Last week, ESFI got an exclusive opportunity to talk with the members of Team Axiom and Acer. Topics cover the establishment of the two teams’ partnership, the upcoming GSTL Season and their preparations, thoughts on Proleague and a possible participation, gauging excitement for the upcoming expansion, and their thoughts on Scarlett coming to play in Korea.
The interview was conducted over Skype, with translation being done by ESFI translator Min Soo Park. Team captain CranK’s English seems to be improving dramatically, saying (in English), “If possible, I want to use English whenever possible to help it improve.” The players’ jabs at one another throughout the conversation speaks to their history together as former teammates on SlayerS. Even newcomer Heart who was on TSL and CompLexity seemed to have a friendly rivalry with MMA, consistently ensuring us that he would get better results over MMA this season. Unfortunately we did not get to experience Ryung’s emoticon language.
Overall the team’s morale seemed very high, with all of them highly motivated to show positive results in the upcoming GSTL season. This is part one of a two part interview; the second will feature questions asked to the players individually, which will be published in the coming week.
Congratulations on the partnership between Team Axiom and Acer. How are you guys feeling about this partnership?
MMA: I hope both teams will work together to go far.
Miya: Another team gets to join GSTL and that is exciting!
Crank: A lot of things happened up until now so there is a little pressure of having to show good results but as for now we are feeling positive and working hard.
Ryung: The team is now bigger and that makes me proud. We were short on Zergs but now we have one of the strongest Zerg players out there.
Heart: Thank you! I think that this partnership is a really good chance for us, and we all want to show good results.
Alicia: I am glad to start with a new team. We didn’t have enough members to join GSTL but now that we do, I am confident.
How did this partnership come about?
Crank: Everyone feels I should answer this. Everyone wanted to show good results but didn’t have a stage to compete on, so we changed our focus to the GSTL and from there we got an idea of forming a partnership which happened to be a great idea.
How has the team been preparing for the upcoming season of GSTL?My teammates aren’t doing so well, especially MMA. So I am practicing to achieve an all-kill. – Ryung
Heart: Just hard practice!
Crank: I thought I wasn’t doing well during my practice sessions, but after looking at my teammates, they weren’t doing so well either (laugh) so I am feeling a little better and practicing hard.
Alicia: I still have GSL qualifiers so I am focused on that.
MMA: Practicing hard to win!
Ryung: My teammates aren’t doing so well, especially MMA. So I am practicing to achieve an all-kill.
Miya: We will show how strong we are in the GSTL!
A lot of you are former members of SlayerS. Do you think this gives you any advantages going into this season of GSTL?
Crank: I think Miya’s experience with Slayers in GSTL doesn’t affect us in any way. His record in GSL is 10 losses in 10 games so it is more of a disadvantage!
Ryung: Having won GSTL twice already helps us and we have a lot of experience and good memories. I can’t wait to start GSTL – we’ll have the upper hand!
Miya: MMA was the key player back then however recently due to his hardship his mental state has fallen. Once he resurrects and opens his wings wide, everyone will cheer for MMA again!
MMA: I don’t think it’s important whether a player was active in a team or not. We will show a fun and good performance in this GSTL.
Heart: I will win and show up MMA!
With so much focus on Proleague as the premier team league, do you think GSTL is important?
Crank: It is true that Proleague received a lot of attention while GSTL wasn’t running; however, we have a chance to show our skills in a tournament so we will do it to our best ability in the GSTL.
Miya: Proleague has its own style, GSTL also has its own fun style. I don’t think there is a need to compare these two leagues. If you are a true SC2 fan, you will watch both.
Alicia: I think GSTL and Proleague are very similar. I don’t see any difference between them.
MMA: Every league in SC2 is important.
Ryung: Like Miya said, if you are a true SC2 fan you will watch both.
Will there be any chance of seeing Axiom/Acer compete in Proleague? Not this season of course, but in future seasons?
Crank: I think I can answer for the team. I don’t know for sure now but right now we only want to show good results. Maybe once the team grows we’ll have a chance to go into Proleague.
Besides yourselves, who do you think is the strongest team going into GSTL this season?
Crank: Hmm I think StarTale… they are super strong. They are the kings!
Miya: They are all very strong teams. Every team has an ace player which makes things very difficult.
Heart: Teams other than StarTale don’t seem that strong.
MMA: Every team in GSTL is strong.
Who practices the hardest in the house?
Crank: Lately, Alicia > Miya > Ryung, Heart, MMA
Heart: No, Alicia > Miya > MMA > Ryung, Heart
Alicia: No, Miya best.
Crank: Alicia thinks that he should practice more than others because he doesn’t practice a lot.
Miya: No, Miya >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Alicia > othersI won’t say much. David Kim has no skills in balance designing. – Miya
What’s everyone’s thoughts on balance right now? What are you most comfortable with, least comfortable with?
Crank: Game balance is finally good I think. My matchups? I like PvZ and I hate PvP.
Miya: I won’t say much. David Kim has no skills in balance designing.
Ryung: TvT is most comfortable for me. Zerg > Toss > Terran
Miya: No Ryung Z < P
Alicia: I’m most comfortable in PvP, I think balance is the very good right now, but it changes often.
MMA: It’s disappointing that Wings of Liberty’s balance was finally levelled around the time a new expansion comes out.
Have you guys had any chance to play the new expansion? What do you like about the expansion? What could be improved?
Crank: Actually we want to focus only on Wings of Liberty right now. So we didn’t know exactly about HoTS.
Heart: There are still a lot of patches happening so it’s difficult to say anything about it yet.
Crank: Honestly I find nothing has changed in PvP so it’s disappointing.
MMA: Unlike Wings of Liberty, we can watch replays together. I really like that about HoTS.
Ryung: Heart of the Swam seem a lot more fun than Wings of Liberty. New units are very interesting and strong. Terran has become stronger so I like it.
Alicia: Due to lag I don’t play it often. Unit patches happen too often so it’s difficult to say anything, but I think the new additions to the game are very good.
Miya: We had a Heart of the Swarm event and I have a lot of experience playing it. Nothing really changed for the better in Battle.Net, but watching replays with others and starting from replays is very impressive. I don’t think Blizzard has any plans to change the system like the old SC1 days.I played Scarlett in IPL. If she plays like that in Korea and keeps up her condition, she will be in top 7 Zergs in Korea. I am waiting for it. – Ryung
Scarlett, the Canadian Zerg player, is coming to stay in Korea. How do you feel she will do there? Do you feel she is ready for it?
Crank: Once Scarlett comes we won’t have any fears. We are all very excited and can’t wait to meet her.
Heart: Scarlett is a player with immense skill and she will show good results in Korea.
Ryung: I played Scarlett in IPL. If she plays like that in Korea and keeps up her condition, she will be in top 7 Zergs in Korea. I am waiting for it. She will do well in GSTL.
Miya: I watched her tournament VODs and replays. I am eagerly looking forward to her playing with us.
Alicia: A Zerg with really good skill. She will help us greatly.
MMA: With Scarlett’s skills, we will show good results in GSTL.