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Gamereplays Interviews Artosis!

By d.Apollo - 13th February 2010 - 11:24 AM

Recently Gamereplays had the chance to have a chat with Artosis on the Starcraft 2 Beta and how it will effect the E-Sports world, amongst other things, enjoy!

Gamereplays.org: Hey Artosis, the Gamereplays.org community may not know a lot about you, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself? Where you're from, your name, age and so on?

Artosis: Well, I think some of them might know me as I used to play Age Of Empires 3 when it first came out =P. I am a 26 year old StarCraft player from USA. I've played the game competitively for about 11 years, been to 7 USA Finals, 2 World finals, and more recently became a commentator. For this, I moved to South Korea about a year and a half ago. I now work for the International Esports Group, the same company that owns the eSTRO professional StarCraft team.

Gamereplays.org: How is life in Korea?

Artosis: Korea is absolutely a gamer's paradise. Everyone in the whole country seems to know StarCraft and to have played it. StarCraft is always on TV, and even the government recognizes eSports as legitimate. On top of that, the people are very nice, the food is delicious and healthy, and Seoul is a great city, where you can always find something to do, no matter what time of the day it is. A great place overall biggrin.gif

Gamereplays.org: There will be a lot of different players, worldwide, from different games trying to be the next BoxeR/NaDa/Jaedong etc., who do you personally think will succeed? From your time in the pro scene and your duration in Korea, what does it take to be the best?

Artosis: To be the best, it takes some talent and a lot of hard work. Discluding the StarCraft progamers in Korea (as I beleive the talented ones will continue to play StarCraft a while longer), I think the best players might very well be Moon from WC3 and ret from StarCraft. These guys are both ludicrously talented, at the top of their games, and ready for StarCraft 2. I have a long list of players I'm going to keep my eyes on (including d.apollo =P), but I really feel like Moon + ret are destined to be 2 of the very very top, no matter what.

Gamereplays.org: How do you think top international teams like MYM, SK-Gaming, Fnatic or Mouz will compare to the Korean progaming teams in StarCraft 2? Do you think any international team will be able to compete with the Koreans and their rigorous training, work ethic and money?

Artosis: Over the long term, the Korean + Chinese style//culture//work-ethic//whatever you want to call it, will rise to the top. In the beginning, at least, foreigner teams will be able to compete easily with them, and even be better. I doubt most of the talented Korean players will switch over right away, if at all, so that also helps the foreigner teams.

Gamereplays.org: Do you believe the Korean teams will invite more foreigners to compete in their StarCraft 2 scene or that they'll rather stay as hermetic as they currently are? What's the likelihood of having the next Hexatron, meaning an entire team consisting of foreigners?

Artosis: There won't be a team entirely consisting of foreigners over here most likely. Will the Koreans invite more foreigeners to Korea to compete in StarCraft 2? Absolutely.

Gamereplays.org: Would they be willing to change their attitude from "You must learn Korean to be able to communicate with us and be able to take advantage of our knowledge!" to something closer to "Our players need to have at least a basic grasp of English so they aren't as excluding towards foreigners"?

Artosis: Teams will likely continue to recruit more bi-lingual managers, such as Hwanni from eSTRO, Sean Oh from CJ, and Paul from WeMadeFOX. Most likely, future foreigeners will take Korean classes while here, as IdrA has recently started doing.

Gamereplays.org: What is your prediction for the future of e-sports in relation to Starcraft 2, to be more specific, do you think it will take off and if so will it be as big in the Korean scene and bigger in the foreign scene? This may seem like a fairly over-asked question, but nevertheless, it's an aspect we'd like to hear your opinion on.

Artosis: StarCraft 2 is a really important step in the evolution of eSports. Right now, RTS players are scattered over StarCraft, Warcraft 3, Defence Of The Ancients, and a plethora of other, smaller games. This really hurts eSports overall. StarCraft 2 is a fresh start for everyone, anyone who wants to put in the time and effort can be good. Also, it will be an awesome game. This should combine all the RTS communities into 1, for the most part. That + the hype + the newness of the game will make it very attractive for all eSports events, and it will, with all certainty, be in all of them. Will it be as big in the Korean scene? Its impossible to tell right now. The scene will not switch over entirely at first, that is for sure. StarCraft has deep roots here, a strong player base, die-hard fans, and too many people making a living off of it to just throw it away. Likely we will see it integrated over time, and hopefully, become more popular one day. The foreigner scene won't reach what Korea is at right now, I think, but it will certainly be bigger than anything we've seen before, RTS wise at least.

Gamereplays.org: How competitive do you think Starcraft 2 will be internationally? Are there going to be a few dominant countries - besides Korea - bringing forth one champion after the other or will all nations have a couple of top level competitors? Why?

Artosis: I think eventually, StarCraft 2 will be boiled down just like it is in Warcraft 2. China, Korea, and a few randoms from other countries in the mix. But, this will take years. In the start, anyone could be good. I can't really say that every country will have some top players, because its impossible to predict. Whoever wants it the most, whoever trains the hardest, will be able to make a mark. It just matters where those individuals are from. No one race or nationality will give an advantage.

Gamereplays.org: Let's talk a bit more about you. Are you planning on staying in Korea with the release of Starcraft 2 or will you return home in an attempt to kick start e-sports in the United States? Furthermore, what do you think would be the best way to take in order to make e-sports more popular in the United States and in Europe?

Artosis: My current plan is to stay in Korea for a while longer. So far I've been able to do a lot to bridge the 2 communities, and I'm on the brink of some much larger break-throughs as well. I'll hopefully be able to stay and continue helping with that a bit more. I think right now Europe is doing a great job of growing eSports, and will continue to do so. USA is doing better than most people who read this interview truly realize, because they are growing eSports with console gaming rather than PC gaming. Of course, I'd like to see more PC gaming growth in the USA, and hopefully it can happen. For more USA growth, I think MLG is the key. They are doing absolutely great right now, hopefully they will pick up StarCraft 2!

Gamereplays.org: Will you continue playing as Terran? We've seen you play Terran on some VoDs from BlizzCon (namely the games versus Savior), what did you like about the "new" Terran? If there was anything to like at all?

Artosis: Well, I've only played 3 games of StarCraft 2 so far (all against Savior @ Blizzcon, 2-1ed nerd lol thx zatic XD), and all of them have been with Terran. I like that walls are all solid now, and that depots can go underground. I will certainly stay with Terran, pretty much no matter what during StarCraft 2. I might dabble with the other races a bit more than I did in StarCraft, but I am a Terran player for life.

Gamereplays.org: Based on your personal experience with Starcraft 2, what is your opinion on the macro mechanics? Do you think they can adequately compensate for the reduction in APM and attention cost caused by an improved interface?

Artosis: The macro mechanics seem quite interesting, but very imbalanced right now. I'm looking at them with an open mind, I don't mind trying something new and fiddling with it while it gets balanced. I don't think they could ever come close to compensating for the reduction in APM and attention cost caused by the improved interface. Anyone who thinks for even 1 second that it will, is dead wrong, and never played StarCraft at a high level.

Gamereplays.org: With all this talk about people who haven't played Starcraft before transferring to Starcraft 2, and not being able to compete with those who have played the original (at the start anyway), do you think there may be some aspects of Starcraft 2 that the original Starcraft community will have trouble with, that say, a Company of Heroes player will not?

Artosis: I never played Company Of heroes, but I have played countless other RTS games. There are a few reasons why StarCraft players will be ahead of the other RTS players, and also a reason some will have a hard time with the game. Let's go over why they will be ahead first. The game is StarCraft 2, not Company Of Heroes 2. The game which it is and will be most similar to, is StarCraft. This alone will give StarCraft players an edge, with the feel, many similar units coming back, similar economy management, similar map layouts, etc. In addition, SC1 requires the most multitasking of any RTS ever, by far. Multi-tasking is very unnatural, and it takes a lot of practice to properly split your brain up amongst the different tasks SC1 requires you to preform at the same time. This is the most powerful skill to have in an RTS, and many SC1 players will simply have more experience with it than players from other RTS games. (not to say those players don't have some, or in some cases, a lot, of course:) ) SC1 requires the most mechanical (i.e, technical keyboard useage) of any RTS game. Top players can preform 450 actions per minute, and it takes at least ~200+, even with the slowest race, to have any chance at being competitive.

Gamereplays.org: Has Starcraft 2 noticeably changed the relationship between the Korean Starcraft players and Warcraft 3 players, who would previously have mostly avoided each other? What kind of differences in opinion or relationships have you noticed between the two communities, if any?

Artosis: The relationship hasn't changed all that much between Korean SC1 players and Korean WC3 players. Korean StarCraft players are in their own little world, and don't pay any attention to Warcraft 3 players, because they simply dont matter to them. There are not that many Warcraft 3 players over here, really. A noteable acception is that Moon has been practicing with the WeMadeFOX progaming StarCraft team, and is doing amazingly well. He's the worst on the team, but still wins about 25% of his games against the B-team.

Some opinions amongst the communities differ, of course. People have their heros from their games, and all of them think they will do great. Some will I'm sure, but most of them are going to run into the brick wall called "SC1 pros". I haven't really noticed any difference in the relationship between the communities. I guess we will all just merge and be pretty happy together after the release.

Gamereplays.org: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Artosis: Playing StarCraft 2 probably... =P

Gamereplays.org: Having played a little Starcraft 2 do you hate Protoss already?

Artosis: Hahaha, I've only played 3 games, and not 1 DT was made against me. So, yes, I do hate Protoss already (default hatred though, not based upon anything I've played against yet).

Gamereplays.org: Thanks for your time, Artosis Are there any last words or shoutouts?! I heard you run a manner t-shirt site?

Artosis: haha, yeah. www.TheHandsomeNerd.com . Also, if you read this interview, you should be following my twitter. I update it pretty often with all sorts of great content on Starcraft and soon StarCraft 2. www.Twitter.com/Artosis.

Discuss this interview with Artosis!