Lucifron: "I think all Terrans got nerfed as the cloak buff doesn't make up for the hellbat nerf"
On July 25th, we sent a barrage of question towards one of Europe's finest Terran players and RTS masterminds, Mousesports' Lucifron. Read what Mr. Durán has to say about his transfer to Mouz, the hellbat changes, WCS Europe and more.
NAME: Pedro "Lucifron" Moreno Durán
WCS RESULTS: Europe Season 1 Top 6
So first thing’s first. You’ve got a new team now in Mousesports. How are things going since you signed?
It's been only two months since I joined mousesports and so far things are going great. We're playing in a lot of team leagues and individual tournaments and so far I think we are doing okay. Other than that, I've already been at two tournaments representing mouz and everything went good in terms of organization/accommodation etc., so I have no complains.
Compared to your previous team Karont3, Mousesports is bigger and much more established. Do you prefer that to the “smaller” atmosphere of Karont3?
Well, I've been playing fulltime for a while already so of course bigger teams can support their players better (in terms of salary, number of events attendance, etc) and since this is my job yes, being on a bigger team is better. If by atmosphere you mean recognition, exposure, "fame" and so on then no, I kind of prefer the privacy of a smaller team but it's not something too important for me.
"In terms of recognition, exposure, "fame" and so on, I kind of prefer the privacy of a smaller team"
Karont3 were actually doing amazingly in team leagues prior to the dissolution. Do you think there could’ve been a bright future for Karont3 or such small teams are never to last?
We'd have qualified for Acer TeamstoryCup playoffs for sure, since we were leading the league when we left. We were also on semifinals of EMS, which was won by Empire (a team we defeated on the group stage), so I think we'd have done great there too. So yes, the SC2 squad could have done great in its remaining leagues.
Karont3 as a club has good future I think, the people who work there are extremely dedicated and they still have players in other games.
In fact, and regarding ATC, I think Karont3 would have made it to the playoffs even after VortiX and me joined mousesports, as they defeated Acer without us (who are in the playoffs) and they were already 6-2, leading the league. Sadly, admins decided to change their initial decision of allowing Karont3 to continue with their 4 remaining players after discussing it with some of the teams on the league.
When you and your brother signed with Mouz it was said that the team is now among the very best in the world and have the strongest SC2 roster since its foundation. Where do you personally rate Mouz as compared to other teams, foreign or Korean?
We are capable of beating any foreigner team, but it's impossible to say that one team is the best, depends a lot on the players' shape on that moment, who gets to play who, etc. I do think that some Korean teams (KT, SKTT1, Woojing Stars, STX, LG-IM, MVP) are one step ahead of the rest.
What do you bring to Mousesports that they were lacking before?
I don't think I add anything particularly new, I just play a lot of tournaments and represent them there, as well as on team leagues.
Back to you as a player. Last WCS EU season, you finished sixth after being considered the best European not only by the media but various ranking systems as well. Did you expect a higher finish?
I was confident against anyone except ForGG, when I saw I got him in ro8 I was hesitant of my chances in the tournament. ForGG didn't play as good as he usually does on that match, so I think if I had played standard on the last three games I'd have won at least one, thus making it to the semifinals. As always, how far one goes into a tournament depends a lot on who he gets to play, specially on a single-elimination bracket, so I never expect anything until I get to see the bracket.
Your only loss to a foreigner in the tournament was to TLO in the consolation final, a defeat that barred you from attending the Season 1 finals. Was the loss a result of frustration or was TLO just better?
He just played better that day.
You’ve been the receiver of high praises for a while now, yet your list of achievements is lacking a big premier gold. How much of an effect does that have on you as a competitor?
It doesn't affect me at all. Since HotS was released no foreigner player has won a tournament with top Koreans, so I think the reason why I don't have a big win on SC2 is because I'm getting better when the game is much more developed, unlike people who won a lot on 2010 or 2011.
Do you agree with the notion that you’re on the top of the continent?
I'd say I'm amongst the best, but there's no foreigner that stands out to call him the best like Stephano did on 2012 for instance, there are like 6-7 foreigners with a very similar skill level
Asking that because recently Apollo tweeted that with Stephano’s retirement incoming, along comes the age of Naniwa. Do you have a comment on that?
The series you played against him in Season 2 - without a doubt the match that people expected the most - was ripe with cheesy and gimmicky plays. He threw a proxy void ray at you, then a proxied robo and finally a 4-gate. Do you think he was afraid to play you in a macro game?
It's a fairly common thing for people playing from KR to EU to all-in a lot, as they're very easy to execute strategies that can work even with a second delay, so I think that was the reason.
Now, although you started the group with a loss to him, you move on to Ro16. Are there any other Europeans that you need to watch out for?
Well I do not underestimate any player on the ro16, I can see any of them beating me as well as me beating them.
Although the majority of WCS EU is still in hosts’ favor, there are some of the most accomplished Koreans attending. We have MVP, MC, MMA and duckdeok in the Ro16. Will EU S2 go to Korea as well?
It could. MMA is really strong right now, at least judging from ladder. MVP always performs great and the Protoss could make it too. I wouldn't say they are extremely favored to win the whole thing, but of course they have chances to.
On that topic, I remember an interview with you in May when you said you’re not really a fan of how Koreans can compete outside Korean circuits. Do you believe that should be bound by residency requirement, banished altogether or there’s another solution (for example, Strelok suggested that Koreans should be allowed so long as they compete on the EU/NA ladder so that foreigners can practice against them)?
What I said is that they shouldn't call it a regional tournament when it's not, right now we have three international tournaments and then an international final. Personally I think players should live in the region they're playing.
Last time we talked was it Katowice and at that time HotS was still in beta. Now that it’s been out for some time now, what are your general thoughts on the game overall?
I like it more than WoL, it's definitely more balanced and I personally find it funnier to play.
Hellbats were all the rage for months now, obviously, and now they’ve bitten the nerf. Do you think the change to them was necessary?
I don't think so. In fact, I think the change was done based on them being "boring" rather than them being "imbalanced". This is something Blizzard themselves acknowledged, and buffed cloak to make for the hellbat change. So, even if it wasn't necessary for balance, TvT now is a better matchup, as a lot of openings are viable now. However I think Terran got nerfed in both TvZ and specially TvP, but until I get to see more Korean games I can't really tell if it's imbalanced or not.
"I think all Terrans got nerfed as the cloak buff doesn't make up for the hellbat nerf"
Innovation said recently that if hellbats were nerfed, he’d be nerfed as well. Seeing how you’ve been known for your hellbat usage as well, do you feel the same way?
I think all Terrans got nerfed as the cloak buff doesn't make up for the hellbat nerf, since banshees are useless in TvP and way worse than hellbat drops in TvZ.
What about the effect of the nerf on the race in general? What will Terrans need to do now that the hellbats aren’t as strong?
Well, right now we see a lot of Terrans opening 3cc 2ebay in TvZ, playing extremely greedy on the early game and attacking nonstop with bio mine since the 12 minute mark until the game ends, so until Korean Zergs start to roach bane all-in more often this style will be common for a while. Once Zergs start to punish these openings, we'll see how the match develops.
TvP I think won't change that much, as there were a lot of standard openings that didn't include hellbats, and you can just get the blue-flame for the late game army.
Do you think there are players who can be named “hellbat Terrans” the same way some competitors were labeled “patch Zergs” in 2012?
I don't think so. In fact, I think even the "patch Zerg" thing was bullshit, as most of the so-called patch Zergs were beating top Zergs in mirror matches, where balance doesn't matter at all.
It was the same in WC3, where people would call orcs "Patch-Orcs", for instance when I won ESWC 2009 Masters on Korea, a lot of people said it was due to orc being imbalaced even if I defeated Fly100% and Lyn in the playoffs (the two best orc players on the world on 2009).
Some people say that ZvZ is very random, and that's the reason why they could perform well on ZvZ too, but I don't think anyone who has competed on a high level and is objective about it can believe that.
You finished top eight at the recent DreamHack. Do you consider this a successful run? Would you have gone farther if you didn’t have to play eventual champion Hyun?
I think with another position on the bracket I might have made it to the semifinals, for instance I did defeat YuGiOh in the top 6 placement match, so if I had played him on Ro8 instead I'd have. But I don't think too much about it, I could have lost in the Ro16 too should I play HyuN/Jaedong on it, so I rate top 6 as a fair placement for me.
Your next appearance is at Assembly Summer (August 1-3) and then you immediately go on to the Ro16 of WCS Europe. Does this hectic schedule bother you in any way?
Well, traveling in general is something that "bothers" me, I think in general I perform worse in offline tournaments than playing from home, just because I don't really like visiting nor feel comfortable on places I've never been before, or places I do not know very well. Specially when there are several tournaments in a row and I'm abroad for more than a week is when I start to feel/perform extremely bad, but I'll be in Spain for some days in between the two tournaments so it'll be fine.
You’re playing your Ro16 matches on August 6th, opening with a game against Welmu and them on to facing either Stephano or duckdeok. How easy is your group compared to the others?
It's hard to say, overall I think groups are pretty balanced, with group A being slightly easier than the others.
Any advice to your brother before going against the Protoss lot in Group D?
Scout a lot! You can never know what Protoss is going to throw at you ^^
Closing words or pleas to Blizzard to un-nerf the hellbat or at least bring back the Warhound?
I'd like to thank everyone for their support and our sponsors: BenQ, GeiL, XMG, Razer, Thortech for their help.
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