LIGHT is Reborn !
In February of 2010, I made a decision to close down team LighT; most of our members had moved on to different teams (Shad and AeriALs to ToT, Louder to EG, SchiSm retiring, etc) or moved on to bigger and better things [real life] and continuing was no longer an option. For almost five years I had led the team, watching it grow from a casual group of friends to being known as one of the best non Korean teams along with ToT, Mouz, and RoX. For the past two years I have been the manager of the FnaticMSI Starcraft 2 team, building it from the ground up – the highlights for me were TT1’s second place finish at MLG Dallas 2010, our GCPL Season 1 championship, and Sen’s 3rd place finish in NASL Season 1.
My time in FnaticMSI taught me a lot about how a big professional team operates, and I wanted to combine my experience on the management side with my experiences as a competitive gamer. A few months ago I thought seriously about re-creating LighT and applying everything I’ve learned to build a strong team and give my players every opportunity to succeed and grow as individuals. I have no illusions about the challenges that await but I am happy and have a great group of people around me who will hopefully get as much out of this journey as myself!
I’d like to thank the KiwiClones and KawaiiRice especially for helping to make this possible, the whole team embodies everything I think is ideal in a strong team, and over the past months I’ve gotten to know them and see the potential they all have and I am happy to be able to support them and watch as they continue to improve.
I’d also like to thank Tt eSports and SixPoolGaming for believing in my vision and providing the help and support we need to do great things. You’ll be able to see us sporting some awesome Tt eSports gear at all our competitions in 2012!
Our team manager, Victor “Ursadon” Chen has conducted interviews with our players, so without further adieu I introduce team LighT!
Adrian “KawaiiRice” Kwong
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Ursadon: How do you feel playing under the tag LighT once again after so many years and a new game?
KawaiiRice: I've been following Xeris around ever since I initially played in team LighT in Starcraft 1, and initially half of Fnatic were LighT players so it was not much of a change. Over time the entire roster had changed and I felt the environment of the team was too different for me. I feel like playing in LighT will give me more pressure and motivation to perform well.
Ursadon: Most of your new teammates on LighT are from The KiwiClone Army, a team you created, lead, and mentored to its current state. How does it feel playing alongside them now?
KawaiiRice: Initially when I was given this opportunity I jumped on it immediately. However on reflection I'm hoping this wasn't a mistake in my career. There is a big difference between being some random grand masters player and being a pro. Upon reflection, for the past year or so I feel like I was just a random GM player because I didn't put in my best effort to improving, performing well and playing tournaments and I had "one of the worst mindsets in competitive gaming." I can give my teammates advice in all these areas as I already have, but I don't know how fast they will take to it. I want them to want to practice and play tours without me bothering them to do so. It was the scariest thing for me to go on doing nothing for months, then find myself in a hole of utter defeat and mediocrity and having no recognition from most people. I seek to change the latter in 2012.
Ursadon: Was it taxing to your mindset to worry about two teams at the same time?
KawaiiRice: Not really, since you managed all the clan wars lol oo
Ursadon: You’ve recently qualified for the HomeStoryCup IV through the US-Qualifier and will be heading to Germany in less than a week. How are you approaching this tournament? What are you most looking forward to? Do you have any concerns about travelling so far to compete?
KawaiiRice: As of this interview I haven't seen the groups yet so I don't know my chances. I have been playing 30 games a night, watching vods/replays and going over my play every day over this break. This team change and the tournament is a fresh start for me to become a different player. Doing well is obviously important, but I also want to gain more fans through my play at HomeStory. Other than that, HSC4 will be my first time overseas for a tournament. I do not have experience dealing with jetlag and no practice before a tournament ;;; hopefully there's a pc cafe or something near my hotel...
Ursadon: HomeStoryCups are renowned for having a very different feel and environment than normal tournaments. Are you looking forward to a more relaxed and comfortable setup? How do you think you will perform in such an atmosphere?
KawaiiRice: I have no idea. I will probably end up not talking to many (or any) people. I'm not very sociable @_@;;; [editor note: ACTUALLY, I will talk to lots of people and be very sociable!]
Ursadon: Some of the best foreigners and even several top Koreans are going to be present at HomeStoryCup IV. Who are you most looking forward to be playing? Any players you fear? What is your goal for this tournament?
KawaiiRIce: It doesn’t really matter. I just want to know who I’m playing in groups so I can prepare for those specific people and move on from there. My goal is to at least get out of groups in this tournament, and idealistically place top 3 but that’s a bit of a longshot.
Ursadon: It’s a new year, a new team. What are your goals for this upcoming year?
KawaiiRice: Duran says the team needs to win $60,000 in prize money this year. OgogogogogooOooooo@__@!
Q: Any last words or shout outs?
KawaiiRice: First of all a huge shoutout to team Fnatic and all my old sponsors for taking care of me for the past 1.5 years. It was a great honor to play for them and I regret not accomplishing anything of note under their organization.
Next, thanks to Xeris for making it possible for me to play with my Kiwiclones as a team. I never imagined I would play with them. The first time Duran mentioned picking them up for the team to me I laughed and said nice joke because I seriously couldn't believe it.
But we will see how this goes...
A sick shoutout to you for managing the Kiwiclones for so long even though you had no reason to ~
And thanks to my sponsors Twitch.tv, TTesports and 6poolgaming for their support, as well as any fans and others that read this interview. Happy new year ~~;
Sung bin “binski” Lee
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Q: How do you feel now as a part of the team LighT?
binski: It feels pretty good. I was already close to everyone on this team so I’m pretty excited about the future. No other people I’d rather be on a team with ^^
Q: KawaiiRice will now be your teammate. How does it feel to be playing alongside him?
binski: Feels pretty good; when I was starting, he said I was trash and basically taught me how to play. Pretty much owe my current skill to him, and I’m sure our current line-up will be unstoppable.
Q: With those unfamiliar with you, how would you describe your style of play?
binski: I play standard macro basically every game, which is pretty bad for a BoX series, so I'll be mixing it up in the future. I think I have pretty good multi-task so I try and use that to my advantage by stretching my opponent out.
Q: You’ve decided to take a semester off of school to play StarCraft II full time and will be moving to Seattle to be closer with KawaiiRice, Caliber, GotC, and CecilSunkure in Feburary. Would you like to talk about that a bit more and tell us your goals for that?
binski: I feel that I’ll be much more motivated to practice if I’m with someone with the same mindset as me. I hope to improve as fast and as much as possible during my half a year (maybe more) off.
Q: What did your practice schedule look like last semester and how are you planning to create your practice schedule without school?
binski: It was kind of hard to practice consistently with school and everything, so I’m taking a semester off to see how far I can go in SC2.
Q: Do you feel confident that you will be able to improve to make the time off school worthwhile?
binski: I’m incredibly confident that I’ll be able to improve, but I just hope that I have the work ethic and the talent to make it as far as possible.
Q: What are your goals for 2012?
binski: I hope to practice hard and play my best. Hopefully I make a name for myself along the way ^^
Q: Any comments to your current and future fans or any last words?
binski: I hope people will be impressed by my play in the future to be a fan of me. I haven’t really entered many tournaments so I haven’t really made a name for myself. Happy New Years everyone!
Nam “Heavens” Tran
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Q: Coming from a BroodWar background, what are your reactions to now be playing as a part of Team LighT?
Heavens: When I first heard of the news, getting picked up for a team and sponsored, i was ecstatic. it felt like all my work thus far had paid off and the future looked really bright .
However, I also knew my current form wasn't nearly as good as it should be to represent such a team , you bw die-hard fans might know of LighT in the old days , but they were a pretty damn good team and i didn't want to disrespect the clan tag. Naturally, I felt really nervous as I started to really buckle down, start analyzing my replays and gameplay etc. but as i started to show some tournament results , got some ace victories for my team in ESEA ( which we're raping btw :D ) As you can see here , we're in 2nd place
I started to grow more and more confident in myself, which is an absolute necessity to play competitively.
Q: You had a later start to StarCraft II than most. Do you feel as if you are still at a disadvantage or have you caught up?
Heavens: I never really bothered thinking like this, didn't see much value in mentally defeating myself. Every game is just another human behind a computer screen, another challenge that i can eventually crack with practice, and although I haven't hit any brick walls yet, I still know I have a long way to go to play at a professional level.
Also, I feel the early days of sc2 I feel were negligible in todays sc2 , because of all the patch changes and anything i missed out on I can easily catch up on by watching streams/replays of progamers The only disadvantage I feel is the business perspective of sc2, as of course people who have been playing longer, earlier acquire more fans. but I've long learned I don't know jack about business and to leave it to the managers haha.
Q: Do you feel as if you follow a specific play style as Zerg? If so, how would you describe it?
Heavens: I focus on macro and harassment. i feel this style is the best way to play sc2, although of course u should switch and vary your play. I also focus heavily on experimentation, finding that optimal build, trying out different unit compositions based on player, maps and my results from practice.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of StarCraft II to you?
Heavens: I've won some money , crushed my way through some ace victories, but id have to say the most rewarding thing is when i've gained someone's respect through my play.
When I play sc2 for spectators , which is of course more rewarding than playing just for myself, I want to show good games and impress the people who decided to watch. I think this is more important than winning for me. Unless of course it's a team match, in which case I will do nothing but play solid without taking risks or doing fancy builds.
Q: What has been the most frustrating part so far?
Heavens: I try to eliminate things like this but id like to think mine are very basic, such as the occasional computer / monitor/ internet problems. Lag turns me into a fucking psychopathic axe murderer i swear haha D:
But I feel one of the reasons for my own personal success is because iIknow how to deal with people and unfortunate circumstances. Shit happens, and if you let it bother you then you can't achieve anything. i don't complain about balance or blame myself or even my conditions ( such as lack of sleep during an event ) for playing poorly / showing bad results. I don't get lost in these fallacies, instead I see the reality , I pop open that sc2 replay and I improve. I don't waste my time with childish games and that is why even though I started sc2 very late, I have already come this far.
Q: You are now a 3rd year in college. Do you find it difficult to manage between school, life, and StarCraft?
Heavens: I am a beast at school so its no problem :D I approach school much like i do with a SC game . in university you have time as your resources( minerals/ gas ). You have to use ur time efficiently such as preferring office hours over going to class. You can think of clever ideas, such as having someone sign u in for classes with attendance grades or deceiving the TAs into thinking you were there . At my current university it takes literally an hour to park at bad times. instead of waiting, however, i drive right up next to my class, run like all hell has broken loose towards my class , throw my homework on her desk before she gets in class, then leave before the cops boot my car. To study, there are infinite resources online, the only problem is knowing where to look(or how to google).
There are also many other things you can do but the key is just thinking outside the box, using your own laziness to motivate u to do things. I consider myself a very social person, but these days i prefer to just relax and chill by myself. Also, it helps my gf supports me and sc2 , although she blows me off more than I do to her...
Ahem but really though she is an awesome person and i owe much of my sucess to her support. we met by random chance in my senior year with me being kicked out of my high school ( this huge hacker scandel, don't get me started ) and somehow kept a long distance relationship while i went to university hundreds of miles away for two years. either way, i moved back to Houston last semester and we've grown really close <3.
Either way, school and my social life turns out not to be the huge time-sink that most people assume and i always have the option of dropping out of university to help manage my sc2 time but i don't do it out of respect to my parents who pay for my tuition, and their only wish is i attend university full- time.
Q: StarCraft II is obviously a very stressful game. How do you relax from it? What hobbies do you have outside of StarCraft?
Heavens: Ooh i have too many hobbies. guitar is definitely one of my favorites, played for 4-5 years, personally i love relaxing mellow finger style but i also play some melodeath / blues on my friends electric when we hang out. i love to work out with my friends but they usually bail on me -___- . and of course my wonderful gf !
I watch shows such as lie to me, walking dead/ dexter/ burn notice , read some QC, definitely gonna play gunz II a little when it comes out , i troll LoL occasionally and i drink/ smoke with friends or after something like midterms or an mlg. when im bored, i love to just search new bands/ songs on youtube.
Also, i started posting on teamliquid 2007 and made an account in 2008. I've been through so much with this website , good and bad and it's really helped me develop my personality, but good lord the amount of times I've had to be banned to get there , haha. I've probably been temp banned/warned like 15 times.
Sadly, the quality of posters now is drastically different from "back in the day" when it was more common to develop some personal ties with the community without being a big name or esports figure. I remember i met a person from TL once, and it didn't even matter that we were so different as people, we were instantly brothers because of a website. whereas now everybody knows about TL, so you really don't feel that special connection anymore. To quote rekrul , an idol of mine, SC BW attracted the minds of great people, it was and still is a beautiful game that captured the hearts of highly intelligent and capable people, who could do anything they wanted but instead devoted their lives to SCBW .
Q: What are your goals for 2012? What do you want to prove?
Heavens: My goals are as unmeasurable as xeris's goals are unrealistic, dear god LOL that guy is crazy. But i want to prove to myself that all this time and energy I've spent on RTS games can be used in a way to benefit my future. it has been a long dream of mine to be successful as a gamer and in a way I've already achieved what i thought i wanted , but now i know i want so much more.
Q: Any last words or comments?
Heavens: I'm in debt to kawaii and xeris for both getting me to where i am and obtaining our wonderful sponsors - Twitch, TTesports and 6pool gaming. Also, thanks to colton /clifton/jordan/glen from Texas Tech uni. Without their influence i would have never touched sc2. Or drank a beer, haha. They don't play anymore, and i haven't seen them for a year because i transferred, but i value their friendship nonetheless. And lastly, of course my teammates, who easily could have left for other teams as they were approached multiple times, and eventually started making a joke out of it (<_< lol ) but nonetheless picked friendship over money. For them, the decision to stay with (at that time a sponsor-less team) wasn't even hard at all, and i admire them for that. The creation of LighT in sc2 reminds me of the happy endings of a Disney movie honestly , but only for us this is just the beginning.
Patrick “Caliber” Coury
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Q: How do you feel now that you are playing as a member of team LighT?
Caliber: I am extremely happy to be a member of Team LighT. I have been playing Starcraft II for quite a while and it is nice to see that all of the hours of playing the game have actually taken me somewhere. As far as teammates, I could not be happier than playing alongside my fellow kiwiclones and KawaiiRice.
Q: What made you pick a race from Random? Why Protoss specifically?
Caliber: Playing Random is not really a viable option when you are trying to compete at a top level. No matter how hard you practice all three races you will still have some weaker matchups than your opponents who only focus on one race. At this point, you are just relying on Lady Luck to spawn you as your favorite race for that certain matchup. I still often play Random on the ladder to relax and have fun, but I am maining Protoss now because I enjoy using gateway units over every race’s tier one units. Furthermore, I think Protoss units mesh well with my style of play. I pride myself in having good foresight and intelligence, while my APM and multitask are a bit lacking. With that being said, certain delicate strategies like using Warp Prisms and cliff walking with Stalkers/Colossus really compliment my play style.
Q: You play a very wide range of strategies. How would you describe your own play style and how do you create these strategies?
Caliber: I would describe my play style as sporadic and fluid. I really only have a handful of preset builds, and even those are just rough outlines of what I want to do in the game. Actually, none of my builds have set timings or food counts that trigger certain actions. I almost always just freestyle my builds based off what I think works and occasionally I will check up with the GSL to see what progamers are doing. For the most part though, I do things on my own and I let my builds flow.
Q: Is your family supportive of your StarCraft II career?
Caliber: My family is fairly supportive of me playing Stacraft II. My dad is the main reason that I was able to attend four MLGs last year, and for that I am very thankful. He has taken a small interest in the game and I remember one dinner after MLG Anaheim he asked if "Protoss was bad" because none finished in the top six. It was pretty funny to me because he pronounced it "pro toes". My older brother knows a little about Starcraft II and he really wants me to succeed. However, my mom dislikes the fact that I play this game so much and wants me to focus on my studies and my social life. Overall, I know my family just wants what’s best for me in the long run, which is totally understandable.
Q: You 2v2 a lot with binski and have even played several tours. How do you see 2v2s? Is it simply for fun?
Caliber: I have always played a lot of AT/RT 2s, 3s, and 4s. I actually started playing Starcraft II with some dorm roommates and we would just proxy every game in 3s. This did not last too long and soon I found myself playing 1v1s in a more serious manner. However, when things become too frustrating or boring, throwing in some 2v2s is really fun and binski is a great teammate. I would like to continue playing some 2v2s on the side and enter tournaments with him as I believe we are one of the best 2v2 teams at the moment.
Q: How do you relax from StarCraft? What other games do you currently play?
Caliber: I relax from playing serious games of Starcraft II by playing as Random and going into the game with the mindset of having fun, rather than winning. This is pretty helpful for me, but I would only recommend it to someone who has an extra account they don't mind trashing. Besides Starcraft II, I play a little Skyrim (level 17 thief) and HoN (1800s). If I want to get away from the computer, I will hang out with my awesome roommates or visit my girlfriend.
Q: Do you find it hard balancing school, life, and StarCraft together? How do you manage?
Caliber: I find it extremely hard to balance school, life, and Starcraft II. One of the worst things about college is all of the freedom to procrastinate or skip class in order to be lazy and play a few more games of Starcraft II. I guess I manage by not playing as much Starcraft II as most players do. I often only play 2-3 hours a day of hardcore ladder or practice. This means that my clever strategies and decision making abilities have to carry my subpar mechanics to victory.
Q: What are your goals for 2012?
Caliber: My goals for 2012 are to 1) become a better player, 2) beat a notable Korean or Foreigner in a LAN event, and 3) become a featured streamer on TeamLiquid by placing high in some event. Ideally, I would like to win something huge, like an MLG, but I would be happy if I placed highly in an event as long as I played well to get there.
Q: Any last words or shout outs?
Caliber: I would like to give a huge shout out to Team LighT and Xeris for picking up the kiwiclones and my old team, Team-N, for getting me into competitive gaming. Thanks Nzar! I would also like to thank Tt eSports and SixPoolGaming for sponsoring me.
In the team we also have: SiN, one of the youngest and most underrated Terran players out there, TL's very own strategy forum vet - CecilSunkure, NerZhuL, a very talented GM and CSL player, Mizore, the semi-active Terran, and GotC ... the only ACTUAL Kiwi on the team :D
And huge props to our team manager, Ursadon! Also, huge props to my gf for making all the graphics, banners, and design... would not have been possible without her help (<3!)
Wanna follow us? Check us out on:
... and on the web at: LighTeSports.com ! (website to be completed next week)
You can also check out almost 100 replays of our players (SiN, Caliber, Binski, and Heavens) : Download the replays HERE: [url blocked]
[KawaiiRice's replay pack will be released after HomeStory Cup]
If anyone is interested in getting involved, shoot me a message! If anyone wants to show us some love, follow us! Or, you can just post here and say hi! Thanks everyone for your support, and hopefully we'll be able to do great things and show everyone that we can compete!