If you weren't planning on watching Code A today, I suggest that you reconsider. We will be debuting a player that I have known and admired for a very long time. We are very proud to officially introduce the newest member of Liquid, Choi "Zenio" Jung Min.
oGs head coach TheWind approached me a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in Zenio for Liquid. Zenio had recently left oGs because he felt like he could play better outside of the team-house. Living in a house together with 15 guys sleeping in bunkbeds is not for everyone, and Zenio wanted to go back to a familiar environment from the beta, where he played from home and accumulated the most games played of anyone in the world. While oGs never questioned his motivation, they had to uphold their rule that players must live in the team-house. oGs parted ways with Zenio, but they wanted to help find a new home for him nonetheless.
Upon hearing about this opportunity from TheWind, I was immediately intrigued. Ever since Liquid began its partnership with oGs and I went to Korea to meet the players and coaches, I have liked Zenio a lot. Together with MC, Zenio has been one of the friendliest and most outgoing oGs members towards me and the Liquid players. He has some of the best English among pro-gamers, which is something I think everyone will notice soon. He was one of the core members that made oGs what it is today, possessing a combination of work ethic, skill and personality that allowed him to headline their Zerg lineup for over a year. Zenio himself had no interest in joining any other Korean team, but was excited about the opportunity to stay within oGs-TL. After many hours of talking with TheWind and Zenio we knew that signing Zenio was the right move.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time following the Korean scene and Code S in particular knows that Zenio is a player with highs and lows. When he plays up to his potential, he is on the same level as the best Zergs in the world. oGs and Liquid players have insisted for the longest time, and still believe that when Zenio's playing behind closed doors, he is one of the top three Zergs in Korea.
Zenio's winning record over players like MVP, Idra, and HerO is a testament to his exceptional talent. He has been a Code S player since the tournament began, and that has been while underachieving by all of his teammate's standards.
Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that he has a reputation for being a player who gets nervous on the big stage. However, we believe that you will see the real Zenio soon enough. He is still young, and getting rid of those stage jitters will take time and experience. Liquid can provide him with both. If you give him time and stay with him during the process, he will surely reward your patience and support with championships.
Zenio's incredible work ethic has made it very easy to work with him. There's an overwhelming amount of things a player has to take care of when transitioning from a Korean team to an international team like Liquid, and it can be very tiring and distracting. Countless computer programs have to be installed and learned, dozens of conversations need to be had with Liquid staff, paperwork needs to be done, Liquid's internal structure has to be familiarized – and half of the time you're doing all of this in a language you're not exactly 100% familiar with. Zenio has worked hard on making this transition go as smoothly as possible, and we are very impressed at how he has carried himself so far.
We look forward to what your skill, intensity, and determination will bring to Liquid. Welcome to the team, Liquid`Zenio.
I was very sad to send away Zenio, who had been a member of our family, but rules are rules. However, I'm very thankful for this opportunity that allows him to return to our family, as a member of TeamLiquid.
Zenio is a player who will try hard and can get good results no matter where he goes. Especially now that he has joined TeamLiquid, I hope he can grow and become a player Liquid will be proud of. Jung Min, you rascal, we'll always love you!
Jokes aside, I'm really glad Zenio is joining the team for a lot of reasons. Back when me and TLO first arrived in Korea, Zenio was one of two players in oGs who actually spoke pretty good English alongside Hyperdub. Nowadays everyone has improved so much that I sometimes take it for granted to be able to converse, but back in those days it was really a great comfort to have him there.
Zenio has always been one of the most impressive players to watch in SC2. For instance, when one of his bases is about to be overrun, you can be sure that he will have transferred his drones away just in time, to mine at a new Hatchery that completes right as the drones arrive.
MVP has called him the best ZvT player in Korea, and while people who have only seen his most recent games might be surprised by this, nobody who has played him in practice is.
During the weeks when I was in Korea, Zenio, MC, and Ensnare were the ones to beat during the daily ranking matches. They would always get top three. With Zenio joining the team I expect him to not only raise our skill level but also inspire everyone to work harder by example. I am looking forward to being able to discuss strategies and watch his replays again, and also meet him at future events.
Welcome to the team and good luck on your journey for code S!
Check out his stream at http://www.twitch.tv/liquidzenio
See Zenio's skills in this replay pack
To begin, could you introduce yourself briefly? Tell us how you began playing games, and how you became a progamer.
Liquid`Zenio: Hi, I'm Choi Jung Min, 21 years old. I was practicing to become a Warcraft III pro-gamer, but when I heard Starcraft II was coming out I decided to play Starcraft: Brood War in preparation. I started playing SC II as soon as the closed beta came out. I remember that my first game was against a Blizzard Korea employee on the Korean ladder.
You were gaming with the goal of becoming a pro-gamer; were you fixed on playing RTS games? Did any other genres or games catch your interest?
Liquid`Zenio: It's not that RTS games were my goal, it's that I liked Starcraft and I was always watching OnGameNet during my school days, thinking that I would become a pro-gamer for sure.
You spent a lot of time at oGs before departing. How was your time there, and what led you to join Liquid?
Liquid`Zenio: oGs is always trying to improve their practice environment, and they have a really great environment where you can focus solely on gaming at the team house right now.
But asides from the great environment there, I was just uncomfortable living together with so many people, so I decided to play from home. Even though I left the team in the end, I think oGs is a really great team to be with from the way they still tried to connect me with Liquid afterward.
I decided on Liquid because I wanted to play abroad more frequently, and because they are a team that is partnered with oGs, and thus a team I've been friendly with for a long time.
What has your relationship with Liquid and its members been like so far? You lived in the same house, so who are some of the players you were particularly close with?
Liquid`Zenio: I lived with Dario, Jonathan, Jos, Hayder, and also Chris who is gone now. I was having trouble with life at the team-house, but I saw those guys and imagined how much harder it was for them coming from afar, so I tried to be friendly to them and help them out in some way.
The funniest thing I remember was that when Jos first came to the house, the first thing he did before introducing himself was to point at Hayder and call him “Chobo.”
I haven't met Tyler yet, but I'd really like to meet him.
You've been abroad once for the NASL Grand Finals. How do you think ESPORTS is different in Korea and out?
Liquid`Zenio: I think foreign players really enjoy the tournaments as a whole, and they have a fun time at parties after. The fans are more passionate, and I'd really like to go again.
There are a lot of big tournaments outside of Korea now, but is GSL still the number one goal for a Korean player like yourself?
Liquid`Zenio: Still, the GSL has the highest skill level, so I would still want a GSL championship the most...
Have you been keeping up with the foreign community? For instance, do you visit TL or watch foreign tournaments?
Liquid`Zenio: I've visited TeamLiquid since a long time ago to watch player streams. I always try to watch Zerg players.
Now there are two Korean players in Liquid, you and HerO. Furthermore, there are many other foreign teams cooperating with Korean teams and players as well. What do you think of this trend?
Liquid`Zenio: I think it's good because more Korean players can go abroad, and I'd like if more cooperation happened.
If you talk to oGs or Liquid players, they say you are a really amazing player. On the other hand, you have a reputation for not being able to show this skill on stage. How do you rate your skill, and what do you think about your reputation for being nervous on stage?
Liquid`Zenio: Honestly, I don't like ZvP that much in practice either. I'm trying really hard to get over that. I think I'm very good at ZvT and ZvZ, but when I play at the GSL stage my games just don't go the way they do in practice. So I have an image of being bad at broadcast games, but I think I can go far if I get over those problems, and I'm trying very hard to solve them.
You're starting off this GSL season from the Code A RO48. Are you confident about getting into Code S again?
Liquid`Zenio: Yes, I've gained confidence as I've practiced lately, and I'm fully confident that I can get into Code S and go even further.
There's a lot of talk about Proleague switching to Starcraft II next year and the Starcraft: Brood War players switching over. How do you feel about that possibility, as someone who's played Starcraft II since the beta?
Liquid`Zenio: I think that the present Starcraft II gamers are all very good, and that Starcraft 1 gamers will catch up very quickly as well. I hope that it becomes an opportunity for ESPORTS to grow and develop.
You have some history with IdrA, what do you think of him? He will be returning to Korea soon, would you like to play him?
Liquid`Zenio: I think you ask because of my ceremony last year... I don't think of him badly personally, and I think he's a fun player. It would be fun to play him again.
He's welcome to come back to Korea, and though I wouldn't mind it myself, he probably doesn't want to play me; I am 6-0 against him.
Any other foreigners you are interested in? Anyone who impressed you, or someone you'd like to play against?
Liquid`Zenio: I'd really like to play against Chris again, I lost in a sort of unsatisfying way to him in the last GSL. And then he imitated my ceremony... I want to get my revenge.
Let's talk about some things outside of Starcraft. What are your hobbies?
Liquid`Zenio: I raid once a week in World of Warcraft. Besides that, I like going biking.
Any kind of music you enjoy? Favorite bands?
Liquid`Zenio: No particular genre, just Korean girl-groups. 2NE1 in particular.
Your most respected sunbae [older colleague]?
Now, the hardest question. A word for your fans... IN ENGLISH.
Liquid`Zenio: *shakes in fear*
'thanks for read my interview
i will try to show up on yours always epic games and funny ceremony'
Make sure to catch Liquid`Zenio's first appearance as a Liquid player at 04:10 EST, November 21th as he plays in the November Code A tournament