This interview is from February 24th. At the time, Zenio was #1 in platinum league division one in Korea, with a record of around 224-50. Once an amateur Warcraft III player aspiring to make it as a pro, he switched his focus to Starcraft II. Oh, he hit A- within a year of playing BW, so this guy has some talent.
YGosu: Hello, it’s YGosu here. Let’s begin with a brief introduction.
Zenio: Hi, my name is Choi Jung Min, and I’m 20 years old. I live in Uijeongbu, and I’m currently unemployed….
YGosu: Oh, 20 years old! In the prime of your youth, I see. You have a girlfriend?
Zenio: Huk! We broke up a week ago…
YGosu: T_T. My condolences to you.
YGosu: If it was one week ago, that coincides interestingly with the release of the Starcraft 2 beta. Does that have anything to do with your ridiculous win rate and #1 ranking?
Zenio: Well I wanted to break up since before, and with the Starcraft II Beta coming out and all, I told her we should break up.
YGosu: Indeed… You took those wise words to heart: To achieve great things, distance yourself from women.
Zenio: Yup, lolz.
YGosu: So, you’re #1 in division one of the platinum league, and have an amazing win rate with 224 wins and 50 losses. In short, you’re kinda good at Starcraft 2. So, you think you’re pretty good then?
Zenio: ;;;;; (implies that he’s flustered) Nope. It just looks like I’m good because the Starcraft players aren’t playing yet. If the Starcraft players start, I think I’m gonna fall behind, they’re scary!
YGosu: Oh well then. Then who do you think is the best player in the Starcraft II beta so far? For example, yourself….
Zenio: Well, I’d like to say it’s me, but I’ll just say it’s Hyungju hyung (Check[pooh], Warcraft III pro who is #1 in another division), hehehe.
YGosu: What a peculiar answer, humble and yet not so humble at the same time.
YGosu: Starcraft II is a Protoss bonanza right now, but you’re tearing stuff up as Zerg. How are you spanking this overflow of Protoss players?
Zenio: Oh, Protoss is strong?
YGosu: If you look at the platinum rankings, about 70% of the players are Protoss. I counted myself yesterday, I played 14 PvPs during a 20 game stretch yesterday.
Zenio: Protoss doesn’t have anything to stop mutalisks with. I play thinking that if I can just survive the best I can with sunken colonies and zerglings, I’ll win when I get to mutas.
YGosu: Oh, I think I’ve lost to that a few times. Do you mean the 13 pool -> Expand -> Corruptor + Mutalisk build?
Zenio: Yeah. As you make mutas, you’ll have some extra minerals, while you don’t have enough gas. I just throw all those extra minerals into drones, and once I’ve secured my second base I can make 5 hatcheries and mass roaches in a macro game. Kind of like ZvT in Starcraft: Brood War.
YGosu: I've lost to it, and it's a really scary build. There's no real counter for that as Protoss?
Werra : Nope. You make mutas, and make a hatchery at your main, two at your natural, and two at your third base, a queen at each of them and then win like that. If you eventually take 4 gas bases, you just can't lose.
YGosu: You can run five hatcheries, all of them with queens?
YGosu: I’d like to tell you that you’re kinda awesome. So you’re saying that as of now, the Phoenix, which are supposed to counter mutalisks, can’t really do much against them?
Zenio: Yeah, I think so, and that it will probably be patched. There’s no good way to stop mutas right now…
YGosu: I guess so. Even if you get Phoenixes, they die easily to Corruptors. Even Archons aren’t like they used to be…
Zenio: Yeah, it’s easy to dodge storm. Storm is just too weak. And if you make too many stalkers, you just die to zerlings and roaches.
YGosu: What a clear explanation from the ZvP master. I’m worried that more Zerg players will start using this strategy now. I’m considering deleting this interview T_T
YGosu: Onto the next question. It’s very hard to find a high ranking Terran in the platinum leagues, why do you think Terran is doing so poorly now?
Zenio: Hmmm… I need a clever answer for this one… People might hate me if I answer this poorly, lol.
YGosu: Do you visit our site? If you did, you’d know it’s our policy to act first, and deal with the consequences later.
YGosu: Are you really a YGosu user?
Zenio: Yes. I’m always checking the site out. I also had the #1 popular post a while ago.
YGosu: Oh, then you’re an Elite YGosu-er. In the spirit of our website, spit some truth.
Zenio: Well in that case, Terran is strong, but no one knows how to use them.
YGosu: Wow, a pretty strong statement there. So you mean the players aren’t used to the new Terran yet? Or that all the Terran users are chobos?
Zenio: I mean… I think so far that a lot of Warcraft III players are playing Starcraft II. They’re trying too hard to play the game like Warcraft III. How should I say this… they focus too much on microing units with special abilities, or trying to fight major battles with an army they’ve saved up. That’s not Starcraft. You have to make stuff quickly, burn through it quickly, and expand all the while. The Warcraft III players like to play off one base and complete their unit combinations.
YGosu: So you mean they are too passive, and too focused on battles?
Zenio: I’ve tried Terran a little bit, and it seems like going 1 barracks expand is good, just like Starcraft: Broodwar. No one uses this build though. I think resource oriented play is good.
YGosu: Most people seem to think that it’s very difficult to protect a fast expansion in Starcraft II, but you think Terran can pull it off?
Zenio: Yes, of course. If you scout them trying to attack you early, you can defend easily by building bunkers in time. If you defend a rush, then obviously you’re ahead. I think Terran can be very strong if they expand followed with a well timed attack, like Starcraft: BW.
YGosu: Ah, spoken like a true gosu, breaking the existing notions.
Zenio: No, I’m not rewriting the rules or anything. Think about it. In a game that’s been played for over ten years, and researched to death, standard play isn’t standard for nothing. There’s a good reason. Starcraft II might be a different game from Starcraft: Broodwar, but classic play still works in the end. I’m kind of disappointed that people are missing that.
YGosu: Do you have a lot of experience at Starcraft: Broodwar as well?
Zenio: Yes, I practiced a lot in preparation for Starcraft II.
YGosu: So that’s what it was, you did seem unusually good. How did you prepare exactly?
Zenio: It was about this time last year, so it’s been an entire year now. I heard around then that the Starcraft II beta was coming out, so I stopped playing Warcraft. At the time, I was actually practicing to be a Warcraft progamer. To be honest, it was really tough. I suffered so much because the bar was already set so high. But when I heard the Starcraft II beta was coming out, I thought about hard it had been for me so far, and I decided to make a clean cut from Warcraft and take a shot at Starcraft II.
And in order to prepare for that, I started to play Starcraft: Brood War from March of 2009. But I didn’t know how to play Starcraft. I started in public games on the Battle.net Asia server. Then I learned about the “op 345” channel. I practiced there for a while, and then my friend told me about ICCup. So I switched to ICCup and played there. I managed to get to A- in about three seasons.
YGosu: That’s incredible. Starcraft is hard to get good at, even if you play it for two or three years. But you managed to hit A- in only a year. You must have practiced really hard. Did you feel discouraged at any point?
Zenio: Yes, it was hard. It’s a totally different game from Warcraft III, so it would be strange if it wasn’t hard. It wasn’t really the gaming that was hard on me, it was some other things.
YGosu: What was the hardest part?
Zenio: I didn’t have a good environment around me when I was playing Warcraft III. I was going to school, and had some family problems. My heart wasn’t all into it either. But now I’m out of school, and I’ve made up my mind. Now I can focus on Starcraft II completely.
Also, since I’ve tasted failure with Warcraft III, I would really hate to fail at Starcraft II. I’m the youngest kid in my family, and I don’t want to disappoint them when all eyes are on me. Think about it, the little kid in the family, wasting all of his time on video games, how that would break his parent’s hearts. I’m so sorry to them, so terribly sorry. I really want to succeed at Starcraft II so I can make my parents happy.
YGosu: That’s some resolve and determination there. You’ve persevered through that pain and practicing hard right now, I know you’re going to succeed. You’ll become the pride of YGosu! If you’d just do some One Piece (an anime) cos-playing, you could try and become not only the president of YGosu, but even the Emperor… (YGosu in-joke I don’t understand).
Anyway onto the next question. So what do you think about Starcraft II? Do you think it can succeed just like the original?
Zenio: Of course. I watched Starcraft I on TV recently, and I just couldn’t watch it… And I really like Starcraft.
YGosu: What do you think the strengths of Starcraft II are?
Zenio: First off, it’s still in the beta phase, yet Battle.net works really well so even new players can start playing with ease. The ladder system is great, too. From an observer’s standpoint, the tempo of the game is quick so it’s fun to watch.
YGosu: Were you thinking about E-sports with that last bit?
Zenio: Yes. There’s a real joy to watching the game.
YGosu: On the other hand, what do you think the weaknesses are? In terms of balance, or gameplay.
Zenio: The sound effects could be better. I think Zerg has the biggest problem there, there’s just no energy behind the unit sounds. It barely sounds like they’re responding when you click on them, and you can’t tell what unit is making what sound. There aren’t units that sound desperate or growl at you aggressively, and the “You require more minerals” sound is kind of off-putting (the Korean dub of the Zerg lady is said to be pretty bad). So it’s kind of annoying.
YGosu: We’ll try to send your feedback to Blizzard. What about the maps then? Do you think anything is wrong with them right now? Like, racial imbalances, or differences in starting positions?
Zenio: You know Desert Oasis, right? The main and natural are so far apart, so you have to defend them separately, which makes it difficult to expand. Even if you do succeed at expanding, it’s really hard to defend it, so I think the map forces you to play off your main. Naturally, you don’t get to make many units… It would be nice if they got rid of maps like that. I – I’m not saying that because I’m a Zerg user!
YGosu: … Thank you for your insightful (selfish) opinions. (The quip about selfishness is YGosu’s, not mine)
You don’t feel that there’s any imbalance in starting positions?
Zenio: Nope, haven’t felt that yet.
YGosu: Then what do you think is overpowered so far? Like, something like “Warp Gates are imba!” or like the mutalisks in ZvP like you mentioned before.
Zenio: Overpowered, hmmm…
YGosu: For example, Warp Gates or Mutalisks…
Zenio: Hmm.. Like I said before, I think mutalisks are overpowered. Besides that, I don’t think anything is really overpowered. I think the balance is pretty good overall, with the exception of mutas in zvp.
YGosu: Sharp observation, I hope it will be patched soon T_T. Are you streaming on Afreeca? Most other gosus stream their games there.
Zenio: No, my computer is pretty bad T_T. I’m playing on lowest settings. I’d have to go to a PC Bang in order to broadcast. But it’s a pain to do that, and it takes a lot of money. I’d love to stream, but I’m not in the situation to do so right now.
YGosu: Laziness is fearsome indeed. The answer might be obvious, but would you like to be a pro-gamer once Starcraft II is released?
Zenio: Yes, of course. For that, I’ve dropped everything else and gone all-in with Starcraft II.
YGosu: That shows in the insane amount of games you’ve played. Not even a week, and 300 games…
Zenio: 40 a day is my goal. No more, no less, just getting in 40 games a day is my goal so far.
YGosu: We really hope you become a Starcraft II pro. Personally then, which progamer are you excited about making the possible leap from Starcraft I to Starcraft II?
Zenio: Hmm… Flash or Jaedong. I guess that’s a pretty common answer.
YGosu: Yeah… A bit boring. Just say Yellow.
Zenio: No no no no no.
YGosu: Kong Gga Ji ma T_T (don’t bash Yellow).
Zenio: Lol. Well just personally, it’s Rock. I met him while I was playing Warcraft a long time ago. Since he’s dabbled in Warcraft III, I think maybe he’ll be okay at Starcraft II because they have a similar interface? Though should I be saying this about Rock? He’s still playing Starcraft…
YGosu: Perfectly OK. The commander of the major leagues (Stork. Refers to Rock’s nickname, commander of the minor leagues. Go look up his record in Challenge league or Survivor tournament, he’s incredible there) plays World of Warcraft, you know.
Zenio: …. Really?
YGosu: ….Who knows? We’re not sure either. Someone out there must know the truth anyway.
Well, in conclusion, a word to the YGosu-ers from a YGosu-er who will go on to become a Starcraft II pro!
Zenio: YGosu is such a familiar site to me, so it’s an honor to be interviewed like this. I’ll try hard so you guys can interview me later when I’m a Starcraft II pro.
YGosu: When you’re a pro, please plug our site. Something like “I start my day by browsing YGosu.”
YGosu: Ok, now pick the next interviewee. Who should we interview, amongst the many Starcraft II players?
Zenio: Hmm, who should I pick?
YGosu: Don’t worry about it, just act. Like I said before. You’re a YGosuer? Act first, think later.
Zenio: Then I pick Kim Dong Su, Garimtoss. He’s like the only Starcraft player who’s high in the ladder, so I think it would be great if you interviewed him.
YGosu: ….Thanks for picking such a difficult guy to get a hold of. Anyway, thanks for the interview! We hope to see you again as a YGosu-er progamer!
Zenio: Thanks guys!