Source: inven eSports
An interview with Dark by 김홍제 of inven eSports, posted on the 14th of January 2015.
Q. Nice to meet you, please introduce yourself to the fans
Hello I'm Dark, a zerg that has been with SKT for 2 years.
Q. You started your progaming career on Slayers in 2012. I'm curious as to what motivated you to become a progamer.
Since Starcraft 1 I had friends that would all play together, one day I realized they were all playing Starcraft 2. When I saw that I naturally started playing starcraft 2. Back then there wasn't any information about Clans or teams so I just dilligently played the ladder alone. It was at that time that I got onto the slayers team with a second place in a selection match.
After that, while I was an online practice partner, the GSL preliminaries had started. While I was there the coach gave me notice that I'd be living in the players lodge which is when I started practicing full time.
Q. On slayers there were many famous players such as Boxer, MMA etc. When you first started living in the players quarters was there any particular feeling?
I was training with the players I had seen on TV. The food was very good and so was the accommodation so everything was interesting (laughs). Back then the lodging was in Gim-Po and so there was absolutely nothing to do but play the game. I didn't have any other thoughts so it was play until you drop.
Q. And you moved to SKT-1. For 1 year you didn't have any impressive results, did you ever think about giving up?
When I first joined SKT my internal results were better than I expected. But originally I didn't use a specific concept while playing and tended to play more freely. I tried to play more systematically but I realized that my ability was decreasing. But I found my own style and my ability slowly improved. That was around the first time I qualified for code S in 2014.
Q. When you first joined SKT did they treat you well? Or was the practice environment what you expected? How was it?
At first I was a little bit worried but Best, Bisu, Fantasy etc, really treated me well. So I was able to adapt, there wasn't any really difficult part but because it was a Kespa team I had to adapt to their systematic training which was really difficult (laughs).
Q. Do you think the first time you started to get some recognition was your first 2014 Code S?
I think it was when I participated in the later half of the 2014 Proleague season. Code S was before that but even when I practiced my abilities didnt show and changing my style was really hard. So there was times in the middle of the year that I wanted to give up. So towards the end of 2014, while I always able to catch some opportunities to play, my games steadily got better.
Q. In interviews you always seem to provoke the competition, I didn't realize you were like that. Who do you think is the real 'Dark'?
I've always been a confident guy. During broadcasts I simply like to use a provocative concept (laughs). I want people to recognize my name, so it seems necessary that I have a big mouth. I think I'll keep provoking others until I win an individual league.
Q. Recently your condition has looked really good. You've been recognized as SKT 1's zerg rising star. And now sometimes you've been referred as SKT's zerg ace.
When I was losing I learned a lot of things. Every time I lost I tried to absorb as much useful information as possible. While going through this process I can feel my ability improving. And recently I feel like ive been misunderstood. Compared to my vT I have an image of not doing well against Protoss, right? I've never thought to myself that I can't play against Protoss. In the IEM qualifiers and Proleague I've lost a few times (vP) so I think that's where it started. If I end up versing a protoss I want to show my ability.
Q. I'll be crossing my fingers. Can you describe your playstyle to the fans that don't know you very well?
In a straightforward way I like to push around my opponents. More than the trivial battles I intend to win with an overwhelming force. Shall I say that I like to Prod and push my opponent using brute force. Up until the midgame all zergs are similar but after that we're slowly becoming different. It's like even I have my own style.
Q. In 2014 your teammate SoO had a lot of good results. Did being teammates with SoO impact your own play?
He was really impressive in 2014. When I was watching his play I thought 'how can he win like this?' But he has a different style to me so I wasn't very influenced. Just some small tips and basic builds. It was the same for SoulKeY.
Some people think that my recent performances are all thanks to SoO and Soulkey. But I tend to cling to my own style and develop it alone.
Q. You still haven't participated in any foreign tournaments. Don't you want to?
Of course there's been opportunities, it would be good to have good results overseas but I don't feel that it is necessary. I'm satisfied with my lifestyle on SKT and I have a lot of motivation here. I tend to focus inwards but I need to be in an environment that makes me look outwards. So I'll say that I'm satisfied for now.
Q. You and Rogue are 2 zergs that are still surviving for in both leagues. Do you consider Rogue to be a rival?
Recently Rogue and I have been receiving attention. In the past I felt a rivalry with other zergs but now I have a mindset that I should just be the best. I've heard here and there that Rogue considers me a rival but I just don't care for that (laughs). I'm not friends with Rogue so I want to become more friendly through this interview.
Q. Recently you've been using corruptors against terran. Can you give us some details why?
In ZvT the basic composition is Ling/Bane/Muta. You need to get a lot of mutalisks for them to be worthwhile and that's when your Ling/Bane count can start to drop off so I realized there were a few times where I was being fruitlessly pushed around. I think a lot of Zergs will agree with me. But even if you have just a few corruptors you can start to see a benefit. Simply I had found it difficult to stop medivac harass so I thought 'Today I played Muta's, tomorrow I'll use corruptors.'
Q. There's been a lot of talk that 'Terran are overpowered.' What do you think about current balance?
Terran are definetely strong. But even though terran have gotten good its not like they've suddenly become S+ class. They've gotten better but they've all reached a high standard together. So no matter which terran I verse its not a big scare. Even if I say that Terran are alright I sit next to Classic and keep seeing him lose to widow mine cheeses, afterwards he makes a deep sigh (laughs). When I see this it seems that Terran is strong.
Q. Even though your atmosphere has been good there are still times when your play looks messy. How do you deal with it when that happens?
Korean players have a higher level of play than foreigners but their builds/compositions are similar. So I've been getting inspiration from foreign tournaments. Particularly I've been watching a lot of Liquid.Snute and that's been really helpful for me.
Q. In your opinion who do you think are the top 3 players for each race?
I'll start with a terran; Maru, Innovation and Cure. Maru was good even when Terran were in a slump. And lately terran have gotten good so it's like Maru found his wings just in time. Innovation has really strong standard play, versing him is tiring. As for Cure, out of all the terran players I've met in recent tournaments I end up losing to him the most so I chose him.
For Protoss it would be sOs, Zest and herO. Naturally sOs uses tricky builds, I can never get a clue of what his build is trying to do. Zest, like Innovation, plays standard. He tends to play the best by using solid styles. Lastly herO's blink stalkers are hell for Zergs. I'm not sure about zergs. Maybe Rogue?
Q.The 2015 season has started, the map pool is the exact same as 2014 season 3. What do you think about that?
I think the 2014 season 3 map pool was very good for terrans. Their recent feeling has also been good so I expect the terrans to be in full force. But I'm confident in my ZvT so it doesn't matter for me.
Q.Thanks for the interview today. Finally can you tell us what your goals are for the future.
While being a pro-gamer my goal is to win 10 individual league titles. I'm not joking, really 10 wins. Recently the atmosphere feels like the chance for my first championship has finally come. I've also recognized it. While I'm practicing I hope my fans cheer for me a lot. Thank you.
Edit: This Interview was translated by Matthew Burke.