Source: This Is Game
Millenium 'Illyes Satouri' Stephano, who currently is the most popular player of all foreign players, has found his way to Korea. Last year, in 2011, Stephano came to Korea to attend the Blizzard Cup. This time however, Stephano is here purely for intensive training. For the past seven days, Stephano has been staying with TSL, whom Millenium have a partnership with. Stephano will be staying in Korea until August 19th, then after going back home to France, he will head over to America for the upcoming MLG.
This Is Game met with Stephano and told him about his major Korean fan base which he had no idea even existed. As soon as Stephano heard that he had a lot of fans in Korea, he was pleasantly surprised and responded with "I am going to show performances from here on out that is going to make my fans proud of the fact they they are my fans." Also, as of right now, it will be difficult for Stephano to attempt the GSL Code S but Stephano stated that he thinks he will be available for the GSL that is opening up in November.
It is very nice to meet you like this. This is your second time in Korea. How do you feel about it?
The last time I came here I did not know much about Korea. I didn't really understand the Korean SC2 scene. I stayed with team oGs last time but it was very unpleasant for me and there was no one in that team that spoke decent English so I was very lonely. Right now, the TSL team house has players who speak decent English and the coach so it's a lot better than last time.
You are practicing with the TSL teammates. What is the atmosphere like?
The people there are really great people and really great practice partners. I really like the Korean food. I am a fan of Korean food now.
How are you getting along with the TSL teammates? Have you befriended anyone?
TSL has really great people like Polt and Symbol. Within the Protosses, inori is really powerful. As practice partners they are fantastic. Compared to other Korean players I think the TSL people are really nice.
You have encountered Polt several times and you have even lost to him. You must be good friends with him.
You could say that. I enjoy playing against him and it is fun for me. He is a player I admire. As far as I can remember I have won three times against him and he has won four.
Your last televised match in Korea was the Blizzard Cup. How was your performance back then?
During the Blizzard Cup I faced DongRaeGu, HerO, MC, and Mvp. I beat DRG and HerO. It was such a difficult group for me that I was content with my 2-2 score.
You have a lot of fans in Korea. Were you aware of this?
Are there? I really didn't know. I've only participated in American and European tournaments so I didn't know about any fans in Korea. Thank you very much for letting me know.
A lot of KeSPA players who have just recently switched to SC2 have stated that they analyze your play a lot.
I haven't seen their BW performances but I have heard that all these players are incredibly famous. I didn't really know about them but I did hear that JaeDong was extremely famous. I am so grateful that a player like that likes me.
It's been said that you practice with a different regime than Korean players do. But even so, you have still managed to stay on par with the Korean players. What is your secret?
It's because I try not to think of them as Korean players. Whether they are Korean, European, or American players, the secret is to just do my own plays.
How much do you practice?
Currently, during my stay at the TSL house, I've been practicing 8 - 9 hours a day. But as of late because I participate in so many tournaments I didn't really have a lot of time to practice. When I'm in France, I practice about 3 - 4 hours a day and I stream a lot.
Within the foreign players out there, you have the best results. Is it okay to ask how much you've made?
I've made about 120,000 dollars right now. And that's just my winnings.
How famous is SC2 in France? How famous are you in France?
France is not home to the best SC2 players. There aren't many opportunities for people to watch great games. Aside from the Iron Squid there aren't many tournaments. For the fans, they enjoy watching SC2 more than playing it. As for my fame? (laughs). I'm quite famous.
You are deemed worthy of a GSL Code S seed. Don't you want the seed as well?
I had the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Code S but I turned it down. There are so many tournaments to attend in this world and if I attempted the GSL it would consume too much of my time that I wouldn't be able to attend all those other tournaments. In my current situation, it's difficult for me to even stay a month in Korea.
The Korean fans all say that Stephano is a Code S player. How far do you think you would go if you attempted Code S?
I haven't really thought about it. For the GSL, you play about a match a week. I'm not really used to tournaments like that. Focusing on only one opponent is not really my style. So it's hard for me to answer this question.
In your opinion, what is the level of the Korean GSL league?
If it's a league where I have to face multiple players at a time I am confident. If I have to practice to prepare for only one player then I'm not very confident. It's hard to say what their level is. There are just so many players in the GSL.
People say Stephano's 200/200 roach play is considered a very unique style. Do you yourself think so?
Of course I think my play style is unique. I analyze a lot of players' play but I don't really imitate it.
Lately in Korea, there is a notion that Zergs have gotten a lot harder to beat. Do you think so?
Zerg is stronger than Protoss. Against Terrans, it's 50/50. In my opinion, the current balances are not that bad. It's bad for Protoss and good for Zerg. Of course, this is just my opinion (laughs).
What are your future plans?
I'm going to leave Korean on the 19th, head to France, then head over to the upcoming MLG. After attending MLG I'm thinking about going back to Korea around November or December so I can practice again. It's not finalized but if I am in Korea by that time I think I'll be able to attempt Code S.
Anything to say for your Korean fans?
I really had no idea so many Korean people liked me. I am so happy that I found this out through this interview. In order to make them feel proud of the fact that they are my fans I am going to show great performances.