Source: This Is Game
You entered the Ro16 with a perfect win record. How do you feel?
My games have been going well nowadays, so I feel that I've recovered my skill from way back when. I resolved to advance no matter what, and I'm incredibly happy that I was able to take a victory with four consecutive wins.
Many people were looking forward to a match with you and Stephano. What are your thoughts on this?
I believed that we would be guaranteed not to meet. First of all, I felt that I would be sure to win against Hack. Next, when I met INnoVation on ladder, he played amazingly well. Because of how outstanding his Medivac harassment was, I believed that he would be too much for Stephano, so I didn't prepare for ZvZ.
If you were to meet Stephano, did you have confidence that you would win?
Of course. Stephano's weak point is his ZvZ, while I have confidence in my own ZvZ. With my recent ZvZ experience from Iron Squid, I thought I could manage.
You haven't been able to advance past the Ro16 for some time.
I always dropped out right after the group nominations. Even though I was always the first to pick, I repeatedly ended up in groups that I didn't like and was defeated by the opponents that I chose. But because I have confidence this season, unlike the last one, I think I'll be able to go high enough.
What do you think of the newly introduced maps?
I don't think there are any particularly different points. Because the alleyways for Whirlwind were made narrower, the new maps haven't become too different. On Akilon Flats, though, you have to stay vigilant for Medivac movements when playing ZvT, but as long as you keep your opponent's movements in check, it's not too bad. ZvP is difficult on all of the maps.
What do you think of Icarus and Planet S?
I didn't perform any special practice. Because the expansion locations are the same, they aren't all that different [from other maps]. I think Icarus is similar because every race has a hard time taking a third base. On Planet S, the Zerg can gain an advantage using the narrow entrances, making it similar to Cloud Kingdom. The maps haven't been helpful for ZvP, so ZvP is difficult on every one of them (laughs).
This season, there are many players who are hoping to retain their Code S spot. What do you think your chance is of winning the GSL?
I'll have to see my group tomorrow to know for sure, but I think my chance is around 60%. Previously, I went overboard and said that it was over 80%, and I lost soon afterwards (laughs). I think it'll be possible as long as I avoid Protosses.
A while ago, you lost to Life at Iron Squid after being up 3-0.
I'm not upset about letting him come back from a 3-0 situation, but in the seventh game on Antiga Shipyard, I had prepared a strategy, but the mistake I made was so unbelievably stupid that I felt like I should cut my own fingers off; that's why I lost (laughs). Since I had already anticipated an even 4-3 result, I wasn't really angry.
Your performance today brings up memories of back when you were dominant.
Back then, even though I didn't practice much, I performed a lot of image training. But during my slump, I trained like a robot, not thinking about what I was doing, which made my movements dull and my results bad.
From the next season onward, the GSL will switch to Heart of the Swarm. How do you think you'll prepare?
I don't have any special plans. My teammates who are preparing for HotS have said that it isn't too different from Wings of Liberty, so I think things will work out well. No matter how badly I perform, I think I'll stay above average, so I'm not overly worried.
Do you have any last words?
This season, the MVP players dropped out of Code S quickly, so I hope they become active again once Heart of the Swarm kicks in next season. I want to thank my team's sponsors, Lotte Chilsung and Razer, our partner Wayi Spider, and my manager, his family, my friends, my girlfriend, and our own families. Finally, I want to send my thanks to my biggest fans, and I'll show a good performance in the Ro16, too.
Source: This Is Game
You successfully advanced to the Ro16 in second place. Please tell us your thoughts.
My group had many strong players, and because I also had to play the difficult TvZ matchup, I came in with an easy-going mindset. I feel really great that I've advanced to the Ro16.
We're curious about what you thought the results would be once you saw who was in your group.
I thought that making it out in first place would be hard; I felt that it would be nice if I got lucky and reached second place, and that's exactly what happened. It was a difficult group, and I also felt like my skills were drying up as I practiced; I was in an unconfident state after losing so often on ladder to Zerg.
In your first match today, you used multi-pronged Medivac harassment to take the win. Had you planned this strategy for Whirlwind in advance?
From Stephano's recent matches, I saw that he uses a Zergling-heavy style. My opponent was putting me under heavy pressure, so I decided to shake things up using Medivacs. To be honest, I only prepared a strategy for the last set of the final match; I improvised my Medivac harassment strategy.
In the second set, you used a Blue-Flame Hellion all-in. Although people typically don't attack into 3 Spine Crawlers, you just went right in and attacked.
I had gone for 3-Factory production from the start, and my opponent did not have many Queens. My opponent only had Spine Crawlers and Zerglings, so I targeted that weak spot. I believed that it would work as long as I wasn't scouted by an Overlord; because Stephano didn't use Roaches in Set 1, I predicted that he wouldn't do so during the second set, either.
In the winners' match, you were crushed 0-2. What do you think was the cause?
Against DongRaeGu, I made huge mistakes even before I revealed my strategy to him. Because of that, I was helpless and ended up losing. But because my game sense was still good, I felt that I would be able to win the final match. I felt that I could have beat DongRaeGu if I had put myself in the right position and done my best instead of making mistakes like unsieging at a bad time.
Although you beat Stephano 2-0 in your first match, you ended up handing Set 2 of the final match to him.
When I watched Stephano's match against Hack, I saw him faking 1-1 upgrades and going for an Infestor composition. I kept thinking about it and couldn't get it out of my mind, which put me at a disadvantage. But although I made that mistake, I was also defeated skill-wise.
You'll be going to the group nominations tomorrow. What kind of group would you pick for the sake of going to the Ro8?
Nowadays, there are so many strategies that Zerg can use against Terran in ZvT, so I want to avoid that matchup. If possible, I want to play against Terran or Protoss. I don't have any particular player whom I want to play against.
Unfortunately, you weren't able to reach the finals last season. Can we expect to see you at the finals this time?
Last season, I wasn't in very good playing condition, and I wasn't able to play properly because of jet lag from arriving at the US for the first time. Since this season is the last Wings of Liberty season, I want to reach up high.
Isn't it difficult to prepare for Proleague and GSL at the same time?
Because GSL overlaps with Proleague, it's not easy. Since the GSL matches are all best-of-threes or more, I'm thinking of focusing on my fundamentals as I go in.
Because there are differences in the map pools between GSL and Proleague, it seems like it would be too difficult to succeed using fundamentals alone.
There are many maps in the GSL that I'm not familiar with, and practicing only on ladder isn't enough. I'm also having a difficult time practicing because no one on my team knows anything about the GSL maps. Because of all of that, I think about the maps more than I do about the game. If I balance my priorities as I practice, I think I'll be able to attain good results.
Proleague Round 4 and the next GSL will both switch to Heart of the Swarm. We're curious about your plans from now onward.
I've played around two games of HotS, and it was a bit hard. I'll practice again once I go back to the team house today. Because there's time to practice after Round 3 ends, I think things will work out okay. I've adapted to Wings of Liberty more quickly than I thought I would, so I think I can manage to do the same for HotS if I work hard.
Please tell us anything more that you would like to say.
I've felt my skill level dropping from before, so I'm building up my fundamentals by laddering a lot. Since I am in the Ro16 as well as in the middle of Proleague, I will work hard to become a player who can do well in all tournaments.