As reported previously, KeSPA announced on Monday that Won ‘PartinG’ Lee Sak has joined SKT T1 through an open posting system. Both SKT T1 and KT Rolster sent notifications to acquire PartinG, and SKT was able to win him over KT through lottery. KeSPA has released an official interview of the newly-acquired SKT Protoss player PartinG and SKT head coach Lim ‘BoxeR’ Yo Hwan. Below is the fully translated interview:
How are you feeling right now?
PartinG: After I ended my contract with Startale, many foreign teams were contacting me. I’ve been thinking a lot, and I compared [their offers] to KeSPA’s, as I was interested in KeSPA as well. Foreign teams had different opinions than what I had in mind, and KeSPA’s offer was better, so I decided on KeSPA. I especially wanted to join SK Telecom T1, so I am very happy at the moment.
Why did you want to join SK Telecom T1?
First, there was head coach Lim whom I deeply respect, and Rain (SKT) told me good thing about SKT during WCS. I thought sponsored items like uniforms and Pocari Sweat were excellent benefits, and I also wanted to learn many things from the current best KeSPA player Rain, as well as from other seniors in the team.
You had experienced KeSPA team in the past as a practice partner. What do you think will be different this time?
It would be different from when I was in a position to dish wash, but I won’t be overconfident. But I think I won’t be needed to dish wash anymore.
Wouldn’t your participation in foreign tournaments be more limited due to being a KeSPA player?
If I play well, I think I can go to anywhere. Nonetheless, I joined KeSPA mainly for my desire to play in Proleague. I wanted to show more about myself to Korean fans.
Team manager Cho Man Soo: PartinG has gone to foreign tournaments five times last year, and according to KeSPA’s plan, I believe he will be able to go more than that this year.
When is the earliest tournament you will be attending as SKT player?
IEM Katowice in Poland will be the soonest one.
What were the differences compared to foreign teams and your previous KeSPA experience over SKT, and do you think you can do well at SKT?
I wanted to go to a KeSPA team more than ever because I’m confident in my ability. I think being a pro gamer does not permit laziness in practices. eSF wasn’t that relaxed either. I like a Spartan-style practice regiment, so I believe I can fit well into SKT’s rigorous practice environment.
We are curious about your network in SKT other than Rain.
None at all. But I want to become friends with Do ‘BeSt’ Jae Wook. I heard many things from Park ‘July’ Sung Joon, and he said he remembers BeSt the most. July took care of him before, and BeSt followed him quite well. Now I heard that BeSt is taking care of his juniors, just like how July did to him.
You won 170,000,000 won (approx. 160,000 USD) from prize money alone in the last year. Are you satisfied with your new contract’s salary?
I cannot reveal the salary (translator’s note: reported to be 70,000,000 Won (approx. 60,000 USD) over 8 months), but I am satisfied. I think the amount is a lot for them. I wasn’t producing good results over a long period of time, and instead was making very good results only recently, so I think it is big money. That’s why I think there is much to accomplish in the future.
Don’t you feel any pressure from the team that has given you such a big salary?
I will play my best, and I am confident in my ability. I will lead my team to championship.
Recently, your former teammate Park ‘Squirtle’ Hyun Woo also left Startale. Was there any discussion between you and him?
We never talked about leaving the team together. He was a good brother to me in the same team so I hope the best for him, and it would be better if he can be with same team as me.
As a third party, what was your thought on this season’s Proleague?
Having foreign teams in the league made it more fun and distinct. I especially felt refreshed while watching the success of foreign players, and I thought the skill level has gone up tremendously.
What is your expectation on PartinG, and how badly have you wanted him?
Head coach Lim: No team wouldn’t desire players like PartinG in this posting. I believe he can show us more than this salary’s worth, and I believe he can attribute on popularizing the Proleague on both Korea and oversea. Players appraised PartinG back in the days of SlayerS, and I think his ability is at its peak right now. Winning two foreign tournaments twice in a row last year is as good as considering him as the current world champion. It is regretful that we can’t use him on the Proleague right away, but I think Heart of the Swarm won’t be as different from Wings of Liberty as it was to Brood War, so I hold big expectations from him. SKT’s Protoss line will be sturdier than ever.
PartinG himself described his success as a ‘flicker’, and what do you think of this?
Lim: He must have said it because now is his most successful time at the moment, but I don’t think his career will only be a flicker. Even if he shows a signs of flickering on and off, it will be up to SKT coaching staffs to prolong his top form.
When will PartinG join the team house?
Lim: We will discuss it with PartinG to have him join the team house as soon as possible so that he can adjust to the new environment quickly.
What is your main goal in Proleague?
PartinG: First, it’s to have the team win the championship, and second, is to break fans’ perception of ‘Good in Proleague means bad in individual league’ by winning the individual league while make my team win the Proleague. So far I have accomplished every goal I had before, so I believe I can accomplish these as well.
Any last words for your fans?
I am honored and overjoyed to join a prestigious team such as SK Telecom T1. I spoke with my fellow Protoss player Squirtle a lot back in Startale, and I’m glad that I can have another Protoss player to learn from in SKT. I hope my seniors take care of me well at the team house, and I am excited to live under the big company which Rain was so proud of. I also want to give my gratitude to Startale head manager Won and his coaches, who have molded me into a great player. I hope my former teammates can work harder than ever so we can meet again at higher place. I hope my fans can love and cheer for me and SKT as well.