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Moon, the Star
Fresh off an impressive 3-0 victory in the grand finals of 2005 WEG, Jae Ho "Spirit_Moon" Jang is one of Warcraft 3's superstars. WCReplays.com got a chance to interview the Korean Night Elf player. This interview was done before the WEG finals, but it will be updated with some more WEG related questions and answers very soon.
Before the interview it would be great if you could just state your name and age for us, which city in Korea you come from and why you chose the nickname Spirit_Moon?
My name is Jang, Jae Ho, I am 18 and I come from Incheon. I once decided to create a clan with my school friends, and then the word 'Spirit' came to my mind. And I thought about which word would fit to the clan name 'Spirit'. The word 'Moon' seemed attractive to me, so I decided to create my nickname Spirit_Moon.
Please tell us a bit about your gaming history such as when you started gaming, which games you have played, how you got started playing Warcraft 3 and what attracted you to the game?
When I was in elementary school, I could play with a gaming console called 'Family Game' and I started to experience different kinds of games. The most memorable game was 'Farland Tactics' and I really enjoyed it. I had been playing Starcraft for quite a while when my school friend suggested that I should try Warcraft 3. From then on, I have fallen in love with Warcraft 3 and kept playing it.
Your race is Night Elf, and a lot of players say it is very strong and possibly imbalanced. Why did you pick Night Elf as your race, and what do you think about the strength of Night Elf compared to the other races in the game?
Hmm... At first, my friend taught me about Night Elf, and I played Night Elf for a while. I also tested all races and then decided to play with only one race. So I played as Random, but then I had thought Night Elf was the race for me. I think the Night Elf's strength is its various strategies.
A lot of people consider you one of the, if not the best player in the world. How did you get to where you are today, and how do you practice in order to stay at such a high level of play?
I have loved playing Warcraft 3 and really play it at my best, so I think that made it possible to get to this level.
Right now you are participating in the WEG. What do you think about the tournament so far, and what are your personal expectations? Who is your own favourite to win, and why?
WEG is the e-Sports' major league of the world's best players and I think it's also the arena of dreams and excitement through the communication of game. I'm not sure who will win the final. I think the one who makes the most effort will win the final.
You are by many regarded as one of the favourites to win WEG. Do you feel any pressure on you from fans or others, and how do you cope with that? What does it feel like to be called "imba_moon"?
I'm not really nervous so far. I think I will start to get nervous from the day before the match. But I will not get too nervous and I will try to concentrate all my strengths in the final. I don't complain about people calling me "imba_moon". It's fine for me.
Can you tell us a bit about your hotkeys, sensitivity and the groupings you use when you play? Which keyboard, mouse and mousepad do you use?
Keyboard: Samsung DT-35 WHITe Mouse: Logitech MX300 Mousepad: Jean Pad (like ~$1 pad).
Could you please tell us about your best and worst moments of gaming?
Worst moments: Protest from my parents about gaming back when I did not get good result in leagues.
Best moments: Laughing with fans every day and reading texts of cheering and encouragement. Winning the tournaments.
What is your best and worst matchup, and why? Is there any particular player or players you fear more than others, and if so, why?
I think my best matchup was Prime League 5's final match, because I had prepared a lot and it was the most memorable. My worst matchup was the beginning of War3 RoC leagues. I'm going to revenge Zacard this time! Last year, I was defeated by him by a mistake so I'll really win the final this time.
Why do you only play in Korean leagues, and do you have any thoughts or plans to join a foreign team?
It is good to see many Korean players joing the foreign teams and participating in foreign leagues. Though not right now, I am going to participate some of the foreign leagues.
You are known for inventing a lot of strategies, some never seen before you play them in games shown on TV. How do you come up with these strategies, and how do you practice them and manage to keep them a secret?
Hmm... I think they resulted from not simply playing games, but trying different strategies through many practice games. I also discuss about it with my progamer friends.
We hardly ever see your replays. Are you afraid your strats will get out? Or are you against showing replays to fans?
I have a matchup right now, so it's difficult to reveal any replays. When I concentrate on ladder games, I'll reveal some of my replays.
How important is Warcraft 3 to you? Do you see it as a form of art or a source of entertainment for your fans?
I think Warcraft 3 takes more than half of my life. I'm trying to do my best in my area and to play interesting games for my fans.
Some people claim that Warcraft is dying, especially in Korea. What is your view on this? Why do you think Starcraft still has an edge over Warcraft in the Korean scene? How do you think you would have done if you played Starcraft?
I'm not really concerned about it. I belive that eventually, it will be as popular as Starcraft. I think many Koreans people haven't found the charming aspects of Warcraft. I think Koreans are not yet sophisticated enough to recognize the game. Haha.
Several players have announced their retirements lately, like Star.WeRRa, DayFly, Swain and MaDFroG. What do you think is the reason for this, and do you have any plans to retire anytime soon?
I don't really know why they have retired. But... I believe they will come back eventually. My passion for Warcraft 3 is burning right now… Although I will eventually retire, I think I'll try to show everything I can before I retire.
What are your ambitions for Warcraft 3? How long do you think you will keep playing?
It seems too greedy to participate in many international tournaments. But I have a goal of taking the 'Grand-Slam' and I want to be remembered by every Warcraft 3 player. I don't know till when I'm going to play. I'm going to keep playing it until I fulfil my aspirations.
What do you do when you don't play, and what do you think you will do when/if you stop playing?
When I'm not playing games, I usually surf the web. For example, I often visit Warcraft 3 websites and download replays. I don't play any other games. After I stop playing, I think I'm going to have a career related to gaming.
WCReplays.com would like to thank 4K.ToD, Providence and SteveFIS for help with contacts and translation, and of course Spirit_Moon for granting us this interview.
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