Source: inven eSports
An interview with FanTaSy by 신동근 of inven eSports, posted on the 21st of May 2015
Q. Hello, please introduce yourself for the Inven readers!
I think this is the first time I’ve been interviewed by Inven. I’m on my 9th year as a progamer, currently playing for team ‘Dead Pixels’, my name is Jeong Myeong Hoon (FanTaSy).
Q. Recently you made the decision to leave your old team, SKT, which you had been with for a very long time. Was there any fears leading up to you leaving?
It was a very big turning point for me. Firstly there was a good opportunity to move teams, in the year before leaving I didn’t have many chances to play so I felt like a burden. I thought I needed a change. I believed that if I left I could do well so I made the bold decision to leave. Currently I’m satisfied with my decision of leaving SKT.
Q. How did you spend your time after leaving your old team?
I packed my bags and headed down to Busan where I rested for a while. I indulged in a long break which I hadn’t had for a long time. Actually after the article that announced I had left SKT was released the first team to contact me was Dead-Pixels. At that time I didn’t know what type of team they were. As a newly created team I didn’t really trust them. So at first I thought I should try and see what other teams are out there. But I found out that the market for foreign teams isn’t as good as I expected it.
Just as I was finding it hard to find a new team I got a message from ‘TRUE’ who I had become good friends with. True recommended this team to me and I ended up joining Dead Pixels. Out of all the foreign teams they seemed the best. They’ve taken care of me more than I thought was physically possible, everyone is passionate about what they do and we get along well. I think I made the right choice of team.
Q. You’re associated with a foreign team but you keep training at home, is there any difficulties in training alone?
Recently the hardest thing for me is that there’s very few people to practice with. When I was on SKT there were dedicated practice partners that could play whenever you wanted and as much as you wished. So that difference is difficult. The last season of GSL was like that, I’m experiencing a lot of difficulty when preparing for tournaments. Especially when I’m matched against a player with a lot of personal connections. Even if they’re not that well connected the amount of people I can practice with is small and it’s getting even smaller. So that’s the biggest problem for me.
Q. Who are some of the players that help you most with practice?
My team members Patience and TRUE give me the most Practice. And out of my old team members Soulkey, Rain, PartinG , Journey and Sacsri have helped me a lot. But every now and again we get matched against each other in tournaments so in those situations I get help from previous SKT players.
Q. Are there any differences between a Korean and Foreign team? Did you ever think about moving to a different Korean team?
In Korean teams you can’t really manage yourself, the system is set up to maintain your skill level at all costs. The salary is also safe but because you get tied up to higher expectations there’s not much time to rest or relax.
As for foreign teams you get to attend a lot of foreign tournaments, do some sightseeing, meet new people and in general experience things that you can’t experience on a Korean team. It’s also a more relaxed environment. The down side is that there’s not very many practice partners and the salary is smaller.
I’m still very satisfied with my current lifestyle so I don’t have any immediate thoughts about going to a Korean team. After a couple tournaments had ended I even had time to go shopping so I was happy then.
Q. You’re practicing by yourself so you’re in an environment where you can lose focus but you’ve consistently been making good results. Do you have a special way of managing yourself?
I don’t write a list of things to do. Instead my general attitude is really important. Because there’s no one besides taking care of me, if I don’t work hard my skills will definitely fall behind. I would really hate that so if there is a tournament I practice really hard. I realized that there isn’t a whole lot of time to practice, so that when I do practice I always put in my best effort.
Q. Recently S-Benu has recruited a lot of players. By any chance were you also contacted?
I was contacted. The manager Seon-Jong Lee (이선종) gave me a personal phone call. He was honest about wanting to recruit me, either way I was already recruited and satisfied with my new team so I declined him in a roundabout way. But I really appreciate that he asked me personally.
Q. Are you aware of the praise you’re currently getting from fans for being honest and having a good mentality?
(Laughs) If I say it myself it doesn’t mean much but I’m aware to some extent. Honestly I also think that I have a meticulous personality. I like making plans, I don’t like doing anything spontaneously. There’s a lot of players who approaching their retirement age say ‘I’ll just mess around for a year then retire.’ Personally I want to work my hardest till the end so I can retire with no regrets.
Q. In that case what’s the most important value to you?
I think that you should chase after honor more than money. Even if there was no prize money I’d still want to be a champion. But I only have the breathing room to say this because I made a lot of money back in StarCraft 1. For now I’m happy when I can show good games to the fans. Because of that inner feeling I’m able to keep playing.
Q. Now that we’re talking about good games how fast was your heart beating after winning the game of your life against soO?
In that game I was worried until the very last second. If I was even one second late it would have been dangerous so I was trembling. Because I won that game I was really glad. To the extent that in my whole career I had never played a game like this, I considered it the best game of all time. If I had lost that game my mental strength would have been shattered and I probably would have went on to be eliminated. Even for me it felt like a thrill. In one side of my brain I was thinking ‘the community is gonna go crazy over this one.’ (Laughs)
Q. You entertained us with a great game there but only a few days later were eliminated from ‘Kespa Cup’ what do you think was the reason for your loss?
Usually I like to study my opponent before the match. So I watched some VODS and saw that Dark (박령우) rarely loses to Bio play. I saw that and didn’t believe in my own ability so I tried the strategical route of quickly transferring to Mechanic but he blocked it well.
On the 4th set I realized it might be the last match so I thought let’s just try out some Bionic and it was surprisingly effective. I had to have belief in myself but I realized it too late. I lost to an all-in on the 5th set which tasted bitter. So I think it was because I didn’t believe in myself, Dark is very good against Terrans so from the very start I was scared so that’s why I think I lost.
Q. The last individual season was similar, for a long time you keep improving but then get blocked. From a gamers isn’t that situation tiring?
Even in the past I’ve had a lot of situations where I’d be doing well and suddenly lose. I think of them as weak points I have to improve. But as time goes by I realize they are getting fixed little by little. If I have a lot of time to think it turns out to be ok but I usually don’t have that much free time. I go into it thinking if I can practice harder ill fix my mistakes and make a new image. This GSL season I definitely won’t make those types of mistakes.
Q. A lot of players said there goal for the season was to get to the quarterfinals so they can receive a seed into the next season. But you said you wanted to hold the trophy, is there a reason you gave that distinct answer?
Honestly if you asked me that same question a little while ago I would have given that stock standard answer. But recently when I went to IEM Katowice just before I started the ro16 match with Zest (주성욱) he said ‘I came here to win the whole thing.’ At that time it didn’t look like he was going to do it but in reality he did.
When I saw that I felt I had to have that type of attitude if I want to win. After that it won’t feel weird if I get a championship since I was just reaching my goal. I’ve learned a lot by watching Zest as a player.
Q. No matter how hard a match I’ve never seen you concede defeat until the very end. Is there a reason for it? Did you get that habit from seeing another player?
(Laughs) From a long time ago I’ve always liked games. Even if it’s a lost game I like controlling the units I have left. I heard that when foreign plays see my games where I don’t leave until the end they call it a ‘FanTaSy GG timing’. From a spectators viewpoint it might be frustrating but if I can endure and keep enduring then I can show once in a life time games like the recent one (against SoO).
But even so if you compare it so Starcraft 1 my GG timing is a lot quicker (Laughs).
Q. It’s a shame but we have to finish off the interview. Any last words for the fans?
Recently online and at the game studio a lot of fans have been interested in my activities so I feel encouraged. It’s been 9 years since I became a progamer but now I’m more satisfied with my lifestyle than ever before. My goal for this year is to get to Blizzcon, to achieve that goal I’ll be practicing hard. I hope you keep cheering for me in the future!