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Interview with iaguz

By DarkMorgulKing - 22nd November 2008 - 03:37 AM

GameReplays conducts an interview with iaguz, a top Red Alert 3 and Company of Heroes player, and currently a StarCraft 2 Editor.

Ethan "iaguz" Zugai

GameReplays: Hey, Ethan "iaguz" Zugai! Before we get started with the interview, why don’t you introduce yourself by giving a little background on yourself: age, gaming career and history, where you live, your hobbies, and your involvement with the community.

Ethan Zugai: Well, I'm 18 years old, live in Sydney Australia. My gaming career can be traced back to when I was 3 years old, and my earliest memories are me playing The Lost Vikings and Dune 2. I've played a bit of almost everything, from RTS to FPS to RPG, even got a 60 in WoW once. I'm a very hardcore gamer I 'spose. I'm pretty much a nerd though, I play warhammer 40k and Bloodbowl, and dabble a bit in Warhammer fantasy. I also used to play Magic: The gathering too. My proper gaming "career" probably started in Dawn of War. I played WA and DC for a while, and was able to get to 1v1 rank 1400 with Imperial Guard which was pretty goddamn tricky seeing as they were the weakest race at the time by far. I wasn't really that great at it though. After that came Company of Heroes, where I ended up becoming the number 1 USA faction player, plus holding spots in the other 3 faction's top 15 listings. I got 2nd in the [SUPER]clan's Aus/NZ tourney, got to the quarterfinals in the first GR.org CoH: OF tourney and first place in the second tourney they did, the shining moment of my 'career' I guess you could say. Currently playing RA3. I've never played a CnC online before, but I've played the games themselves ever since CnC 1 so I knew how it worked. As for the community, I used to be a shoutcaster for CoH, and am currently an Editor for the SC2 section. As for RL, I've just finished school so I've got a bucketload of free time until University. Time spent playing Red Alert 3! Oh yeah, forgot to mention I got into the semi-finals for the RA3 beta KotH competition.

GR: So why did you get involved with the e-sports community? What is its appeal?

EZ: Well, I've always had a competitive streak in me. I've been "that guy" at parties, for instance. You know, that guy who completely trashes everyone at any game, because he's far more involved in it and spends far too much time playing them. I've always liked playing video games and improving myself etc, so I guess liking E-sports just comes naturally. I mean, if someone who likes Football a lot likes watching World Cup Soccer then I spose someone who really likes Video games enjoys watching GOMtv every Sunday. My main appeal for E-sports though is the dedication and skill. The 12-hour a day training sessions and the intense pressure. Especially since there's really bugger all reward money or fame in it (unless your SlayerS_BoxeR of course).

GR: Where do you plan to go in the future, in terms of gaming and e-sports?

EZ: I don't fully know. I'm sure I'll be getting Starcraft 2 upon release, but the competition for that is going to incredibly stiff. There's also the fact that I'm Australian and we have a very small E-sports following, so trying to get a sponsor or something is probably almost impossible. As for now, I guess I'll be playing RA3 as hard as I can and see where I go from there. I'm going into University next year too, probably just to study some shitty Arts Degree or something, so I'll probably have plenty of time for gaming. I don't really know what I want to do in life, but I know that I enjoy gaming so I'll do that as well as I can and see what happens. I got at least 3 years to decide so I'm in no hurry,.

GR: Where do you think Red Alert 3 will go as an e-sport? Why?

EZ: I don't see it doing any worse then CnC 3 did. Admittedly, I don't actually know that much about CnC 3's status as an E-sport, except it's played in the WCG, but I know it did fairly well because EA wanted it to go fairly well. Really, you're asking 2 questions though. If you mean "Is RA3 worthy of competitive play" then I say "well, anything can really." If you mean, "Will RA3 be played competitively" then I say "yeah, probably. If it's got the community and if EA puts in enough money then it can become one". A game doesn't become an E-sport based solely off it's quality, otherwise you'd see me in the WCG for Company of Heroes. No, it becomes one if it's got enough community and people are willing to throw money at it. And I strongly suspect that is what is going to happen with RA3. Which should be great fun.

GR: If you could change one thing about Red Alert 3, what would it be?

EZ: Tricky question, because you've left me at just one...Well, I can think of a few things:
1) for Balance, Flak trooper mag mines should have reduced damage, because those things carve through buildings and harvesters at a frightening rate.
2) More micro and macro demands.
3) a better support powers system, because the one they have now is crap.
and 4) A better online interface, because theirs looks 8 years old.

GR: Your clan is currently doing very well in the ClanWars competition, and you're in the top ten warriors. What do you think of your chances this month, on both ladders?

EZ: Not sure about getting the number 1 warrior slot, but I'd be happy to be in the top 3, along with Netput (who's also a very good player, and a pretty cool guy too). As for the clan, there's only one slot worth having and we're gonna fight tooth and nail for it. I'd say our chances are ok, but the current ladder system they have makes it very difficult to cement a lead at the top, and much easier to get it back. Perhaps it will be a matter of timing, but the last day ends at my 4pm so I'll be playing all that day. For once being an Australian has actually given me good timezones (most tourney's I play at around 4am, which is NOT fun!).

GR: What warrior or clan do you most fear snatching victory from you?

EZ: I don't have a clan which I've labled my personal arch-nemesis, but really it could be any of them. This is mainly if they play 2v2 games too, which are annoying because I cannot fight in a 2v2 (I'm usually the only EPIC member on most of the time) and those are worth lots of points if you win. The clanwars ladder can shift so dramatically so quickly, today's nemesis becomes tomorrow's meat-sacks. That being said, KoS are a fairly good bunch. BoP, Stim and [LA] are also frustratingly persistent.

GR: Specifically relating to the tournaments this weekend, who is the opponent that you hope you don't have to play?

EZ: Well, I don't know the dignitas tournament brackets (haven't checked it yet if it's out), but for the gr.org tourney, I'm probably worried about KoS[Unskilled], because he's beaten me before quite a few times on Clanwars. Then again, cowards do not win battles, so I'll try not to worry about any opposition

GR: What is the event you're most keen on winning?

EZ: well...let's be truthful here, probably the Dignitas. gr.org's going to have tons of tournies, but Dignitas probably less. Also, Dignitas is closer to the E-sports scene then GR.org is and making a name for myself there would mean more then making a name for myself on gr.org (I already have one anyway).

GR: What do you think your chances are of winning that tournament?

EZ: Don't know, I haven't seen the brackets for it. For all I know, I might not even be IN the freakin' thing! But I reckon my chances are ok. I'm not worried about Empire players, because of balance, and I've beaten some of the best Soviet and Allied players on Clanwars before so I've had tons of practice against them. But who knows, perhaps only noobs signed up and it'll just be one glorious stompfest. You can always hope.

GR: What faction will you play?

EZ: Soviets of course! Doesn't my picture tell you this! (note: Wait until you see it. Trust me).

GR: Thanks for your time and thoughtful answers! Good luck with the tournaments this weekend.

EZ: No problem, thanks for the support.