Interview with Nerchio
Olli: How long did you play for yesterday?
Nerchio: I started practicing at 9am in the morning because I played a little bit less in the past 2 weeks, so I needed to catch up. I finished at 2:30am, so it's about 17 hours, with some breaks in between of course.
What was your hardest match in the qualifier?
It's hard to say actually because I didn't have a very good start, losing a map to both Tomikus and Lambo. ZvZ is hard and scary to play but I managed to pull through. I guess my hardest match would be against MarineLorD since I lost that one, but I was already quite tired and sleepy at that point, so it was far from my best performance.
What is it that makes ZvZ so difficult?
It starts in the early game where you need to be on top of your build order, micro and scouting to avoid losing to quick all-ins. There are a lot of different timings that require you to play a different response at all stages in the game and pretty much the whole Zerg arsenal is being used in different ways, so it's really hard to play a standard game.
Speaking of ZvZ, the new SSL champion, Solar, is attending Kespa Cup too. Did you see his series against Dark? Did anything stand out to you?
First of all, it's really hard to learn from watching ZvZ at all because there are too many things happening at the same time and it's hard to know what is going on in someone's head when he is playing. Solar played a little bit unusually I think, with some macro hatches which we don't really see in ZvZ, but besides that it was a very standard match. Some all-ins, some roach vs roach, some mutas, some ravager/ling timings. It's very typical ZvZ, that's why it's hard to play. I noticed that Dark was afraid of playing the lategame and tried ending games with midgame timings.
Since we're talking about Korean players now: you're always in LR threads on TeamLiquid, commenting on Korean games, and you always seem very confident against them. Why is that?
I don't seem confident against them, I was only saying Zergs in KR seemed really poor for 6 months and they didn't have a clue how to play ZvT especially. They were basically playing the same builds and died to the most standard build in ZvT, which is the double medivac timing. Later they figured it out a little bit, but Europe was playing those builds 2 months earlier. Also we need to counterbalance TL Forums' bias towards Koreans.
I found one of your posts yesterday, saying it would be easy to beat Maru. Would it be?
Probably not, but it's more fun if you give some strong opinions from time to time.
You're not the first to say that foreigners are figuring the game out a bit faster. Solar said it recently as well, Dear used one of Harstem's builds in GSL. Do you think the foreign 'metagame' is ahead now as well in some cases? And if so, which?
I can speak only for myself here, but I am playing much more than I did in Heart of the Swarm. Similarly to Wings of Liberty I believe I can compete with Koreans and be confident with my own way of playing the game instead of copying their builds. I don't know if we are figuring the game out faster than Koreans, but I am pretty sure that they are not the only ones that know how to play Starcraft 2, as some people on the TL forums suggest. In terms of Zergs, I think we are slowly moving towards the same metagame, but we can see that the Zerg match-ups still play out differently.
Kespa Cup is the first Global Event of the year. Should there be more of them?
I wouldn't mind if there were more of them of course, but I was always saying that foreigners need more room to improve which is now provided through the WCS system. I think the most important step was giving us 3 big WCS tournaments that give quite a bit of money, and if the rest of Dreamhacks and IEMs were Global Events instead, it would be fine too. I would probably be continuing my studies instead if there wasn't any support for the foreign scene.
Looking at the final player list for Kespa Cup, it includes 3 of the Korean champions, as well as other high profile players. Is there anyone you would like to play against, or anyone you'd like to avoid?
I would probably like to avoid playing against Neeb because he is amazing. I don't really mind the rest. I think all my match-ups are similar in skill level at the moment, so it's hard to say who I would like to play against.
Who wins the event?
Hopefully it's me, but I don't have that many expectations. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a Protoss player like Zest or Stats. To be honest I can't see TRUE or any other Zerg except me winning this tournament.
Is Zerg really that bad?
I know Solar just won a tournament but I feel like bracket luck is a big contribution to a lot of championships as well. Overall I don't consider those Zerg players capable of consistent tournament wins.
That’s a good note to end on. Any shoutouts or special mentions you want to give us?
Thanks to my team Euronics Gaming for supporting me this year and thanks to Red Bull for believing in my championship potential.
How will Nerchio fare at Kespa Cup? There's an easy way to let him know.