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English interview - De HotS à LotV #5 : Serral

De HotS à LotV #5 : Serral
English interview
  • Interview en français


Transitioning from an expansion/game to another is always complicated for progamers and requires a lot of investment in order for them not to lose ground. The struggle was there back in Wings of Liberty/Heart of the Swarm switch time and is once again here with the release of the last episod of the StarCraft II trilogy, Legacy of the Void.

Every week, we'll try to ask few questions to professional players about how they try to beat their struggle, and keep their heads above the water. Today, Joona « Serral » Sotala agreed on giving us few answers ...


First/Last name: Joona Sotala
Country Finland
Birthdate: 22/03/1998 (17 years-old)
Tournaments earnings: 19 258 $
Best performance: Top 16 DreamHack Stockholm


[M]TinkeR: Hi Serral! Thanks for agreeing on doing this interview with us.

You’ve just qualified for DreamHack Leipzig, and made a pretty good run earlier on NationWars III. How are you feeling so far with your mind, and with the game?

[mYi]Serral: I'm feeling really good with my game now, I have been really motivated to practice tons of games and I'm happy that I got some results done. I'm still looking for a bigger tournament win and DreamHack is a really good chance for me.


It seems that a large majority of the pro-players are happy today with LotV, at least more than they actually were with HotS. How could you explain LotV managed to succeed, in that regards, where HotS failed?

I do think LotV is more fun for the players as well as the viewers even though it became a little harder. But I don't think HotS was too bad to be honest, I felt like Swarmhosts were the only problem, but they got nerfed badly. The thing that's good about LotV is the fact that you can't really just sit down, make units and win, instead you need to expand more and it makes the game a lot more action packed.


Everything isn't perfect though. Two things can come to our mind: the map-pool, and the Adept. What are your thoughts on these?

The map pool is pretty horrible right now, but I think it will get fixed in future seasons so I'm not worried about that at all. I don't have too much to say about Adept either, I think it's more of a problem in PvT than in PvZ. Sometimes, if it's well used it can give a lot of people a big headache, but I kind of like the design of the unit even if it needs some fixing.



Where else do you think there's still area of improvement for the Blizzard team in terms of balance, and in the game globally?

I can't really say anything about the current balance of the game, I feel Terrans struggle against Zergs in the really late game but on the other hand I have seen people do well against the late game Zerg. I would wait at least a while before doing any major changes in the balance, just because people are still figuring out ways to play. When it comes to the game globally, I think Blizzard is going in a right direction with many things.


According to your Twitter, you seem to be struggling a bit in ZvT. What are the aspects you need to work on in order to overcome it?

Yes, I'm actually struggling a lot with Terrans, but I'm still trying to find new styles to go with. I feel like I have been getting better just lately in the match up, but I hope I can get it to a good level before DreamHack.


WCS 2016: less Korean, more money. Do you see that as a good thing for the foreign scene, and why?

It's good and bad I would say. It separates us from Koreans pretty much. That basically means, if we have to play them it will be hard, when they get higher level practice all the time. On the other hand it gives a good chance for players outside Korea to get success in premier tournaments. I think time will show if this is good or bad for StarCraft.


What are your objectives and expectations for this year to come?

I want to get results this year, I haven't been getting any major results so far so would be cool to get some. Like I said, I'm feeling really good right now and I feel that LotV's playstyles fit me really well. I'm also more motivated than I have been in a long time, so I think I have a good chance to win or at least get some good results this year.




On a lighter note, you've faced your brother Jonne/Protosser during the DreamHack qualifier. According to Aligulac it was the third time you ever faced each other on an official match, and the first you've actually won. Are these « special moments » for you or not at all?

My brother has been inactive for such a long time and he is just coming back now to the game, so I was pretty much expecting that I will win and it wasn't a too special moment for me. I would have rather played someone else still, because playing against people you know always hurt.


Where will we be able to see you play on the coming weeks?

I'll be playing at the DreamHack Leipzig, like I mentioned couple of times. I can't name any more tournaments for sure yet, but I'll most likely play at most of the DreamHacks. I will be playing at some other tournaments as well.


Thank you very much for your time! I wish you the best for 2016. If you want to add any last words, or shoutouts, please do so! Bye!

I want to thank all my supporters and my team mYinsanity for all the support I have gained. I also want to thank the sponsors, for giving me a chance to play in tournaments.

  • Interview en français
  • English interview


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