StarcraftHistorian: So Ruff, I feel like you’re one of those names that I’ve seen from the very beginning of the scene, and clearly you’re one of the guys who stuck around. How’d you get into Starcraft in the first place?
RuFF: Long time ago with my father, growing up in Brood War. So, I remember in 1998 I was 13 years old, and ended up getting it for Christmas. From that point I continued playing Brood War throughout all the years, up until Starcraft II.
StarcraftHistorian: Did your dad play a lot of Brood War as well?
RuFF: Oh yeah, he played a lot. He played “fastest map” all the time. Back then when people would try to backstab, he would call me over and tell me “I just need your help for a second, fill in for me”. So I would jump in and take over, try to fight a maxed out army, it was fun stuff.
StarcraftHistorian: Was dad any good at the game?
RuFF: Oh yeah he was pretty good!
StarcraftHistorian: Has he ever tried his hand at Starcraft II?
RuFF: No, but he does watch
StarcraftHistorian: Going back to your early days, as more of a high level competitor, any particular players you took a map off of, or a series that you were really proud of?
RuFF: A long time ago, we had a lot of content creators coming into the American scene, so taking maps off of them, or beating them at major tournaments was cool. I think at a Dreamhack Austin a long time ago, I took a map off Kelazhur on the main stage, and I thought I was going to win that series, but it was super close and fun. Some very unorthodox styles. At Red Bull Atlanta I did my planetary fortress rush with reapers. Going to these main events, and pulling off those kinds of strategies, was a good feeling, I really enjoyed it.
StarcraftHistorian: Yeah, it’s like making some ladder nonsense work at a big event, pretty funny.
RuFF: And, I’m not doing it to troll, it does work, so that’s why.
StarcraftHistorian: I feel like in a lot of games like that, people tend to rage. “You’re not really playing the game”, but I’ve always felt that if you beat somebody with something like that, well then they weren’t prepared for that option. It’s just another option in the game, so it’s all fair.
RuFF: It really all just depends on if they can stop it, so.
StarcraftHistorian: So what are you doing now, are you still on PSISTORM?
RuFF: I’m still on PSISTORM, I kind of just work on the side a little bit though. I’m not like a sponsored player anymore, I kind of just help out. I do hang around with the PSISTORM guys, I do help them with stuff, I’m still a part of the PSISTORM family.
StarcraftHistorian:You still stream a lot?
RuFF: Yes, I stream all the time. Usually 9PM-12AM, almost everyday. Sometimes I go over time, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I need a break, but I generally give that amount of time to Starcraft everyday.
StarcraftHistorian: I feel like there’s a lot of pessimism in the community, everybody seems to be saying that the world is on fire since 2013. How do you feel about the overall health of the SC2 scene right now?
RuFF: Considering we are here at Dreamhack, and the entire venue is filled up with seats, people are standing to watch Starcraft, it’s actually really cool. Just to see this happening, it’s really hopeful that things may go pretty well. I do think that things have died down, especially in the past 4-5 years. But coming in here, watching it, seeing how many people have come out just to support Starcraft, I think that we can probably see a lot more of this to come.
StarcraftHistorian: How do you feel about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision/Blizzard? Do you think it bodes well for Starcraft?
RuFF: The thing is I try to look at only actions, I’ll have to see when something actually happens with it. As of right now, Dreamhack had its contact with Blizzard that ends this year. Hard to say what to expect from that, hopefully good things, but we haven’t seen anything yet, I can’t really comment.
StarcraftHistorian: Any thoughts on Frost Giant, or their game Stormgate?
RuFF: I know that there has been some criticism of what’s been released by them so far, but I try to focus on whether there is going to be the work behind it to improve it, so far it seems like there is. I really like what they have released so far, I really like the idea of mechs vs demons, that’s really cool. It’s like taking some of my favorite genres and molding them together. I like playing Mech Warrior, I like playing Doom, so to see it molded into an RTS, I think it’s very cool. I’m hoping for good things from them, as long as Frost Giant stays on their focus, stays on trying to get their game out. Making sure, I don’t care how long it takes, just making sure they get it right.
StarcraftHistorian: I think they have some great people working on the game, and they have some real funding behind them. They’ve said this is going to be a real deal, AAA release. How do you think the market is going to receive a game like that?
RuFF: I think that there’s a lot of hype behind it. It will probably come down to marketing, and whether or not the freaking game is good. If they can nail it, I can see a really good future for Frost Giant.
StarcraftHistorian: If it is really successful, how do you feel about its potential to kill the Starcraft scene?
RuFF: That’s a tough one, it comes down to whether Starcraft is going to continue to be maintained or not. If new things are coming out, if they are at least doing the bare minimum, releasing maps, maybe having big events like this happening, even if it’s just once a year, I think that Starcraft can continue to do pretty well. It’s been with us since the beginning of time, since Brood War, and Brood War was what? The first esport, ever. So I can’t really see it dying, but I can see people maybe playing both games. Stormgate will really have to like, knock people’s teeth out, to break Starcraft.
StarcraftHistorian: I guess the other big question is, if Blizzard feels the heat from RTS competition, will this prompt a Starcraft III in the works?
RuFF: Well, it’s really going to come down to Blizzard and Microsoft. I’m not entirely sure.
StarcraftHistorian: Are there any players you’re rooting for here at Dreamhack?
RuFF: I’d probably say Heromarine, because he puts in a lot of hard work. He doesn’t even really try to stretch his units with crazy micro all the time. Seeing him do well here and at the Homestory cup is cool, I also just like that he’s a Terran player.
StarcraftHistorian: Anything in the Meta that you really like, or really don’t like these days?
RuFF: Oh, Protoss. Just because my play style has changed so much. Because I’m one of the OGs of Starcraft, if something has changed and isn’t how I liked it before, I’m going to complain about it. When I look at new players coming in, I think they have a better time with it, they don’t think about how stuff used to be. You can have like 0 supply and hold a push by turning on a battery and having a cannon. They have all the AOE in the game, Disruptors, High Templar, Colossus, especially Disruptors which blow everything up in one shot. Then you talk about the Golden Armada, Tempests, furthest shooting ranged unit in the game. Disruptors, the furthest shooting unit in the game vertically, actually outranges a tank. I think Protosses have it really good compared to the past. If you watch my stream you’ll hear me cry about Protoss.
StarcraftHistorian: I think you and Artosis might get along.
RuFF: Oh yeah, we would.
StarcraftHistorian: Well, it’s awesome that you came out to this event, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Any closing words?
RuFF: Follow me at https://www.twitch.tv/ruff_stuff_tv Check out my Twitter at https://twitter.com/RuFF_SC2
- Thanks so much for checking out my interview! If you enjoy content like this, check out my Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNcVp5bJ4ZcaKvhu-ZXk8hA -
Totally not 2 months late posting this =D