Interview with Neeb
TL.net: Congratulations on qualifying for KeSPA Cup! How tough was the qualifier grind, going through the lower bracket?
Neeb: The qualifiers were surprisingly difficult for me. I expected it to be a lot easier since I was playing in good conditions, the ping was like 120 and I slept fine the night before. The only thing is that I was super tilted after losing to Scarlett in the winners semis so I didn’t care about my losers’ bracket games. It might have helped though since I wasn’t nervous when playing.
Did you play from Korea or were you back home in America?
I was in Korea for these matches, I got back from WCS Mexico a few days before the qualifiers.
How much do you think that training in Korea this year has helped your play?
I think I’d honestly improve at a similar rate if I had stayed home since I don’t have the connections to get a wide variety of practice partners. I think the ladder here is similar if not a bit worse than EU ladder, but playing customs with Byun/Solar/a few other Koreans is definitely helpful.
How do you think the best foreigners match up against the best Koreans?
The skill gap between foreigners and Koreans is a lot smaller this year than previous years, so the best foreigners are probably as good as mid-tier Koreans and can take games off of anyone they have the chance to play.
Moving onto the competition itself then, who would you most like to play, and who do you want to avoid?
I obviously want to avoid ByuN because he’s really really good and I want to avoid playing Nerchio / MarineLord / TRUE because I play them all the time already so I feel like it’s a missed opportunity. I hope to play top Koreans (that aren’t ByuN) since I’ve never played any in a live tournament setting and I’m working on my mindset a lot so I could play better here. [E/N: Note: this interview was conducted yesterday prior to the group announcements]
Who do you think will win?
KeSPA Cup will be the first Global Event of 2016. Do you think that there should be more Globals next year?
Yeah, for sure. I think the majority of events should be global events with just a few region locked ones to keep foreigners motivated. The Korean scene is dying at an incredibly fast rate because either Blizzard doesn’t understand or doesn’t care that Koreans have no tournaments to play in. It’s hard to stay motivated when you can’t show anything that you are practicing for another six months. Foreigners have it easy this year since there’s stuff to play in like every week. I’ve heard uThermal and ShoWTimE both talk about taking a few weeks off but there are always qualifiers or tournaments or something so they just can’t. The number of tournaments isn’t an issue it’s just that foreigners get to play everything while Koreans can only play certain events.
ByuN’s just recently destroyed Dear and sOs on his path to the GSL title, and he’s thanked you for being one of his practice partners. Do you think you’d have done a better job against him?
Haha probably not, ByuN beat me very consistently in practice too.
You will be the only non-Korean NA representative at BlizzCon this year; do you ever feel like you’re representing your region when you compete?
No it’s not that significant to me but I like making Europeans mad because, you know, NA > EU, so I want to do better than all the Europeans going.
Well that's going to get the comments section fired up. You can support Neeb at onfireneeb