Maru won the first gold for Korea in the 2018 Asian Games esports demonstrative event.
In the 'Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games' StarCraft 2 esports demonstrative event, Maru placed 1st, winning the gold for Korea without dropping a single set during the entire duration of the tournament. After the awards ceremony, Maru was greeted by the media for an interview.
How does it feel wearing the gold medal?
It feels great. StarCraft 2 was selected to be played in the 2018 Asian Games esports demonstrative event, and I participated in the event as a representative for my country, Korea. I won the gold for my country. I think that's why it feels even better.
Compared to your past experience of having played multiple tournaments in the past, how different was the experience of playing in the Asian Games as a Korean representative?
I participated in this event as a representative of my country, and therefore, I felt a lot of pressure. I think I was able to finish the event with good results thanks to all the supportive people that had faith in me. As a Korean representative, there was a lot more responsibility on my shoulders. Wearing the gold medal brings about a whole different type of feeling to just winning a normal tournament.
I heard that you weren't in your optimal playing condition today.
I was worried because I didn't get a good night's sleep yesterday... but it still worked out in the end. A lot of people supported me. Thanks to them, I was able to exert great performance despite my poor physical condition. Jin Air Green Wings' head coach, coach, and chief took very good care of me. The KeSPA employees also gave me a great amount of help.
How did it feel hearing Korea's national anthem after the match?
I felt very proud of myself. Playing in the Asian Games was something that I never expected to happen in the past; but not only did I win the event, I received a gold medal as an award. It was something that I've never experienced before. If the matches were more hard-fought, I might've gotten a lot more emotional... I felt that I won with too much ease. (Laughs) However, I still got a bit emotional.
Which specific match played in the Asian Games stuck with you the most?
The games where I played with battlecruisers were most memorable. It was a build that I always wanted to try. I was able to play it during this event and even won as a result.
You played a wide variety of different tactics throughout the duration of this event.
The 2018 Asian Games was a great opportunity for me to spread the awareness of StarCraft 2 to the entire world. Therefore, I wanted to show the world as many different aspects of the game as possible. It was unfortunate that I wasn't able to play against a Zerg.
Against a Zerg player, I would've played the 1st game focusing on unit micromanagement. In the following games, I would've played a ghost build and/or other unique builds that I had prepared before the tournament.
Do you want to compete in the 2022 Asian Games as well?
I do. I sincerely hope that StarCraft 2 remains a popular esport until then.
Any last words?
I competed in the 2018 Asian Games as a representative of my country. I want to thank all the fans that cheered for me. In addition, I want to thank the coaches, chief, and the members of KeSPA who took very good care of me throughout the duration of this event.