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Last weekend kicked off the beginning of the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals. Sixteen players entered Blizzard’s studio in Burbank, California. Eight players had to be eliminated before the playoffs on the big stage at BlizzCon this weekend. Unfortunately, some of the best players on the Earth were sent home packing. However, South Korean Zerg player Rogue was not among them!
Rogue did not come this far just to be sent home before BlizzCon even starts. Rogue won the 2017 StarCraft II WCS Global Finals, making him the defending champion. With a title to uphold, Rogue looked confident going into his matches in Group C. This confidence was made apparent as he absolutely tore through his matches. Rogue defeated both SpeCial and Classic with relative ease, only dropping one map along the way. I was lucky enough to talk to Rogue after he secured his spot in the top eight. After exchanging pleasantries and congratulations, we got down to business.
Chatting with a champion!
Daily Esports: How was travel from South Korea?
Rogue: The flight was too long and the flight back is even longer. I’m not looking forward to that.
DES: Are you getting a chance to enjoy California or completely focused on BlizzCon?
Rogue: I don’t really like traveling around a lot. I’m mostly staying at the hotel and focusing on BlizzCon. Since I’ve already advanced to the next round, I’m focusing on my next matches.
DES: Does your BlizzCon victory from last year give you confidence, or do you feel pressure as the defending champion?
Rogue: Last year’s championship gave me a lot of confidence. Now that I know how it feels to be a champion, I will be very jealous if somebody else wins this year and I’m going to do my best to not let that happen.
DES: Maru, Serral, Stats are confirmed for the Ro8. Do you want to avoid any of these players?
Rogue: Since I’m on the same team as Maru, we practice a lot together and know each other’s play styles. Because of this, I want to meet Maru later in the tournament. I wouldn’t really mind playing against Serral or Stats.
DES: Europe is known for producing fantastic ZvZ players. Do you feel confident against Serral if you run into him?
Rogue: I am really, really looking forward to playing Serral, but I’m very confident in the ZvZ mirror match up. If I just play my game and am able to focus on that game, I’ll never lose to another Zerg player.
DES: It’s quite likely you’ll encounter Maru as you get deeper into the tournament. How is playing against a teammate different than other competitors?
Rogue: Maru is very strong in the late game. Playing against Maru has taught me a lot about the late game matchups. Maru’s micro also sets him apart from other players. It’s one of his biggest strengths.
DES: Obviously, you want to get to the grand finals of BlizzCon and win. Is there another player you hope to meet in the grand finals? Why?
Rogue: I’ve faced Maru in a lot of different tournaments, but I’ve never played him in a grand final. Meeting Maru in the grand finals at BlizzCon would be a dream come true. Both of us would enjoy that moment very much.
DES: Finally, Usain Bolt famously ate only McDonald’s chicken nuggets during the Beijing Olympics because he thought Chinese food was “odd.” Do you have a favorite food that you stick to when you’re traveling for tournaments? Do you try any of the local foods?
Rogue: *laughs* I don’t really like American food. I like to play on an empty stomach when I’m at tournaments. When I do eat I usually stick to corn flakes.
DES: Thank you, Rogue, for your time and all the builds I’ve been (poorly) copying from you. Good luck at BlizzCon!
Rogue: *laughs* Thank you!
Looking ahead to Rogue at BlizzCon
Be sure to catch Rogue defending his championship title next weekend at BlizzCon! His first match is against fellow South Korean TY in the round of eight. If Rogue can defeat TY, he will face off against either Dark or Serral in a ZvZ for the ages. Stay tuned to Daily Esports for more StarCraft II coverage at BlizzCon 2018!