By Conan “Suppy” Liu of Evil Geniuses
I look towards WCS 2015 with great excitement. Although I have largely been inactive the past several months due to returning to school, I feel like the break has been extremely reinvigorating. The past week or so that I’ve been playing, the game has regained its “fun” for me. Additionally, I’ve gained new perspectives on my matchups, particularly in ZvP. I definitely still have a lot of work to do, but there are so many new ways I am looking at the game that I’d really like to flesh out. It is this very act of somewhat relearning the game that is making it so fun for me again. I think last year when I devoted all my time to the game I wasn’t quite able to get the results I wanted because my play became somewhat stale and unchanging – I wasn’t able to step outside the box for a bit and look at the game in a new direction. Hopefully leading up to the WCS qualifiers next week I can show off some new strategies I’ve been working on.
Overall, the game hasn’t changed too much, which means I’ve been able to regain my skill quite quickly. My MMR decay meant that I was facing incredibly low ranked players at first, so I had to go through a pretty big grind in order to get back up to my normal MMR. Now with a 62-14 record or so I do seem to be back to my old MMR, facing top 30 GMs on the AM server. Now, most people would ask why I’m playing on the AM server – there are so few professional players that play on it now and the ladder is notorious for being filled with hackers. So far I haven’t noticed any suspicious games where I felt the opponent was hacking, and overall I still feel like the practice is still quite good for me as I’m getting the rust off. It would be pointless for me at this point to play on KR. Also, I do seem to enjoy playing on AM more right now because it just feels much nicer to be playing on your own server. Although I still do recall the reasons I left the AM server to play on KR last year – long queue times, bad practice, essentially you are rank 1-3 GM as long as you are spending your bonus pool – I also do want to give AM another chance. There are still quite a few talented and skilled players on the AM server, and I know that in 2012 I practiced exclusively on AM and had some of the best results of my career. Obviously AM is not what it was in 2012, but like I said, I’d like to reach rank 1 GM again before deciding what other goals to strive for.
The changes to WCS 2015 are extremely exciting since it switches up everything. I’m not sure yet if it is beneficial yet, as there are still many Koreans still participating in the NA qualifiers (Polt, Violet, hydra, Balloon, maybe Jaedong?). With fewer slots now, even 5 Koreans means there are very few opportunities for native NA players to qualify. From hearsay, however, I’ve heard Violet hasn’t been practicing much, and Balloon has obviously been in his first semester of school in America, so he probably isn’t in his best shape either. Perhaps there is more of a chance than one might expect upon first glance.
As I said, I look very much forward to the WCS 2015 season. I’ve been practicing and I will continue practicing until the first qualifiers happen on January 7th! If I don’t manage to qualify, I will continue trying to qualify until the last qualifier on the 14th or 15th. Fortunately, my school doesn’t start again until the 18th or so, so I have plenty of time to devote towards this qualification attempt. I would absolutely love to qualify again and show you guys some exciting games. I’ve also been streaming recently so feel free to tune in and interact with me at http://twitch.tv/superiorwolf. Please cheer me on for the WCS 2015 qualifiers!
Follow Conan on twitter @EGSuppy