You are in a Code S finals for the first time in your life. It was a hard fought victory so how do you feel?
I am feeling great. It's a shame that I had to beat someone I'm close to in Byun but he's such a great player that once Terran is buffed in the future, he can try again for the championship.
Your start was fantastic with a win in Set 1
I wasn't planning on using that build for the first set. Then after killing the scouting SCV, I sent my stalker to the watch tower in the centre and saw too many marines. Seeing that, I moved my gas probes back to minerals and defended the first pressure. 3 rax means that your tech is delayed and your defense at the entrance is weaker. That's why I ended the game with a 7 gate colossus timing.
You were helpless against the hellions in Set 2
I foresaw the hellions and even the drop. However, the drop came slightly later than I expected. I started to think that it was a maruder/hellion attack and that's when the hellions came in and fried all my probes.
You fell to hellions in Set 3 also. Were you mentally shaken?
If I were shaken mentally, I wouldn't have used a build that's countered by hellions. I wasn't intimidated psychologically and that wasn't the reason I took damage. It was simply that my opponent's build was well planned out. Even if I had gone for a more standard build, I think I would have taken a lot of damage because his build was unexpected. Still, I didn't expect my natural nexus to fall. I felt the OPness of marines once again.
Even in Set 4, there was a moment of crisis. Your delaying the attack for more time was impressive
Honestly, I was expecting to lose. I doubt there's a player anywhere in the world who would have thought "I can do this". Still, monitoring my opponent's movements with the observer, I saw a glimmer of hope. I bought time with dark templar and thanks to this I was able to buy even more time in the centre of the map with forcefields.
You were determinedly well defended in the last set
Nice question (laugh). You've read me like a book. After Set 4, I realised that Byun's goal today was to cripple me. That's why I went into the game with the goal of showing defense worthy of a fortress. It was as standard as it could get.
Who do you want to face for the finals?
For the fun of the match, I want DRG and for the honour of Protoss and personal friendship, MC. Lately, Protoss hasn't won anything. In every tournament. I think once a Protoss wins the GSL, they'll start to rally towards the cause. Actually, my PvP win rate isn't spectacular. I don't lose on the ladder but in official matches, I tend to lose out on the build choices. Luck has never been on my side in my PvPs and I'm confident about the matchup so I don't mind PvP that much. However, the same goes for PvZ so I'm not too worried.
The finals is to be held in Hae Woon Dae. Won't you be nervous for your first finals?
I think it will be fun. I've never been to Busan. Busan to me is just like the US or Europe. I want to find out what it's like. I can't wait (laugh).
Did Nestea say anything before your match tonight?
Seed, you going to the finals? was what he said (laugh).
You went 3:2 in ro8 and again in ro4. If there's anything you felt after having two full matches
As I played those matches, I realised that my play was very different between Sets 1 and 5. I felt it in both ro8 and ro4. I seem to be deficient early on in the match and as it progresses, my concentration improves and I play better. I think practice is the only way to fix this weakness. I identified my weakness in ro8/4 this season.
There are many fans who want to see if LG-IM is a team that can produce three champions.
I'm already satisfied. Going to the finals is already an honour not many progamers get to have. It's not a place anyone can reach. I'll just try my best. I don't care too much about how our team would have a champion of each race. Two of our players have already won like it's nothing. There are so many trophies at the training house that adding mine won't even be noticeable (laugh).
You are very popular among the fans because of your interviews
I'm a very easygoing person (laugh). I'm friendly to people and treat friends to nice meals all the time. In interviews, I just say what I want.
Anything to add?
I want to thank Dreamertt and MVP for helping me with practice. Happy lost in his Code A Round 2 match and I want to tell him to keep strong and become as good as he once was. I want to thank everyone in LG-IM who cheered for me. The coach and especially his wife seemed to want to go to Hae Woon Dae. I'm happy because I feel like I got them a gift. Lastly, I want to thank LG Electronics, SteelSeries, Googims, Nvidia and Coca cola for their sponsorship.
It's been a long, 496 days long break between your Code S finals
It's refreshing (laugh). The break was so long that some people said that I would never return. I'm happy to have made it once more.
You said that you were saving strategies for tonight despite going to NASL and HSC. Is that true?
Hmm, is it? Well, yeah it is true that I was saving up strategies for tonight. Of course, it sounds like a big fat excuse but I feel like in foreign tournaments, solid macro play can carry me far enough.
Your score was 3:0. In Sets 1 and 2, you defended and in Set 3, you tried an all-in
For Sets 1 and 2, I quite often had hour long games in practice. Set 3 was a prepared build. Antiga Shipyard is not favourable for Protoss so I designed it specifically for that map. There are many more builds I had ready but didn't get to use tonight.
Many predicted a DRG victory
In my practice yesterday and today, I didn't lose a single game. I tend to stop practising after 3 consecutive losses but this never happened so I had a marathon of a practice session. I didn't think for once that I would lose tonight. Also, I watched Naniwa's match against DRG in ro8 and he played so well that he almost won. I was impressed.
Aren't you still jetlagged due to all the foreign tournaments?
It's true I had a hard time after just 2 hours of sleep. However, my mind woke up on its own. It became clear as soon as I sat down in the booth. It's amazing how this competitive will is ever present.
This is the first ever PvP finals. Some fans are worried
If Seed is up to it, it'll be long games and if not, it'll be quick. I tend to focus on my fundamentals. I rely mostly on my intuition. Conversely, Seed seems to prepare religiously. I think it will be a match between a Freestyler and a Textbook. I believe this will make it all the better.
Do you feel like you can lessen the gap between yourself and MVP/Nestea?
First, I'll catch up to Nestea this season and next season, I'll match MVP or so my dream scenario goes. It's hard to make the dream scenario happen though so Ill have to work harder than ever.
Your all-ins this season were scary strong. Were they specially planned?
I believe all-ins are part of what makes up your fundamentals. I just use them when I feel like it. The all-ins I used this season were ones I bring out when I get pissed. I use them whenever I feel like my opponent is letting their guard down or getting greedy. I sometimes try them out against standard play just to see whether it would work. It fails horribly when it's properly repelled but at the moment, they're working rather well.
You must have been under some pressure because of your inability to win another GSL championship
I thought I could do it at any time and as I saw other Protosses get there before me, I started to think. There was a part of me that wanted them to lose and another that was sorely jealous. However, I consoled myself with the fact that I still had the biggest earnings in prize money.
Next week, you will participate in OSL Dual tournament
I'm not even thinking about that one yet. Well, the plan is of course to advance. If a champion fails to advance, it'll be too embarrassing. OSL is in its beginning stages but I still want to win both leagues. And maybe at this rate, that's very possible. OSL has maps that are favourable for Protoss after all.
Do you feel like you can keep the title of the only Protoss champion?
I think so but I won't hold a grudge or anything even if I lose it. I want to have fun in the finals. I think it's better to enjoy the game rather than play under pressure. I am able to think this because my opponent is Seed. The same probably goes for Nestea and MVP. I know it's only a partnership but I already see them as teammates.
Anything to add?
Many Zergs gave me help. TSL's Hyun, Jookto who is still teamless and even Jaedong from Team 8. There are many former MBCGame players on Team 8 so they sometimes help with practice and I certainly got help for ro4. I've finally reached another finals so I want to thank the fans who have waited on me. My mother and girlfriend are so happy for me. My manager is coming to Korea for the finals so I hope to have a good time. It was a hard 500 days in one sense. I felt like if I failed to reach the finals one more time, I would be jinxed in the future so it's a good thing I made it. I want to thank those who make it possible for me to work as a stable progamer. Lastly, I want to thank the sponsors.
How is Jaedong's skill level?
Honestly, his knowledge and understanding of the game is lacking. However, his fundamentals are amazing. He's aggressive like he was in Starcraft 1. I think it's solid enough to work really well in Proleague. As a progamer, I feel for the KeSPA players. A hybrid league is just a ludicrous concept and adding OSL to their plate is impossible. I hope Proleague ends soon and everyone gets to play together. I don't want to choose sides when I was originally one of them. I hope they work hard and someday face me as a challenger.