Hungry for More: Jaedong on WCS & In-N-Out

Posted 3rd of Sep 2013 by Will Partin

Hello, StarCraft fans. You'll apologize for the lateness of this interview, which was originally supposed to go up a few days before the WCS Global Finals. I promise that the wait is worth it. I had sent my original questions to Jaedong on the Monday before WCS, hoping that he could get to them before his flight to Germany. But much to my dismay, I was told by ex-SlayerS.Min, our in-house translator, that Jaedong had already departed for Germany, snuffing out any hope of publishing the interview before the WCS Finals began. Luckily for me, however, Jaedong answered the questions in transit.

As I was formatting the original interview and preparing it for publication, Jaedong tore through his Protoss-dominated group and set himself up nicely for a run to the finals (embarrassingly, I will admit to expressing some reservations about the Tyrant’s chances in my preview. For once, I’m happy to have been wrong.) Given his performance, I decided that I would pose a few more questions to Jaedong once he returned to South Korea. Some of his original answers -- particularly those about foreigners and his own performance -- seem almost clairvoyant, which demanded a little more exploration as well. But you're not here to hear me drone on (no pun intended). Here's the man himself: Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong!

Before WCS

  • Will Partin

    Good morning, Jaedong! Thanks for taking the time out to answer some questions -- I know you must be busy with WCS preparations, so I’ll jump right in it. First, let’s talk a bit about the past. Do you ever think about what your life would be like, both as a player and an individual, if you had stayed on Team 8 (now Jin Air Green Wings)?



  • Jaedong

    If I had stayed with Team 8/JinAir, I don't think that I would have had as many opportunities to compete abroad as I do with Evil Geniuses. I don't think that there would have been significant differences in skill. I am still close with many of the players on JinAir, but I try not to compare myself with them.

  • Will Partin

    Prior to switching to StarCraft II, how much knowledge did you have of EG-TL’s Korean starcraft players? Did you know any of them personally? What about now?

  • Jaedong

    Before I joined EG-TL, I only knew of my future teammates’ names. But now, we are like a family. I’d say I am closest to Kim “Oz” Hak Soo, who is the same age as me.

  • Will Partin

    How has the atmosphere in the team house changed since the departure of Coach Park? How are you guys managing your practice regimens now?

  • Jaedong

    Nothing changed in particular. We are following a similar schedule [to the one that Coach Park set], but in a slightly more relaxed environment.

  • Will Partin

    You said that one benefit of Evil Geniuses has been the ability to travel across the world for tournaments. Did you get to do a lot of travel, for StarCraft or for pleasure, during your professional Brood War career?

  • Jaedong

    I didn't go abroad as often as I do now, but I did take an overseas trip once or twice every year.

 

  • Will Partin

    Over the last few months, you’ve been to Sweden, Spain, the United States, and China. Which one of these countries was most memorable? Do you have any funny stories from your travels?

  • Jaedong

    They were all fun. The DreamHack after party held at a beach in Valencia and Sweden’s scenery were especially memorable.

  • Will Partin

    What about the food? Did you try anything particularly delicious (or particularly awful)?

  • Jaedong

    I'm not too picky about food, so everywhere was fine. I do really like In-and-Out burger in California.

  • Will Partin

    What kind of burger did you get at In-and-Out? What toppings?

  • Jaedong

    I am not sure what type of burger was my favorite, but I really liked the french fries.

  • Will Partin

    Me too. But most importantly, did you end up partying with Stephano in Ibiza? Or is that classified information?

  • Jaedong

    I could not party because of my busy schedule with WCS. I will make sure to party in Ibiza some time in the future, and I believe that Stephano will take me there.

  • Will Partin

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that party. So, shifting gears to the present, let’s talk a bit about the the WCS World Championship. Dollar for dollar, this is the largest individual tournament you’ve participated in since transitioning to StarCraft II. How does that change your approach to preparation, if at all?

  • Jaedong

    I am giving this tournament the highest priority. I think the other players will be as well.

  • Will Partin

    Many people are worried for you, since you are in a group with three protoss -- Welmu, MC, and Rain. Is there a group you would have rather had? What players are you most afraid of, and which players would you most like to face?

  • Jaedong

    I am actually satisfied with my group, even though I tend to start my ZvP’s from behind. Honestly, there isn’t a player of whom I am afraid. Even if I went up against INnoVation, I could play my games with utmost confidence. That is my biggest strength.

  • Will Partin

    Have you been working with your teammates or just playing ladder? How do your practice habits in StarCraft II compare to your practice habits in Brood War?

  • Jaedong

    I focus on playing on ladder. There is a big difference between StarCraft II and Brood War. Because StarCraft II’s ladder system finds players who are similar in skill level to you, you don't need many too practice partners, which is good.

  • Will Partin

    Last WCS Finals, the foreigners had a pretty dismal showing, as DIMAGA, Stephano, and TLO all dropped out in group stages. Do you think the foreign players (Scarlett, Naniwa, Welmu, and Grubby) will do better this time?

  • Jaedong

    I think that they are each very capable of achieving good results, so I think it will be different from last time.

  • Will Partin

    Who do you think the overall favorite going in is? Maru? Rain? Innovation?

  • Jaedong

    I have to believe that it’s me. If I am competing in a tournament, I can’t pick another player as a favorite.

  • Will Partin

    You and Scarlett are the only zerg players in the season finals. Do you think this is just coincidence, or do you think there’s an issue with balance that blizzard needs to address?

  • Jaedong

    I do think that there is a problem with balance, but I also believe that the balance team should be able to work it out.

  • Will Partin

    Yeah? How do you feel about the buff to overseer speed? Will it change how you approach TvZ, or any other matchup?

  • Jaedong

    I think that it's meant to be a small buff against Terran, but I don't expect it to lead to any big changes because using Muta/Ling/Bane has become quite difficult recently.

After WCS

  • Will Partin

    Welcome back! Thanks for agreeing to do another round of questions and congratulations on your second place finish. I think it’s safe to say that the image of your ZvP as needing improvement is put to rest. Did you feel any special relief after clearing your group, or was it the same relief you’d feel after clearing any group?

  • Jaedong

    I felt confident. Since I practiced a lot, I knew that I could win against anyone.

  • Will Partin

    You also managed to eliminate NaNiwa. You guys are developing quite the rivalry -- at least that’s what I think. Do you think you have a rivalry with, or is he just another Protoss to beat? After he beat you at Dreamhack a few months ago, was it especially nice to get revenge?

  • Jaedong

    Because I had lost to Naniwa quite a few times in previous tournaments, I definitely wanted to get revenge. But instead of calling him a rival, I'd rather just consider him as a player not unlike myself.

  • Will Partin

    On a closely related subject, you said in your pre-WCS interview that you thought the foreigners would do better this time -- and you were right. Why did you think that was the case? And did they fail to meet, meet, or exceed your expectations?

  • Jaedong

    They did about as well as I thought they would. I expected Naniwa and Scarlett to do well and I think that they performed nicely.

  • Will Partin

    You’re also second overall in the WCS rankings, so barring disaster, you’re almost mathematically guaranteed a spot to the WCS Finals at Blizzcon. Have you started thinking about that tournament at all?

  • Jaedong

    I am very happy, and I plan to improve my weaknesses and put a lot of effort into winning Blizzcon.

  • Will Partin

    How many times will you eat at In and Out Burger when you come to America for the WCS finals?

  • Jaedong

    I'd like to go there twice. Once when I get to LA, and again before I leave for Korea.

  • Will Partin

    Now, let’s talk about what went wrong at WCS. You lost again in the finals of the tournament. Are you struggling mentally in the finals of tournaments?

  • Jaedong

    Yes, it is true that I am struggling mentally. Since I keep losing in the finals, it's difficult to show my true play and potential.

  • Will Partin

    You lost four games in a row to Bomber in the finals. Have you been struggling with the TvZ matchup in practice? How will you approach that matchup now when you practice?

  • Jaedong

    I am finding it very difficult to play against Terran. Even when I do win, I do so in a difficult manner. At this point, I can't find a solution. Sometimes after losing, I don't really understand why I lost.

  • Will Partin

    You showed a strong penchant for muta/ling/bane in your games against Bomber and Polt, but it rarely worked out. Do you think the style is starting to lose its strength, like in WoL, or did you just execute poorly (or something else entirely)?

  • Jaedong

    I didn't really like some parts of my performance, and I think that the Terrans are getting more used to playing against Muta/ling/bane and finding it easy to handle.

  • Will Partin

    One last question. If you were making dinner for the EG-TL house and you had to cook any zerg unit to serve to everyone, which unit would you choose and why? And how would you cook it -- fried, steamed, or something else?

  • Jaedong

    Definitely the Ultralisk. The portion size would be huge and I think the meat would be delicious if it were cooked like Korean BBQ.

  • Will Partin

    Thanks for humoring my hard-hitting journalism. Any final shoutouts?

  • Jaedong

    I love all of my fans. I always enjoy meeting them and I hope they will continue to cheer for me.

About the Author: Will Partin

Will Partin is a UNC Chapel Hill PhD student by day and highly mediocre online gamer by night. He joined the webstaff in 2012 as a StarCraft II and Dota 2 writer. In addition to interviews, recaps and previews, Will enjoys writing long form journalism on topics as diverse as the semi-pro scene and the history of Evil Geniuses. He frequently tweets about beer and its effects, and remains committed to life, liberty, and the 3gate Proxy Void Ray All-In.

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