How do you feel about reaching the finals?
MC: I'm happy to reach the finals for the first time in around 500 days. I'll try hard to win.
Seed: I've reached the finals within two seasons. It hasn't been long since I qualified for the individual leagues, so I'm happy to reach the finals. The President MC is ruling over the Protoss party, and I'm challenging him thinking of myself as the rebel forces starting a revolution.
Which player do you think is stronger?
Seed: I'm not intimidated, but I know MC is a great player. I think this is an opportunity to take the some of the shine off of his reputation. I'm excited for this match, and I'm proud that I'm playing in a finals against MC.
[To LG-IM Head Coach Kang Dong Hoon] If SeeD wins the finals, you'll have a trophy from a Protoss player as well.
Head Coach Kang: We didn't have any place to put our trophies, so I sent a few of them home with Mvp and Nestea. However, I spent a lot of money recently to buy a trophy display case. So now we have space for all of them. I was sad that our Protoss players didn't get as good results as other race players on our team, but [Seed] exceeded my expectations. I've always said that IM Protosses are strong, and I think Seed showed that to everyone. I think ti will be a fun final.
What kind of player is MC?
Head Coach Kang: He's a player like Mvp or Nestea. He's stood on many big stages so he doesn't get nervous, and he knows how to enjoy it, too. He has a lot of experience, so I will have to help Seed even more.
You must have changed your opinion of Seed [throughout this tournament]?
MC: I lost a lot to him back when I was with oGs. I started to see the 'sprout' [not sure if pun] since then. IM Protosses are strong on the ladder and the GSTL, but not in the individual leagues. Seeing that he's reached the finals, I know that he has nerves of steel. I think he has more potential than the media rates him, so I think this final is more meaningful.
You've stepped on most sprouts trying to grow. But you seem a bit reserved this time?
MC: He's a player on a partner team, so it's tough to trash talk him. Also, he's already too big to stomp out. Instead, I think I'll just suck the sap out of him.
You had 'sweet' success this season [Reference to Seed's statement during the group selection ceremony, where he said he wanted to 'become a honeybee' and 'taste the honey,' which is a Korean expression that roughly translates to 'live the good life' in English.
Seed: Honestly, it was so very sweet. More than anything, I think MC has a lot of honey inside him as well. I'd like a taste, but I don't think he'll let it go easily. I think it would be nice if gave some up. Sharing is caring!
It's the first PvP finals in GSL history. What do you think are the key points to this final, and what do you think of people pointing out that mirror matches are boring?
Seed: I think mirror matches are up to your condition and feel for the game on that day. I haven't been able to play much PvP on the GSL stage. The quality of play affects the success of a final, but I also think the ability of the casters to embellish is very important. Even if the games are boring, I think people won't have to worry because we have casters who can make it fun.
MC: In any match-up, I think the first set is the most important. If I win the first set, I think I've 90% won. And in reality, I win most of the series where I win the first set. However, Seed's specialty is comebacks. I think that will be the interesting point to watch in this series. Also, I have faith in caster Park Sang Hyun to make it fun. I hold him 99% responsible, and if this finals doesn't succeed, it's his fault. Laughs.
You say the first set is important, so how will you prepare your overall strategy?
Seed: I know that the first set is important, and neither of have lost when we won the first set. I think the player to win the first set will have an easier time playing the games.
People often call PvP a rock-paper-scissors fight.
MC: Personally, I think it's an excuse. Rock-paper-scissors is skill as well. You call it luck, but in the end there's a winner and a loser. Luck is also skill. The ability to prepare builds is important, but I think the player who has confidence in his builds has an easier time. I think confidence is the most important thing.
Seed: I'm learning a lot of valuable things from MC today. Since MC says so, I think I get a feel for how I should plan out the series. I feel again, that MC is a great player.
MC: Thanks for saying so, but it won't be easy.
You seem to win in reverse-sweeps a lot?
Seed: Whatever twists my opponent tries to throw in, I can glimpse a way out. I don't think it's limited to specific opponents, it just happens instinctively. It's like I'm possessed, seeing a single of ray of light in my mind. I think it's weird myself.
Do you think you are a talented player?
Seed: By feel, it seems so, but as a gamer I have to put in twice the effort to even reach everyone else's halfway mark.
What score do you predict?
Head Coach Kang: If it was a different match-up I would be able to predict, but because it's PvP and both players are so good, it's hard to predict. It's even harder, because I know both their styles. I think it could be either a surprisingly one-sided 4 – 0 or 4 – 1, or a close series at 4 – 3.
Do you have any score you're going for?
MC: Winning is more important than the score. Even if it's 4 – 0, I want to play quality games. I'm worried if Seed can keep up with me, I hope he doesn't get left behind.
Seed: All the players who've played with me have created great games. I don't think you have to worry about that aspect. Whoever wins, I just hope that we play games the viewers can say were entertaining.
You have a chance to be the first Protoss three-time champion.
MC: Winning three champions would be nice, but I don't think I'll feel bad even if I lose. Seed is a hyung I'm friendly with, and he's the type of player I like. If I was playing against a player I didn't like in the finals, I would be trash talking him. Even if I lose, I think I could smile and congratulate him.
Any other players that you like besides Seed?
MC: I like about half the players in Code S, and don't like the other half. You know who you are.
As a Protoss player, do you ever feel envious of MC?
Seed: I'm not envious, but I think he's a great example for everyone. The only player I've thought of as a role model is MC. He has my props.
You're both famous for ceremonies.
Seed: Just like my games, a ray of light flashes through my head and I impulsively perform ceremonies. As I'm performing them, I think to myself 'what am I doing?' I don't prepare them before hand, but they come to me in the booth. I might suddenly come up with one, but I'll have to think about it after I win. I'm going for the Ceremony Award that AcE won last season. I might have to dance just like MC did.
MC: I haven't prepared anything in particular. I'm naturally good at everything. I'm good at eating too, so that's why I can't lose weight. I'm thinking maybe I'll dance as a ceremony, a dance that's popular lately.
Is Seed normally a funny guy?
Head Coach Kang: Sometimes he seems like he never thinks, and at others he seems to have deep thoughts. Overall, he seems to be feeling positive. He's keeping the team atmosphere up. He gets along well with the younger players as well. Sometimes he talks nonsense, but he's fun. I think he has a knack for comedy.
Some people said that it would be tough for you to reach a finals again after you joined a foreign team. When you reached the finals, how did your team [SK] react?
MC: I didn't have any big worries. I was always good, so I didn't think it would be a big deal to go it alone. When I was with oGs, I was very generous to my teammates, because I remember the pain of being a practice partner for a Brood War team. As much as I was generous, I think I was repaid in practice. I could say out of manners that I've reached this place because of the players that helped me practice, but in the end I think I'm here because I'm awesome.
From the open seasons, TheSTC helped me frequently. Of the Zergs, Losira and the TSL players helped me a lot. For Protoss, even my friends didn't help me. Genius didn't help, so from now on I plan to help all of Genius' opponents.
SK Gaming's CEO was very happy [that I reached the final]. The team had no SC2 results up to now, and they said they're happy that they've gained trophies since I joined. My manager Hyung [Reis] is always good to me, and he's happy for me like it happened to himself. I have about 6 months left on my contract, and I'm going to get more trophies, so the CEO better start worrying and get more sponsors.
IM's sponsor, LG, must also be happy?
Head Coach Kang: Yes, they're happy. Our other sponsors are happy as well, and have high expectations. They're also giving us a lot of support for the finals at haewoondae. It has to lead to results, so there is some pressure. SK Gaming's manager is 'foreigner style,' so he curses when MC loses and he celebrates with him when he wins. Honestly, I'm envious of that style, but I'll have to look on keeping my own style of management.
Who were your main practice partners?
MC: I think Seed is playing mainly with IM players. I'm playing mainly with players from other teams.
Seed: From Terran players, Horror and True. Dreamertt and Mvp as well. The Protoss guys don't seem to want to help me though. I've had to help other players with their practice in the past, so I understand what it's like now that the roles are reversed. I'm really thankful to my teammates.
Do you like your honeybee Protoss nickname?
Seed: Caster Lee Hyun Joo has taken a long break, so I think a lot of people have forgotten the nickname fantasy-toss. The honeybee has a cute image, but I've heard rumors that I'm a wasp instead. If I win in the finals, I think it will change to wasp. But I have cool nicknames like fantasy-toss too, so I hope people use that as well. Just write 'fantasy-toss' in news articles, and fans can call me honeybee-toss.
Any final comments to your fans?
Seed: I will prepare for these finals as a challenger looking to against MC's long reign. I heard there are fans making the trek to haewoondae beach, and I will do my best to show good play that will not disappoint them. Our head coach got a lot of grief because of the GSTL, but it's not like it's like he deserves all the blame, the players told him they wanted to be deployed. We lost because he misplaced his faith in them. So blame the players instead. Though he looks like he's cold and calculating on the outside, he's a very kind man on the inside. When players confidently say they want to play, he lets them play.
MC: I've reached the finals for the first time in a long time, but each time I reach the finals it's held outside of Seoul. I've always won in those situations, so I wonder if that 'jinx' will continue in Busan as well. I'm thankful to my fans who always cheer for me. I'm glad that right as [SK and IM] reached a cooperative agreement, we get to have this kind of friendly competition. The community seems to hate on head coach Kang whenever IM loses in team leagues. It's the players who win or lose the games, so I hope people don't hate too much. I've been the recipient of some weird nicknames in the past, so I know how it feels.
Did those kind of nicknames make you feel bad?
MC: I felt bad at first. Who would enjoy being put in a coffin? But now I don't feel stressed by that anymore, and just let it pass.
Conversely, any nicknames you like?
MC: I like BOSSTOSS the best. I like it because it gives you the feel of might over right.