We interviewed a few more TSL Ro48 qualified players about their experience on the TSL Ladder and their thoughts on the upcoming TSL Ro48 Qualifiers. 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.
White-Ra is one of the most well-known and respected Protoss players in the community for his skill and his friendly personality. He's an old school great who is arguably at the top of his game at the moment, as evidenced by his predominantly Korean opponent match list during the TSL Ladder. White-Ra has represented the Ukraine in a half dozen WCGs, and has been invited to countless other live tournaments. He finished #5 in the TSL Ladder.
Congratulations! Were you ever worried about qualifying Top 12?
No, I know I will get Top-12, it's not hard but big problem is when you can't play vs TSL members .
You had to play many Koreans. Are you flattered that so many TSL players thought you were strong enough to avoid?
Yes, 80% of my games were vs Koreans^^. But I do not want to say I'm better than other players. It's a game and you can be better and still lose. It's Starcraft ^^. Sometimes non-Korean can still play a really good game.
You had a great stage win in IEF over Boxer! What were you thinking when you beat him?
I have made it my mission when I went to Korea to beat Boxer in a TV game. It was my main task. You probably know that we are both old school pros, and it was interesting to see who was better right now. After my win, many Koreans know me and the Ukraine^^.
You are known for being a very nice guy. Are you really like this? When does White-Ra get angry?
Certainly I get angry, but more often at myself than at others. Still, I'm angry at our government which does not think of the people. Also, earlier in 1996-2001, I often participated in fights, but now I understand nothing good can come of that . Therefore, I also began to spend my time playing Starcraft which took me off the street .
You participated in street fights? Did you always win?
You know, like fights in a night club with your friends vs other guys all the time. Sometimes my friends and I kick ass, sometimes we get our ass kicked . But the majority of conflicts back then were over girls^^.
You said this funny quote about a girl who tried to proxy hatchery you. Good thing you have progamer scouting!
Hehe yes, I love girls. At least in Ukraine, I had many girls, and one girl from Kiev said to me that I have daughter. But then I check, and she lied to me^^. Last 3-years I have found my love, so I don't need any more girls. But we are men and sometimes we look at women and we can discuss them with friends^^.
Many players when they meet you say that you are very friendly guy. What do you guys do when you meet up at live events?
We can drink and talk at parties^^. I like our Starcraft community, the people that I meet and got to know are 90% very good and kind, so it's always easy to talk and joke with them .
Did you look at your TSL group? What do you think of your chances against Killer, Drone, and Closer?
Three Zergs in my group rocks^^. But they qualified Top-48 so they are all gosu. So I will not relax, because I must play my best if I want to advance to the final stage of TSL.
What do you think of other groups? Which players are you cheering for?
Group B and F are strong, and I hope Strelok advances. Other groups, it is hard to say. All players have same skill, whoever plays best will advance .
Thanks for the interview and good luck in TSL qualifiers!
Thank you and TL for working hard for the SC community. I am working on a project in the Ukraine to help develop cybersports, hopefully it will turn out well and help our favorite game! Good luck!
ClouD finished #30 in the TSL Ladder, but do not let that rank fool you. Last year in the Razer TSL, Cloud fought eventual champion IefNaij to a close and deciding third game. After WCG, Cloud is having fun and practicing hard again, and is the main reason why Ret cannot take Group F lightly.
Congratulations! Were you ever worried about qualifying? How much did you play on the last day?
Thank you! i didn't play much because my pc was crashing a lot so I only played a few games to make sure to qualify. I probably could have made it to Top 24, but didn't want to risk my spot. In the end I'm happy like this anyway .
You were not very active in the period before TSL. What made you decide to play? Did you ever consider not participating?
After WCG, I really wanted to start playing again. TSL2 was the occasion to start over again, and prove to myself I could still be a top foreign player, or even become better than I was. I am enjoying my time playing Starcraft right now, and I'm not planning on quitting again any soon.
Do you consider yourself in better shape than before? You came quite close to beating the Razer TSL Champion Iefnaij last time.
Last time it was pretty stupid, because if I didn't forget 1/3 of my goons away in the decisive fight i would have won 2-0. This time though after the warm up provided by TSL2 ladder, I feel I'm a much better player, and I believe I will eventually get much better before the group stage.
You have a very difficult group. Do you think you have a good chance to defeat G5, Flaf, and Ret?
Well my predictions always turn out wrong, so I kind of want to cheer against myself this time.
I actually respect G5's skills, I have no idea who Flaf is, and I really have no idea how challenging it would be to face Ret right now. People say he's unbeatable but I'll just practice on ICCup and eventually see if it's true in case I get to play him.
Have you had some time to look at the other groups? Do you have friends you are cheering for? Who has the toughest group?
Yeah, I think overall groups are pretty nice, not too many top players will eliminate each other before the playoffs. I am mostly cheering for ToT guys and Mondragon. Even if i'm not in their team anymore, I still love them :D I think the group with the most raw skills in it is mine, while the most
balanced one is Group L.
You have many fans on TL that like your personality as well as your play. Do you have any words to say to them? I'm sure they fear for your qualification because you are in Ret's group.
I am being kind of an ass lately because I'm having a bad period in my life, so I think I've actually lost quite a bit of popularity. Yet I really appreciate some people still cheer for me and like how I play. Every time I get appreciation I'm very grateful and it motivates me a lot. I don't think my chances to pass the Group are that bad, I'm in a good form now and I'm really taking my game to the next level for this TSL. So if I don't worry, no one else should
Thanks and good luck!
Thank you. Much love to Teamliquid <3
G5 squeaked into the Top 48 behind a few last minute wins and the last few ladder abuser disqualifications. Many believe G5 much stronger than his #43 rank, especially in PvT. He has his work cut out for him though, as Group F is believed by many to be the TSL Ro48's "Group of Death" with both Ret and ClouD.
Congratulations on qualifying! You had a really really close call at the end there.
Thanks. Yeah I was happy to get in but I was also sad some people such as Dimaga get DQ'd.
In the games you played against Morrow in the final hours of the TSL Ladder, you admitted in the chat that you were going to qualify. Was it a surprise when you saw your name in the "qualified" list? When did you realize that you had a chance?
When the first list of DQ's came out so fast, I knew there would be more. There was so much tension, dodging and anger in this ladder from many of the top players that I had a feeling people would cheat / get DQ'd. If I didn't qualify I was content with that, but throughout the entire ladder I had to feeling there would be many DQ's. Everyone really cared about qualifying for this tournament and put a lot of pressure on themselves which is always a recipe for cheating.
I wish it didn't turn out that way though because I ran into so many Koreans who would specifically say "NO TSL" when spamming for games and when I asked why, they would say it's because people with the TSL tag are BM. The cheating / BM due to the intensity of the ladder really brought out the worst in some and it ruins foreigner reputation. I just wish it didn't go down like it did.
Let's talk a little about that. There was some tension between you and TSL admins last time. Without getting too much into it, since we've all put it behind us, did your outlook change toward the ladder? Did the admins change? We noticed you seemed a lot happier and carefree in our interactions.
Last time was a disgrace and I won't even get into it. I have been playing this game since I was 13, I have grown up and matured with this game and I think since the last TSL I have grown up quite a bit. I have a good life and Starcraft isn't a huge priority in it anymore. I have learned to not take what people say to you online personally anymore. A lot of that is from all of the LANs / good times I have had with people I have hated online.
You qualified while playing many Koreans, and you even helped your friend Idra by beating Morrow, which stopped him from stealing #1. Did Idra thank you for that?
Yeah as soon as I came out of the game Greg congratulated me. Infamous quote from after the game - G5 "4 fact from 1 base only works once". IdrA - "But it works once? I'll keep that in mind"
[Editor's Note: Morrow performed a quick 1-base 2-fac rush two times against G5, succeeding the first time but failing the second time.]
What was your reaction when you officially found out you qualified?
When I officially found out I qualified it was from the Dimaga list of DQ's and I was actually stunned that Dimaga cheated. So... I was actually just stunned for about 5-10 minutes / sad about Dimaga and then got happy later on. As you can tell Dimaga is a friend of mine and an absolutely awesome guy to hang out with (may i add) ^^.
Your group is quite difficult. What are your thoughts on your opponents and your chances?
I have seen my group and it's definitely a tough one. I have played Ret and Cloud a good amount. I have no idea who FlaF is. First and foremost I can't look past Cloud, I will get most prepared for that match. Cloud is a very solid / strong PvP player. I have met him on ladder a lot / some tournaments and we always seem to go just around 50/50 with each other. FlaF, as I said, I have no idea who that is. So I probably won't prepare too much for that match and just look straight on to Ret and prepare decently for him. Ret is obviously the favorite in the group. If I do loose I hope it will be to Ret or Cloud. It's always easier on yourself losing to friends.
Who are you rooting for in the other groups?
I guess I will just go through the groups and list who I want to win. A - IdrA > NonY, NonY win group. D - Strelok. E - White_rA. G - Nyoken (if not him, Fenix). H - KawaiiRice. I - XiaOzi. J - iNcontroL. K - Sen. L - Infernal. The rest of the groups I don't really care. Either way I think IdrA will win this tournament with 90% certainty.
Good luck in qualifiers. Do you have any last words to say to fans or TL?
Thanks for supporting me and thanks for the interview and tournament.
There will be many more interviews with the other TSL Top 48 qualifiers soon. 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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