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Grubby talks WCG, WEM and SC2

By - 'hydrolis' -
Nov 2, 2010 20:25

ImageManuel 'Grubby' Schenkhuizen discusses the WCG Grand Finals, the upcoming WEM, the explosion of competitive SC2 and his what his future plans may be when WC3 is no longer viable competitively.

Given it was Hallowe'en yesterday we have a treat for all the SK readers and WC3 fans. We were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to sit down with EG's WC3 player NL Manuel 'Grubby' Schenkhuizen just prior to his competing in the World e-Sports Masters (WEM) event which is set to begin on November 3rd.

In this interview, the former WEM 2009 champion and recent WCG 2010 silver medalist discusses a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to): his thoughts of falling short of winning his third WCG gold medal, the recent success of Korean WC3 player ReminD, the SC2 showmatch he played with GARIMTO many months ago and what he thinks of his fellow WC3 pro-gamers success in StarCraft II thus far.

Hello Grubby. You are a player where no introduction is needed so let’s get right into the action!

Let’s go back a few weeks and talk about the WCG Grand Finals in LA. Coming into the grand finals against ReminD, you were on the cusp of becoming the first player ever to win three gold medals in WC3 at WCG. How much did you use that as motivation coming into the event?

Hi Hydrolis. As an accomplished player, you constantly need to set new goals for yourself, even if you already have a title. Winning 3 WCG's would be absolutely HUGE, and it would've been so cool. Everyone was really encouraging me to go for it and that's what I did.

How disappointed were you, despite being a WCG silver medalist, to not come out with that miraculous achievement of winning three golds?
"It's a wasted opportunity, but it's not like I didn't try."

It's a wasted opportunity, but it's not like I didn't try. At least I was there, in the finals, vying for the top spot. I think I would've felt a lot worse if I lost 0-2, or even worse, wouldn't even have made the finals or so.

The Korean player of ReminD has been around the WC3 scene for as long as anyone. He has competed at a top level for years but in his distant past he was not winning many titles. This year has been incredible for him though, what do you think of his recent success at WCG and BlizzCon (winning both)?

I'm happy for him. He deserves it, he played really well.

Coming up in just a few short days for you is the World eSports Masters (WEM) 2010 in China, an event which you won last year taking out Moon 2-1 in the grand finals. What do you think of your chances at this event given this years ESWC, WCG and e-Star’s champions are all in attendance?

To be honest, I think it's going to be pretty tough. I doubt many people see me as a favourite, myself included. I'm going to try to make the games look good, even if I don't end up winning. This means playing to win. I had a lot of positive comments about my 2nd game against ReMinD in WCG (EI) and my 2nd game against Moon in BlizzCon (TM), haha. Obviously I would rather like to emerge victoriously, but things go as they go. Perhaps playing without pressure and some luck will help me.

Many fans of SC2 are praising the fact that it appears to be unifying many RTS communities under one roof. With that being said, tournament organizers appear to be replacing WC3 tournaments with SC2 tournaments at their events. What are your thoughts on this and how much life do you think WC3 has left in terms of competitive events?

I'm not too surprised by it. SC2 is extremely popular and nice to watch. So's WC3, but it's 8 years old already. Most casual gamers will prefer a newer game, in general, to watch and to play. So the pro-gamers have to follow, if they want to entertain the larger crowds. I don't see WC3 doing much outside of China anymore. There's nearly no one left for me to train or play with in Europe anymore.

Does this sadden you that WC3 tournaments appear to be drying up or are you eager and ready to try something new and fresh in terms of competition?

ImageOk, time to delve into a topic I know everyone is interested in: StarCraft II. Back in June you played a show match against a StarCraft: Brood War pro-gamer GARIMTO. What was that experience like for you and how much of the game had you played prior to that match up?

Well I hadn't had any time to prepare for it since the BETA was down, so I asked around what race GARIMTO plays and I generally heard "Protoss". Discussing strategies in PvP with some friends helped me prepare for it, or so I thought -- he played Terran, and I didn't know how to play against that. I did play about 150 games but that was a while before I played the show match, and mostly with Random. But it was definitely fun to play a Brood War pro in a new game.

Several top WC3 players, including Moon, Lyn, Check & many other top European players have made or are in the process of making the switch to SC2. Will you follow their example and compete in this game once the WC3 tournaments completely dry up?

Time will tell.

Speaking of those players, all three of the Korean’s mentioned above made the trip to the GSL to compete in season 2. We saw Moon failing to get past the preliminary round, Lyn going out in the round-of-64 and Check making it very fair to the Ro16. What is your take on the success/lack of success your fellow WC3 pro-gamers have had early on in their SC2 careers?

I thought Check will do better, considering how many games he's played already. But hasn't he lost in both seasons against HopeTorture? Perhaps that guy's got a number on him, I don't know. For Lyn and Moon, I don't think it says much, because they aren't fully focused on SC2 yet. I still wish to see a lot more Europeans participating in the GSL, and also more WC3 players to do well.
"I guess a condition would be to see if I am good enough."

If you were to switch to SC2, would you join fellow EG teammate Greg ‘IdrA’ Fields to compete in the up coming GSL seasons in Korea?

Who knows? I guess a condition would be to see if I am good enough. I'd probably have quite some catching up to do.

Many current SC2 pro-gamers label ex-WC3 pro’s as having ‘very strong micro’ but not necessarily the best macro. Do you agree with that statement and do you think your micro abilities from WC3 will transfer rather seamlessly into StarCraft?

It doesn't sound too wrong. Macro is pretty important in WC3, but more in the sense of when to make what, rather than "always make everything" as it is in Starcraft. I think the decision-making process in WC3 is probably more complex than either SC I or SC II, but learning macro and a Starcraft-way-of-thinking will prove the most challenging for transitioning WC3 players.
I know you are very busy getting ready to head to China for the WEM so I’ll wrap this up with one final question: How is everything going with Mrs. Schenkhuizen? (For those who aren’t aware, Grubby was married earlier this year to his long-time girlfriend Cassandra)

We're doing great, thanks for asking! We're currently at the Seoul airport sitting in Caffé Pascucci.

Big thanks to you Grubby for doing this interview! Feel free to make any shout outs and final comments now.

Very appreciative of EG's sponsors, like Intel, SteelSeries, Kingston HyperX, Thermaltake, Intel Extreme Boards, MSI, Peregrine, Bigfoot Networks and J!NX.

Hey Kyle, send me more SMS's like your last one, please! Really enjoy them.

Aga Rafsan Chowdhury, thanks for picking my SC2 race. Don't tell anyone ;)

Creo, was great meeting you again. Felt like the old times. Always hope it wasn't the last time, but somehow I'm sure it won't be the last.

SoKoL, you can say a hundred times over that you retire, but I will not believe it again. You'll always be back, I know it.

NightEnd, Cash, Kemper, enjoyed your company and conversation, and our long walks on the beach.

Scoots, watch out for the giant 8-legged creatures in your swimming pool. I saw they were equipped with knives, lasers and atomic bombs. (great movie idea)

Thanks to my fans at WCG and BlizzCon and online; I'll try to give you a reason to be happy again ;)

Cheers, Hydrolis, for the interview.

(Photographs copyright of their respective owners)



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