Getting to know The Academy: AGIANTSMURF

BY Andrew Miesner / March 26, 2013

Last month The compLexity Academy added two new players its StarCraft II squad: Poo & AGIANTSMURF. Recently compLexity Academy commissioner Michawl “Twixz” Shane sat down with Marcus “AGIANTSMURF” Bazan to help the community learn a little more about him and his history with StarCraft II.

Hi Marcus. Before we really get into your StarCraft II history, why don’t you introduce yourself and give us a little background on you?

Hi, my name is Marcus Bazan. I am an avid community member and player of Starcraft II. I participate on numerous forums, most notably Reddit where I go by the I.D. “AGIANTSMURF”. In am also a Grandmaster Protoss player recently picked up for the compLexity Academy. I was born and raised in the state of NY and I am currently a college student attending The City College of New York.

What is your history with StarCraft and RTS games?

My blizzard RTS experience goes back to WarCraft III. I had a friend that I played WC3 with, who later introduced me to StarCraft: Brood War. I mostly played Brood War just for the custom games, while WarCraft III kept most of my attention. When StarCraft II launched I debated purchasing it due to my lack of interest in the original, however after reading so many good reviews I decided to pick up. I immediately got hooked on the Ladder system and wanted to climb as high as possible. I soon began searching the web for ways to get better and found my way to community sites such as and Reddit’s /r/starcraft board. Since the launch of StarCraft II I have been playing competitively and climbing the ladder. I have played on numerous amateur teams and in online cups/tournaments and have continued to improve through the expansion Heart of the Swarm.

What are your favorite things about StarCraft II?

What really got me into StarCraft II was initially how awesome the game looked graphically, as well as the competitive ladder system. I couldn’t get enough of how the ladder pushed you to keep climbing higher and ensured you were always playing an opponent of equal or similar skill. Had the matchmaking system not been so precise I might have quit long ago.

Outside of the game itself, my developing passion for the game introduced me to many other like-minded players and helped me to find an amazing community of people to communicate with and even more amazing friendships that might not have been otherwise possible. Heart of the Swarm’s release has rekindled the interest of many players all around, and has given the opportunity for many new up and coming players such as myself a fresh start and chance to burst into the professional scene.

As we all know, Heart of the Swarm came out this month and really shook up the eSports scene. What are your thoughts on HotS?

The largest difference about HotS aside from the obviously new units and strategies is blizzards approach at supporting eSports. They have introduced many new and exciting features which are aimed at moving the competitive scene forward. Features such resume from replay, players near you, as well as privacy settings regarding match history and build orders will help professional players do what they do even more effectively. With the new leveling system as well as an unranked ladder, Blizzard is also showing they are willing to cater towards the not so competitive population of StarCraft II players.

There are many opinions out in the community on how Blizzard is doing regarding the direction of StarCraft II and eSports. What are your thoughts on this? 

I would absolutely say the game is headed in the right direction, however there is still work to be done. The community has made clear the features they’d like to see out of Blizzard, such as the online automated tournaments featured in WarCraft 3 as well as a long overdue improvement to the arcade section. Blizzard has done a lot of great things with Heart of the Swarm (many of them also available to those still playing Wings of Liberty) and I’m excited to see what else they may have upcoming in terms of improvements.

What are your goals for StarCraft II?

I have many goals I’d like to achieve during my time playing StarCraft. Since competition is what drives me to play this game the most, my number one goal is and always has been to become a respected professional player throughout the scene. As a part of that, I have long desired the experience of playing on a main stage in front of a large crowd for a major tournament such as MLG or NASL. A more personal goal has always been to receive an invite to speak on a show such as State of the Game.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy practice schedule to talk with us. Are there any shoutouts you’d like to give?

I would like to thank compLexity Gaming for adding me to their Academy roster and granting me the opportunity to help push my name and become more well known. Shout out to my awesome teammates and practice partners. Special shout out to all my friends from the NY area who have helped me to maintain my passion for the game, and while many of them have since retired, thanks to those who still show their support and cheer me on whenever I am competing.

Again we at compLexity would like to thank Marcus for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us. The compLexity Academy strongly believe in growing the North American StarCraft II scene by supporting our players and giving them a chance to get in the community’s spotlight.