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IdrA: "Nothing else can compare"

By Samuel 'DarthBotto' Horton
Nov 19, 2009 04:15

ImageFollowing his performance as the top American at WCG, but not making it into the semi-finals, we were given the chance to have an interview with StarCraft player Gregory 'IdrA' Fields.

During this previous WCG 2009 StarCraft tournament, there were many players vying for supremacy with the nationality pool fairly balanced. All the South Korean players managed to reach the semi-finals. However, one American name that stood out was Gregory 'IdrA' Fields from CJ Entus , which is South Korean in name and body, with the exception of him. He tried to reach the semi-finals, but he was at odds with Anton 'Kolll' Emmerich, who managed to defeat him in both rounds.

After returning from China, he was willing to spare some time for us as a top American in the StarCraft scene. In the following interview, he discusses his playing experience, the determining factors from WCG and the potential future of the StarCraft II eSport scene.

"Nothing else can compare to the quality and professionalism of Korean eSports."

First off, you're one of the younger StarCraft prodigies who is from my own generation. How long have you been playing StarCraft?

I was originally playing it casually, just money maps and UMS' at the start, since I was twelve, which was around eight years ago now. I switched over to low money maps around five years ago and started playing competitively four years ago or so.

Yes, sixth grade is the time to learn.
So how exactly did you gain contract with the professional South Korean team CJ Entus?

Two years ago, the Korean team eSTRO hosted a tournament for all the top North American players and one of the prizes was an invitation to join their team. I won the tournament and took the invitation. After around six months in eSTRO, I was traded to CJ. I don't really know any details about the trade since players don't really have any rights here, but I've been told CJ went to eSTRO and asked if they were going to be getting a new foreign player and if so if they would be willing to trade me.

That's an interesting way to spring board into the professional scene. So, how does it feel to be the American player on a Korean StarCraft team? Is it easy to work with?

There are difficulties of course; the language barrier is a constant problem as are some other small cultural differences. Overall, it's not bad though. We can all communicate in very simple English and hopefully I'm going to start taking Korean classes soon. All that aside, pro-gaming easily makes up for any little problems. Nothing else can compare to the quality and professionalism of Korean eSports, so it’s well worthwhile being here.
"Just one or two misclicks can lose you the game."

As far as WCG 2009 is concerned, there were many players. 31 documented players already existing in the archives of SK Gaming. You emerged as the top American StarCraft player at the world championship. How did you feel about your overall performance?

Well, I'm happy I won my group and made it to the eighth round, obviously, but I'm disappointed I lost there. I didn't play well, which is disappointing in itself, and I really expected to make it to the semi finals.

What factor do you think was in Kolllsen's favor that he managed to defeat you in both maps?

He won both games off of his mutalisk control. My control was really bad and against mutalisks, just one or two misclicks can lose you the game.

So it was a very delicate situation that you unfortunately did not play efficiently?


Alright, thank you for the insight. Now, a subject that people have been discussing since May of 2007 is the monster sequel to StarCraft headed our way. From what you have seen, do you think players will have to alter their strategies much or is StarCraft II going to be easy to adapt to?

Well, obviously strategies will have to change a lot with all the new units and various buffs and nerfs. Terrans in particular are going to change a lot, with the much stronger bio units and weaker mech. TvP seems like it'll be bio focused now, with everything depending on EMP vs Psi Storm. Protoss aren’t going to change much. Make a lot of strong units and abuse spells. No clue what’s going to happen with the Zerg. But new strategies and styles won't make it particularly hard to adapt to. StarCraft players will transition pretty easily, I think, just because StarCraft is so much harder than all the other games and a big part of the skill set will still be useful.

Well, I think that is all the insight we needed. I'd like to thank Dan 'Artosis' Stemkoski for helping us arrange this interview and of course, thank you, IdrA, for taking the time to help us with our StarCraft coverage.

No problem, thank you.

Photograph credits to CJ Entus and Photobucket user chosen1322.



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