We recently had a chance to sit down with Tim He to talk about eSports, the championship series and more. Last month, he earned a spot at the World Championship Series (WCS) Global Finals while competing in the Oceania Finals.
Read on to learn more about this spirited competitor!
Congratulations on making it to the Global finals in November, Tim. You just missed out on a spot at BlizzCon last year, so how does it feel to go one step further this year?
I felt very relieved that all my hard work practicing and my persistence finally paid off, it was a great feeling. I knew I was one of the favorites before the event, so that added a little more pressure. I think it definitely showed in my early matches, but I managed to relax and calm myself down when it mattered. Just missing out last year with a 3rd place, losing to JazBas was shattering but he was cheering very hard for me in my games against Tgun and it helped push me over the line to secure my spot at Shanghai later this year.
Since the ANZ region is well known for its strong zerg players, how did you train for the event without showing too many strategies too early?
I mainly focused on ladder games, mostly on KR/NA servers because even though the region is mostly zerg, this event actually had a lot of terran and protoss players so I felt like that was the best way to practice leading up to it. I'm not too worried about showing my strategies because I’m quite confident in my mechanics and decision making skills, so I was still streaming all the way up to the event.
You have been a successful poker player, how have your poker skills affected how you play StarCraft II?
Yeah! Well, in poker you look for tells and in StarCraft II, you scout to find out what your opponent is doing. There is a bit of mind gaming and knowing your opponent’s tendencies too. Also being able to play comfortably in long sessions for 8+ hours without getting fatigued is similar to poker. Those are the things I guess you could say crossed over for me.
During the WCS event, you had a lot of support from your clan. How did having this support help?
Yep, TA isn't just a social clan to me, it’s filled with a lot of close friends of mine now. Having them around and cheering for me helps me perform better for sure, especially when we're playing against some rival clans we tend to want to band together and not let each other
down. We are all just a bunch of really close guys and support each other a lot.
Tell us about your thoughts on the semi final vs Tgun. Only one of you would go through to the Global finals and Tgun took the first game, what strategies did you implement to take the next two games?
I went into this match thinking I would win pretty easily, because going into this event I had already beaten Tgun the day before, and I would usually crush him in ladder/custom games. I remember losing game one because I was very nervous and I couldn't stop shaking in the booth. Needless to say I played well below my standards and was very frustrated at myself. Only having a few minutes before game two, I knew that this was it and I couldn’t let myself lose like this, so I changed my mindset and calmed myself down. I just told myself to play my best no matter what, and not care if I win or lose. I took the second game, my head was steady and I was thinking a lot more clearly. I was just going to play my best in game three. The final game ended up being the most memorable and best game I had ever played and finished with one of the most dramatic/thrilling moments, the crowd was off their feet and it sounded to me like we got the loudest cheers of the day. I'm just so happy I won, and bad luck to Tgun who had to be on the losing side of it. We said to each other before the game that the winner would send the other player a postcard from Shanghai!
P.S. Check your mailbox <3
You play for the Team Immunity eSports team, how has having their support helped in your preparation for the tournament.
Team Immunity's support is great. If any of our players need anything our managers get us what we need and treat us really well. Their ongoing support since I've joined is the best I've had, and I can’t thank them enough for what they've done so far. I have to personally thank Tony for helping me with his wisdom and experience. His advice is always helping me improve and has helped me become a better player today.
Tell us about how you found the Oceania Final event compared to other events you have attended in the region?
Easily the best event I've been to, having a live audience with Tastosis, Pain/HD casting, Maynarde as MC, not really sure what else I could ask for. Of course this wasn't possible without Blizzard’s support in the region, the organizers (ACL), and everyone that supported and watched either on the stream or in person. StarCraft II wouldn't be the same without you all!
People are probably interested to know how you decided on the player handle ‘MaFia’ – what’s the story behind it?
Well, I used to be in a clan called "nGen". My handle when I joined was "nGenMaFia" and there wasn't any particular reason why I chose it. "MaFia" just felt like it looked very cool at the time, so I just chose it and I've stuck with it since then.
What are your plans to prepare for the global finals in November and what would you like to gain out of the experience?
I haven't been overseas to such a big event before, so I am kind of hoping that I can gain some experience during in my upcoming trips to the AEC Tokyo Game Show and the MLG Raleigh tournament -- which both take place before the global finals. Hopefully, those experiences will help me understand a little more about what I should expect, and how much training is needed by the time I get to Shanghai. Right now, I will just maintain my standard schedule which is practice 8 hours, 5 days a week. Of course I would like to go there and have some fun, beat some good players, make a name for myself, and, if I have enough time… party!
Thanks for having me! Glhf!