One of the biggest events in Asian eSports history is nearly upon us: the StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) Asia Finals takes place at EXPO Stage in Shanghai, China, October 13-14.
This high-level competition will feature 32 of the top Asian StarCraft II players from 16 different nations competing for the title of Asia’s StarCraft II champion. These 32 players include both well-known pro gamers and rising stars, each of them proud to represent their country in this prestigious tournament.
We reached out to some of them in hopes of learning a bit more about the players on their way to Shanghai.
Where are you from and how did you get into StarCraft II?
Spider.Comm (Hui Shen): I’m from China. I really love all games produced by Blizzard, so I got into StarCraft II in May 2010 when the Beta went live.
TooDming (Huang Hui Ming): I'm from China! I was a Broodwar ProGamer previously. I love StarCraft, so I joined StarCraft II!
CreatorPrime (Jang Hyun Woo): I was born in Seoul, the capital city of Korea. I originally wanted to be a pro gamer for StarCraft: Broodwar but I didn’t make it. Later when StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty came out, I gave it a go and found it very satisfying. Since it was so fun, I ended up playing it quite a bit, and as you know, I became quite proficient at it, and that was what led me to my victory at WCS.
StarTaleSquirtle (Park Hyun Woo): I came from Busan, a Korean coastal metropolitan city famous for its beautiful shore. I was a pro gamer with StarCraft: Broodwar when I first played the beta version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. I was thoroughly impressed by its fun factor, and decided to switch over.
GamaniaSen (Yang Chia Cheng): I’m GamaniaSen from Taiwan and I love playing games when I was a little boy. I was obsessed when I saw my brother playing StarCraft. I stepped into the eSports field at the WCG Taiwan Qualification in 2004 and keep my career going forward until now. When StarCraft II launched, I came back to my homeland and joined the Gamania team to be a pro gamer.
TtApolloAK (Li Zhe Wei): I’m a Taiwanese boy who loving all kinds of games, but StarCraft II is my favorite. When I graduated from Secondary school, I got the chance to become a StarCraft II pro.
Revenant (Marcus Tan Yin Sik): Hi. I'm from Singapore. I started Starcraft II as a transition from Warcraft III. Starcraft II absorbed much of that community upon its release.
Enderr (Caviar Napoleon Marquises-Acampado): Philippines. I joined StarCraft II because of my friend "BLaZeR" and my older brother "Sonnet".
Q: How was your experience at your National Tournament?
Comm: In the China Nationals, I won the championship with a relaxed mind. It wasn’t very difficult. I just showed what I can do.
ToodMing: I think it was a great experience.
Creator: Unlike various other domestic tournaments here in Korea, the WCS Korean Nationals moved forward with a noticeably brisk pace in a relatively short bracket of time. I think that’s what helped me feel more at ease on stage with the cameras and the broadcasting. Since I was more at ease on stage and in front of the camera, I was less tense, and I was able to focus more on bringing the fire to the fight in the game, leading to favorable results on my end.
Squirtle: I feel it was a great learning opportunity for getting up to speed on prepping for tournaments, covering requirements for securing victories. It’s a shame I lost in the finals, but I learned so much during the tournament, so I’m getting a lot of experience out of this, and I have no doubt my Asia Finals games will be a big improvement.
Sen: I was the No. 1 in Taiwan in Brood War. I’m happy to have secured my throne in the WCS event held by Blizzard, but it’s just a start. I will fight for better results in the upcoming Asia Finals and Blizzard World Championship!
AK: Compared to team league play, this solo tournament made me feel less pressure, because winning or losing will not affect my teammates. With a stable performance and some luck, I finished the event as the runner-up. I truly regard this as lucky.
Revenant: In my nationals, I won fairly smoothly. At that point of time, I had just returned from a month's worth of practice at Fnatic's house.
Enderr: Everything was well prepared: the venue, time, computers and everything else. I never thought that I could win that tournament. Luckily, I did.
Q: How do you think you’ll finish in the Asia Finals?
Comm: I already qualified for the BWC, so I didn't set any goals for the Asia Finals. I just hope to show more great matches to the audience.
ToodMing: I just want play more games! I love matches! Maybe I can only be satisfied by winnig the championship.
Creator: The Asia Finals are important, yes, but I’ve already secured a position in the BWC, and will try to bring my game to the table with a degree of composure. The BWC is where all the world’s greats will be, so that’s something I would definitely want to come on top of.
Squirtle: I feel confident that I will make it to the finals. Our team has recently secured a lot of runner-up positions, and at the Asia Finals, and three team members, including me, from Team StarTale, are on the ladder, so I look forward to testing my mettle against fellow team-mates’ for a chance at the championship cup.
Sen: The biggest expectation is to show my best skills and don’t regret for poor performance.
AK: Not matter what result I achieve, no matter whether I qualify for the BWC, never fail yourself.
Revenant: I don't think I will be able to perform too well, because I stopped playing after WCS Singapore in anticipation of enlisting into National Service, only to have it deferred. Also, with 29 Korean, Taiwan and China pro gamers in the Asia Finals, even reaching top 16 may be hard. I'll try to do the best I can and not let Singapore and SEA down.
Enderr: A Korean will win the tournament. I think I'll be eliminated in the first round.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to people in your home country cheering you on?
Comm: Thanks a lot to my fans. I can't achieve anything without your support. I will try my best to play exciting and excellent games for all of you in this series.
ToodMing: I love my country. I want keep the Championship in China!
Creator: There are so many talented players here in Korea, and it’s such a great honor to take home the trophy. I plan on making a strong statement through the Asia Finals and the BWC. Luck has no place in my victory.
Squirtle: First and foremost, big thanks to all the fans out there that never cease to support me. I feel like I owed my fans better than a second place, but I really feel like I’ve got a shot at it this time. I’m ramping up my efforts and putting everything I’ve got into this one so I can really deliver. Thanks so much to all my fans and fans of Team StarTale, keep that support and cheers coming!
Sen: Words cannot express my appreciation to all fans, so I have nothing to say.
AK: Thank you all for your great support, I will do my best as always!
Revenant: Keep cheering me on and I'll try my best to not let you guys down and try to make the games as entertaining as possible!
Enderr: Thank you for always supporting every player that represents our country. I promise to do my best! GG GLHF!