Interview: Talking with Complexity's Joshua "Trimaster" Niven, runner up at the World Cyber Games StarCraft II US Nationals
This last weekend, I had the chance to chat with Joshua "Trimaster" Niven of CompLexity Gaming's StarCraft II team after his 2nd place finish in the World Cyber Games USA Nationals for StarCraft II. He finished second to teammate QXC - see what he thought of WCG, how he got his start as a pro and what its like to go toe to toe with the world's best!
Dustin Steiner, eSports editor for GameZone: TriMaster, thanks for taking a second to talk to us today. Let’s start things off with a bit of your history – you have a younger brother, SniXSniPe who also plays for compLexity under the coL Academy. How did you guys get into professional StarCraft and have you played a major role in motivating each other?
Joshua "Trimaster" Niven: For me getting into StarCraft 2 professionally started with local LANs really. I played online tournaments for fun and whatnot, but my only success so far had been at local Texas LANs culminating in MLG Dallas 2011 when I played CatZ for the first time. After playing him again in another online cup, he was the one to bring me into compLexity. For my brother, I think seeing me and what I’ve been able to do so far in pro-gaming has given him the inclination to try a little bit, and so he got picked up in the Academy.
DS: During MLG Raleigh 2011, you very famously beat IdrA in a three game set, after which he smashed his headset into his keyboard breaking off the F4 key. How does it feel to be one of the few to make IdrA break equipment, and do you still have the F4 key?
TM: At the time I didn’t know he had actually smashed his headset, I was just happy I beat a famous player like him in straight up games at a big venue. I still have the F4 key somewhere at my parents’ house, I just don’t know where.
DS: What are your thoughts on the current state of affairs for Terran? They seemed to be struggling a bit, though with recent champions things may be changing.
TM: My bias right now for Terran is that it’s the hardest race to play, if played right. Being able to not only play perfectly, but to always make the right decisions is why I feel Terran is very difficult to master. I think the skill ceiling might be higher for Terran. If a Terran player plays perfectly all game though, I find it hard to see how they would lose.
DS: Tell me about your experience at the WCG Nationals which took place last weekend – were you satisfied with their tournament structure?
TM: My experience was all right, it was my first WCG and the first time I've been to Comic Con so I was quite surprised by how crowded it was. The tournament structure on the other hand seemed fine to me since there were only 6 players and I felt there wasn't any need to do anything other than a double-elimination bracket.
DS: Going up against your teammate QXC must’ve been tough in the finals – tell me what was running through your head in the minutes before, and during your matches.
TM: I play against QXC quite often here at the Gamma Gamer House so I don't think my mindset really changed much. The only thing I was thinking about before the matches was to make sure I could focus 100% on the games. During the matches I made sure not to let any mistakes or losses tilt my mindset and that I was able to start each game with a calm mind.
DS: What’s been your greatest success as a StarCraft II player?
TM: I think it would have to be my run at MLG Raleigh 2011 (in which he in the open bracket of the 2011 MLG Raleigh, defeating players such as HwangSin, Jinro, and KawaiiRice. He eventually landed in Pool A in which he defeated iNcontroL 2-0 in his first match. He ended up finishing 5th in his pool after being unable to pick up another victory. In the championship bracket he went on to beat HayprO and IdrA before getting eliminated by HuK.)
DS: Any thoughts on the HotS beta? Favorite units, the new maps, etc.
TM: HotS is pretty imbalanced right now, but good thing it’s still a beta. I’ve actually only played Terran maybe once during the beta and Zerg/Protoss a number of times. So far all the new units are kind of cool, but then again that just might be the novelty of playing with new units so we shall see in time and the new maps aren’t very good, but again it’s a beta so that can be changed.
DS: Gear is obviously very important to pro players of any game. What are your weapons of choice?
TM: I use a QPAD MK-85 keyboard as well as a Creative SoundBlaster Omega headset. My mouse of choice is the left handed edition of the Razer DeathAdder, which rests on a QPAD compLexity Pad.
DS: Any plans for other tournaments this year?
TM: So far the only tournaments I have planned after WCG Nationals are: MLG Dallas and IGN Pro League 5 in Las Vegas.
DS: The closing words are yours – any shoutouts you’d like to give?
TM: I’d first like to thank my team compLexity as well as our sponsors: Sound Blaster, Gamma Gamers, Creative, PNY, QPAD, and Origin. I’d also like to thank everyone who lives with me at the Gamma Gamer House as well as Minigun, GanZi, and Heart for just being great people to be on a team with.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today, TriMaster! Good luck in WCG and indeed, in your future endeavors.