Q: How do you feel about winning GSL vs. The World?
Serral: Obviously it feels great. I wasn’t really expecting to win but that was my goal. It feels great to win something a bit bigger than a normal tournament.
You’re the first foreigner to ever win a GSL tournament. How does it feel knowing that?
I would say that my year has been pretty good so far, so this is like a cherry on top of it. I’m very happy that I managed to pull it off. I’m also very thankful for everyone who supported me and helped me on my path.
How does this compare to winning your first premier tournament at WCS Leipzig?
Obviously it feels better, just knowing that the players are higher level, and knowing that I can beat higher level players. The higher level a tournament is, obviously the more happy I am to win. This is probably one of the higher level tournaments we can even have, so obviously it means more to me than WCS wins. But the first win in WCS and this are very even, I would say.
Some would have expected you to have swept at least one finals by this point, but the underdogs always seem to take at least a map off of you. What do you think is the reason?
To be honest, I think when I lose maps in finals, a lot of it comes down to it being best-of-seven, and I feel the urge to do some all-ins. Which is good, I think, but sometimes they don’t work and you can’t really do anything about it. I don’t really think I play worse in finals. It’s very hard to say, but I think it’s just that you add more build orders to your play—that might be the reason.
In the last game, Stats changed up the Archon-drop build he was using before and killed a bunch of Drones with Adepts. Did that trigger your decision to go all-in, or had you already decided on that?
The Dreamcatcher game was a bit indecisive. Actually, at the start, I was planning to do a sixty-nine drone hydra-ling-lurker with some roaches. But just before I lost the drones, I already knew at that point I was going to do the all-in. I just randomly switched up my plans—not sure exactly why. But yeah, losing the drones didn’t change it. I already planned to do it before.
What was the most difficult moment in your tournament run?
Throughout the whole tournament I would say that before the finals it was going pretty well for me—I didn’t really have any too-hard moments getting to the finals. I guess against Kelazhur, InnoVation and Dark, I think it went quite comfortably.
But the final games… I had some worries after being 0-2, because I felt Redshift was a good map, but I guess he knew a bit more about the map than I, so he got the lead there. Then I managed to take two maps back, then I lost once again, even though I was in a decent spot. There were a couple of moments when I was worried toward the end of the series, but mainly I tried to always keep pretty calm and not worry about too many things.
You were a team captain in the team match. Your team won it pretty easily—what was a key moment in the team battle?
I think all matches were more or less very important. But I would say that I managed to take down Maru was probably one of the more important matches, because otherwise we might have been 4-4 with Koreans only winning. But… [laughs]I don’t like to brag too much, but that might have been an important win.
People say you have to train in Korea to become the best in the world—not just in StarCraft but in other games such as League of Legends as well. How were you able to reach this level playing mostly in Europe, and what do you have to say to the European Terrans who complain about having no one to practice against?
I think you can get pretty good with European practice, especially against Zergs and Protoss players. With the practice I’m getting against them, I can beat anyone. We’re lacking a bit in Terran players—we have some, uThermal and souL—but not too many. So I have been mainly just theorycrafting and thinking about how to play the game, ‘what are the correct things to do?’ and watching the Korean games.
I haven’t had too much experience against Korean Terrans but I still kind of know what to do, even though I haven’t had that experience, so that’s enough.
Anything you want to say to the Finnish fans?
I would say what your sign said, but you know what that means so I’m not gonna say it. [Laughs. Probably.]
Kiitos, kiitos kaikille noille ketkä on tukenu mua näiden matkojen aikana, ja auttanu mua tänne ylös pääsemään.
Thanks to everyone for helping me, and to everyone who has helped me on my path to become this good.