Interview with Lastshadow: “We owe a lot to StarCraft 1, but also to Korea for actually making it an e-Sport.”
Mon 21st May 2012 - 7:51pm
Lastshadow has recently moved into the spotlight of the community with his VLOG series and replays being featured on the Day9 daily. His innovative Terran play and his general apporach to the game has changed how many people view the Terran match ups. Enjoy!
Hello Lastshadow, how are you doing today?
Lastshadow: Hi I'm feeling quite exhausted as I have been lately this last week.
Now a lot of people are familiar with who you are but for the people who aren’t tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lastshadow: I'm a 19year old American Terran player, and I've been living in South Korea for the last nine months or so, I used to play for Team GosuGamers but that fell apart in late November and since then I've been team less.
What’s a typical day in the life of Lastshadow?
Lastshadow: I wake up whenever lately, I see who is online, if any of my Korean friends whom I usually practice with are on, I'll play with them, if not I'll usually stream ladder. If I happened to have missed a meal here, I'll go and get lunch or dinner or whatever it is.
How many hours per day do you put into practicing StarCraft 2?
Lastshadow: Some days I will only play a few hours, others I will play upwards of 12-14 depending on my mood or if anything is going on etc.
You said you’re currently teamless; are there any plans of that changing?
Lastshadow: There's plans of it changing soon I hope, but other than that no.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen you in a tournament. Your most famous finish was at MLG Raleigh were you came 4th is there any plans of you competing in the US or Korea anytime soon?
Lastshadow: I'll be playing at the Redbull LAN in Austin, Texas, other than that I don't foresee other foreign tournaments outside of GSL, at least for now, unless I receive more invites or something.
Recently your name has been popping up all over the place. Your replay packs are very popular as well as having a number of featured episodes on the Day9 Daily. How has all the attention been for you?
Lastshadow: I think it's been fine, there's been almost only positive comments etc geared towards me, which was something I was not used to seeing in my Sc1 days, and also since I tried to stay out of the media I never really saw a "public" change until now.
Your VLOG series has spread like wildfire among the Terran community you have a very unique way to approaching each match up can you tell us some more about this?
Lastshadow: I think this all stems back to sc1, I used to approach the game in a way in which I would always look for answers to immediate problems, back then it was "how can I win RIGHT NOW", as I grew more experienced and had the chance to talk to many top players all whom were better than me etc I morphed my approach into reverse engineering solutions, much similarly to that of Yosh. By looking backwards rather than forwards you can negate tunnel-vision and also joy/entertainment, and thus fine the real solutions a lot faster.
A lot of people have been talking about the current state of balance in StarCraft 2 predominantly in late game Terran Vs. Protoss, do you feel Terran are lacking something in the late game vs. Protoss or are you happy with how the game is?
Lastshadow: I think [if] the Terran is controlled correctly, and by that I mean absolutely on key with everything, then Terran is favoured, unless the Protoss had a snowball advantage leading to the mid-game. Otherwise I think Protoss is imbalanced in the sense that it is mechanically handicapped compared to the other two races and that is a bit unfair in a way. It's also the most forgiving of all races, so end-game engagements are not always a nail in the coffin barring the Terran didn't slam the Protoss hard with emps/concave etc.
Heart of The Swarm is around the corner have you seen the changes to the game and what do you think about them?
Lastshadow: None of the changes are set in stone and thus I haven't really paid attention to it too much, Terran needs a game-ender like the other races, a unit that basically says "Hey I have a super advantage, get out." much like Protoss can with overwhelming colossi numbers or something.
Or Zerg with mass Ultralisk or Broodlord. One might argue Battlecruiser or something, but honestly they're not game-enders, they're control units used to dictate the unit composition of your opponent, nothing more. I mean, sure, they're game-enders in TvT, but TvT is imba, Terran always wins, and terran always loses, sick sick sick match-up that is.
You’ve been in Korea for a while now, how has it been going?
Lastshadow: A lot of people think I've been practicing hard in Korea for 9 months or something, but that's not true. In September my hand got so bad towards the end of the month and also something personal crippled me mentally that I wasn't able to concentrate or play through the pain as much as I would've liked. I didn't play almost at all in October and November while I was in America receiving treatment etc for my hands/tendons/etc.
In December and January I was hit with bronchitis, followed by having walking-pneumonia for almost three months, and thus again, practice was awful and inconsistent. I also was in between races at the time. In February/March my living arrangement was again flipped upside down and I was unable to practice again for 3-4weeks. Now I've been able to practice a lot and it's shown in my practice results etc, I'm confident now moving forward the way I always wanted.
You came from BW and the foreign players always seemed to be behind the Koreans, do you think this is still the same in StarCraft 2 or do you think the gap has been closed?
Lastshadow: I think foreigners are terrible in StarCraft2 and don't deserve to beat Koreans. I mean obvious exceptions to this are foreigners who reside in Korea (even if they're not known or as good as the Koreans, they at least commit the same way Koreans do) and/or honestly good foreigners like Stephano, Thorzain, Ret, Juan, IdrA, etc, I could name a few more but that's the general gist.
No doubt you’ve heard about the shift from BW to SC2 are you excited for the switch or are you sad that the game is coming to an end competitively?
Lastshadow: I'm excited but nostalgic, so many years were spent in that game, and it's the reason we're all here today. We owe a lot to StarCraft 1, but also to Korea for actually making it an e-Sport.
Have you had any experience with the Brood War players on SC2?
Lastshadow: Sure I've played a couple, one of them is exceptionally good and once his replays get featured and/or he plays in proleague I would expect a meta-game shift in ZvP.
The question everyone is asking is will the top players from BW be the same in SC2. Do you feel it will take them long to catch up and eventually overtake?
Lastshadow: No it won't take them too long, people seem to think they need to play just like everyone else, but are neglecting that all progamers already have way superior understanding of strategic game-theory and also just mechanics. I predict Flash to make Code A not this season, but next.
That’s all the questions I have, thank you for taking time to answer some questions is there any shoutouts or promotion you’d like to do?
Lastshadow: Huge thanks to everyone helping me out while I've in been in Korea, and special thanks to Artosis, Tasteless, ToD, and Day9 lately for going out of their way to help me these last few months, they're great friends both in and outside of the game and I owe them a lot. Also thanks to Yosh for coming out of never-touching the game to help me prepare lately for the Redbull LAN and also something else on the horizon.