What have you been doing after quitting as estro coach?
SC2 closed beta started when I was coaching estro with Shin Jungmin. I got some time off after the 3rd round and had nothing better to do, so I started playing SC2. As I played, I saw it might turn out okay, so I thought I'd try it out in earnest.
Why aren't you active in oGs anymore?
Me and Wonki wanted to relax and enjoy games. Being in a team environment was nice but both of us wanted to really enjoy SC2 and leagues. For the purpose of more freedom, I left the team with Wonki, we are now living together.
Why did you quit as coach of estro?
The coaching job was half forced upon me. It was also partly due to my bad performance in FA... I was contracted to FA but somehow I ended up as a coach. My gaming suffers when I get stressed or when I have other things on my mind. I wanted to play SC2 without all the burdens so I quit.
You are concentrating on SC2 now, what's it like?
I get the same feeling as when I was in the pro-league. I'm very happy. There's no stress and noone criticizes me for losing. I want to succeed as a SC2 player and also enjoy it. I think I can get good results if I keep enjoying it and play well. There's also the prize money from the newly announced big tournament (laughs)
Does your experience in a pro-team give you any help?
Compared to other players, I know how to play games and practise better. There's a big difference between amateurs and those who were pros. I also learned alot from coaching. When you are a player, you only think of your race and the game, but coaches must look at the bigger picture. By observing games from afar, you get a wider perspective. I think those things help.
You're called the king of Protoss...
I started off as Terran. But Shin Jungmin said Protoss is better. Terran was not that good back then, but now Protoss is much weaker. (laughs)
You are one of the undisputed gosu along with Kim Wonki...
We were pros once and other people are amateurs. If I were bad at SC2 after being pro for six years, wouldn't that time have been wasted? I think that's what the difference is.
What do you think will happen if the BW pros come over to SC2?
I don't think it will be much different from now. SC2 will eventually give birth to new Bisu's, Flash's, Boxer's and JaeDong's. Compared to players from other games, the pros from BW will have dominating play. The playstyle is almost identical to BW. Even now, we get better as the game gets longer (late-game).
Aren't there BW pros who want to play SC2?
I think the new crop in training should play SC2 instead. One never knows when SC2 will take over, and realistically, it will be very hard to become the next Bisu, Flash, Boxer or JaeDong. I think it might be better for them to start practising SC2 now. It's better for their future.
What did people around you think about the GSL tournament?
They all think they can win it. I think the winner will become evident once we get to the round of 16. Even many BW pros thought about playing SC2 after the GSL was announced.
You are one of the favorites to take out the GSL
I think I can win. Although I won the 공성전 (king of the hill?), I'm not too sure about tournaments. Although I'm glad it won't be single-match games, I'm concerned that I've become known too well through many broadcasts. SC2 is a game where anyone can win even if the skill level is very wide. BW is not like that, but SC2 has many strategies. One must be careful of cheese.
How do you want SC2 to evolve as an e-sport?
Since I've played BW, I would like a pro-league and solo-leagues to form like BW. But I think this might be difficult, realistically. We'll have to see how successful the GSL is.
Who do you think will be your greatest obstacle in this GSL?
There is only Kim Wonki. He is different from the other players. From all the players who've come over from BW, noone is better than us. Because this is Starcraft2, not Warcraft4, the WC3 players are at a disadvantage. As the game goes further into the late-game, we have more advantage due to micro. The more expansions, the better we get. Harrass is harrass, production is production, and micro skills are all different to WC3.
What do you think will happen if KeSPA and Gretech resolve their differences and all the BW players come over to SC2?
It will be terrifying if the BW players come. Especially Jaedong and Flash. In the case of Protoss, the concept of strong powerful units still exist so you don't need to be so fast, but Terran and Zerg are races that benefit greatly from quickness. If those two play the same races, there would be a huge difference in skill level compared to other players.
What are your near-term plans?
I plan to earn as much money from tournaments before I goto mandatory military service (laughs)
What advice would you give spectators in order for them to enjoy SC2 the most?
They need to know the game. It's definately hard in the beginning. They need to know the hard-counters in order to get the feeling of battles. They should at least know why a battle was won and lost. At first, even I found it hard to distinguish the units and control them. Compared to BW, the pace is much faster. But after adjustment I found BW to be too slow, it felt the units were crawling (laughs). In terms of speed, SC2 is definately faster.
What do you think are the differences between BW and SC2?
Hard-counters play a big role. In BW, you can spam one unit and overrun your opponent. But this is impossible in SC2. Hard-counters are so strong that even small amounts of units can beat many units. In BW, you only make the standard units and play the standard strats, but in SC2, you must play according to what your opponent is making and the units [composition] continually cycle. It's definately more enjoyable in the diversity department. In BW, one battle lasts a long time, but in SC2, it ends quickly. That's why you must always be [have units] ready for the next battle.
What is your mindset for this GSL?
I want to display good play in this GSL. My objective is to reach the finals. It would be better to reach the finals with Wonki. It would be nice if I didn't have to face him until the finals (laughs). I would greatly appreciate lots of support from people around me as Wonki and myself practise together.
What have you been up to after you retirement as a progamer?
I've been doing this and that after my retirement. I couldnt get a postponement on my military service so i had to do that quite abruptly. I didnt find out i was going until just 3 days before (laughter). I quit work and reported in but my health wasnt great so i had to leave the training camp prematurely. It was the worst situation to be in. I was so embarrassed i submerged (korean expression for staying on the low) for around a month (another laughter). I tried going back to work but things werent going so great so i got into Starcraft 2(SC2) during my breaks. After playing for a while, i attended some tournaments with good players and things just continued to this point in time (more laughter )
Why did you decide to quit the progaming scene in the first place?
I retired because i was lazy. I wasnt improving much so i made the decision to quit. To be frank, when i started playing SC2, i wasnt thinking about tournaments but just enjoying the game. However as the tournaments grew in size, so did my ambition. That naturally led to concerns about how much practice hours to put in. I dont practice a lot but i want to change that.
Compared to other former BW players, you are distinguishing yourself. thoughts?
I do think i am better then most but thats down to the fact that there are a lot former Warcraft 3 players on the SC2 scene. Its SC2 not Warcraft 4. So this is why i think im more equipped in the fundamentals to do better.
I heard Zerg is a very hard race to play with.
Even with the other races, i am quite confident that i can beat good zerg players. Thats how hard zerg is. Unlike other races, zerg's main powers are yet to be established. Its not bad but as you transition into mid-late games, its very hard to stand toe to toe with armies of the other races.
You are famous as 'Fruitseller'. why did you choose that ID?
Thats my family's business. During the closed beta time (between phase 1 and 2) i helped out with the family and when i came back with the 2nd phase, the ID had been reset. So i just chose 'Fruitseller'. My ID during phase 1 was 'Stick-man' and many were recognising me. the reason i changed was because i wanted less of that.
Whats the difference between SC1 and SC2?
The reason i was lazy when i played SC1 was because i had slow hands. I ended up having a lot of resources built up but in SC2, the interface is easier. Right now the hand speed isnt very important but as the active SC1 progamers come into the scene and time passes, im sure it will become much more important.
The GSL is coming up, are you practicing much?
Frankly i dont practice that much even now (laughter). I dont like the fixation that i have to practice a lot. This is the reason i left oGs and its methodical nature with Tester and i am having fun practicing. To be honest, to win the GSL, i need to practice more and im sure there are others who are clocking in a lot more then i am. Im in a situation where i need to force myself to play games (laughter) and its difficult but i really need to be dilligent now. In truth, i just want to enjoy SC2.
You are becoming the hope to a lot of zerg players out there.
I havent been giving 100% so far. I just wanted to have fun and thats why i played it. In the GSL, i will definitely show my best. If you see it yourself, you will know.
What do you think it'll be like if the currently active SC1 progamers play SC2?
If you're in a progaming team, you play around 10 hours a day and thats why they have great hand skills. Im sure they will adapt quicker then the amateurs. However i think only the top tier players in SC1 right now can make the tranisition and become outstanding SC2 players. Those not at the top in SC1 can face the same situation in SC2. Whats important is the mindset and attitude to succeed. You really have to work your socks off in SC2 as well.
Surely though, they will have an advantage?
SC1 and SC2 are different games. However it is still important to micro well to buy yourself time and i think SC1 players will have an advantage here. The great improvement in interface means its become quite comfortable to play. Also there is great diversity in strategies. I think in the long run, it'll be hard for players to dominate like Jaedong and Flash is doing right now. SC1 progamers' greatest advantage right now is their 'hands' but as time passes i think those aspects will become weaker (i know this kind of contradicts with his earlier statement but thats what the article says). However, when it comes to results, i think those who were good at SC1 will continue to do well in SC2. I just dont think the gap between the players will be as large.
Do you think Tester will be 'the' obstacle in your challenge for the GSL?
I dont really think of him as the obstacle. I'll just try my best to enjoy the game as much as i can before beginning my military service. I prefer to see myself as a PCbang gosu then a progamer (laughter).
What is your target for the upcoming GSL?
I think losing in the qualifying rounds will really be bad. If i can get through that unscathed, i think i will do well. My main target is to enjoy the league but i also want to play in a broadcasted match. Right now my ambition for the GSL means i dont want to show all my cards on internet broadcasts. There is a burden of expectation but i really think i can show something great in the GSL.
Poll: Who are you rooting for in the GSL?
Tester fighting! (162)
Cool fighting! (162)
Can't choose! (27)
351 total votes
Cool fighting! (162)
Can't choose! (27)
351 total votes
Your vote: Who are you rooting for in the GSL?
Also, some numbers on the GSL for those who haven't heard: roughly 2000 players will be participating in prelims, with over 100 foreigners from 15 countries. The round of 64 begins September 4th.
Map set for preliminaries: Metalopolis 1st, Scrap Station 2nd, Xel'Naga Caverns 3rd (bo3); all ladder maps for ro64 onwards (bo3, bo5 semis, bo7 finals).