The Blizzard SEA/ANZ invitational (link) just concluded a week ago with RecArchon from Thailand taking first place while Singaporean gaming prodigy, iceiceice gets second place.
Both players will now be attending Blizzcon in Anaheim, California due to be held later this year. GosuGamer's managed to catch up with first runner up iceiceice for a chat about SC2, LoL and DotA. So read on now!
First things first the DotA community may know u well. But the StarCraft 2 community may not. Mind doing a short intro of who you are?
-"Hello I'm daryl and my nick is iceiceice. I'm 20 this year and i currently play HoN, LoL, DotA and sc2 competitively." *laughs*
So how does it feel to win the Blizzard SEA invitational? Being the only Singaporean to go to Blizzcon.
-"It's nice to come second in the tournament, and I'm just glad that i manage to win the winner brackets."
How do u find ur road to the finals of the invitaional?
-"Pretty easy, only game that was tougher was against oxygen in the winner brackets finals. He made me drop a game, I was 2-0 all the way."
Then how come you lost to RedArchon in the finals? If you've 2-0 him before.
-"Because second gets to go to Blizzcon too. So I didn't really have the 'I cant lose' mentality. *laughs* I was like 'Second is cool. I'm at least 2nd no matter what anyway.'"
Having won the Garena LoL road to LA competition then the SC2 invitational. Whats your secret? Being good at so many different games.
-"League of legends is pretty much like DotA, so I don't need to train much for it since i already have the skills for it. SC2 was harder as I have never played SC:BW (only cheating in the campaigns), but I did it by training hard and preparing against each of my opponent in the tournament."
Having the chance to go to Blizzcon. What do you think of your chances playing against the best of the European pros?
-"I'm more worried about the Koreans actually. I don't really have much of an opinion on my chances against the Europeans really. I hope I'll get to have fun there and get some good games."
Lets talk a little about your DotA career then. Everyone wants to know. Who are u currently playing for?
-"I'm currently inactive but i am probably going to be playing for Aeon."
So having played LoL and DotA. What do you think is the biggest different between the two games? And which do you prefer?
-"LoL is a lot easier? *laughs* Besides that i think the main difference is how the way the game is being played. In DotA, farming is probably the way to win, while in LoL, you get a lot more gold for killing heroes, and creeps gives shit gold. The neutral creeps in LoL also gives a certain kind of damage/mana buff which makes jungling for them important. Also in LoL, you can't buyout, so one mistake in the late game = GG. I dont have much of a preference since both games have their pros and cons, but ill choose DotA I guess since I have lag issues in LoL. "
Alright. Heading back to StarCraft 2. By placing 2nd at the invitational. What else is in-stored for iceiceice in terms of SC2?
-"I'm looking forward to join all kinds of competition that I'll be able to play in, and i heard that SMM will have SC2? Not sure about that. If i get good enough I might go to Korea to play in the GomTV GSL league. *laughs* "
[Editors note] SMM is the distributor of Blizzard games in Malaysia as well as host to the world's largest DotA tournament, SMM Grand National DotA Tournament.
Why do you play Zerg?
-"I have no idea actually. I guess you can say i like how the race works, and Infestors. I would have played Terran but i have self respect."
Being a Zerg player and having face various Terrans before. Do u feel that the Terran race is a little overpowered?
-"That race is definitely a little imba now, but then instead of nerfing it, i would rather hope to see Blizzard giving Zergs maybe 1 or 2 new units and have anti air at tier 1 instead of just queens/spores. "
Who do u think is ur biggest rival in Singapore for SC2? As well as SEA.
-"Since nirvana is quitting, I'll say oxygen for both Singapore and SEA."
As a Zerg player. Do u see any potential in the race that others may not have seen?
-"Hmm. Not really. I only play zerg because i like the Infestor. *laughs*""
By playing so many different games at once. How is your training schedule like?
-"I try to get a certain amount of games for sc2 daily, and I'll play the others when I feel like it or when a competition is nearing."
What are your views on the current eSports scene in Singapore?
-"I would say its disappointing. The Blizzard SEA headquarter is here but there's no media coverage on the tourney and results. We need more competitions of all kinds, and sponsors who are willing to pump money into the community. It's far from the Korean scene."
Being a DotA pro. Does any of the skills you learned playing DotA contribute to your success in SC2?
-"Yeah. I play an Infestor like it's a hero and I have awesome transfusion skills. That's about it. *laughs* Playing SC2 probably helps my DotA more than the other way round. I can micro Broodmother broodlings like no problem now."
[Editors note] Broodmother is a hero in DotA whereby it can spawn broodlings by killing creeps.
I think that's all for the day. Any last shoutouts?
-"Visit sc2sea.com when it's up! Shoutouts to furryfish and willy for the support and also i enjoy watching blizshouter's sc2 commentaries."
I'm Daryl Koh from Singapore, a.k.a “ice”. I'm currently trying to be a pro gamer and besides StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™, I generally like fishing and playing games.
When did you first start playing StarCraft games?
I used to play the first StarCraft when I was a kid, like at 11 years-old? I would, like, cheat through the campaigns though. LOL
What drew you into the competitive gaming part of StarCraft?
The fact that StarCraft I was a bestseller and I used to play WarCraft® III: Reign of Chaos™ competitively, I guess. I wanted to try my chances on this game and have a go at PWNing Koreans since they were pretty much dominant in StarCraft®: Brood Wars™.
How often do you play to get your skills to this level?
I try to reach my targeted amount of game sessions everyday, and depending on the target that I am aiming for, I'll hit it before I go to sleep most of the time.
What do you like best about StarCraft II?
I like the sounds that the roaches make. That's gotta be what I like best…
And Infestors! And Ultralisks! And Banelings!
OK... I guess I like Zerg units.
Oh! I like the Changeling too…
What skills/abilities are needed to be a capable competitive gamer?
Micro, macro (micro-management and macro management skills of units), talent and determination? And lots of free time.
You’ve got to drink tea as well… with milk of course. Ceylon tea preferred.
How do you feel about your win?
I'm glad to have remained in the winners bracket, and earned a shot at BlizzCon®. (the first and second placed winners in this tournament qualify for the tournament at BlizzCon this year)
Although I lost to RedArchon in the finals of the SEA/ANZ Invitational, I want to win at BlizzCon!
Will you share some training/playing tips with readers here?
Play more, and set attainable short-term goals as you go along. Look back on games you’ve played and know why you lost them, and don't make the same mistakes.
But mainly, drink more tea.
Do you play other games besides StarCraft II?
Yeah, I kinda play any game that's good and out there. Valve and Blizzard games, mainly. I also play League of Legends, Defense of the Ancients and Heroes of Newerth competitively right now.
What do you think about Asians’ opinions of semi-pro or pro gamers?
In Asia, the pro-gamer is a myth outside of Korea. I don't think there is any other society or culture that allows gamers to actually play games as a job.
Lots of people think it’s so cool to be able to just play games, but they fail to see the hard work that goes into it. After a while, some pro gamers do get sick of playing the same game over and over again.
A while back we interviewed the gaming prodigy of Singapore, iceiceice, regarding his eSports career and Blizzcon SEA invitational. This time we talk to third place winner, Oxygen, regarding the invitational, as well as the recently concluded Western Digital Psi Storm tournament.
As usual, lets start the interview off with the mandatory introduction.
-"Hi, I am Lim Wei Yang from Singapore, AKA OxygeN. I am currently purusing a diploma in Accountancy, and my hobbies include playing games, cooking and chilling with friends. I used to play WC3 and DOTA competitively prior to SC2!"
So in the invitational you got third, losing to iceiceice in the semis. How does it feel to fall short of Blizzcon?
-"It feels rather disappointing, as I really felt in good form throughout the tournament, and thought I could go all the way. Some games were particularly disappointing for me personally in terms of performance too."
Which particular games that are really disappointing for you? And why?
-Personally the first game against Nirvana, I felt my kiting with the vikings was not good enough causing me to lose the final engage vs countless colossi, and also the third game vs RedArchon, I lost a banshee because I was greedy for a marine, and another because I didn't know he had a turret there when I rallied, causing me to be unable to stop his marine tank push, and be eliminated."
Your a Terran player yourself. Why did you pick Terran as your main race?
-"Because in WC3, I really loved being the aggressor and having an extensive amount of units to choose from. That being said, my usage of Terran is really aggressive, and rarely do I turtle and also because it possesses my favorite unit! the banshee! epic"
Lets talk about WD's Psi Storm Tournament shall we? You placed second this time around. How does that feel then? Compared to the third at Blizzcon invitational?
-"It feels great, on par with third but Its better cause I'm placed one higher!"
Which game did you find the toughest on your way to the finals?
-"I found Nirvana the hardest, as we practiced together and he's really a top tiered player, his strats were very good, and I was a close 1-1 match!"
how did you find your final opponent? Glade from Australia.
-"He was very good, except that I didn't prepare much because of work, but full credit to him, it was a great series! And he's certainly one of the best in SEA!"
How did the final match go? Was it a close one?
-"It was close for scrap station, the rest was a give away by me. I lost my game plan halfway due to lack of practice, but yeah I felt it was close nonetheless."
iceiceice said ur his biggest rival in SG and SEA. Do you echo the same sentiment? Or is there someone else that's more of a rival to you?
-"Hmm, I haven't played much with other SEA players, but in SG and SEA, if Nirvana is really quitting, I would also agree that ice would definitely be my biggest rival, reason being that I think we both share a WC3 background and both had unorthodox methods of playing an RTS."
Do you attribute part of ur success at SC2 to ur prior WC3 background?
-"Yes definitely. WC3 gave me a foundation of micro management, timing of aggression, unit mixes, and which units counter which units, and it was a pretty easy transition into SC2."
So what are your views of the current eSports scene in Singapore or SEA?
-"I feel that the current esports scene in SEA is fine, with weekly tournaments etc being carried out. but in singapore, sad to say, it's very disappointing. locally I don't see anything happening at all. No coverage, no events, no tournaments and no sponsorships. If not for Nirvana's efforts to hype up the scene it'll be more disappointed than it already is. Simple put its in a very very sad state."
Can you elaborate on what Nirvana has done to hype up the scene?
-"Nirvana has created the site, sc2sea.com, and is also currently running the SEA nation war, which is actually uniting the Singapore players, without either, I don't know whether there is even a scene anymore."
So what is in store for Oxygen in the future for SC2?
-"I am going to come out with new and innovative playstyles and fully utilize every aspect of the Terran race. As for achievements wise, it if comes, it will come."
That's a wrap. Final shoutouts?
-"I would like to thank all my friends who were there for me, Nicholas, Joshua, Xian fu, miasim! also my training partners, sheeeeepish sheep, nirvana! also a special mention for my best friend Valencia, please bhb okay! best wishes xiaobitch! and also mr.blue for taking time out for doing this interview!"
You recently saw the epic conclusion of the StarCraft II SEA/ANZ Invitational Tournament… but have you met the winners? IAHGames.com gives you an exclusive look at the real lives and minds of the winners, the future cyber-celebrities of our region!
Starting off, we have OxygeN – second runner-up. Also known as Lim Wei Yang in real life, he made his name as a giant-killer in the tournament, beating many favourites to emerge in the top three…
Say hello to everybody.
Hi! I’m Lim Wei Yang a.k.a. OxygeN, and I have been playing competitive games for 6 years to date. I am from Singapore, currently a full-time student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic pursuing a diploma in Accountancy.
Besides sticking to my computer, I love spending time with my buddies, webcam-ing and MSN-ing with them, hanging out, soccer, chatting and having late-night suppers!
When did you first start playing StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™?
I first started when it was in the beta phase, around Patch 10, so it was about June, during my common test! ( which I did quite badly for! :x )
I have played StarCraft I before, but not competitively.
What drew you into the competitive gaming part of the StarCraft series?
StarCraft II is very similar to WarCraft® III: Reign of Chaos™ in my opinion, and since WarCraft III was dying out, I made the switch. This was a new game, very hyped, and I believed its community would be awesome. Which it really is!
How often do you play to get your skills to this level?
I haven't really played much so far, as I’ve been busy with studies since the launch. I clock in at least 3 hours a day if I do play.
What do you like best about StarCraft II?
I like how diverse the strategies are – the many play styles, transitions, and room for innovation. I like using out-of-the-box strategies and this game is the ideal platform to flex my mind.
What skills and abilities are needed to be a capable competitive gamer?
In my opinion, a competitive gamer needs to accept criticism, improve on his skills, and not give up as everybody who plays competitive games will run into a rough patch occasionally.
How do you feel about your win?
I feel really good, though the win has been marred by many unnecessary comments from the community. I’ve had some supporters, and then some "dis-likers" so I'm sure it evens out…
Will you share some training/playing tips with our readers?
Sure! To anyone intending to play StarCraft II competitively, just remember to understand why you lose or win a game. Everyone starts with the same resources, so never think that someone has won because that person is too good for you… It’s all even when each game starts.
Do you play other games besides StarCraft II?
I played WarCraft III and Defense of the Ancients competitively, and before that, 2Moons, MU-Online, and Gunbound. Right now I'm only playing StarCraft II as I do not have time to juggle between so many games.
What do you think about Asians’ opinions of semi-pro or pro gamers?
Pro gamers are HUGE stars to young Asians, especially in China and Korea. They are idolized, like how one would idolize soccer players such as Steven Gerrard or Fernado Torres. Of course, mainstream society still think “its just a hobby”, and studies come first, especially in Singapore.
Hello, my name’s Thanapol Kuachat from Thailand. When not glued to the screen playing StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™, I’m not far from the action. How close? I run an internet café in Nakon Sri Tummarat, southern Thailand. It’s been operational for 3 years now.
I started my ‘relationship’ with StarCraft® 7 years ago, playing the first installment. (all good players started off with StarCraft I) I like strategy games very much, and naturally, the game drew me into competitive multiplayer. PvP is more fun than single-player after all. With the computer, you can spot its playing patterns, but with a human opponent anything can happen!
What I like about StarCraft II is how fun and balanced it is. Apart from this, I have also played Defense of the Ancients (DOTA). Other games? No, that’s it. I like strategy games and I like balanced games. These 2 games can more than fulfill my needs.
To get my skills to this level, I train 6 hours a day. Yup, 6. Guess my advantage of having my own internet café makes this possible!
To become a competitive gamer, one needs 2 enduring qualities: training and creativity.
Train often, play more. When you play, take on stronger opponents and actually LOSE more games. You learn faster this way because stronger opponents expose your weaknesses and you’ll learn why you lost. Learn from your mistakes, and make sure you improve on them in your next game.
Why is creativity important? Understanding your units and employing unusual tactics can bring you many victories. Don’t just follow the ‘normal’ way of using your army; there are many creative ways all those special abilities can be used!
And never, never give up, even when you appear to be overwhelmed. If you watch the match replays, the best players always fight back very fiercely, and find creative ways to overcome the opponent’s larger army.
I am very happy to have won the invitational. I didn’t think I would emerge as champion.
Skilled gamers and professional gamers don’t get special treatment in Thailand. No, we don’t become celebrities overnight or famous like singers. Any fame we have is on cyberspace.
Shocker interviews Australian livecaster Unstable about Oceanic SC2, casting, the SEA server, and helping improve the Oceanic SC2 Community
Unstable - Daniel , 22
Today we have Unstable in to answer a few questions for us. Unstable is an avid Australian SC2 player, who can be found casting countless games every week of some of the top Australian and SEA players. Tell us a bit about yourself for those out there who might not of heard of you. (Shocker)
Ok, My name is Dan, im 22 years old currently in Brisbane Australia. I have always been a competitive gamer from CS/WOW/TF2/supcom to name a few. But have been focusing 100% on Starcraft 2 since the early beta. My first goal was to be a great player but unfortunately I just don’t have the time outside job/gf etc to put in the practice to hone my mechanics to where I want them to be, my game knowledge and tactics have always been top notch but without mechanics it means nothing in sc2! So I decided to start casting since there isn’t any form of professional casting stream in the SEA region/time zone. It was hard at first but I’m finally starting to get some traction and things seem to be falling into place well now.
Hey now, you’ve probably ended up investing more time into casting than you would need to get those mechanics down with the amount of tournaments you’ve covered so far! Anyway, I heard you have setup a Youtube channel for your VODs now. What was your reasoning behind starting the channel and do you have any goals in mind for it? (Shocker)
Haha, believe it or not yes its true I have spent a lot more time casting that i ever thought but i find it just so much fun! It is also stress free which comes hand in hand with being a top gamer. I recently had a Blip.tv account for all my VOD's but it’s hard to get viewership numbers etc for it. Youtube is the easiest and most efficient way to allow people to follow all the VOD's it has a decent search function and when people subscribe they are kept in the loop of all the VOD’s I set up, I think I am averaging 30 a week or more atm lol.
My ultimate goal for Youtube would honestly be partner status though so I can upgrade my PC and get true HD stream J
Good luck! Definitely worth a subscribe with the amount of awesome games you cast every week...What are your plans for the future in regards to Starcraft 2? Planning to improve your play and go pro? Cast internationally? Start up a school for Bronze leaguers? :P (Shocker)
Haha, improving my play will always be high on the list, but right now my plans are to get my stream as proffesional as possible asap, I would not mind casting internationally etc it will be a hard road to get there but fortunatly a fun one! I had thought of making a school for Bronze leaguers but i feel that has been covered by alot of people already, also i just dont have the time lol.
Time, always the biggest pain in a gamers life. There's definately a lot of people out there doing bits and pieces for the Australian/SEA community but information and meeting places seem a bit spread out with various IRC channels and multiple tournaments overlapping one another - what are your thoughts on this? Would the community benefit with a more centralised information base and smaller tournament schedule, or the more the merrier? (Shocker)
Well, there are so many ways to look at it really. Unfortunately there aren’t chat channels yet for B.net 2.0 although they are coming so there is still a MASSIVE portion of the player base who don’t know about Psi storm, SEA weekly, Nirvanas KOTH etc which does hurt the community. If it were an ideal world for me, there would be a centralised website for all things sc2 in SEA.
On that note, the more tournaments the merrier, this will always be more beneficial as the cream will rise to the tournaments with the most $$ and therefore the more $$ the more viewers etc but you still need a place for the up and coming players to play without being destroyed and have stepping stones to the top.
With the amount of games you have cast, there’s probably no one better to ask. Who are some up and coming SEA players who have impressed you who don’t quite have a big name for themselves yet? (Shocker)
Dragonfly, Stroggos, Nuri, Carazor, justintime, Edge, kottbuller are the ones i can think of now they are all solid players who have the potential to take games off the top tier guys...oh and that kashimashi kid he’s a baller.
You play Protoss at a pretty solid Diamond level, how are you finding the game itself? Enjoy playing or casting more? (Shocker)
The game itself is incredibly balanced for being so early in the games life, yes there are still issues but blizzard have proven themselves to listen to the community so i am confident it will be fixed "soon". I find both playing and casting enjoyable but really they go hand in hand, Since i took weeks off of playing to just cast, my game knowledge started to slacken with the current meta game
So I have had to start playing again, so really it’s a 50/50 as I firmly believe to be a good caster, you have to be a decent player as well.
With balance in mind - what are your thoughts on balance in the game and the different match-ups within it? (Shocker)
I feel it’s still extremely early to say X matchup is broken, but the overall consensus i have for the game is Terran seem to have a lot more build options while being safe whereas for example in PvT you are FORCED into a robo bay at one point or another for an observer, there is no other option. I wished the entire game itself was more macro style but as time goes on certain Build orders will appear that allow you to expand safely and take the game longer for example forge expand vs zerg, or 1gate FE vs T (yes it does work) etc. But really time will tell as people learn the intricacies of each race and things are figured out.
Starcraft 2 Australia - Terran Overpowered?
Blizzard has made some good changes, but is Terran still too powerful?
With the recent opening of cross-realm play for SEA players to the NA server, what has your impression been on the difference in skill level on both servers? (Shocker)
The only difference in SEA and NA, is the population. There are 1% of players on NA who are "top tier", there are also 1% of SEA players who are on their level, but since there’s 20k on sea and 700k on NA of course there is going to be a lot more good NA players.
Overall the average skill of the servers is the same and people who talk shit about SEA is trash etc, i point out the fact that filthy 3-0'd WhiteRa back in the beta, glade/nirvana made semi's in the team tournaments in beta. Nirvana smacked SeleCT (yes the select who won both TL open's) in 3 games in a row that I had the opportunity to cast with Sephyre and most recently the only 3 Aussies who played in the NA TL open all made Ro32 only to be taken out by Huk, Tyler and lalush.
Realistically it all comes down to people considerations of "good" which varies I personally think anyone above about 900-1000 points is a decent player (providing they didn’t 1strat it there) but some say anything less than 1500 is a joke. It’s all relative and people who take that too seriously are just tools using the internet as a smokescreen to talk shit. When you see trolls in streams asking “are these players gold?” I’d put $100 every time someone says it that the player/s playing would rape them.
Awesome to see the SEA passion! Finally, do you think having access to both SEA and NA servers will be positive or negative for the SEA community? (Shocker)
Definately positive. The SEA server itself is not where we are, it's the time zone of when we play. Having access to NA allows us to participate in NA events at their times, but realistically, all SEA events are GMT +10 in our prime time. The NA access really just allows us to gain more training partners/ladder practice. We will all still play with people from SEA (or crazies from US with wierd sleep patterns! lol).
Thanks for spending the time to answer these questions, any last things you would like to say to your thousands of avid fans? (Shocker)
Subscribe to my Youtube channel - http://www.youtube.com/unstabletv1 !!! And as always, don't be afraid to offer me constructive criticism. I am dedicated to be a high end caster and I can't do it without feedback!
Was quite suprised at the interview offers as im not so active anymore.
Anyway i just started laddering again after the reset and am #1 in my division!
nirvAnA recommends protoss!
Nice interviews bro! You really shouldn't have said that about being #1 in your division, I am now officially going to be the annoying voice in your head that will force you to make time to get back into the competitive 1v1 scene, haha! Grats grats ^^;
Hello. I'm an amature blogger and I would like to interview some members of Team Thailand. I have no connections in SEA, so I thought this website would be a good place to meet players. In fact, I created this account in order to connect with members like Jump, RedArchon, and Supercheap. My website isn't well known in the SC2 community, but I am a die hard gamer.
@Geekpeek do you speak Thai? The English of some of the top Thai players is not really up to interview standards though you could speak to jump who has good English and could not only help you get in touch with translate for you.
You can find jump posting in some of the Nation War threads.
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