Graphics by Meko
2013 is near, and that means it's time to take a look back on the past year, the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens. Today, Liquid`Ret speaks with TLPro about everything from HotS to how Sven in imbalanced!
Photo by Silverfire
Photo by Silverfire
Thanks for speaking with us! How were your holidays?
Liquid`Ret: My holidays were pretty laid back. Homestory cup was an event without much sleep after being eliminated, so chilling out with family and friends has been the perfect remedy. Also it's been a few years since I've been home for the holidays so I've been enjoying the traditional dutch food and the things we do during Xmas.
You just came back from the Homestory Cup, what was that like?
Ret: Well.. Homestory cup is really a unique tournament. The atmosphere is super relaxing, everybody gets along, and you really get to hang out a lot more than you do at tournaments with your peers, so I had a great time. Of course it's a very important tournament as well but, losing at Homestory cup isn't quite as bad as losing at most other tournaments.
Talk to us about your tournament performance. how did you feel it went?
Ret: Well, I wasn't too disappointed. I played some games with MarineKing that could have gone my way had I been more confident in my own ability. Then I could have also beaten BratOK in the 3rd game, but made a small mistake.
How do you feel about your game overall right now at the end of 2012?
Ret: Well, I feel like I have been under-performing ever since NASL Season 4. I have just been playing poorly all over the place, but in practice I do at home and some tournaments I still felt like I could play well. Now that my life has settled down and I can practice steadily from home, I hope to be a lot more consistent in the months to come.
The top four at HSC were all zergs, yet as the race has achieved more success, it feels like you've hit a slump. Do you think the metagame has moved away from you in some way?
Ret: Yeah, I have thought about this and I feel like Zerg doesn't rely as much anymore on the original strengths the race had. During times where I was playing well, I was relaying heavily on multitasking, but as the metagame shifted towards infestor/broodlord turtle style, I just haven't done as well. You really need a lot of patience as Zerg nowadays to consistently win games...and it's something I've been working on.
What have you observed and taken from other zerg players that you play to encorporate into your play? What do you think zergs as a whole still aren't doing right?
Ret: Well, of course everyone looks at Stephano and his 'perfect engagements' and it's easy to see why he's winning games. I've been trying to get better very specifically at things like this but it takes attention away from the things I used to originally be good at to win games... So my game overall is kind of chaos and I try not to look too much at other Zergs. I have to use my own strengths and minimize my weaknesses. Overall though I think there's a lot of Zergs right now who try too hard to get to infestor/BL....overall it seems to work though.
Lets look back on 2012 as a whole. How do you feel about how the year went for you?
Ret: I am reasonably satisfied about the year 2012 as a whole. I had 3 top4 finishes at pretty big events, and a numerous top8 finishes until I hit my slump towards the end of the year. If I had kept up my performance for the whole 12 months, I would've been super happy about how I did. Right now though I just know I have to work really hard to get back to where I was before.
You began the year with a lot of early success. What was the key to your play back then?
Ret: I think I just had confidence in the way I was playing and comfortable with my ability.
As the year went on, you started to get less results. Why do you think this was the case?
Ret: As the year progressed I tried to change a lot about my play to copy other zergs success and that worked out for me less.
What was the most memorable event of the year for you?
Ret: The most memorable was the NASL Season 4 semifinal vs Alicia. I had beaten Puzzle and went up 2-0 vs him, before Stephano cursed me backstage because he didn't want to play me in the final. After that I lost 8 games in a row, but it was still awesome to play in front of that crowd in Toronto.
What memory would you rather forget?
Ret: Probably the WCS game vs Grubby game 3 decider.
Photo by Silverfire
2013 is going to be a very important year, with the release of HotS. What do you think will happen, community-wise, when HotS is released?
Ret: I'm super excited about HotS. I can't wait for the game to change and be more dynamic like it was before.. I am tired of the same boring WoL gameplay and I really hope to see a lot of new and interesting playstyles emerge. There's going to be so many gifted people playing now with KeSPA involved that I'm just super excited to see it all evolve.
What are your goals for the first part of 2013, before the release of HotS?
Ret: I am playing in WoL tournaments until everything switches, so I will still be mostly playing WoL until we get closer to HotS release and it becomes apparent there will be tournaments to play in.
How do you plan to get ready for HotS?
Ret: I'll probably dedicate a few hours a week to it until February where I assume everyone will just be playing more and more HoTS. right now It's really hard to practice because everyone on HotS ladder is bad - all the progamers are still playing WoL. The moment the practice level is good enough, I'll probably play more HotS than WoL.
What are your goals for 2013 in general?
Ret: I really just want to get back to competing for the top spots. I'm getting older and I'm going to try to give it my everything for at least another year, and see how far I can go.
Tell us about your very recent practice and activities.
Ret: Before HSC, I had streamed for 5 days or so. I was playing about 8 hours a day, something I hope to keep up into the new year, first tournament will be IEM Katowice.
Outside of Sc2, what are your goals for 2013?
Ret: Live healthy, this is something that goes with ups and downs.. but I hope to have more ups than downs and constantly improve. And just to be a happy person, I guess! Definitely want to work hard at everything I do.
2013 also promises to be an important year for Liquid, with Proleague and Dota2 as two big threads. How do you feel about the team as a whole?
Ret: I think right now the team couldn't be any better. We have a great lineup, a great opportunity for our players to play in Proleague with EG and I think that for every player that works hard enough in Liquid, the sky is the limit.
How do the Sc2 and Dota2 teams interact? Does it feel like one team, or two?
Ret: There is a skype chat with the dota guys, I think even though most of us haven't interacted, I definitely feel like we are one team, even when something like that is sometimes unspoken. As soon as we will see them at tournaments, I'm sure it will be one big family
Any dota2 predictions for 2013?
Ret: I really don't know enough but I saw Sven 3 shot people in the final of the ThoR OPEN So I predict SVEN will destroy everyone in 2013.
Alright, lightning round 2013 predictions:
A) Best foreign player
B) Breakout foreign player
C) Biggest 2013 drama
Ret: A) this one is so hard to say but.. I'll go with Snute
B) So hard to predict... I'll go with Haypro in a miraculous turn of events.
C) Something at NASL. They have such an interesting group of people and a dog. Somethings bound to happen there with rotterdam involved. : D
Thanks so much! Anything left to say?
Ret: Huge thanks to everyone that has supported me throughout this year at any point! I'm so grateful I can keep playing this awesome game for this awesome community for hopefully another year and I'll try to make it my best one yet. Also thanks to the team for the support and the sponsors ... TLAF, Razer, Twitch, Barracuda Networks!