BlizzCon Semifinalist Interviews
www.gmnlm.com’s Destructicon along with Cyan caught up with sOs, Stats, Rogue and Serral to find out how they’re feeling heading into the Round of 4.
Congratulations on the win! I don’t think very many people, from fans to analysts, expected such a victory. How do you feel about this win?
I know that both of us have trained a lot for this match, and I expected a very tough match in general. But I think because its a big stage and this whole event is such a big event, both of us got a little bit nervous. It might have been the mistakes coming out of that nervousness that made the games very quick.
You were daring in your playstyle, as people have come to expect. Was your playstyle a result of preparation and planning, or did you decide in the heat of the moment after you saw that nervousness creating some mistakes and you wanted to take advantage of it?
Preparing for this match, actually because I thought its going to be really hard to face [Maru’s] proxy barracks, I thought I’d find some builds that would counter those builds. I think that it went well.
Is there anyone you’re hoping to meet in the finals?
I want to played Serral. I think he’s more skilled than me at the moment, but I can still take him.
Without revealing to much do you have something special prepared for Serral?
I’ve worked a lot on my PvZ and have some strategies ready.
Congratulations on your win! Its a great achievement to reach the semifinals of BlizzCon, how are you feeling after your win?
Last year I dropped out in the group phase and I really regretted it because BlizzCon is all about the Round of 8. You only get to play on this huge stage when you go to the Round of 8. So I really tried my best to come here and I’m happy to be able to play here.
Like you mentioned, you did drop in the group stage last year, competing in the same group as Special at the time. What’s it like to not only reach the Round of 8 like you said, but also to defeat Special in that Round of 8?
Yeah I mean, Special was one of the reasons why I dropped out last year, and I really wish to get on stage and be able to play him again and prove to everyone else that I can actually beat him. Everything went according to plan!
The rest of the bracket has gone up on its end now because sOs has done the unthinkable by defeating Maru. Is there anyone who could be harder to prepare for than sOs and his erratic playstyle? How difficult will it be for you to prepare for this match?
Its definitely going to be a very tough match since sOs is so strategic. I saw him play against Maru and I was thinking ‘He’s a genius’ because he comes up with those build orders. I will try my best to find a way to counter him but its going to be a tough match.
Do you think that you can win it all this year? Who do you think is your biggest threat to your victory in the Global Finals?
I think the one guy who could stop me from lifting the trophy would be Serral. But me personally, I’ve trained really heavily and prepared really well during the past month, so I will definitely be able to win the trophy.
You've already earned the nickname 'Shield of Aiur', but this weekend they've started calling you the 'Aegis of Korean'. What nickname do you think is better?
I like both of them. I hadn't really heard of Aegis of Korea before this weekend, but I like it and if the fans chose to call me that I'd be honored.
Congratulations on your victory! How did you predict TY would proxy 2 rax two games in a row?
TY isn’t very confident in the matchup so I knew he would cheese. Plus, Maru had been practicing with him.
Was there any point where you were worried, say in game four in particular?
At one point I felt I should have just GG’d in the fourth game but I stuck in it thinking I could come back in the late game. I think TY felt the same way about my chances if things got to the late game and that's why I figured he'd proxy again in game five.
Who do you want to avoid if you make it to the finals?
I wouldn't want to face sOs. He’s a real master of mind games and has a strong late game on top of that.
That was quite the victory! With Dark sounding so confident as he was heading into the series, do you think that it was just bravado? Was he unrealistic in his prediction? And how did you feel heading into that series?
I was actually feeling really confident heading into that series. I already had all my maps planned out beforehand, and I thought my plan was pretty good. I’m going to say I was extremely confident actually, like I was expecting to win that one. But Dark actually put a good fight against me and I feel I made multiple mistakes and I played a bit too carefully.
So now you’ll face Rogue, in another ZvZ. You just mentioned you had planned your match vs Dark very clearly. Do you feel any less confident now thinking ahead to another ZvZ? Do you think you may have shown enough for Rogue to have figured you out maybe?
I do feel a bit sad that I don’t actually have the time to prepare. Only this evening and tomorrow morning but, he has the same time and I can also take advantage of watching my games now and maybe play a bit differently. We’ll see.
This tournament format is very different from the WCS Circuit tournaments where you asserted your dominance throughout 2018. How different is it to play in the Global Finals where you compete over the course of a week or more, compared to one of the WCS Circuit weekend tournaments?
Like I said, there’s a bit more preparation time. I would say that’s helped me in a way but at the same time I think that there are people who are better at preparation tournaments than I am.
You’ve become such an icon of the SC2 scene now, alongside Maru. With sOs defeating Maru, many feel that you’re the favourite to win the whole tournament. How does that feel for you, is it a weight on your shoulders?
Actually I don’t really think about it at all. It doesn’t give me any pressure. Its nice that people have trust in me that I can take the Koreans down and win, but I don’t think about that too much. I just play my own game and concentrate on what I know how to do.
Of the players who remain, do you think that you can succeed in winning the global finals? Who is the one player you would most like to avoid if it were possible?
Serral: Well right now, I would say if I can beat Rogue, I’m very happy and I think I can win the whole thing. I’m very confident in my ZvP. I already played against sOs and I won 2–0, so I think that adds to my confidence. I’ve already played Stats in GSL vs The World and I won that event though I made multiple mistakes so I feel confident against him as well. I guess Rogue is the hardest to beat out of those three, and he’s my next opponent so we’ll see.
With an eye towards the semifinals and finals, which matchup do you like less ZvP or ZvZ?
I actually like both a lot, so not sure what to say. I really like ZvZ so maybe ZvP?
How long can you keep this up as not just the best Zerg in the WCS Circuit, not just the best player in WCS Circuit, but perhaps the best Zerg in the world?
Serral: I mean, the plan is to keep it up for five years but (laughing) I don’t know that it works that way so I’ll just try to keep it going as long as I can.
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