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How do you feel being back in Code S?
I expected to be eliminated so I am glad to be advancing to ro16 in first place. I am feeling great. I was initially really nervous tonight. My coach bought me some chewing gum after hearing that chewing gum can help with the nerves but ever since I was young, I wasn’t able to chew gum for longer than 30 seconds. I always end up swallowing. I swallowed the gum seven times playing tonight.
If you had to evaluate your own games?
Honestly, it was only half as good as when I play for real. I was terrible tonight. I’m not too fond of Sets 2 and 3 against Seed. In Set 2, I was at least playing okay despite losing. However, for Set 3, the game dragged out for way too long even though it was basically a won game for me. On top, I thought the centre bases were gold like in the ladder version. I always feel my chest after a match and today, my heart was racing.
The consensus is that Terran is having a hard time but you smashed through both Protosses today.
I have my own solution. In a best of x series, the psychological aspect is important. If you vary your builds slightly, the Protoss has to think on how to adapt. I relied heavily on that aspect of play.
You had aggressive play today
The community seems to think that I learn from Marineking but we’re actually not that close (laugh). I studied and developed my style on my own. I was already changing up my style when I was last in Code S ro4 but the fans seem to have forgotten.
You have advanced to Code S ro16. How far do you think you can go?
If I get a lucky group in the nominations, I think I can make at least ro8. In practice, I feel that my play is worthy of Code S but I always leave a lot to be desired in GSL games. That’s why I am being realistic with the goal of reaching ro8.
How do you think is the fans’ reaction to you nowadays?
I think it’s settled down a lot. Different communities have different opinions of course. I think they are being easy on me since I keep winning despite Terran having a difficult time at the moment. Still, I can’t stop everyone from criticising me.
Do you make it your personal goal to prove your skill?
Of course. I want to improve my image through skill. However, I’m not sure I did that with today’s performance. I’ll have to do better from now on.
Your opinion on TvZ lately?
You have to last. You have to keep up in economy and go to the extreme late game. My turtling style is suitable for this. I don’t think there’s a way out other than this. Still, I’m not too confident about beating a Zerg in ro16 if I meet one. Well, actually, I’m not confident any of the races (laugh).
Anything to add?
FXOTear helped me a lot. Creator and Classic as well as SlayerSPuzzle also have my thanks. Puzzle keeps telling me to make a special mention of him but I have no idea what to say. A lot of people are asking me about how my puppy is doing and he’s growing up very well and I’m thinking about having him mate.
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How does it feel to reach Code S ro16 for the first time?
I feel fantastic, not much else to say, really. In my interview for U&D, I said that I found a new method of practice and that method is finally bearing its fruit which is very satisfying.
In the second match against Curious, you used a hallucination warp prism strategy in Set 1.
I wasn’t supposed to have the third scouted. Once scouted, the build no longer works. As I saw that one Zergling, I knew that my opponent understood what I was doing and that my build was about to fail. I was playing the game knowing that I was behind. Then, after defending consistently, I noticed my food count had reached 170 (laugh). It felt like I would win with an attack so I went for it once I maxed out. I had a feeling this might cause Curious to break down mentally and that I would take the next set easily.
In your final match against Curious, you once again had a difficult time taking Set 1 but took Set 2 easily.
Frankly, Daybreak and Whirlwind are Zerg maps. I had already made up my mind not to go for macro builds on these maps. My build was a different kind of timing rush compared to other Protoss builds so it’s harder for the Zerg to defend. If they only start reacting after I am outside their natural, they can never stop it.
Did you expect to take the match once you had taken Set 1 and Whirlwind was chosen for Set 2?
It was expected. I had only two practice matches on Whirlwind but I didn’t really need more than that since I was planning to all-in on that map anyway. You can’t win with a macro build on that map so I relied on timing rushes. I think Curious made some mistakes too. I think that helped me take the win.
Do you regret losing the winner’s match?
Curious and I are close so we made a promise to each other that one of us would advance through the winner’s match. If I had done that, we could have advanced together so that’s too bad. I am really sorry to Curious.
You were eliminated in ro32 last season but this season you have advanced to ro16.
I haven’t gotten better exactly. However, like I said before, I am practising more efficiently with the new method. Once your skill reaches a progamer level, you don’t improve all that much after that. Zergs are improving at the moment thanks to the patch but if you look at Terrans and Protosses, they’re all more or less stationary. Skill-wise, I’m similar to last season.
You must want more now that you have advanced to ro16 for the first time
Not really. I just want to go as far as I can. Once a path is laid out before me, I’ll try my best and practise 50 games if I have to to do well in my match. I’m satisfied by the fact I was able to give it my all.
Anyone you want to face in ro16?
Honestly, they all scare me. I don’t really want to face a Zerg but PvZ is my best matchup so it’s confusing. I’ll just go by whatever group I get put in.
Your image is that of a macro player.
I think it’s due to my opponents rather than myself. I play openly on the ladder quite often and tend to be aggressive there. So, players who face me tend to be very defensive in the early-mid game. It doesn’t get any easier for them after that since I am known for my solid play in the late game. I think I am a difficult player to prepare for. In that aspect, I have the upper hand psychologically. That’s why my games tend to be longer. In fact, in a passive game, I think to myself ‘this should take an hour or so’ and get real comfortable.
Anything to add?
I did a skin cosmetics ceremony after my first match against Curious and I’m satisfied that people liked it. This is a message to Monsieur J that I certainly wouldn’t mind some sponsorship for my team (laugh). It’s a ceremony I made for my coach. I want to thank my teammates on LG-IM, the coach and his wife. I want to thank my family also for cheering me on. Lastly, I want to thank the sponsors: LG electronics, SteelSeries, Googims, Nvidia, and Coca cola. Oh yeah, Nestea plays tomorrow so I hope he wins his games and advances to ro16.