Pre-MLG Interview with Stalife

BY Andrew Miesner / March 31, 2011

Pre-MLG Interview with Stalife


By Derek “Redav” Coombes

You’ve been on a winning streak as of late, taking down your competition on a consistent basis to win a number of the daily or weekly events that you’ve recently played in. How do these wins and accomplishments affect your game play? Would you say you are on a hot streak?

I feel great that I’ve been winning more recently. I’ve been putting more hours into practice and really focusing on each match-up day after day. I’ve yet to prove myself on the bigger stages and that’s what I’m determined to do with the upcoming big tournaments like NASL, IGN and MLG. MLG Dallas comes first and I hope to perform well and get some momentum going. I’ve competed in 9 LAN tournaments for SC2 and I’ve won 6 of them. These are certainly big confidence boosters, but it’s not enough for me and I’m hungry for more tournament wins.

In the beginning of February, you attended the Project X LAN in Calgary, where you managed to win. Did you notice a difference in your LAN play from your online play?

I really played at the top of my game at Project X LAN. I won the whole tournament without dropping a single game and I felt invincible. My multitasking and decision making were great and I felt that I was in control of each game. I often feel like I play a lot better at LAN than at home. I love the crowd and it adds a whole new level of excitement when everyone’s watching you play. I particularly loved the Project X LAN because even after 10 hours of gaming all day long, many people stayed and watched the whole finals. It was great and I loved it. I guess I’m secretly an attention whore.

MLG Dallas is this weekend. Do you think you are ready? How much have you been able to practice? What have you found to be the greatest learning experience?

MLG Dallas will be tough, no doubt. I’ve never been to a major LAN tournament, but I have high expectations of myself. My first goal is to get top 16 in the open bracket and beat someone famous on stage. My second goal is to get at least top 8. I’m not sure if I’m ready or not since my practice win ratio has been around 10%… Hopefully I play a lot better at the tournament than at home. I’ve been really frustrated during practice sessions, but I feel like losing is the only way to improve (not that I’ve been losing on purpose lol). My teammates have been helping me practice as well as ValiditySAGA. I don’t think ANYONE has heard of Validity but he has one of the best PVT in NA.

In a recent blog post, you mentioned that you want to “make an impact as a player,” and MLG is the first step in doing this. This shows that you have a confident mentality going into the event. Does having this mentality have any affect on your game?

I want to show the world I can compete at the highest level. MLG is the perfect platform for me to achieve this and I am determined to do well. As I said in my blog, I don’t want people saying “It’s okay, this is your first MLG, at least you learned something out of this experience.” It definitely puts a lot of pressure on me, but I’m a competitive player and I’m going there to win.

While attending MLG Dallas you will finally be able to LAN with your teammates. Do you think that this will add more pressure, or calm your nerves?

We chat on Skype pretty often but meeting in person will be a different experience. I wish there was like a week of training with the members in a training house. It would suck to meet for the first time, and then have to face each other in the tournament.. There’s certainly this silent competition on who gets farthest among the teammates (yeah, all of us are competitive), and I want to win this competition, but I hope everyone does well :D.  I can’t wait to have a steak with my teammates.

MLG has a lot of big StarCraft 2 names. Is there anyone in particular that you would want to look out for? On the other side of the spectrum, is there anyone that you would want to play against?

In the open brackets, I’d like to avoid all of my teammates. They know my style well and they’ll abuse it to the fullest. Overall, I’d like to avoid as many protoss as possible. There isn’t a particular protoss that stands out for me. If I do qualify from the open brackets and play the seeded players, I’d like to play Socke or Select. I feel confident in my tvt, but whenever I play against Select, I have this mental block and play poorly. He’s in my NASL group too and I want to beat him so that I can break free from this mental block. Socke is an amazing player and I’d love to play against him. Huge respect for the player both in skill and personality.

The MLG bracket for this season has been criticized by many, due to it being dependent on last years results. How do you feel about this? Do you think that every season should start from scratch?

I don’t mind this at all actually. I think people who showed up to MLG last year and performed well should deserve some sort of advantage going into this years MLG. I think it’s a great format. Good players will advance in the end.

We wish you luck during you first ever MLG! Do you have anything else that you would like to say?

First, I’d like to thank all the sponsors of CompLexity Gaming who made is possible for us to compete at the MLG. Thank you to Creative, Sound Blaster and QPAD. Without them, I would be watching MLG at home wishing I was there competing.  Also, I’d like to thank all of my teammates and ValiditySAGA who are so helpful and making me a better player everyday. Lastly, I’d like to thank my lovely gf Jessica for supporting me practice hours and hours. She’s amazing.