The TSL Ladder is now over. Check out the TSL Top 48 Qualifier Groups, where you can find where your favorite player finished and who he's scheduled to play in the TSL Round of 48.
While most players and fans experienced the excitement and stress of the final 24 hour TSL Ladder sprint, one player wasn't worried at all, playing barely any games in the final few days. TSL Ladder #1 IdrA[Media] will play a Bo5 match with NonY on January 9th. The winner earns a seed into the PokerStrategy.com TSL, and the loser drops down to Qualifier Group A to play either LRM)KenZy, mTw.HoRRoR, or iF.NeMu.
Congratulations, you secured first place. Did you ever doubt this would happen?
No. When I wanted to newb bash I played against the A- koreans that everyone else was dodging, so as long as I had enough time to play there was no way I wouldn't get first.
So you weren't worried at all when MorroW made his late run?
I was online for the last hour or so, if he had won the second game vs G5 I would have played another game to secure my spot. Obviously its possible I could've lost but he still would have been a game behind and its far, far more likely that he would've lost. Also he was gaining like 50 points a game so his odds weren't that good.
You will be battling Nony for a direct seed in to the TSL. How hard do you think it will be to face him if he's well prepared?
He's the kind of player who really suffers from inactivity, since his biggest strengths are his mechanics, which you lose without practice, and his very well designed build orders, many of which are now obsolete, so I think it will be pretty hard for him to get back into top shape in time for our match. Also he tends to play a very straight up style, and I can't remember the last time I lost to a foreigner who doesn't have invincible units in a management game.
What was fun or memorable about the TSL Ladder this time?
Laughing at all the abusers. Not the cheaters, but the people like Morrow and Kwark. That was quite fun. As a player the only game that really stands out is one of my teammates smurfed me and I was beating him until I found out the 6 o'clock expansion could be nuked from inside his main on match point. That kinda sucked.
You played a teammate!? ABUSE!!!! Can you tell us more about that game?
Well I lost to him so it'd be even more retarded than F91's abuse. It was a TvT on matchpoint, he opened 2 fac no addon I opened fac cc and blocked it pretty cleanly. It turned into a generic macro game with me having a bit of an advantage, both securing half map, and then he nuked my expansion at 6, and as he was aware of that trick and I wasn't his tanks were positioned to block / take advantage of it on the 12/6 expos, so there wasn't really much I could do from that point. He was just a semi-pro who lives in the team house, no one famous.
Speaking of abusers, many of the players who are considered your toughest competition were disqualified. Are you disappointed you won't have a chance to play them, or are you happy that your road to the finals is easier?
I'm sad I wont get to play F91. I didn't view the others as too much of a threat but the people talking about liquibition is getting kind of old, I would've liked the chance to put an end to them. I don't think the tournament got that much easier for me, personally, I always viewed Ret, White-Ra, and maybe Draco or JF if they get in shape, as the biggest threats.
There was an infamous game that took place during the ladder between you and Ret. Can you tell us what happened there?
He went fake spire, I saw it but only after 4 or 5 turrets had completed. I cut scvs to timing rush him, since the problem with not making mutas is they can't really control when you push, but he flipped a coin and droned/teched off of 5 lurkers, meaning I could've killed him easily if I had recognized it. Sadly I waited for my first vessel to move out, since he has a tendency to mass lair units and it's better to have a stronger, later push vs that. So he had a defiler out to stop me and I had a Strelok scv count at that point, so I just tried to allin him. And allining vs invincible units doesn't work out too well.
You famously ended the game with the line "you won without doing a single thing" which has quickly spread as an internal TL.net meme. The same thing happened with the phrase "a useful talent toi have." Are you planning your next coined phrase carefully?
I think I might help "u gotta skate" on its rise to greatness. But really it doesn't matter much what I say, just about any comment I make seems to catch on.
If someone never watched you play before, how would you describe your style to them? How would you explain your "strong personality?"
My play style is alot more varied than most people give me credit for. I play in whatever way I think will give me the greatest chance to win a match. My management game, my production and control and overall execution, is much better than any other foreigners. This means that I almost always play a passive, defensive game to try to force a style of game where my strengths kick in, something long and multi-tasking based. So most people think that's all I do, but if you look at, for example, the nostalgia series vs White-Ra. Nostalgia is a near impossible map TvP, so my best chance at winning was doing something gay and tricky, so thats what I did. As for my personality, I get angry when I lose, and those comments are just frustration, but as for stuff from interviews and whatnot, mainly alot of people lose their sense of humor and recognition of sarcasm when they get on the internet.
It seems your personality has polarized people largely into three groups: 1) people who hate everything about you, 2) people that support your success but are disappointed when you act bad mannered, and 3) people that love to hear you call people newbies. If you could say something to each group what would it be?
1) Europeans are far too touchy. Life is much more enjoyable if you relax a bit.
2) Its a start, but you need to learn to embrace the anger.
3) Judging by the TL Poll theres actually alot more of you than I expected, so I'll keep it up. I can't believe I'm above White-Ra in that.
People like a good villain. Do you like this role? If you could start it over, would you rather be someone who is known for being nice to his opponents?
Well like I said some of the comments after games are out of frustration and there are some players who I have no desire to disrespect, but I have never wanted to put on a politically correct public persona. It would be far more boring for the fans and I would personally hate it. Given the way certain people react to that I think the villain thing was somewhat unavoidable. And I'd like to point out that it is indeed a public persona. 99% of the top foreigners bitch and moan and flame after losses. They just hide it in public. It takes a ridiculously competitive nature to succeed at something like this, and that kind of personality does not cope well with losing.
Is it like this ever with your CJ practice partners? Or do you just stifle the comments? Is it hard to live in such a hierarchical structure with your personality?
Well one particular zerg player on the team never ever gg's if I beat him with a vulture runby or something else gay. No one takes it seriously and there have been plenty of games where we (some Terran players) sit and make fun of one of our abusive little Protosses because he "only dirty build user" and whatnot. But no I don't sit there telling them they're cheesy newbies, part from respect and part self preservation. It's all in good fun. Players don't take themselves nearly as seriously as the fans do, for the most part. (foreign fans, I don't really know about Korean fans)
Do your teammates know about TSL? Will they help you practice? If you win some money out of this tournament, are you going to take them out to dinner?
They dont know about it. I haven't mentioned it to them yet since its in the early stages. If I ask them they'll help me practice, but I'll probably only use them if I play Ret, maybe Draco. After I won ESWC they said I had to buy them pizza for dinner. For the most part after foreign tournaments they'll just ask where I placed, how much I won, and then say "oh good" and grin and thats about the end of it. And sometimes they'll ask who I lost to and then giggle when I say a 14 year old Zerg user from Germany.
So it sounds like after a while you earned some respect over there from your CJ teammates. Do you notice a change in how they react to you since when you first started?
Well they expected amd understood that I sucked at first, so it's not like they really looked down on me for it, and I've progressed steadily since then, which is about all you can expect. So respect hasn't change all that much, but the way I interact with the team professionally definitely has. For instance, one of our B team terrans has a TvP on Match Point coming up and he was having trouble with the map, so he messaged me and asked me to play against the guy he was practicing with, so he could see how I approached it and see if that would help him. Something like that wouldn't have happened before.
Are you still close with your Media clan mates? Were you particularly disappointed when any of them failed to qualify?
Ya I'm still very close with all of them, given that 3 of them are out here in Korea with me and Skew is basically my deranged clone. Me and G5 were the only active players who participated and we both qualified. Artosis and Tasteless played, but they're both busy with other stuff and don't have the time to really be competitive players anymore. So we did about as well could be expected of us. Media B, however... very disappoint.
Have you had a chance to look at the TSL Ro48 Groups? What are your thoughts?
I looked over them a bit. Morrow actually had a pretty good chance of advancing, which I find hilarious. I remember Nyoken's group striking me as very hard. G5's too, obviously. Any group with Ret's gonna be pretty difficult, especially for a Protoss. Unless you lag of course, then it'll be really easy.
Any last words about funny moments from the TSL Ladder that you'd like to share?
The ladder was pretty run of the mill since I didnt play many foreigners. I know I left a few TvP's with PROTOSS!! so im sure the demotivational poster guys will have a field day once my reppack gets out. The Octzerg game is already in circulation, I'm quite proud of that one. Other than that not too much worth noting.
Well, I'll let you get back to it. Congratulations again on your #1 finish and good luck with practice.
There will be many more interviews with the rest of the TSL Top 48 Qualifiers coming up. Until then, enjoy the replay packs that have been released by the players, and discuss the TSL Qualifier Groups with other fans.
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