The ESL Global Challenge in Kiev, Ukraine is only a few days away and compLexity’s Kevin “QXC” Riley has been preparing to take on some of the world’s best SC2 players. We sat down with Kevin to see how he’s preparing for the event and what he expects to see going into it.
How do you think you’ll fair with the group you have? Both Dimaga and HerO are seen as some of the best players around for their respective races. How familiar are you with their play styles? What about Feast? He’s been relatively unknown in the American scene (compared to Dimaga and HerO). Do you have any experience playing him or knowledge of his playstyle? If so, what are you expecting from him?
I don’t really know much about Feast. Every game I’ll go in with my eyes and ears open and try not to assume too much about my opponents. Good players will be mixing up their styles periodically and I don’t want to get caught blind countering a version of them that’s several weeks old already. I hope to make it out of my group. I’ve spent the last several weeks practicing intensely nearly everyday of the week and have already seen a huge improvement. I can only hope it’s enough.
Out of all the players attending the Global Challenge Kiev, who would you say is your strongest competition? Is this because they have a unique playstyle or just because they are so solid versus Terran?
My strongest competitors will be the Koreans Zenio/MMA/Hero as time has shown the koreans in general to be much more successful in nearly all events. Nothing would please me more than to take down any and all of these players.
Along the same lines, you are a player who travels a lot. When you travel to events like this do you spend all of your time at the competition watching the games or do you try and go out sight seeing taking in the local culture? Out of all the locations your eSports career has taken you, which has been your favorite and why?
When traveling I don’t really go sight seeing. Even as an actual tourist sight seeing has never really appealed to me. I prefer to do things. In Spain I spent almost every weekend practicing parkour with the locals. In Korea I spent almost every moment practicing Starcraft with the locals. Korea has been my favorite as a place of little distraction and immense concentration. I only wish I could’ve taken more away from my experience there.
Right now, what would you say your stongest match up is? What about your weakest? Would you say the strengh of your matchups are largely dependent on the current metagame or rather just what you’ve been practicing against.
At the moment I have no glaring weaknesses. I am confident in all my matchups although I’m still having some trouble late game against zerg and protoss. I’ve practiced against just about everything I’ve seen in the current meta game.
I’ve only recently stumbled upon a practice style that I had thought lost. In the most successful point in my career thus far I was winning a lot of tournaments. I was constantly innovating and improving and I felt almost unstoppable. My confidence soared. I lost my environment. Returned home. Went to Spain. Went to Korea. Went back to school. I didn’t know what I did so differently then but I think I do now. Since I’ve been practicing under this new schedule I’ve felt the difference and seen myself improve quite a bit. Recently I qualified for Sao Paulo without dropping a single game defeating players such as Illusion (Who 3-0’d Demuslim in loser’s) and Axslav. With time running out I can only hope that the improvements I’ve made recently will be enough. Either way I expect to return to glory in the near future.
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans as you get ready to make your trip?
Thanks to everyone who’s supported me. My fans and my team Complexity and our sponsors, Creative Sound Blaster, PNY, and OriginPC.