Ahead of the Code S finals on October 19th, GomTV held a media day with finalists Dear and soO. Check out their surprisingly entertaining smack talk. (check out Liquipedia for more info on Code S)
Q:There's not much time until the finals. How are preparations going?
soO: They're going very well.
What did you think of Dear normally?
soO: I never thought that he was particularly good; I didn't even pay any attention to him.
Did you expect to face him in the final?
soO: I had no idea. I didn't even realize he had made it to the semis.
Dear says he's going to win the championship. Your thoughts on this?
soO: I don't know why he says he's sorry [that he's going to beat me]. I'm thankful just for the fact that he's my finals opponent.
(To coach iloveoov) You have a finalist not long after you were appointed as the acting Head Coach.
iloveoov: I'm happy that soO reached the final, but I'm a little disappointed we couldn't have a final between SKT players. soO was very stressed preparing for his team-kill match against PartinG in the semis, and I was very surprised when he won. Right now, I think he's absorbed Soulkey's momentum. The SKT coaching staff is full of confidence.
How do you rate Dear's style?
soO: I watched all of his games, but he only beat players with so-so styles as he came up. I think I'll win without trouble. The more I watch his games, the more confident I get (laughs).
You were always getting eliminated in the Ro16 before. You think getting cosmetic eyelid surgery changed your destiny?
soO: Given the timing, I guess you could think so. I thought that it might be true myself (laughs). I changed my mindset this season and shook off my Ro16 trauma. Before, when I reached the Ro16 I became too complacent. This season, I thought that it would be hard to get any more opportunities like this and I worked very hard.
(To iloveoov) You have a piece of paper in your hand. What's on it?
iloveoov: It's my first media day, so I prepared some answers to questions I predicted. I forgot to put the piece of paper down beforehand, but I guess it's not bad to be seen this way? (laughs)
How's it different reaching the finals now, compared to when you were a player?
iloveoov: As a player, coach, and head coach it all feels different. I think the pressure the smallest as a player. When I was a player, all I would think about is how to beat my opponent and what ceremonies to prepare. When I was a coach, I wondered about what the player might be thinking, how could I make him win, and how could I help him stay in good mental condition etc. Right now I feel all of these things have combined together. However, I'm confident, and will make my first finalist into a champion.
No SKT Zerg has reached a final up to now.
soO: When I was a practice partner, I was mockingly called a "T1 Zerg." We took a lot of criticism back then, and that helped me a lot. Looking at the older Zerg players struggling, it gave me motivation to help my team. They were all good players, but they just didn't get looked upon fondly from the outside.
Back in the day, there was a bit of a distance between the practice facilities and the team house. I don't know about the other players, but the Zergs had to walk. I remember power walking alongside Coach Park. I get treated a bit better now (laughs).
iloveoov: I think it's a difference in viewpoint – Coach Park just wanted them to do better. I think those 'dark ages' are just relative. Confidence is a huge part of playing the game, and there was a time when our Zergs had a lot of trouble. soO has come out of that swamp, and he'll be able to lay the first stone toward redeeming the T1 Zerg name.
Does soO get nervous easily?
iloveoov: You can tell who gets nervous from their unit movements. soO doesn't get nervous at all.
What score do you predict?
soO: When I learned that Dear was my opponent, I predicted a 4 – 0. However, I'm not entirely happy with the map order. Because of the map order, I think I might give up a map. About 4 – 1. I think the first map is the most important. It's cute that Dear is predicting a 4 – 1 or 4 – 2 in his favor (laughs).
What kind of ceremonies do you have prepared?
soO: Pay close attention to the minimap during the games. You never know what I might write.
And if you win the championship?
It was my dream since I was young. I've always thought that kissing the trophy was really cool. If I could see a picture of myself kissing the trophy, then I'd be proud.
(to iloveoov) What score do you predict?
iloveoov: As the players mentioned, I feel the first map is the most important. Depending on how that goes, the result will swing greatly. If soO wins the first map he will win 4 – 0, if he loses it the I think he will win 4 – 2.
Any final comments?
soO: I'm sorry to the fans that my opponent is kind of weak. People who want to see Dear crying should come watch live. I'll show you his tears of defeat. I will do my best to win the championship.
Q: What do you think of soO?
Dear: soO compliments me a lot on battle.net, so it's unfortunate [that he's now saying I'm an easy opponent].
Do you have anything to say to him?
Dear: Sorry soO hyung, I'm going to have to win this one.
You seem hungry for the title.
Dear: It's my first finals and I'm a potential royal roader, so I want it that much more.
In soO's case, it's taken him 1,843 days to reach a final.
Dear: I've been a pro-gamer since 2009, so it's not like it's taken me a short while to get here either.
(Question to coach) Did you expect Dear to reach the finals?
Head coach Choi Won Seok: I didn't expect it at all. There were some unfortunate happenings with the team, and our players must have felt things were chaotic as they adjusted to the new environment. I'm glad they've done well in this situation. Looking at soO's games, I think it will be difficult for him to beat Dear because of the difference in their styles. I'll be able to watch this this finals comfortably.
Have you broken down soO's style?
Dear: SoO is good in the early and mid game, but there's not much to him in the late game. If I can get past the early-mid game well, I think I can win easily.
How's life at Soul?
Dear: I'm comfortable with the team, just as it was with STX.
Who do you get along with best on the team?
Dear: I get along best with YoungJoo.
What do you think of your style?
Dear: I think I'm a solid player, and I'm sad that other people don't seem to think that way.
Soul's Protoss players are doing well.
Dear: These days, I'm thinking about the game in a calm way. I think that's my greatest weapon. Because I think that it's okay to lose every game even after trying my best, I think my games are going well.
Do people treat you different now that you've reached the finals?
Dear: I think they treat me the same.
Head coach Choi: When Dear had his semi-final match, he washed the dishes for lunch before heading to the studio.
What kind of score do you predict. What is the most important map?
Dear: I think the maps are good for me, so I predict 4 – 1 or 4 – 2. The first set is important. If I win the first set, then I think even a 4 – 0 is possible.
Do you have any ceremonies planned?
Dear: I will perform manner Nexuses. If I'm sure that I'm going to win, then you'll see me build a lot of them.
[note: Another source (Inven has transcribed this as being "I will NOT perform manner nexuses anymore" after his humiliating loss to symbol in the GSTL. It seems that's probably what he said?]
And if you win the championship?
Dear: I would want to cry, but I think I'll win so easily that I just won't be able to.
(To Coach Choi) What kind of advise do you want to give Dear, and what is your prediction?
Head coach Choi: Because there are a lot of good maps early, I am predicting a 4 – 0. It would be worrisome if it went until the final map. Protoss suffers a lot of reverse-sweeps, so I hope he can win cleanly in a 4 – 1.
Your final words heading into the final?
Dear: I'm the final Protoss left this season, so I hope a lot of fans come to the final. soO said that he escaped from the swamp, but I'm going to push him back in. I'll make him continue the "SKT Zerg" line.