On the 30th of July(KST), before the start of the 'StarCraft: Remastered' event, 'GG Together', seven professional StarCraft players and three casters were interviewed by the media.
The ever so famous Korean Broodwar casters, 'Jeon Yong Joon' and 'Um Jae Kyung' made an appearance along with 'Kim Jung Min'.
As for the players, 'Guk "TheBOy" Gi Bong', 'Lim "BoxeR" Yo Hwan', 'Park "Reach" Jung Seok', 'Lee "Nada" Yoon Yeol', 'Kim "Bisu" Taek Yong', 'Lee "FlaSh" Young Ho', and last but not least, 'Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong' made the appearance.
All of the mentioned casters and players were gathered in one place to answer questions regarding the release of 'StarCraft: Remastered'. They were also asked about how the esports scene will develop for this new game.
The following is their interview.
On the remastered version of StarCraft, a player can customize the hotkeys to his liking. What're your opinions on it?
BoxeR: After ending my career as a professional Broodwar player, I moved onto a similar yet very different game, StarCraft 2. When I tried to return to the first game, I had a very hard time readapting. So the ability to customize the hotkeys will most likely be "big news" for returning players.
Reach: I have been using the same hotkeys for 16 years. So even though I heard the news, I don't think I will be changing the hotkeys in anyway or form. Unlike the other players, I haven't really played much of SC2.
Nada: As a player who has been playing a lot of SC2, the ability to customize hotkeys was definitely a plus for me. Also, for returning players, including me, definitely had a difficult time trying to readapt to the first game. If used well, some players may find the "perfect" and most efficient way to customize their hotkeys[like how Hearthstone players find the perfect way to build a deck], giving them an edge on the competitive scene.
FlaSh: It's definitely a great feature for players returning from SC2. But personally, I didn't utilize it, and I don't think I ever will.
BoxeR: I actually changed my entire hotkey setup when playing SC2. (Laughs)
What are the noticeable differences between the two versions of the game?
BoxeR: After 1.16, Broodwar received no real maintenance from Blizzard other than a couple patches to stop map hackers. When I returned to Broodwar from SC2, I couldn't help but notice how the original felt like a flash game when playing.
When 1.16 was released for Broodwar, all the users had little to no issues regarding bugs and balance, so no one even thought of a possible update. But through the remastered version, Blizzard completely reclothed the game; making it more appealing to the current generation of gamers. But in my personal opinion, if Broodwar was kept in maintenance by Blizzard all along, I don't think the game would've gone down in the first place. I hope Blizzard keeps up with new updates.
Reach: I was able to get a chance to play Remastered on my visit to Blizzard Korea. There, I coincidentally met with 'Kim Dong Soo' and 'Guillaume Patry'. With them, I played a game of 1:1:1. While playing, I found out that you can press 'F5' to toggle the graphics setting from the original to remastered. So if you are a player that is very fond of the original, you can just simply play it like Broodwar.
The newly fixed graphics definitely made an impression on me. I was too amazed; and I thought, "Is this really StarCraft?" The animations of units dying were especially eye-catching.
Nada: As I slowly transitioned from a professional player to a regular streamer, I started looking at the game with the perception of a regular, "casual" player. And so, I couldn't help but notice the "cannot create more units" limitation bringing inconvenience to the "casual" players who enjoy playing 'user map setting' maps. I hope they fix this for the upcoming game if they haven't already.
Jaedong: It felt like a brand new game due to the difference in graphics. But when actually playing it for myself, it felt no different from the original game. How to say it... it felt familiar yet new. They didn't take away any fun from the original game, but they added features to make it a more up-to-date esports game. The new features added to the observer system will also get more diverse and better over time.
Bisu: At first, I worried about the in-game sensitivity on the new game. But after trying it out myself, I found the original and the remastered versions to be exactly alike - smooth. Also, the revamped observer system makes it a lot more entertaining for the viewers.
What does StarCraft mean to you?
TheBOy: StarCraft is my life. And not only including me, but everyone here started their career off of this game. Now, the remastered version has been released for the old time fans. I believe this new game will also become my partner in life.
Bisu: StarCraft is absolutely everything to me. It controls my life itself. It's been approximately 13 years since I have been playing the game, and as a matter of fact, I have probably spent more time playing SC over studying while I was a child. SC is my most cherished game.
BoxeR: I started playing Broodwar since my early teen years. Now, I'm in my early thirties, and yet, I'm still playing this game. I basically gave my youth to StarCraft.
Reach: StarCraft is my everything. I don't really play any other games aside from occasional 'League of Legends' or arcade games. Whether I had bad grades or broke up with a loved one, all I had to do was play SC, and it helped me forget everything. All of the gamers here lost their stage... but now, I truly hope this newly remastered version of the game can bring back the league.
Nada: Since 1998, for 19 years, I have played StarCraft for a living. More than half of my life was spent with SC. I even married my wife at an event called 'SC2: Legacy of the Void'. SC is my life, just like everyone else here.
FlaSh: I am now 26 years old, and half of my life was poured into StarCraft. For me, SC is a friend; a very precious friend. It's someone that just can't be taken out of my life. The reason I'm even standing here is thanks to that game. I will continue to play SC, and I will continue to improve.
Jaedong: When I was a boy, I grew up watching 'StarCraft League'. I admired the professional players, and I wanted to be just like them. Eventually, my dreams came true. I sacrificed many things for this life, but I gained just as much. And in a way, I feel both love and hatred for SC. It's a really complicated emotion... I am very thankful for the game, but at times, I hate it.
Kim Jung Min: I worked with StarCraft for a very long time. So my thoughts are exactly the same as the players. Currently, the expectations for StarCraft: Remastered is very high, as many fans have been waiting in anticipation for it. And soon, the very first competition for Resmastered will take place, with me being a part of it. So in a way, I feel big responsibility. Also, when the newly formed StarCraft League arrives, I highly expect a couple of balance patches to hit the game.
Jeon Yong Joon: Starcraft was and is a blessing for me. I started working for a broadcasting company because I wanted to be a baseball caster. But in 1999, I made up my mind to cast esports. Back then, I didn't know I would become this famous. Through SC, I found out what I was truly capable of.
About 10 years ago, during an interview, I suddenly realized something. "God has given me a blessing through SC." That thought still lingers with me even today.
Um Jae Kyeong: StarCraft was released in 1998. And in 1999, the very first competition was held for it. This was the beginning of esports as we know it today. I was casting at the time, and I will tell you, it was a very meaningful experience for me. On the following year, StarCraft League began through OnGameNet. I also had my boy that year. My son and StarCraft are the same age! And just like how my boy grew over time, so did esports.
One day, like how a grown boy leaves home after a certain age, StarCraft League suddenly disappeared from my life. I felt an enormous sense of loss. But suddenly, the boy returned home wearing expensive clothing. I am extremely happy that the game has been remastered.
How determined are you guys in playing the very first competitive match for StarCraft: Remastered?
BoxeR: I lost my last rivalry match against 'Hong Jin Ho'. When I heard from him recently, he said that he has been playing the game once in a while. Well, I haven't. But in the recent couple of days, I have been playing like crazy to get back to form. I will do my best to defeat him.
Reach: When I'm in the game, I will most likely end up making a choice in the early-game. "Do I choose to end the game now? Or do I produce many different kinds of units for fan service?"
Bisu: I will be playing against 'Jaedong' and 'FlaSh'. I don't know how the game will turn out, but I will do my best. I want to showcase many different kinds of units.
Nada: I will do my best and show you a great game.
FlaSh: I feel the same way with the others. I will do my best to make the games interesting and entertaining.
Jaedong: I will be playing the last match. And so, I really want to showcase an entertaining game. Mainly to leave a good impression on the fans so that they will come back for more.
This will be the very first competition for Remastered. How will the games be broadcasted?
Kim Jung Min: When people hear "StarCraft", they think of it as an old and outdated game. But there are still many who loves the game. I think the upcoming matches will definitely satisfy those fans. I also believe that today's matches will bring in people who are new to SC. I will be casting today like it's a brand new game.
Jeon Yong Joon: Remastered is a new beginning for StarCraft. There will be many games played today. And because we have so many old school players, I invested time in studying their history and gameplay style. I also want to give a shoutout to the casters of ASL. I prepared for today by watching and reviewing their castings.
The games played today will definitely bring back old memories, but also create new ones. And let me tell you, the 3 casters here will be creating history today.
Um Jae Kyeong: The release of Remastered will be marked in the history of StarCraft. Back then, whenever I was interviewed, I was asked a certain question multiple times. "Every esports game will lose popularity and eventually fade away. So it's very different from traditional sports, right?" To that question, I responded by saying, "StarCraft - is! - a traditional sport in Korea."
The release of Remastered connected the old time fans with the new ones. If the same kind of trend continues for esports, I definitely think it'll be possible for an esports game to last forever. Also, other developers are most likely paying close attention to this newly released game, as they will want to see how it will work out.
When I got here, it felt like a reunion of old friends. But I came fully prepared, and I will make the games entertaining with my casting.