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The HomeStory Cup VIII champion talks about the future.
Interview has been condensed and edited.
Waxangel: You won your seventh major tournament at HomeStory Cup VIII, but you didn't seem to be excited. What were you thinking when you won?
TaeJa: My games the previous day had ended late, so I was tired from lack of sleep and didn't feel much at that time. All I could think about was going back to the hotel and sleeping. But when I lay down, it hit me that I had won it all and I had trouble going to sleep.
Incontrol made some funny comments about your lack of emotions after winning. Any response to that?
Nothing in particular, but the lack of an audience made it feel like I was playing a regular game. If there was an audience, maybe I would have done something special?
Does that mean you and Nazgul are going to work on ceremonies for the next two weeks?
If there's a fun idea, then sure. If I win a game, I think it's possible.
You said that you had lost interest in the game for a period, and even thought about retiring. What made you think that way?
My health has gotten worse again lately, my wrists and just overall I don't feel that great. I think it's because I haven't had time to rest lately.
Recently, a lot of players have retired and a teams have disbanded, and it felt like the StarCraft 2 scene was shrinking. Naturally, it made me think about my future, and I was conflicted on the inside.
Combined, it made it hard for me to focus on the game.
Is there any field you've thought of going into in particular? Or something you're interested in?
When I was in high school, I was thinking of becoming a social studies teacher if I didn't make it as a pro-gamer. I read books on social studies and history since an early age, and I really liked those subjects. They were the subjects I got the best grades on in school as well.
Has winning HomeStory given you new motivation?
I'm not sure yet. I'll have to talk about it with my family when I return home.
Is the game still fun for you?
The game is always fun.
Have you talked to other progamers about your future? What kind of advice have they given you?
I talked to Symbol at HomeStory Cup. He told me "it would be such a shame if someone with your skill retired."
You're still young, even for a pro-gamer. It seems strange that you'd worry about this sort of thing already.
I think that a progamer's future is an unsure thing. Because of that, I think that earning a lot early and leaving early isn't a bad approach.
You made a popular tweet after winning the tournament. Is prize money something that's on your mind a lot?
Yes a gamer has to earn as much as possible when he can. So I always play thinking about the prize money.
Are you confident in your play lately? What did you think of the DreamHack group you got with many strong Terrans?
I'm not that confident lately, and I think I got the hardest group at DreamHack. I'm very lacking in TvT confidence these days, while I'm most confident against Zerg.
If I manage to make it through the group stage in the top two spots, I think my chance of winning the tournament is around 50%.
You're at the new TL-HQ in the Netherlands until DreamHack. How's living there?
It's all good, but I've ended up only eating microwavable Korean food and ramen. I've had so much of it I could throw up. Victor's girlfriend comes over sometimes and makes us dinner. It's really good, and I'm thankful to her.
I haven't had a chance to see the Netherlands, and I don't really plan to. I think I will just keep playing.
How's playing on Europe?
There are some good players, but compared to the Korean ladder it's easy.
For Terran, Happy. Zerg, I don't know. For toss, Elfi, kekekeke.
Any final comments?
Thanks to my fans for cheering for me, and I'll do my best to get good results at my final tournament this year, DreamHack Winter!