Source: This Is Game
You've reached the Code S Round of 4 for the first time.
Even though practice was difficult, I prepared thoroughly. I'm very happy that I've achieved such a good result with my 3-1 victory.
You appeared to have anticipated Creator's actions during the third set.
I predicted that Creator would head for Stargate tech in the third set and prepared my upgrades in advance. I thought at first that he would go for an attack, so I built a great number of Spine Crawlers without producing an army, but the attack that I expected didn't come. I was shaken because my economy was weakened, but I had strong upgrades, so I decided to continue playing the game out. Because I had originally prepared to defend against a single blow but the game didn't proceed as I had anticipated, I was at a disadvantage, but Creator made a mistake during the big 12 o'clock engagement, allowing me to take a large victory and win the game.
In the fourth set, you saw a 7 Warp Gate rush coming and won by counterattacking.
I had anticipated that Creator would go for a Phoenix all-in during the fourth set. Since I already had a quick expansion up and was prepared for an attack, I was placed in a situation from which I couldn't lose.
You've showed a lot of confidence during past interviews.
I think that Creator is one of the top three out of all of the Protoss players. I was very worried because both his timings and upgrades are quicker than those of other Protosses. I was also nervous after watching Creator defeat foreigner Zergs at the BWC, but I clenched my teeth and made preparations for the sake of making it to the semifinals.
Although it has been a while since you've transferred over to StarCraft II, your results haven't been so good during that time.
It hasn't even been a year since I moved over, but I was overconfident about my skills even before then. Now that I think about it, the problem was that I grew conceited despite my skill level not matching up. But I know where I stand now in terms of skill, and I'm working on throwing away my bad habits and patching up my weaknesses. I think I performed well because the consideration I'm giving to those aspects of my play.
People have talked about your reaching over 600 APM during games.
I've always been on the quick side, but I think my APM rises so sharply because of the tension of playing in tournaments.
Whom do you want to meet in the Round of 4?
Because I'm acquainted with both of my potential opponents, I'm not looking forward to either player in particular. Whichever player advances, I feel that I'll have to prepare for the appropriate matchup and show a good performance. I would personally prefer to face a Zerg, but I would like a Terran to advance for the sake of entertainment.
Please tell us about any matchups that you feel especially confident or unsure about.
I've always felt assured about my matchup versus Protoss. I've also mentioned this in previous interviews, but I have confidence that I won't lose to any Protoss, and I feel proud of my skill in ZvP. As for the matchup I feel weakest in, it alternates between ZvZ and ZvT. It constantly changes based on how well I do in practice matches.
People see you as a likely Royal Roader candidate.
Now that I'm in the Round of 4, I feel very ambitious. I'll be playing in the semifinals at Las Vegas, and I feel that the results will depend on how well I adapt to the Vegas atmosphere. I don't know whether it's because of Fight Club, but I'm looking forward to the IPL, too, because it feels like I'm at home there.
You'll not only have to play in the GSL in Las Vegas, but also the IPL. Dealing with both tournaments is going to be difficult.
I'm confident that my endurance can stand up to it. I think that it's better that I play through everything quickly than have to wait impatiently.
You must have a desire to win the IPL as well as the GSL.
Since I'm being asked about my boxing glove and clothing sizes, I think there's also going to be an event related to Fight Club, so I'm looking forward to going to Vegas even more. I think that it's possible for me to take the IPL championship, too, as long as I don't become anxious and mess up my games. As I play more and more Best of X matches, I'm growing more confident that I won't lose to anyone.
If you manage to take the GSL, you will become the oldest of Royal Roaders.
I think I'll be glad just knowing that I managed to win, especially since there's only one chance in life to become a Royal Roader.
Do you have any last words?
Since I'm playing in both the GSL and IPL, I would like the fans to cheer for me a lot. I'm really looking forward to those events. Because I feel as if I broke through a personal barrier today, I feel an urge to win at the big leagues. I want to thank my team's Cyrano, STSquirtle, SK.MC, EG.JYP, FXOTear, LG-IMYongHwa, and Woongjin's BisAnG for helping me with practice. I'll have to buy something tasty to eat for my younger teammates today. I'm thankful to Sky Digital for sponsoring my team. Finally, since the weather has gotten very chilly lately, please take care not to catch a cold.
Source: This Is Game
This is your first time in the Code S Round of 4. How do you feel?
Reaching the semifinals looks easy when other people do it, but when I had to play myself, it was very difficult. It's been nearly two years since my debut, so it feels like I'm being rewarded for my persistence.
Your opponent was MarineKing. How did you prepare once your match was announced?
I'm confident in my TvT, but I was worried about the strategies that MarineKing would use. I practiced with the mindset of someone preparing for PvP: I was aiming for a minimum win rate of 60%, and I prepared strategies that would prevent me from dying in the early game even if I faced MarineKing.
You kept producing Marines starting from the early game during your match today. Did you do this in order to defend against MarineKing's early game harassment?
I could have forgone unit production and gone for quick expansions, but I didn't know whether or not my opponent would go on the offensive. I was prepared to spot any attacks, but it was difficult to block them even when I knew they were coming.
We would like to ask you about your loss during the first set. You appeared not to know about MarineKing's Siege Tanks.
I did think about the possibility of Siege Tanks, but I didn't know for sure. I learned too late from his movements, and because my Combat Shield upgrade was late, I was unable to execute a two-pronged attack even after I had secured a favorable position.
In the second set, you took a hard-won victory after a base trade with building lifts.
After my engagement against MarineKing, my opponent had Marauders and two Siege Tanks and was heading for my base. I saw that he wasn't producing any units, so I believed that I would win if I split up my two Command Centers and divided my attention between them.
Your opponent in the semifinals is guaranteed to be a Zerg. Which player would you prefer to face?
I think that playing against Sniper will likely be easier. Both of my possible opponents are skilled Zergs, but I think I'll fare better against Sniper due to his inexperience.
Do you have confidence in your TvZ?
I originally didn't, but I developed confidence in the matchup from the Round of 16 onwards. I think that I could end up losing it again as I focus during practice.
Both the GSL Code S semifinals and finals will be held in Las Vegas.
I think I will probably perform better there. If the IPL atmosphere works well with me, I think I'll be able to win.
In addition to the GSL semifinals, you will also be participating in the IPL Season 5. Don't you think that it will be difficult?
Crank-hyung came together with me to the studio and asked me, "How about focusing on one tournament?" Since I have to feel comfortable to obtain good results, I'm thinking of just heading into both events at once. Maybe you could call it insurance? (laughs)
How much of your skill do you think came out during today's match?
Since MarineKing is an aggressive player by nature, all I ended up doing was keeping on defending his attacks. I don't think I was able to show off even half of my skill level, and I really regret it.
You've been achieving good results since transferring to your new team. Has there been some kind of change?
There have been a lot of changes to the way I practice and even more for me personally. I think the freedom to do what I want, when I want is the most positive point for me.
What aspects have changed for the better for you [since your switch]?
So far, I think I'm the one who put in the greatest amount of time practicing, but I've also paid a lot of attention to things outside the game. I've focused a lot on reading books and performing image training. Before, I would have to sit in front of the PC even during break time, so this arrangement is working out well for me.
There are no Protosses from the Code S Round of 4 onward. How do you think this will work out for you?
I'm not very good at playing TvP in broadcasted matches. The greatest threat to me is that I'm guaranteed to face a Zerg in the semifinals. If I can win there, I think I can defeat a Zerg in the finals to take the championship, too.
Now that Axiom has signed Miya, your team has players of all three races. Has Miya's inclusion into the team been helpful to you?
After Miya-hyung joined, I began to develop the confidence in my TvZ that I didn't have before. Miya has always been on the talkative side. While I was preparing for the Round of 16, he told me a lot of things that were of no help to me at all, but 10% of what he said to me was very useful. Some people are calling Miya-hyung a Zerg deity, so I think it'll help me greatly if I practice with him at my back.
Please tell us about your determination regarding the IPL Season 5 and the GSL semifinals, as well as anything more that you would like to say.
From the beginning, I was curious about who would make it to the semifinals, and I'm both happy and amazed that I was able to rise up like this. John, Genna, Mike, and the other members of the team staff have been very helpful to me, so I want to send my thanks to them. [T/N: Referring to TotalBiscuit, his wife, and Husky, respectively] I'm also thankful to Crank-hyung, who came with me to the studio today. When I lost the first game, I thought that I would lose 0-3, but I was able to win thanks to Crank-hyung's support. Also, I want to try meeting Genna's son, Orion, when I go to Las Vegas.