Original article at http://sports.news.nate.com/view/20120831n10872?mid=s1201 (Korean)
[T/N: I wasn't able to translate the entire opening segment of the article because the Chinese translation gave a weird summary of it haha. But the interview is there in its entirety, subject to translation skills ]
Edit: Haha I changed the name of the interview to reflect her real name. She's a stargirl, and her name is Seo Yeon Ji. Just felt a bit bad to just label her as "stargirl" since there're quite a few of them .
Mvp - Game genius?
Seo Yeon Ji: I hear your name quite frequently, but this is the first time I'm actually meeting you face to face. Really pleased to meet you.
Mvp: I never made it to the actual OSL when I was at Woongjin, so it's the first time I'm seeing you too (laughs). When I heard you were coming to interview me today, I was really looking forward to it. You're beautiful indeed.
Seo Yeon Ji: Seems like you heard quite a lot about me.
Mvp: When I was in Woongjin, the players would talk about you after they came back from OSL. They'd talk about how pretty Stargirl is (laughs). I guess they'd probably be quite jealous that I got interviewed by you.
Seo Yeon Ji: Actually, I've been doing interviews with the Kespa players, but I wanted to do something a little different this week, so I found you Mvp. I hope that there'd be a lot of new topics coming out of this.
Mvp: What if it doesn't go as you hope, and there're no new topics to talk about (laughs). But either way, it is an honour to be the first amongst the GSL players to be interviewed. I guess I've already succeeded (laughs).
Seo Yeon Ji: I think that you are the most successful player, both in terms of prize money and number of championship wins, and you fulfil the conditions to be a legend. I think that's really cool.
Mvp: I'm really glad that there are people who think of me like that. Whenever I think of it, I feel like it was a right decision to go into gaming.
Seo Yeon Ji: How were you like as a child? I frequently hear that you are a really talented gamer, a genius.
Mvp: I'm not a genius (laughs). I really liked playing games, and not just Starcraft 1, but all the different games. I wanted to try all the games that were released.
I guess I first came into contact with Starcraft 1 when I was in the sixth grade of elementary school. I played about 2 games with a friend and found it really fun and interesting. After that, when I was in middle school, I bought the CD for Starcraft 1 and I was able to play it at home too. I would play until I'd forget the time. It was really fun.
When I went head to head against my friends, it was quite clear that I was better than them (laughs). But I don't think I'm really a genius. I just adapt to games better and have a better understanding. I guess because of this, my skills tend to improve really fast once I get serious about a particular game.
Seo Yeon Ji: You're a game genius indeed (laughs).
Mvp: The problem is that even though my understanding of games and adaptability towards games are very strong, I get tired of a game really fast. I play really well when I'm really engrossed in the game, but once my interest in the particular game declines, my skill drops rapidly too. This is really a problem. In fact, it's the reason I retired from Starcraft 1.
Seo Yeon Ji: Talent's really important when it comes to gaming. But no matter what you're doing, once you've lost your passion, it's really hard to persevere on the path.
Mvp: Passion is indeed really important for gaming too, but some people, no matter how much they try, never make it to the very top in their lives. I guess you do need a certain amount of talent, as well as the endurance to make it at a certain level.
The father who changed his life
Seo Yeon Ji: Even though you really liked gaming, I don't think you thought of being a pro-gamer then? You mentioned that you grew tired of a game really fast. How did you go on this path of professional gaming?
Mvp: It's mainly thanks to my father. We had a computer at home then, and my father would watch as I play Starcraft 1, and occasionally, he'd play a game or two too. Maybe because of that, he could tell that I was pretty good (laughs).
The fact is that I didn't even know what a professional gamer was. It was my dad who asked if I wanted to try playing games professionally. At first, I was totally uninterested, but my dad asked me seriously, and I eventually went on this path of professional gaming.
Seo Yeon Ji: That's really interesting. Other parents try their best to prevent their children when they hear them wanting to be a pro-gamer.
Mvp: My dad was really young at heart, and really open minded too. It's actually quite hard to be successful based on studying. Also, conditions in my family were not that great then, and it was difficult to concentrate on studying.
My father thought that I would be successful when he saw my skills in Starcraft, and with his encouragement, I started having dreams of being a pro-gamer and started taking part in various amateur tournaments. I came in third the first time I entered a competition, and it proves my father really has pretty good foresight.
[T/N: Favourite photo. So cute ]
Seo Yeon Ji: Do you remember any of the players you played at the amateur competitions?
Mvp: There was Fantasy from SKT, who's now become a top player, and Shuttle from STX, and Crazy-Hydra from KT and others. I really met a lot of players. I also remember when I won against Fantasy (laughs).
Every time my father saw me achieve good results in the amateur competitions, he would encourage me saying, "Do you realise your potential now? You really got to work hard yea." Thanks to him, I started doing even better.
Seo Yeon Ji: Your father's a really great guy.
Mvp: I got to know about the courage games also through my father. The fact is that I didn't even know what I needed to do to become a pro-gamer. But I was really lucky, and I even made it to the top 4 in the WCG preliminaries. In the semifinals of that tournament, I went up against SKT's current assistant coach, iloveoov.
Seo Yeon Ji: How interesting. You actually ran into iloveoov at the WCG preliminaries.
Mvp: To be honest, I was really confident in my abilities, but pro-gamers are really just different (laughs). iloveoov was a really great player in 2006. But I already managed to get into the top 4, and was thus eligible for the draft.
Seo Yeon Ji: You made your debut in 2008, so it seems like none of the teams actually came in for you that soon?
Mvp: You're really sharp (laughs). I was just taking part in the drafts during that year and a half, but none of the teams chose me. Nowadays, the players who take part in the draft are all generally able to find teams. There were too many people taking part in the drafts then, and there was also a limit when the teams are choosing players, so that made the competition really stiff.
During that time, my father was the one who provided me with the strength to go on. That's why I was able to continue taking part in the drafts and in the amateur competitions. My dad would say, "Some day, someone who really appreciates how good a player you are will come by." And so I was able to wait patiently rather than being impatient.
Seo Yeon Ji: Your life was changed because of your dad.
Mvp: It wasn't just this time. There was another time after that when my life was changed as well. As I was getting tired of Starcraft 1, I thought of retiring. It was he who led me to Starcraft 2. In fact, when I was thinking of retiring, I was actually considering retiring from games altogether. It was my dad who persuaded me to give Starcraft 2 a try.
When I think about it now, if it wasn't for my father's persuasion and guidance, I don't know how I would have turned out. I'd probably be scraping by with part time jobs, and perhaps living an ordinary, boring, and uninteresting life.
I think it was the right choice to switch to Starcraft 2. I really want to thank my father for changing my life time and time again.
Seo Yeon Ji: Even now, your father is still a great source of your strength.
Mvp: Sure. There are many issues which are really tiring, but I am able to withstand it up to now thanks to my father. If not for him, it'd have been really really tough. I am really very happy to be a son that my father can be proud of.
Seo Yeon Ji: So if the parents make an effort to understand their children's talents, and if the child listens to his/her parents, good results will come out of it.
Mvp: I didn't see it then either, but now I understand that one should really listen to their parents when one is younger.