BroodWar legends on StarCraft 2: “Our skill grows quicker than many expected”

Posted by Julian "hattfatt" Koch at 29 June 2012 20:09

Jaedong, Bisu, Stork and Flash sat down to share their thoughts on the game, now that they’re more familiar with it. They talk about their introduction to Wings Of Liberty, their view on balance and also show some love for their foreign audience.

Kim “Bisu” Taek Young, Song “Stork” Byung Gu, Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong, and Lee “Flash” Young Ho, the current royalty of the Brood War scene, are four of the most remarkable players in eSports. They have managed to dominate the most competitive RTS in history for the better half of a decade. Now, that the decision makers are slowly on their way to lead Brood War to its well deserved end, these four are struggling to catch up with the current StarCraft 2 scene.

In this interview, they tell us how their transition is going and what we can expect from them in the upcoming tournaments:

When you first played StarCraft II, how did your games go?

Jaedong: It was really difficult to play StarCraft II in my first game because I was used to playing Brood War.
Flash: My first StarCraft II game was almost a year after the game was released. I had arm surgery and rehabilitated with athletes in the mountains at that time, then suddenly I felt like playing StarCraft II, so I played alone secretly. Nothing but losses filled my game history, but I kept playing so I could find common ground between Brood War and StarCraft II.
Bisu: I have trouble playing StarCraft II because so many protoss units have been changed. I knew I could change Hotkeys but I didn’t, in order to get used to the new game.
Stork: About two years ago, when StarCraft II launched, StarCraft II was the only game that was allowed to be played in my team house besides Brood War, so we played StarCraft II during break time. I adapted soon because not only were units like the zealot similar, but the overall trend of the game resembled Brood War. Although two Brood War pro-gamers in my team house rapidly turned into StarCraft II pros, I believed that I could catch up with them soon so I remained in the team house.

What unit in StarCraft II is your favorite to use, and what unit from Brood War do you miss the most?

Jaedong: My favorite StarCraft II unit is the infestor. I think it is similar to the defiler from Brood War, but now it is better because it can be produced on Tier 2 (Lair). The mutalisk is very commonly used in Brood War but I feel sad that it is impossible to control mutalisks the way I did in Brood War.
Flash: My favorite StarCraft II unit is the marauder. It looks strong and it actually is, so I produce it quite often. I liked to use goliaths very much in Brood War so when I heard that Thor replaced the goliath in StarCraft II, I tried to use it a few times. But the Thor is not my favorite because it feels too massive. I miss the goliath, the slim one.
Bisu: My favorite unit is the immortal because it is incredibly effective against marauders and roaches. I miss the corsair.
Stork: Although I like all of the StarCraft II units, I like especially the sentry. There are no units I particularly want to carry over from Brood War, but if I had to choose one, it’s the arbiter.

Many players in the KeSPA Proleague have claimed Protoss is especially strong, and Protoss players seem to be having the most success in their transition. What causes this, would you say?

Jaedong: Strong? Is protoss strong? I’m not sure about that. I don’t know whether protoss is really strong and I think balance always changes as time passes.
Flash: The reason protoss is so strong is… oh, honestly, I have no idea. I don’t think I have enough skill to judge the balance. However I can say StarCraft II protoss has advantages for new players, like Warp Gates.
Bisu: I think protoss is a race which everybody can play well at first. The protoss win rate is quite a bit higher than other races among us because our skill is not that high yet. However, protoss doesn’t seem to have that many advantages for all high-level matches that I watched. I believe protoss strength is based on a lot of studies and practices that protoss players have done.
Stork: On my team (Samsung Electronic Khan), I have seen protoss players’ skill grow quicker than other races when we started to play the game. Compared to Brood War, I think Brood War and StarCraft II protoss have many things in common and protoss is the most convenient race to control and needs the least consideration. So I think it makes protoss stronger at low levels, but the strongest race would be zerg as players’ skills grow.

The first StarCraft II Ongamenet Starleague is scheduled for July, and it will be open to more than just KeSPA players. Do you think you will be prepared?

Jaedong: KeSPA Proleague would continue into July, but I don’t know whether the StarCraft II OSL (Ongamenet StarCraft II League) is scheduled for July or not. I’m afraid there would not be enough time to practice both Brood War and StarCraft II.
Flash: Only one month remains until July so it seems to be difficult to practice both Brood War and StarCraft II at the same time. I don’t think I’ll be prepared by then.
Bisu: I heard about the July OSL, but I think that I need to practice harder to reach higher rounds in the league. I’ll do my best.
Stork: Our skill grows quicker than many expected, so I believe that we’ll have enough chance to win the final match.

Some of you attended BlizzCon 2011 here in Anaheim, and you’ve been here at MLG this weekend. What do you think of the foreign community as compared to Korea?

Jaedong: This is my second visit to Anaheim, after last year’s BlizzCon, and every time I visit here, the passionate and energetic StarCraft II fans surprise me. As a pro-gamer, I love such fans and couldn’t wait to participate in such matches. So I will practice harder and polish my skill to participate again. I can’t wait for that moment.
Flash: Every time I visit here, I always feel surprised at passions and cheers of fans. I’m very happy with it because it is not common in Korea. Of course, I know every fan’s love is not comparable because each fan has different ways of expression.
Bisu: I appreciate everyone’s love for me very much. I love those fans’ passionate cheers. I also love the BarCraft culture: watching the game with drinking. I wish it would be held in Korea.
Stork: Unlike Korean fans, fans in here are very passionate and active, so I feel envious. It’s very interesting that while Korean fans, teams, and pro-gamers are tend to focus on victory, but global fans generally enjoy watching the game itself.

For the full interview, head over to