'm just not really comfortable there, either the chair sucks, my position on the desk sucks. I can't play if I can't place both my arms on the table, basically I can't having flying arms. So yeah... there always was something. In online tourneys, it's more because I happen to get a lot of PvP's or face one of the three "persons I can't seem to beat" in the first rounds (Strelok, Dimaga, or Jianfei).
This time you have no PvP or those three or uncomfortable chairs, so you have no excuses!
FML, no excuses? I guess I'll have to forfeit then!??!?
Any last words to your fans? Are you cheering for anyone else besides the Germans?
I have fans? If there's any, uhm, hello I guess? XD
I'm cheering for pretty much every ToT, because I spend most of my online time playing either with them or mTw's. Oh and Ret too!
Good luck in qualifiers and may the choking gods skip you this time!
Thank you! I hope so as well.
Ladder #10 Mondragon needs no introduction. He has been around for many years and has always been considered one of the top foreigner players. In the Razer TSL, he finished #1 in the Ladder, but was upset in the Ro16 by Dreiven in an entertaining, high quality Bo3 series.
Congratulations on qualifying! Was your goal #1 or Top 12?
Last time, I finished #1, I started off versus a Protoss in the brackets, I was better, everything was better until Wuthering Heights appeared on the horizon :D Joking aside, everyone playing TSL wanted to get #1 somehow, but for me it was just plain impossible because I know there were one or two better players who can play more as well.
For the Razer TSL you released a replay pack where every game ZvP you ran by cannons with speed zerglings, so every Zerg on ICCup did the same thing for many months. All protoss players hate you. Did you create a new strategy this time when laddering?
As if I'd tell you if I have another awesome strategy! If you knew what I'm gonna do in playoffs... I wish I had another revolutionary strategy but I don't Nowadays I am more or less forced to play the usual crap everyone plays xD
Last TSL many considered you a big favorite, but you lost in the Ro16 to Dreiven. But everyone considered those two games to be very high level PvZ/ZvP. What happened last time? Are you especially motivated this time to do better?
I am trying to remember the games... I think the first game was on my most favorite map of my entire BW career where I could have countered with Mutas and might have won but I didn't. This map was more or less horribly imbalanced but was recognized too late. Unfortunately, it might have cost me the win versus Dreiven in the first game. Second game was on Othello, where he made a hidden expansion which I noticed too late. Together with defending my drops pretty well, he managed to get the victory over me. But I don't really consider these two games anything special, to me it was just two normal games where Dreiven won -- the only special thing is that I lost vs a Protoss
Everyone knows you because you've been around for so long. You don't post on TL often, but are you a progaming fan? Do you still lurk the forums?
I do read forums if there is anything interesting, but I don't feel like stating my two cents here and there. In my opinion it's not really needed Besides, I don't follow progaming at all, I couldnt even name 3 progaming teams .
What do you think about your group and your chances to advance?
It might seem like an easy group to other people, but in my opinion it's a very dangerous group. I actually expect to play a ZvZ in the finals, and as everyone knows, ZvZ is a coinflip, which makes it unpredictable. In case I have to play vs Shaman I expect a tough series. It's Zerg vs Terran and on these new maps I'm not well-prepared yet and even more vulnerable in ZvT.
Infernal said your PvZ is as good as his, so maybe you will play protoss in the qualifiers?
My PvZ is obviously better than his one ;D Well, you never know if I'm going to take Zerg or Protoss... maybe there is one or two maps where I will play Protoss!
Who are you cheering for to advance? Which group is the hardest?
I guess you want to hear a prediction to each group, so here we go:
A: I guess NonY will take this group down if he practices enough (assuming IdrA will win vs him)
B: Kolll or Naugrim Though I know how well Mat is in shape and this means he can definitely win it
C: Mana should take this home
D: Strelok will advance here
E: Eri fighting! He can do it, he's in good shape and in case White-Ra wins the final, there is still hope White-Ra offering Eri a wedding present and lets him win in the final vs him :D
F: Jos or Carlo, depends how much Carlo practices for this - but Carlo is always a dangerous player if active [Editor's Note: Jos = Ret, Carlo = Cloud]
G: Hoping for Dreiven (I want revenge <3) but Fenix is probably more practiced at the moment, but anything can happen in just one series
H: I consider Sziky very strong, though Tarson might take it as well. Pretty much 50/50 between those two
I: Although Tim lost vs kogeT in ESL, this time he'll take it! [Editor's Note: Tim = XiaOzI]
J: Someone other than Mondragon will win it, probably Incontrol since he is so keen on ToT / Mondragon blood and expects a sure win.
K: Sen is awesome, Sen is Sen, Sen is the monster! Sen take it!
L: Now I'm in a difficult situation - Hayder or Pat... I expect Pat to win vs Sawyer, and whoever wins between Hayder and Pat should win the group then I hope GL to both tho! [Editor's Note: Pat = Infernal]
Your group has former ToT Incontrol in it, who has said he "has a taste for ToT blood." Did these words motivate you? Do you plan on practicing extra hard?
What can I say, he's an +5 carapace Ultralisk, you can't really expect me, a Zergling, to stand a chance vs him. He frightened me a lot and I am thinking about forfeitting the group He'll definitely win the group!
Okay these next few questions are super important because they are from the TL staff. Are you ready?
Sure. Sounds damn important D:
Is "Mondragon" short for "Monday Dragon?" Since qualifiers are held on Sunday will you change your ID to "Sundragon"?
Haha, who asked this question? Tell me names ;D Even though Sundragon got something, I'll stick to Mondragon.
What is your favorite animal? It can't be a dragon.
Does a Ultralisk count? I guess a crocodile would be pretty decent!
If you had to pick one celebrity to marry right this second who would it be (answer in less than five seconds)?
Uhm.... this question is tricky! I am not into celebrities XD Maybe... Elisha Cuthbert! Just came to my mind quickly, which doesn't mean she would be my first choice if I think longer :d
Do you have any replays you'd like to give us as a Christmas Present?
I don't really want to publish my replays before TSL is over, afterwards everyone can see the replays, I dont really mind. Though I could offer a practice game vs Sea where I did not get completely owned and this one is like 1 of 10 games where I can at least compete a bit!
Download Sea[Shield] vs Mondragon Replay
Thanks for the replay and interview. Any last words for fans or players?
Thanks everyone for your support, I hope I can perform very well and reach Top 3 with a lot of luck. I'll try my best. Geoff <3 I had to counter your ToT blood thingie a bit which made me smile
There will be many more interviews with the other TSL Top 48 qualifiers soon. Until then, enjoy the replay packs that have been released by the players, and discuss the TSL Qualifier Groups with other fans.
This TSL is sponsored by PokerStrategy.com, the world's largest poker school and community. With hundreds of Poker VODs and an assortment of learning material in 18 different languages, PokerStrategy.com offers the chance for aspiring Poker players to learn from a beginner to a professional level.