How do you feel about winning the championship?
I am so happy that I can’t put it in words but I’m also that exhausted. I want to thank my family and friends for coming to cheer me on all the way from Busan and I want to thank the many fans that came to the finals. I honestly think I was able to win the championship this season because so many fans cheered for me. I really want to thank them for that.
When you were talking about what it meant to you to win the championship you started getting teary. What were you feeling?
I received a ton of help to get all the way to the finals. I received a lot of help from the head coach, coach Ju, and my teammates but I failed to actually express my gratitude. I’ve never expressed myself like this before but I want to say everything I’ve been wanting to say since I won the championship.
Everything I said up on stage was true and sincere from my heart. I felt so bad about the fact that I never properly thanked my teammates for training so vigorously with me as if it was their own training sessions and the fact that coach Ju guided me every step of the way. So I think that’s why I got emotional up on stage.
You seemed so calm and composed during the pre-game interview.
I was booming with confidence during practice so I didn’t want to pretend to be modest in the outside world. I also wanted to motivate myself to do my absolute best. Everything I said just came out naturally because I was feeling so confident.
Even though it probably wasn’t easy, how did you prepare for an opponent like Symbol?
I took to heart the semifinals match that Symbol had against Curious. I’m certain that he prepared even more extensively for the finals than he did for the semifinals. But things were still flowing the way I wanted them to so the games progressed easily. Honestly though, the biggest reason as to why I was able to win was because I made sure to fix whatever areas I was lacking in and I also made sure to understand all of my teammates’ basics.
Game one was really important. How come you were able to take game one?
I remembered a past match where I had lost in game one so I decided to just approach this game one with a comfortable mindset. I told myself that there was no way I was going to lose after I won game one. But I was the player with the disadvantage. Mainly because Symbol did not play the way I expected him to for games one and two. Thanks to that, the games did not flow very well. But Symbol never capitalized on his advantages and allowed me to bring myself back into the match so I played passively while making sure I won all the battles.
Ever since your debut in 2008 with WeMadeFOX, this is your first ever championship victory.
I had never gotten past the Ro16 of an individual tournament nor had I ever performed well in Proleague. I told myself that I was just an average player. But after I won the championship today I started thinking about everything that I put myself through to get here. The biggest reason as to why I got so emotional today was because I remembered all the difficult times I had to endure to get to this point.
When you first debuted, it was through a GOMtv Classic tournament. How do you feel about winning the championship on the same network that you debuted on?
I think it is a really amazing coincidence. I can’t help but think this championship was a gift from above. Five years ago, I played in that tournament whilst knowing nothing about what was to come. But now that I was able to win a championship like this the feeling is so new and so many things just keep going through my mind.
Everything was going really well up till game three but games four and five did not go the way you wanted them to. You especially got decimated in game four because of nydus worms.
It’s not like I dropped my guard after I won game three. But I did start to lose focus. The nydus strategy that Symbol used for game four was something that I had used before during practice so it was a huge mistake that I didn’t scout thoroughly enough. That loss was really lame on my part and I figured that things would only get more and more difficult for me as the series kept on progressing. But I think I was able to win since Symbol also made a lot of critical mistakes.
Was it a prepared strategy that for games two and three you only showed your expansion and then hid the fact that you weren’t getting more drones and preparing for an aggressive attack?
The scenarios that came out for games one and two were scenarios that I never experienced during practice. I had no choice but to react through improvisations. I won game one because I used my brood lords well and I won game two because I improvised well with my movements. Game three was all about hitting him where it hurt and the build order I used was learned from Hydra. I want to take this moment to thank Hydra.
Your aspirations as a champion?
I am disappointed that WoL is now over. I wish I could have played it a little more but now it’s time for me to focus on HotS. Unfortunately for me, even though everyone’s going to be starting over from scratch, I’m going to be even more behind. It’s not going to matter that I won a championship because I’m going to have to work even harder. I’m going to have to learn HotS step by step while starting from a very low position.
You stated that you would win by a score of 4-2 and you made that come true. Did you say what you said because you knew you were going to win 4-2?
I stated that I would win by a score of at least 4-2 during the semifinals and I was right then too. I stated that I was going to win by a score of 4-2 for the finals cause I figured I would lose game one, lose another game somewhere during the six games, but ultimately win the series by taking four victories before a game seven could occur. I somehow luckily guessed the score right.
If you get to another finals, who would you like to face?
It’s going to be HotS so I can’t really say a specific player I would like to face but I would like to play a different match up than this one.
What is the first thing you’re going to do when you get back to the team house?
We have plans to go out and eat after the finals. I have plans to eat a ton of great food and once that’s over I am going to spend some time with my family who came all the way up from Busan. Also, if there’s time, I want to meet up with my friends and treat them to a delicious meal.
Did you have any happy dreams during all this?
While GSL was going on, I didn’t get to sleep properly till around the semifinals. I kept thinking about my upcoming games even in my dreams. I realized that I was lacking practice. I would go to sleep at five and then wake up at seven and I got the thought that I hadn’t practiced enough to merit sleep. I just wanted to get this done and over with and the fact that I won this championship so eagerly was a huge source of strength. But now I am exhausted.
Anything else you would like to say?
I want to thank my teammates and coaches for sticking with me through to the very end. While I was preparing for the finals, the head coach and coach Ju would always get me the proper practice partners I needed and fed me whatever I wanted to eat. I am so grateful to them for that. I also want to thank the T1 practice partners for staying up with me until four or five in the morning just diligently practicing as if it was their own matches they were preparing for. I also want to thank all my fans who cheered me on.
I always showed a very confident side of me during interviews and that was because I just didn’t want to put on a fake performance but rather I just wanted to keep my word and do the absolute best that my body would allow. I am so happy and proud of myself that I was able to keep my word. I promise that I won’t allow this one championship to get to my head and will practice diligently and persistently for HotS so I hope the fans will continue to heavily cheer me on.