Once again, thanks for Blizzard for giving us the opportunity to interview the two finalists after the Korean media event.
TeamLiquid: There wasn't much time to prepare between matches in the Blizzard Cup, compared to other GSL tournaments. Did this cause any difficulties?
MMA: I thought it would be difficult at first, but it turned out to be easier than expected because all of the SlayerS players got together and helped me out.
The group stages of the Blizzard Cup were played as a best of one, what did you think about that format?
Because it was best of one, I think players tended to use cheesy strategies. For the players, because the games end quickly, there's an element of excitement, and also emptiness. From the perspective of the audience, it seems like they might not find it as fun. So there's advantages and drawbacks.
Let's go back to the semi-finals. Did you expect to win against Mvp by a score of 3-0?
I expected that I could win 3-0 if I won the first game, because the builds I had prepared for games two and three were very good, with high win-rates.
Did SlayerS have anything special planned for Mvp beforehand, even if it wasn't for this particular tournament?
No, we didn't prepare beforehand. After it was determined that Mvp was my semi-final opponent, our Terran players had a meeting and made the builds.
Is Mvp's style too predictable then? You were able to beat him with early rushes at GSL October as well.
He doesn't do fixed things, but he's a player who goes for safe builds. There's a timing where he's weak after he opens safe, and I think I won this time because I aimed for that timing.
Were you confident at beating him in management games as well?
Yes, I prepared around that.
So did you prepare management style games for the fourth and fifth games?
That, I can't tell you (laughs).
Any SlayerS teammate who helped you a lot in particular?
Everyone helped me a lot, but Ryung helped me the most.
You have a chance to win your second GSL championship, how do you feel?
I'm excited, and I can't wait for tomorrow.
What do you think about DongRaeGu as a player?
He's one of the best Zerg players, and I think it will be a very tough match.
Versus Zerg and versus Terran are your respective best match-ups. Are you confident going in?
Yes, I'm confident, and I'm excited because I think there will be some really fun games.
Do you think maybe you have an advantage, because DongRaeGu has had trouble performing up to his potential in the GSL? Maybe you have a mental advantage.
No, I don't think so. DongRaeGu has also accumulated a lot of big stage experience, so I don't think that will be a problem for him.
You've faced him on occasion in other tournaments. Do you think there's a rivalry between you two?
Yes, when we meet in the GSTL we always seem to meet at important moments, and this is another important moment. If you look at it that way, then it's correct that we're rivals.
You two faced off at MLG Providence, where DRG used two early busts to beat you. Did you expect that kind of play then, and are you worried about that kind of play in the finals?
I expected it, but I didn't expect him to come in that strong.
What kind of play do you expect from him in the finals?
I think he'll prepare around management style, and bring some cheesy builds on a few of the maps.
Are you happy with the maps? [Map Order: Crossfire, Tal'Darim Altar, Bel'Shir Beach, Dual Sight, Daybreak, Antiga Shipyard, Shakuras Plateau]
I'm not satisfied at all with the maps. Like DRG said as well, there's so many Zerg favored maps starting from the first set. In the later end of the series there's some maps that are decent for Terran, so I have to make this series go long for it to favor me. Calm Before the Storm is good for Terran, but it didn't make in through the map drawings, so it will be a tough series.
Outside of maps, what do you think about the overall trends or balance in TvZ these days?
I think balance is about even, and the better player wins.
What do you think the score will be?
If I win the first map, I think maybe 4 – 2, and I think it will go to 4 – 3 if I don't.
Code S is changing a lot next year, with longer leagues and best of three during the group stages. What do you think of these changes?
For me, I just play the format the tournament decides on, so I don't really care.
Also, there will be a bigger weight on GSTL next season, the tournament where you first started to become well-known. Are you excited for it?
I think it's a good tournament, because you can see teams united together.
You switched to SC2 from SC1, where Proleague is the main tournament. Do you think moving towards a more team tournament based structure is the right way to go for SC2 as well?
I don't think there's a right or wrong way to go about it, it's just a matter of taste on what you like. The organizers probably have a good plan.
What was your most memorable moment from 2011?
Of course, the GSL finals played at Blizzcon.
Are you satisfied with your results this season?
Hmmm, yes, I'm satisfied.
You've beat Mvp convincingly in your two recent matches. Do you think you can take the title of best Terran player in 2012?
The title of best player, that's kind of... I think that Mvp still had a better career, and he's ahead of me in all regards.
Even so, you will probably be one of the players who headlines the GSL in 2012.
Yes, that's something I'm looking forward to.
Any goals or resolutions going into next year then?
If I can close out 2011 well in Blizzard Cup, that will help me get off to a good start in 2012. So I'm going to put everything into this Blizzard Cup.
Okay, any last comments?
Well, this is an interview with TeamLiquid, and I know that I have a lot of foreign fans. I check TL to look up news about me, and to practice my English on the side. I'm always thankful that my fans are cheering me on, and to my Koreans fans as well. Also, thanks to Razer to who sponsors us!