Today we followed up the opening day of TSL4 and it was quite a ride, between an up-and-coming Zerg proving himself and one of the wildest ZvP matches we have seen in a while. As usual, we sat down with each of them after their games and saw what they had to say.
Interview with d.JonnyREcco
You just beat TSL3 runner-up NaNiwa 3-1 in your first TSL match, how does it feel?
It feels so awesome to actually beat NaNiwa my hands are shaking after that last game. :D
This is also your first tournament with the Dignitas tag, a promising start? How happy do you think Odee is?
Well I imagine that he is pretty happy that I’ve at least beat NaNiwa in TSL4 now.
What did you expect going into the match? Did you follow his progress at WCS? Seems he has had trouble against foreign Zergs this week.
When I heard I had to play him, I went and looked up a lot of his games to see how he played. I watched him vs DRG in GSL and I think it was Forsen vs him as well. Then yesterday I also watched his games at WCS. PvZ seems to be his worst match up but I feel like he is playing it a bit odd style-wise at the moment.
Yes, even in this series he opened up gate before forge in the first 2 games. What did you think of that? Did you expect it?
I expected him to do it after seeing him play the build in other games, it can be good but I think only with gateway pressure everything else just seems equal if you do it off of a forge expand.
Can you explain more about how you prepared? Did you ready specific builds or was it mostly just learning how he plays PvZ?
It was a bit of both, I didn't know how to play vs gateway expands at all really before I saw NaNiwa did them alot so I got to see the games of him vs SortOf so I stole the build and adjusted it a bit. Then I also looked at how he played ZvP throughout the game, as in a lot of gateway/immortal heavy pushes , very little warp prism harassment mid to late game was another big thing I noticed and also not going over 3 bases most of the time.
It just allowed me to prepare for the eventual 3 base timing attack that came again and again.
After NaNiwa's quit message when you won the second game did you think you would win easily?
Yes, I knew I had a great chance to win from there since NaNiwa seems to get tilted very easily.
You're one of the more unknown players in TSL so can you tell us a little about yourself? What do you do when you're not playing Starcraft?
Ah my favorite question ^^, Well my names Paul Whyte and I’m from Scotland. Really, at the moment I don’t do much else apart from play Starcraft 2 to try and get as good as I can.
You can probably expect it more as you keep winning! You're pretty young, you're still in school I assume?
Actually I finished secondary school last year and then went to college for a little bit, I attended that for a few months but then kind of dropped out to play Starcraft 2 professionally.
Do you have any unique hobbies or talents? VortiX for instance told us he can solve a Rubik's Cube in 30 seconds.
Hmm, there will be something but my minds just drawn a blank lol. maybe from beating NaNiwa.
You're playing Major next, do you know much about him? How will you prepare?
I've heard that he's really good, but I haven't seen many of his games at all. I'll most likely see if I can find some vods or replays to see how he plays the matchup and then just see how it goes from there.
Anything else you would like to add before we go?
I would just like to thank my new team, Dignitas for taking me on and supporting me now. Also to all my fans who support me and have confidence in me.
Interview with EmpireKas
You just won your first match in TSL against fellow Ukrainian Fraer, does it feel good to be back competing in TSL?
TSL is something special for me, so I will do my best and even more here, Fraer is a very good player and I am happy that my prepared builds worked so good in this series.
Did you expect to win so easily? It was a fast 3-0.
We played in RSL a week ago twice, Bo5 and Bo7 where I won 3-1 and 4-1 (1 map favor) so I was really confident, but I know right now he is very good and one of best Protoss in Europe, so I was preparing a lot. I didn’t think it would be so fast, but it wasn’t easy for me, there are many mindgames and things in game that you can’t see. I was a bit nervous, and happy that I did it.
How did you prepare? Did you look at your past games from the RSL?
I didn’t look at the games, but I remember every single one and I know exactly what are his best sides, so I was trying to force him to not play his best. I was trying to play my game with some small changes to adapt for his style. I am good at being analytic, so when I have some time, like 1 week, I can do very well versus my opponent.
Game 1 Fraer tried a blink-stalker all-in that didn't do much damage, but you lost most of your SCVs when you walked your army across the map. Did you ever think you were in danger?
Actually we have a lot of games where he is does it and I defend well, and in our last games he just makes an expo after it and very fast greedy colossus. I didn’t have even a factory, so I thought best way will be go push and defend with rallied troops. Actually I was thinking let some marauders stay for defense, but was worried about he will go back with stalkers and kill my army part by part. Now I think I analyzed that situation slightly wrong, usually i just wait for first 2 medivacs then go, but my tech was so delayed, it forced me do that.
You went for an aggressive 1-base strategy in the third game on Metropolis, why is that?
At the start I was thinking about pushing with 2 marauders and 7-9 marines, was hoping what he will do some greedy build what he like to do sometimes, but then I saw non-close position and non-fast expo build, so decided to continue pressuring with some tech. When my SCV saw 4 gate, I totally knew when I need to hit my opponent, i have lots of experience, and much practice giving me good knowledge in timings. ;P Just didn’t win build lottery at start, and it just continued like that.
Your side of the bracket is difficult, with several StarTale players in the way. Is there anyone you wish to play?
I love to play with the best players, I feel it makes me stronger, so let the best win and I will face him.
Anything else you would like to add?
Good luck to my teammate Beastyqt one guy who I am cheering for in TSL!
Any last words or shoutouts? Sponsors you want to thank?
Thanks to all who believe in me, all who support me. Special thanks to my Team Empire and our sponsors Intel, Razer, Seagate, and Adidas. Follow me at twitter.com/Empire_Kas, Terrans Fighting!
Interview with MVPKeeN
TeamLiquid: You won easily by a 3 – 0 score. Did you expect to win so easily?
Yes, my opponent was a foreigner, and one who was lacking in name value at that, so I expected to win.
How much did you know about Welmu before the match? What kind of player did you think he was?
I didn't specifically analyze my opponent. It was a best of five, so I just planned to use the first game to figure out my opponent's style.
PuMa picked Welmu as his opponent at MLG Arena and lost 0 – 2. Were you worried after seeing that result?
Whoa, really? I didn't know that;; I think I won easily because I played without that in mind.
You said that Welmu wasn't a famous player. How many foreigners are out there that you're worried about?
I'm only worried about NaNiwa, haha.
So that means between BabyKnight and Vortix, you don't really have much preference as to your next opponent?
Yes, no matter who wins, I'm confident.
You had an opportunity to compete at DreamHack this year, how was the experience?
I think it's just great to have opportunities to play more games outside just the GSL and GSTL.
You play at a Code S level in the GSL, but you still seem to have some trouble in foreign tournaments. Is there something you're having trouble adjusting to?
I think it's just because I'm still lacking skill.
You've said in the past that you are trying to focus more on the mental aspects of the game / controlling your emotions during live games. In that respect, are you more at ease playing in an online setting?
Yes, I think there are some more convenient aspects about playing online. But I've spent a lot of time focusing on how to control my mentality in live games, so I don't think I have problems in that setting anymore.
What kind of results are you expecting in TSL4?
I think if I can beat NaNiwa [Note: NaNiwa is a potential quarter-final opponent for Keen], then getting to the finals, or even winning the championship is a goal. But my initial goal is to beat NaNiwa.
The .gif of your "WIN" ceremony is very popular in the foreign community. Did you know that?
I knew I was known for my ceremonies, but I didn't know it was that one in particular, lol.
Yes, it's spread outside the Starcraft community and become a general meme.
Ahhhh~~ I'd better do a lot more entertaining ceremonies then, LOL.
A lot of fans were disappointed that you haven't been doing many ceremonies lately, is there a reason behind it?
Yes, because my results kept getting worse, I wanted to focus more on my games than my ceremonies. If I start placing high in Code S again, or if feel that I'm getting results that I can be proud of as a player, I'll start paying attention to stuff outside of the game like ceremonies again.
PartinG imitated your ceremony a few days ago, you have anything to say about it?
I lost my games that day, so PartinG told me to cheer up by watching his ceremony, LOL. We're friends who share ceremonies with each other, so I didn't really think much about it.
Alright, any final words to your fans?
Thanks to all the fans who are always cheering for me. I'm really sorry that I haven't been able to show you ceremonies that often lately. I'm going to start getting results that I can feel good about, so I show my fans a lot of good games and entertaining ceremonies, so keep cheering me on.
Interview with ST_Life
You came back from a 0 – 2 deficit to win, how do you feel?
Life: Honestly I knew I would win, but because I lost two games strangely, I feel a bit...
How did things go wrong in game one and two?
In the first game I broke his third with Nydus lingfestor, but all my infestors died so I lost to his colossus all-in. In the second game, my six pool failed, so I just lost to his all-in from two bases.
Did you think you were going to lose 0 – 3 when he cannon rushed you in game three?
No, I knew that when I canceled his Nexus that he was going to follow with an all-in, so I knew I would win.
You're using a lot of six pools and nydus tactics in your recent tournament games. Is that your usual way?
Yes, these days if you play a standard game, Protoss is too imba so I can't beat them. So I use those kind of tactics frequently.
It wasn't so long ago that people were saying Zerg was too strong. What's the situation like now?
I think before, there was a period where Zerg was strong, but I think toss is still really strong and need a nerf. They're the strongest.
What did you know about your opponent before the match?
I didn't really know who he was, I hadn't heard about him before, so I just went into the game feeling comfortable.
Are most Korean players unfamiliar with foreigners unless they're players like Stephano or NaNiwa?
Hmm, there are quite a few players who seem to know most of the foreigners, but I didn't really know about elfi.
Does that mean you don't have much of a preference between Kas and Fraer as your next opponent?
Fraer is Protoss, so I don't want to face him, I prefer Kas.
ZeNEX merged with Startale lately, and you moved into the Startale house. Has that helped you improve a lot?
I don't really know yet.
Before my Code A match with Leenock, I think I goofed off too much. Now that I'm with Startale, they make everyone just play games. So I think things will go well from here.
So you were overconfident in your ZvZ for that match against Leenock?
Yes, that factored in some, and I just think I wasn't prepared enough. I'm trying harder these days.
You might actually be most well-known for your ZvZ abroad.
Hm, really? Honestly I'm really confident in my ZvZ. I'm very good at it, if I may say so myself, keke.
A lot of the players who had reputations for being good online seem to be doing well in live games lately, including yourself. Do you think you've adjusted to that environment?
Yes, frankly even since the old days, there wasn't much difference in skill between the players who were good online, even against top tier players.
Does going to Startale mean there will be opportunities for you to go abroad?
Hmm, I don't know about that yet. I don't think it will be very different from when I was in ZeNEX.
Any final comments for your foreign fans?
My games aren't going that well for me lately, but but please keep believing in me and cheering me on!
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JRecco and Vortix I'm definitely keeping my eye on. Feels like TSL4 might be the breakout they've been waiting for.
Quite simple interviews from Keen and Life, I guess unless you're a big star in Korea you don't have enough media experience to attempt to give more descriptive responses in interviews. Curious had a similar interview, but I just thought that was Curious being Curious. Taeja and Squirtle might be the only Koreans with enough practice in interviews for them to be fresh.
On July 30 2012 12:46 minilance wrote: liked the keen interview, thks for the good job
Judging by recent results in Korea, I think he's correct. DRG has been having an extremely tough time lately (Round of 4 and TAC3 ace match versus hero he didn't look like the best Zerg in the world that many people recognize him to be (or top 5 for that matter.) Also I know symbol and nestea both lost to kespa but I don't remember If both played toss or just one. even in Europe recently (WCS for Norway, Sweden, Denmark) only one Z was in the finals which was sortof and he played better than probably even he expected. 2 base timings are extremely hard to hold for Example in game 3 of DRG MC, MC was doing a 2 base attack with warp prism, DRG saw it coming, killed sentries as they were coming out of the prism and stopped his main from getting FOrce Fielded off and He still lost (as argueably the best player in the world.) just my modest opinion.
I love Keen's honesty about foreigners. Frankly I wish the scene consolidated a bit more so there aren't always a dozen bottom-feeder tournaments going on, but I guess that's like a minor league system?