Tomorrow and Sunday starting at 2:30 P.M. EST we're going to be partnering up with pro gaming team Evil Geniuses to stream their StarCraft 2 Master's Cup Series IV right here on G4TV.com. You can check out the stream here this weekend.
Meanwhile, we got some time to talk with Greg "EG.IdrA" Fields, one of the most famous StarCraft 2 players in world. The winner of EG's Master's Cup will face off against Greg in a show match for an MSI GT660 Notebook. Greg is a fan favorite Zerg player and is the only American player to have received a prestigious Code-S position in the Global StarCraft League in Korea. He's most well known for his macro-oriented style and consistency between builds.
What are your thoughts on how the EG Master Cup Series IV has played out so far? Which players are you looking forward to watching this weekend?
There have been a few upsets, but that's to be expected in a tournament with this many great players. Not all of them can make it through. Suprised Liquid`Tyler was knocked out relatively early, and I'm really looking forward to how EG.Machine does in the top 16.
Any matchups within the final 16 in particular that you’d like to see? Why?
Yeah, LG.PainUser vs. Dignitas.SjoW and EG.iNcontroL vs. ROOT.qxc look like pretty interesting matchups to me. PainUser and SjoW both have some of the best tournament results in their region and SjoW is one of the few European players left in the tournament. Qxc and iNcontroL are just both really high caliber players.
How do you feel about being the “end boss” per say of these tournaments?
It's pretty cool, makes me feel quite epic.
How do you feel about the new StarCraft 2 Public Test Realm 1.2.0 changes regarding both the features and balance changes? What balance changes would you add?
It's nice we're finally getting chat channels but from an e-Sports perspective that was one of the lesser Battle.net 2 problems. No LAN latency or cross server play is still very disappointing. Balance wise, it's great they took out most of the anti-Zerg changes, since those would've destroyed the game. But Zerg is rapidly approaching patch 1.0 levels of bad. The next patch is going to have to buff Zerg a lot. Personally, I think marines need a rate of fire reduction and hydras need an HP buff.
We recently got to see the new format for the GSL's next season. How do you feel about the changes?
I like it a lot; it’s a very robust format. Much better than a straight single elimination bracket where it's very easy to get knocked out. Also the system makes it pretty hard to get knocked down to Code-A, which is good. It's a pretty big achievement to get Code-S and it shouldn't be something that’s easy to lose again right away.
What do you think about the recently announced GSL Code-S groups?
In terms of difficulty, I feel my group is middle of the road. oGsEsnare and CheckPrime.WE are both good but certainly not unbeatable. And while TLAF-Liquid`Jinro is very good, he's a macro oriented player which I feel comfortable with. However it really sucks the two foreigners are in the same group.
What do you think about the final two players in GSL3, oGsMC and TSL_Rain?
oGsMC definitely deserves it, I'm happy he's there. TSL_Rain makes no sense at all. He knocked out several good players on his way but he's not good in any way. No idea how he got there and he's going to get destroyed.
In your opinion who do you think are the most impressive players for each race? Why?
TSL_Fruitdealer for Zerg, TLAF-Liquid`Jinro for Terran, and oGsMC for Protoss. Fruitdealer and MC are simply far more skilled than any other Zerg or Protoss player. And with Jinro, it’s because he's one of the few Terrans who actually plays the game instead of just doing random stupid all-ins every time. And he does it quite well.
How big of an advantage is it for Korean teams to have their own team houses and get a lot of in house practice against good players?
It's huge, more because of the discussion than the actual practice, though the practice helps as well. Being able to talk about the game and bounce ideas off of each other in that kind of setting is incredibly valuable. That's a big part of why foreigners who came over here in Starcraft 1 still didn't have massive success; you can be inserted into the practice system but still not benefit that much from your teammate's knowledge without being able to communicate.
Any updates on the Team EG house in
It's still in the works, we're finalizing the roster for it internally but that won't be made public just yet.
Ladder, and I'll play with practice partners before an upcoming match who are mainly the foreigners over here. Including Liquid players and a few Korean friends.
So what is your practice regime like in
You're known for being a bit bad mannered (BM). Do you think there is a correlation between your BM and your lack of high level practice partners for big tournaments?
No. Before his match vs MarineKingPrime.WE, Fruitdealer asked me to play MakaPrime.WE some so he could watch me play and get ideas for Zerg vs. Terran. Only newbies and the community get up in arms about that kind of thing. All good players get pissed when they lose. You don't get good if it doesn't affect you that much. They don't care about it, they just care about skill.
Do you have any rivals on the ladder? At such a high level you get queued against other pros quite often.
Not really, ladder's just ladder. It's not particularly meaningful. A lot of Korean players share ladder IDs and everyone uses it to try out different strategies.
What is a pro gamers diet? I've heard that many pro gamers keep diet and exercise as part of their training. How about you?
For the most part that was made up by people involved with KESPA to make their teams look less inhumane. The Korean teams mostly have cooks who make generic Korean food for them. I cook for myself so it’s generally just simple, healthy stuff. Chicken breast and fish with veggies and rice, stuff like that.
What's the biggest difference between playing StarCraft 2 and playing Brood War professionally? Which do you prefer?
In StarCraft 2 it’s much easier for bad players to win randomly since mechanical skill is less of a deciding factor. This leaves a lot of games to be decided by strategy, and a strategy game with imperfect scouting is always going to have a pretty big luck factor. As a player, this is incredibly frustrating and I liked playing Brood War better for that reason alone. The lack of mechanical skill aside, StarCraft 2 is much better and more fun.
During Brood War, it was accepted knowledge that the two strongest American players were you and Liquid`NonY. Out of the true American players (Canadians and South Americans aside), who are the strongest American players currently other than yourself?
Amongst Americans there's not a whole lot of competition for the EG guys as far as I can tell. I'd say EG.Machine is probably the next best.
What's your favorite matchup right now?
Zerg versus Zerg. Terrans and Protoss are finally figuring out the new timings and Zerg is starting to get destroyed in the non-mirrors again.
What is the one match-up that you hate losing to the most? What do you love winning against the most?
I hate losing Zerg versus Protoss because 99% of the losses are either to an unscouted warpgate all-in, or to a stalker/collosus ball. Both are incredibly frustrating because it's so easy for the opponent to execute and it feels like they did nothing to earn the win. And for the same reason, I like winning Zerg versus Protoss the most since it feels like such a massive achievement to actually kill a collosus army.
What do you think about the current state of Zerg versus Terran where Terrans are going all-in early game?
It’s obviously terrible for spectators and for game quality, so for that reason alone something should be changed. It's also incredibly hard for Zerg to defend on most maps.
What's your favorite Eminem song? Do you think Stan really killed himself?
My favorite Eminem song is "
What's the craziest thing a fan has done for you so far?
A number of fans have been like, "I came from x far away place just to see you" at events which is pretty cool but not particularly crazy. I can't think of anything really crazy that’s happened. I guess I tend to draw the more level headed fans.
Marines or Banelings?
What do you think about your nickname: The Gracken?
I think the Grack thing is pretty stupid actually. My name is confusing for Koreans to write since a lot of the letters can be Romanized in 2 different ways, g/k r/l e/a can all be written as the same letter in Korean. SlayerSBoxeR just made a mistake writing it. There's nothing funny or interesting about it at all as far as I can see.
Are you planning to do more pro tips segments on the Team EG website?
We've already recorded a number of them, so yes more will be coming soon.
Why StarCraft? What's next for you?
I'm really really competitive and StarCraft happened to fit my skill set well, and it held my attention when I tended to get bored of other things. I intend to remain a competitive player for a long time and probably get into the business side of e-Sports somehow once I'm done as a player.
Any shout outs?
Big thanks to EG's sponsors, Intel, SteelSeries, Kingston HyperX, Thermaltake, Intel Extreme Boards, MSI, Bigfoot Networks. Check out Team EG at www.myeg.net.
That's it! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and good luck next season in GSL.
And there you have it. Be sure to tune into G4TV.com's live stream of the Team EG StarCraft 2 Master's Cup Series Finals at http://g4tv.com/masterscup tomorrow and Sunday at 2:30 P.M. EST to watch the final 16 competitors fight for first place and $1,000 as well as a chance to play versus Greg for the MSI GT660 Notebook.