March and April have been a slightly hectic couple of months for Clarity Gaming, but now that we have finally caught up with all of our content, we are pleased to announce a new player to the Clarity Gaming roster. Today we would like to welcome one of North America’s top Terrans, Sterling “cSterling” Kolde!
Sterling has been a consistently solid player on the North American ladder, achieving GM when the league was introduced, hitting #1 multiple times throughout Wings of Liberty’s lifespan. We are excited to see how he performs in HotS alongside our roster of Terrans including MotoK and Shuttle! Coming from a long standing Brood War background, Sterling is a seasoned competitive player having made it far in WCG Qualifiers and achieving A-Rank on ICCUP. Sterling also received coaching from the one of Brood War’s finest North American players Yosh. He will be a great addition to our team and to the continued development of our professional roster.
Sterling is a frequent streamer, providing commentary about his play as well as interacting with his viewers in chat. His personality is something we all are happy to see on our team and we cannot wait to see his continued success in HotS. I had a chance to sit down with Sterling and talk about his background as well as his plans for the future!
Hi Sterling, welcome to the Clarity Family! Let’s start out with a little introduction for those who might not know you; can we hear a little bit about your background?
Hi, I'm so happy to be joining Clarity -- incredible team! A little about myself... I'm a 23 year old Terran from Seattle, Washington. My competitive spirit started in my childhood, growing up with three brothers. We competed in everything. I always excelled at strategic games: chess, poker, magic the gathering, etc. I fell in love with StarCraft in 2008, after stumbling on some SCBW casts on youtube.
So how did you get more involved in the StarCraft scene? What brought you from watching BW casts to playing at a high level?
The Brood War scene was small but extremely passionate. The excitement of the casters and fans got me to start playing. I discovered some Terran guides by a Swedish(?) player named Stylish, and wanted to learn everything I could about the game. I was never a top player in SC1, but all those games were the groundwork for learning how to play RTS games.
I truly enjoy playing Starcraft -- so I play a lot. That's why I got to Grandmaster, and became a semi-professional player.
Glad to hear you enjoy the game a lot! So you were coached by the one and only Yosh. How big of an influence was he on you and where you are now?
Without a doubt, Yosh had a huge influence on me. I got coaching from him in Brood War, and he turned me from a C- scrub to an A- player in a few months. He taught me to approach the game from an analytical perspective -- and showed me the value of economy and safe play.
You have been in Clarity's team chat for a little bit now, have you had a chance to practice with any of the team members so far?
Yes! Clarity has such an excellent practice routine. I'm very happy with my new teammates-- I've played many games with Mystery he is quite an aggressive and scary Zerg
I haven't had a chance to practice with Shuttle or MotoK yet, but I watch their streams all the time and they are both amazing players.
We've also had a pool of academy applicants playing with the team in preparation for choosing our final 8 academy members, what are your opinions on the current candidates?
I know Honeybear, Intense, and Mystery from the ladder. I played some games against Bones in Clarity practice.
I think the academy is a great way to find new talent. It gives up and coming players something to strive for. Of the academy players I played with, Mystery was the strongest. I expect to see good things from him.
It's hard to compare them to the main team, because the lineup is so strong.... Shuttle, Killer, and Motok are reaaaaaaally good.
And you'll be joining their ranks as well! So you have a pretty popular stream, even featured on TL at one point. You like to interact with chat as well as talk about your play; what’s the most rewarding part of streaming for you?
It's just fun. I enjoy sharing my passion for starcraft! Talking with people, and answering questions takes away the mundane part of laddering.
I've also made a lot of friends through streaming, that I talk to all the time, even outside of the StarCraft world.
Speaking of your stream viewers, they have supported you previously in going to events. With the WCS changes and updated qualification system, do you plan on participating in the WCS Qualifiers? Also, do you plan on participating in any local events?
I'm certainly going to play the WCS qualifiers. I love playing tournaments, it gives meaning to all the practice. There aren't many live tournaments in my area, but I will play as many as I can.
North American WCS has an incredibly strong set of players, including a long list of Koreans. How do you think your chances are going up against some of the biggest names in SC2? What do you think of the WCS structure and how it will impact lesser-known players?
I think the best players will make the premier league. I'm not too familiar with the structure, but I can say that all three races got new scouting tools which makes the early game much more stable.
I expect to qualify for the premier league. The new reaper allows me to scout well in all three matchups, and I am confident that I can compete with the best of North America. I want to prove myself as the best Terran in North America. I'm going to continue playing 25+ games a day, and strive to win WCS NA.
Do you have any plans on going to the Clarity Gaming Training Facility in New York, or are you planning on staying where you are?
I don't currently have any plans to do so. I am open to it, but also need to think about college, and a career beyond progaming.
What are you thinking about doing after progaming; what kind of fields of study are you considering? You mentioned Poker, Chess, and M:tG as interests of yours, are you considering a field that involves problem-solving much like those hobbies?
I'm interested in learning more about programming and IT. I would be very happy to work at a company like Twitch or Blizzard.
I would also be open to doing something altogether different, like geology or teaching. Life goes on!
Good to hear! So what are your thoughts of Clarity Gaming so far, and what prompted you to choose Clarity as a team?
Clarity is a fantastic team with competent managers and excellent players. I'm thrilled to be joining such a team, and surrounding myself with bright and caring individuals. I was committed to Clarity after my first team practice session -- such a great atmosphere.
So, that was all of the questions I had planned. Is there anything else you wanted covered? If not, do you have any shoutouts?
I'd like to say thanks to Clarity for giving me this opportunity. I'll try to make the most of it!
A big thanks to Richard “a9azn2” Ngo for writing this interview and announcement content, as well as Mike “WinteR” Ortlani for proofreading, and Jason “Insidia” Pun on graphics!
Current Professional Roster:
With the addition of Sterling, this is how our professional roster currently stands. Be sure to check out all of our players below! Note: An asterisk (*) indicates a player living in the Clarity Gaming Training Facility in Long Island, New York.
Our players in North America:
Our players in Korea:
Follow Clarity Gaming: