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TL Interviews Bisu, Coach Park, and Jaedong

TL Interviews Bisu, Coach Park, and Jaedong

In the world of professional StarCraft there are stars, and there are legends. For years the greatest Brood War players have seemingly been worlds away, but as they switch to StarCraft II viewers around the globe will be front and center as they adapt to the newer game. Team Liquid’s Waxangel interviewed two such Brood War legends, Kim “Bisu” Taek Young and Lee “JD” Jae Dong, along with the coach of one of the most successful teams of all time, Park Yong Woon of SK Telecom T1.

Several years ago, at a time when a man named Ma “sAviOr” Jae Yoon was unquestionably the best in the world, a young upstart calling himself Bisu met him in the finals of the 2007 GOMTV MBC Game Starleague. With sAviOr’s shadow looming, and with protoss struggling against an era of zerg domination, no one gave Bisu a chance. But to everyone’s surprise, Bisu destroyed sAviOr 3-0, and redefining the entire PvZ matchup along the way by introducing the strategy of mass corsair/dark templar. Since then, he has gone on to win the MSL two more times and to be the most consistent player in Proleague. As he makes the transition to StarCraft II, the aptly named “Revolutionist” talked to Waxangel about the differences between the two games, how he is adapting, and how others are faring.

Excerpt from the TeamLiquid interview:
TL: You've started playing StarCraft II for real now, what do you think about the game? 

Bisu: I feel that I still have some way to go. A long way. I've been practicing for maybe a month now... We practiced last year, for around two weeks? Back then, I felt that things would go well. But now, maybe because everyone else got a lot better, it's really hard to win. It's still hard.

TL: Is there anything you would have liked from StarCraft II in Brood War? Force-fields?
Bisu: If I had force-fields in Brood War, I'd never lose.

After sAviOr’s tragic downfall, zerg fans needed a hero. Luckily for them, there was such a man waiting in the wings. Jaedong debuted in 2005, and his rise to fame was meteoric. He went from 2006 Rookie of the Year to winning his first Ongamenet Starleague, the most prestigious tournament in Brood War (and eSports in general) in 2007. Over the next few years, Jaedong would become famous for his incredible mutalisk micro – he's known for being able to win matches with just mutalisks – and for his 81% win rate in ZvZ. After the rise of Lee “Flash” Young Ho, the two met in the grand finals of three consecutive MSLs and an OSL – in what became known as the “Lee-ssang,” or “Two Lees” Rivalry, one of the fiercest in eSports history.

Excerpt from the TeamLiquid interview:
TL: How long has it been since you've started practicing StarCraft II? How is it so far?
Jaedong: A little under two months. It's pretty fun, the process of learning the game after I started was fun. I think it's a well made game, and I think a lot of people will enjoy it. With some more time, I should be able to show a good level of skill.

TL: When the game first came out, people said the interface would make StarCraft II easier.
Jaedong: I heard that a lot at first, so I was kind of underestimating the game. But after I started playing it beginning at the level of a total newbie, it's been very hard. I've been running up against a lot of walls. Maybe it's because I'm Zerg? I think I'm getting better as I play, though. I've played StarCraft 1 for over ten years, and I've played StarCraft II for just two months, and it's an easy game to approach for someone who's played StarCraft 1.

No team, in StarCraft or StarCraft II, comes close to the history embodied by SK Telecom T1. Founded by SlayerS_`BoxeR` in 2002 as “Orion”, it gained its current name in 2004 upon receiving a sponsorship from South Korea Telecom. Home to two of five players to be called “bonjwa,” or “the greatest alive,” BoxeR and iloveoov, SKT T1 boasts seven Proleague championships – the most of any team. When they entered a slump in 2007, their coach was replaced by Park Yong Woon. One year later, Park returned T1 to dominance and has since claimed two more championships. The victor of the final Brood War Proleague, T1 is currently the home of two of the strongest Brood War players – Kim “Bisu” Taek Young and Jung “Fantasy” Myunghoon. Tasked with overseeing the transition of such legendary players to StarCraft II, Coach Park talked to Waxangel about the differences between the two games, the challenges of playing both Brood War and StarCraft II simultaneously, and how his team is doing.

Excerpt from the TeamLiquid interview:
TL: You've been working in Brood War for a while, and now Proleague has become a hybrid league. What do you think of StarCraft II?

YWP: StarCraft II has a lot of new ideas and concepts in it, like warp-gates, colossi, reapers, etc., and I'm looking forward to what will happen with more patches and expansions.

TL: Internationally, there was a lot of talk about how it's an easier game than StarCraft 1, how do you feel about that?
YWP: The difference between Brood War and StarCraft II is that there's a lot of automation, and in the world of pro-gamers, it requires less manual dexterity, so I think people feel that it's easier. While there are some similarities between the two games, there are differences as well, and ultimately I don't think you can say StarCraft II is 'easy.' The game can be very fast, and it requires good decision making on a moment's notice, so it's not an easy game.

Bisu and Jaedong, as well as six more Brood War greats, including Jaedong’s rival, Flash, and Bisu’s teammate, Fantasy, will be attending MLG Anaheim to play in an eight-man single elimination Wings of Liberty tournament. This historic event will take place on Saturday, June 9  at 9:00 p.m. PDT. For more information visit the MLG announcement.

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