Interview with CompLexity's Ryze and coL academy's Fuzzy, StarCraft II Professionals
Today, we're doing something a little different. We have with us two of CompLexity's StarCraft II pros, one from coL's main team - Brendon "Ryze" Walker - and the star upstart from coL's Academy team, Nick "Fuzzy" Degtiarev. I had a chance to have a chat with these two on their thoughts on Heart of the Swarm, how they train, and other such knowledge! Read on, GameZone faithful.
Dustin Steiner: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. Let's start off with a question for both of you - tell us a bit about your backgrounds for those who are unfamiliar with you.
Brendon "Ryze" Walker, compLexity Zerg Player: I’m a Canadian Gamer from Toronto, Ontario. I went to college for health sciences in Canada and around the time I was graduating, I got recruited into Complexity. Now I play SC2 professionally.
Nick "Fuzzy" Degtiarev, coLAcademy Zerg Player: I was born in Russia, moved to Canada when I was 5. I have played video games all my life from Counter-Strike to Diablo. About a year ago I decided to try to get into the pro scene for SC2 and have been playing ever since. ^_^
DS: Ryze, what would you say the key difference is between being on Complexity and other teams?
Ryze: Before I joined Complexity, I was on an amateur team called STK. On this team there would be a lot of casual gamers who weren’t really serious about playing the game and trying to compete. So I’d say the main difference is the teammates you get, who are all just as motivated as you are to get better and practice. And the support from Complexity that I get is a huge difference too of course!
DS: Fuzzy, how has living and training in the Gamma Gamers house helped your play?
Fuzzy: The environment really helps me concentrate and mass in a lot more games than I did at home. Following the team practice schedule also helps because at home I would wake up at random times while in the team house we have to wake up at 12 PM each day to start practice.
DS: You both play Zerg in Wings of Liberty – how do you think Zerg’s prospects are in Heart of the Swarm?
Ryze: I think it’s too early to make very many assumptions, due to the game being in beta stage. But what I can say from playing the beta is that Zerg will have a lot more mid game variety now that can lead into a solid late game plan. Which I think will be good for the players and the spectators overall.
Fuzzy: It’s too early to say at the moment, a lot of things will be changed from the beta and release. At the moment I like the units that have been given to Zerg and want to see what extra changes that they will make. Giving the Zerg a siege unit is a move in the right direction ^_^
DS: Ryze, you played on ICCup in Brood War and averaged a B+/A- rating – how would you say the competition on ICCup compares to the competition now on Battle.net?
Ryze: I remember on ICCup the competition would be more intense at the beginning of the season. Each season you would start at D rank and have to win to go up in rank. This made the beginning of each season very challenging because of the many A to A+ Korean players that would begin massing games at the D level. This alone is more intense than the current Battle.net because during that stage of the season you would play against amazing players who would be the equivalent of GSL Code A and Code S players.
However later on in the season it would become very easy at the lower levels since all the best of the best were at the top and you would never face them. The competition on Battle.net will always remain at the same level for you because of MMR keeping you consistent versus which opponents you get.
DS: If there was one feature you wish Blizzard would add to StarCraft II, what would it be and why?
Ryze: I really wish they would add shared replay watching. I miss the Brood War, ICCup days where you could join a lobby with friends and watch all of your replays together.
Fuzzy: I wish that they would give better spectator options, just like League of Legends and Dota 2 have where you can join to watch high level games right at the start screen. I think this would be better to help people get into the scene (spec wise) and will help players get a lot more exposure that are at the top of ladder, but still unknown.
DS: What is your favorite unit from all of StarCraft II - either Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm?
Ryze: My favorite unit is the Mutalisk because it can accomplish so much in any match-up and always makes me feel nostalgic, even to this day I still find myself hotkeying them with an overlord and trying to do stacked Muta micro.... even though it doesn't work in SC2 anymore. :(
Fuzzy: The changeling - it turns into a marine.
DS: What tournaments are you guys going to be competing in, and what challenges do you hope to overcome in doing so?
Ryze: WCG Canada, MLG Dallas, IPL5 qualifiers, and probably many more!
For me the biggest challenge will be translating the level that I play at in practice games, into tournaments games. Being able to focus and not get thrown off my mental game is really important to me.
Fuzzy: I do Playhem daily (the daily $100 tournament), my next major tournament will be MLG Dallas and hopefully IPL5 if I qualify for it. I believe if I keep practicing the way that I am in the team house then I will be able to make it far in MLG and qualify for IPL as well.
Both: Lastly, do you have any closing words for your fans?
Ryze: Thank you for following me, and supporting compLexity! Shoutout to our sponsors Sound Blaster, Gamma Gamers, QPAD, PNY, Creative, Origin, and G8. If you do not already, my Twitter is Twitter.com/coLRyze and I stream on Twitch.tv/coLRyze so follow me and come say hi when I'm streaming :)
Fuzzy: Thank you for following me, shoutout to compLexity and our sponsors Sound Blaster, Gamma Gamers, QPAD, PNY, Creative, Origin, and G8. You can find me at Twitch.tv/fuzzysc2 and Twitter.com/fuzzysc2 ^^
Thanks guys! Good luck in your tournaments - we'll likely be seeing you at MLG Dallas!
Dustin Steiner is GameZone's eSports Correspondent! Follow him on Twitter @VGHC_Deitis and check out Video Gaming Hard Corps, where he is a local tournament organizer for the S. FL. Fighting Game Community.