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Grubby's GameA Featured Interview with 4K.Grubby
INTRODUCING GRUBBY - written by KidArctica
The problem with writing a profile about a well-known player is exactly that he is well-known. Everyone knows who he is, everyone has read interviews about him and everyone has an opinion about him.
Manuel "4K.Grubby" Schenkhuizen falls into this category.
In spite of being only 19 years old, the Dutch player is one of the most well-known of the well-known in the Warcraft 3 community. Good indications of this are the numerous threads made about him in gaming forums, his Battle.net nickname being stolen on all gateways where he doesn't own it himself, how some people will praise him to death when he wins yet immediately wonder if he has "lost it" if he loses, how he can't turn off /o igw on Battle.net without his entire screen going green, how people suck up all information about him and study his replays to try and learn.
Of course, this means that almost any scene reporter would love to interview him as well. Grubby has been and still is active in the community which makes him even more popular, and he has done his share of interviews, giving away pieces of himself to those hungry for information.
Talking about hungry, Grubby likes bread with chocolate flakes, whatever that may be. Though those who are die-hard fans should of course know this. Digging into old interviews it is possible to find out a lot about Grubby and his background. We learn that he has three brothers, that his Indonesian father (who is now in risk management at a bank) always kept up with the latest technologies in regards to gaming and computer equipment. He played the piano for five years, but playing computer games ended up being more interesting.
Starting out with Starcraft and then going to Warcraft, Grubby beat all his clan mates in the friends clan called Spirit Warriors and thought he was a good player while, in his own words, he actually sucked. He moved on to eSports Ownage Netherlands, and from there, he got picked up by 4 Kings along with Myth back when TillerMaN, CrazyAssassin, DIDI8 and Zeus all went inactive or left the team. The two Dutch players were brought in by TillerMaN himself. The reason why they were recruited was their high level ladder accounts, and they were added mainly for 2v2 rather than solo.
Of course there are funny pieces of trivia found in the countless interviews. For instance, Grubby thinks - or at least thought - that the female Orcs load the boulders onto the Demolishers and set the same boulders on fire, and that something eaten by Kodo Beasts will become almost like Daredevil and "see" their surroundings based on vibrations rather than looking through any "Kodo holes", whichever they may be. Also, he claimed that by being a good Warcraft 3 player, you get as many girls as you have time for! The question is whether you will have any time left in between training and tournaments, so perhaps the real answer is none?
Those who have kept up with interviews will also know that Grubby once persuaded a hotel manager not to come into the team's room after KaJ had just made a hole in the wall by throwing a garbage can at Zeus. Back in the day, Grubby was also superstitious and didn't want anyone to say that he was going to win, in particular not Zeus who, according to KaJ, was his bad luck charm. KaJ, of course, was his good luck charm, and he also revealed in an interview that Grubby was infamous for his bad manners at LANs as he used psychological tricks to psyche out his opponent.
Speaking about psychology, Grubby is very conscious about this factor. Although many people will judge him based on his latest performance, he knows what he has accomplished and that no one can take that away from him. And what accomplishments! From Cyber X Games to World Cyber Games to European Cyber Games to Electronic Sports World Cup, Grubby has won them all, that and of course a bunch of other, "smaller" events. Along with his team, he has won the ESL WC3L Series and gone undefeated for more than a year. He has become an icon for Warcraft 3 that has travelled around the world to play and toured Asia to promote the game.
But what for? What is it that has driven him to this extreme point where he can savour a position among the very best of the game and still keep going, reaching for new tournaments and new goals?
Obviously he is a man of competition, but that is not it. He has earned quite a bit of money from gaming, but that is not it, either. The underlying factor of it all is love. Love for the game. That is what has made Grubby what he has become. And that is why this interview may become a monument for one of the greatest Warcraft 3 players in the world, a picture in the history book that captures this young, but extremely skilled player's thoughts on perhaps the biggest love of his gaming life.
Grubby at Samsung Euro Championship
Note: This interview took place when Warcraft III was still in Patch 1.18.
bunny: Currently, what is your favorite matchup and why?
Grubby: My most enjoyable match-up is definitely Orc versus Night Elf. You don't experience the satisfaction of beating a race unless you've dealt with a considerable amount of frustation not being able to win. I guess that's what "liking a challenge" is all about.
bunny: Respectively, your least favorite matchup and why?
Grubby: My least enjoyable match-up is Orc vs Orc, because I feel that ingenuity and playing outside-of-the-box is not rewarded. I hate being inside of the box... this is mainly because Kodo Beasts play such a dominant role in this mirror match-up; I hate Kodo wars -.-
bunny: Why is it that the majority claim Night Elf to be the strongest race at the moment?
Grubby: People tend to look a lot at results. Sometimes, people value a result even more highly than the actual quality of a game. When looking at results, it's been often so that a Night Elf player who is judged to be less skilled than his opponent wins vs. a non-Night Elf player who hold a much higher esteem of the community. People then are quick to point to the (un)equality of a race as the blame, though how big of a role the race played, is sometimes unclear.
bunny: With Night Elf being your toughest matchup, what is it about the race that gives you trouble/frustration ?
Grubby: I didn't say it was my toughest match-up :P
bunny: Oh, you're right, that's your favorite.
Grubby: But you're also right, it is. I think it's mostly the variety of available and viable strategies that one race has vs another race, which causes the unequality. As it is, Night Elf has a LOT of strategies which do work vs Orc and I can never know for sure which one will be used by the more unpredictable Night Elf players. It's like rock, paper, scissors, except rock has 5 counters instead of just one, with Orc being the rock...
bunny: If you know for sure what the Night Elf is going for, do you already have a strategy planned to counter it? Meaning, for all the variations an NE has, do you have just as many counters to it each or is it a hit and miss for you?
Grubby: Yeah, if I'd always know for sure what they'd do, I'd be pretty comfortable in playing against them. I basically do have strategies vs everything they do, but sometimes they involve different starting heroes. Obviously, I can't change my starting hero based on what to do, so yeah it's a hit and miss for me.
bunny: Specifically, what are some of the Night Elf strategies that give you the hardest time?
Grubby: That would be typically the strategies that I least expect.
bunny: So it can vary then.. and nothing really standard?
Grubby: In a double-Talon reigning time, the Dryad-Archer-Talon typically gives me most trouble and the reverse is just as true, and I'm not even talking about all the other potential strategies. It's basically that thing which is currently considered out-of-the-box.
bunny: What do you think needs to be change in regards to Night Elf to even things out?
Grubby: I feel that Dryads are a bit too all-round for their price currently, there are only very few units that hard counter them (Riflemen, Demolishers, Mortar Teams being the only ones I can think of), especially when they're combined with other units like Bears or more ranged.
Faerie Fire's 2 minutes seems too long, I think it should be like Slow: just one minute.
Manaburn should cost a little more mana than it currently does.. a level 1 Demon Hunter fresh from the altar can burn like 10x when you consider his mana regeneration. It's not fun at all to play a game where you can't use hero skills, I feel that using hero skills are part of WC3, and the Demon Hunter spoils that fun =P
Maybe Mountain Giants could be buffed in some sort of way, but I can't say anything for sure that wouldn't make them unequally strong.
The Night Elf Moonstone perhaps shouldn't stunt the normal progress of the actual time. Because if you cast a Moonstone @ day, the duration of the effect will be just as big as the delay of the actual night, making the total amount of night just the same.
Staff of Preservation should either be a consumable item or have a bigger cooldown or cost more, in my opinion.
bunny: Why is it that the Night Elf race uses the neutral heroes the most compared to the other races?
Grubby: Because of their need and because of their possibility. The possibility is because they have Moonwells and their need is because they require tanking heroes to complement their ranged army.
bunny: How would you order you matchups, if Night Elf is most difficult then what are the next?
Grubby: Human 2nd most difficult, Orc 3rd most difficult, and Undead the least
bunny: Do you think that is the general consensus for all Orc players or just you?
Grubby: I think it could be pretty general. Most sensible people consider Night Elf hardest and Undead easiest in any case, Orc and Human is switchable, I'm not even so sure about the ranking of those.
bunny: What is it about the Human race that gives you a hard time, easiest time, and do you consider them to be the "weakest" race overall at the moment?
Grubby: Hardest time is always Gryphons in any shape or form, and always has been. Easiest is probably a standard tier 2 tech with Archmage + Beastmaster + dual casters. I think they are definitely NOT the weakest race.
bunny: Then which race would that be?
Grubby: None. No race stands by itself, it's all about the relations to other races and maps.
bunny: What is the best strategy for you to use vs a Human Gryphon strategy?
Grubby: It's mostly about scouting and timing. I prefer to have a lot of Wyverns if possible, but if I notice it too late, sometimes I have to use Headhunters and Raiders because they are cheaper.
bunny: What are some of the changes you'd want to see with Human the race?
Grubby: Human has always been the most stable race, sort of the pinnacle of balance around which all the other races are fine-tuned. Only the most gross inequalities with Human should be changed. Currently, I can't think of any, so I'm sticking with 'no changes required'.
bunny: Let's talk about Orc mirror.
Grubby: KODOS HAVE TOO MUCH HP! Sorry, I just blurted that out. Glad it's off my chest.
bunny: So, you dont like Kodo wars?
Grubby: It's making the Orc mirror so one-sided and reduces the reward of micro.
bunny: Is that the only strategy Orc players go against each other?
bunny: Why is that then, because of their hit points?
Grubby: Massing Kodos, getting Firelord, put up towers in either anticipation of your opponent's tower rush or to do a little tower rush of yourself. This is Orc mirror in a nutshell and well, it's because of ALL the Orc units' hit points. It pays off to eat a 1,300 HP Tauren or a 800 HP Grunt (more so than a 245 HP Archer). In the same time, Kodos with 1000 HP don't exactly die easy- especially considering Orc have very few good piercing-attack units.
bunny: If and when there are ever any other strategies involved not including the Kodo.. what are they?
Grubby: Wyverns being the most notable; which are of course hard countered by Farseer/Firelord and Batriders. Grunt/Raider full stop. I tried to use casters to revolutionise the match-up several times.
bunny: Any luck?
Grubby: Other people are still trying to do air wars in Orc vs Orc, sometimes it was effective vs pro's and at the same time it'd fail against the most poorly executed tower rush of a 800-801 Orc.
bunny: Suggested changes for the Orc race?
Grubby: Lower Kodo hit points, reduce Ensnare duration *slightly* (at least so that 1 Raider's Ensnares don't overlap), lower Spirit Wolf experience points, increase Watch Tower duration 5 seconds, reduce Tauren Totem building time, reduce Wind Walk/Critical Strike's effectiveness ever so slightly, make Spirit Walker 10 gold cheaper. Something like this...
bunny: Last matchup, Undead. Why is it easier for you?
Grubby: I think a big part of it is the fairness of the match-up. Take for example my matches against Lucifer; the poor guy continues to surprise me with the most ludicrous and strangely effective strategies, but I nearly never lose to it (see Twisted Meadows game on WC3L PD 1 season8). Normally if I'm surprised versus Human, or versus Night Elf, I lose, I think about it, and will try to expect it next time. If Undead surprises me, I'm usually able to bounce back even after considerable losses. I think part of it is that it's my best match-up (even when not considering the equality), because for instance you don't see every Orc beating Lucifer consistently. But it would be foolish to think that that is the only reason that I keep winning versus nearly all Undeads.
bunny: Is it the normal strategy for Undead to go mass Destrouers vs Orc?
Grubby: Destroyers are just hard to counter, so yeah, it's pretty normal.
bunny: On average, what's the percentage that Orc wins in this matchup?
Grubby: It's not a scandal if Orc loses at all. People seem to think just because I say Orc > Undead that Orc is not SUPPOSE to lose, which is another grand misconception, but the % I guess is 65% Orc / 35 % Undead.
50% / 50% Orc:Human
40% / 60% Orc:Night Elf
59% / 41% Undead:Human
bunny: Do you ever use neutral heroes?
Grubby: I like to use neutral heroes in particular situations where one seems especially useful, but I don't like to set out on games with a predetermined hero of choice in my mind. Tavern should be about unpredictability in my opinion, not routine.
bunny: Which neutral hero do you like the most and why?
Grubby: Definitely the Alchemist- everyone likes the underdog. Alchemist and Pitlord.
bunny: Why do you think some of the heros are so underused?
Grubby: The day someone makes an effective strategy with Pitlord + Alchemist, I'll adore him until the end of days. They are underused because their use is limited to rare situations, where people usually don't think of using them because it's not part of their routine.
bunny: Regarding neutral heroes, are there any changes you think should be done?
Grubby: Quilbeast and Lavaspawn should give a little more experience points, Alchemist Healing Spray could be a little better, and Cleaving Attack of the Pitlord could do a little more damage.
bunny: Who are you personal favorite Orc players?
Grubby: I always love Dayfly :) Even when he's not dominating, he still produces quality, just like Insomnia. I often have concepts and ideas about revolutions but I never execute them quite as beautifully as Dayfly. Though I was more than once in the right direction or a very similar direction as he. A part from all that, I just love to watch his replays.
bunny: What about Undead players, which do you like the most?
Grubby: FoV, Lucifer and Susiria are all excellent vs Orc in my opinion (in good days). Naturally, I have most respect for Undead's which hold their own vs Orc in general.
bunny: Favorite Human?
Grubby: FaTC has the most effective early game micro with Human in my opinion, while I believe ToD plays strongest mid-game (in good days).
bunny: Night Elf players?
Grubby: Night Elves I like most? Hard to say because of my natural predisposition to call them names. Let me ponder over this one for a while.
I can't think of any Night Elf player that really catches my eye to the point of admiration, because they all look the same to me.
bunny: You're quite the versatile playe and we've seen you play other races before, specifically Night Elf and Human. Have you ever considered changing your race completely?
Grubby: Many times.. I prefer to play the underdog race. Obviously that's not the case currently, but when I think about everything I've learned about my race... would take at least half a year before I can be successful again, and it'd be a tough sacrafice.
bunny: You started off as a Night Elf player though, why did you change to Orc and what is it about Orc that you like the most?
Grubby: I started off as Orc!
bunny: Oh really?
Grubby: Well no, if you want to be exact, I started as Night Elf (Keeper + Huntress rushing) in early Reign of Chaos, then Human (copying Tillerman's triple Water Elemental abuse), then Orc (the first true race I started to get more serious with), and Night Elf was then my 2nd serious race, Human my 3rd, and Orc my 4th.
Well, I was Night Elf at ESWC, my first big international tournament and Human at WCG, but I was Orc in the Dutch LANs which were before this that's what I beat my first international player on LAN (it's so memorable! :) ) vs Bjarke on Dutch grounds : P
bunny: No Undead?
Grubby: Nope! Only for fun, I was never able to commit myself to them.
bunny: So in the early days, would you say you changed races mainly for inequality reasons?
Grubby: Definitely... this was the way I dealt with adversity back then.
bunny: And middle ages, same reasons?
Grubby: The reason I became Night Elf was because I had difficulty beating Dryad/Bear with Orc. The reason I switched to Human because I was, funnily enough, having difficulty winning in Night Elf vs Night Elf. The reason I switched to orc in TFT is because I fell out of love with Night Elf the way it was introduced in TFT. It didn't have the same feeling anymore and that's why I went to my next favorite race, Orc.
bunny: You've come such a long way with Orc, does that mean no more changes for now?
Grubby: I want to prove the hidden strength of underused strategies in other races,.. but it's hard to give up the luxury of Orc when you're winning a lot of stuff.
bunny: Regardless of the other races you've done well with, you will always be known best as an Orc player. Aside from winning a lot with Orc, what other reasons make you want to stay with it?
Grubby: The thing I liked the most originally (the main motivation of picking them to get serious with) was because they were considered the weakest race for a very long time already. Like I said, I like playing the underdog though I've gotten used to the reverse, too. Anyways, right now what I still like about them is the potential to be creative, the potential to get a high reward by controlling your units effectively. I also like intense fast-paced fights. Human vs Human for example can be very *slow* when both have Spellbreakers + mass casters.
bunny: Since you've played other races often, what are your thoughts on the other matchups not involving Orc. Are there any particular matchups that come to mind that you also like or dislike and why?
Grubby: I dislike Undead vs Night Elf because it's always the same.
bunny: On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the current patch 1.18 ?
bunny: Do you have an overall favorite map and if so, what is it and why?
Grubby: Favorite maps are heal fountain maps. Echo Isle, Gnoll Wood (50%) and Lost Temple.
bunny: Do you have favorite maps versus specific races?
Grubby: Favorite map vs Undead is Lost Temple, it's easy for me to creep and to see where the opponent is going... hard to hide surprises from me for the Undead. Favorite map vs Night Elf is Echo Isle, I like EI because of how the fountains open new opportunities of strategies which they are not used to. Favorite map vs Human is Gnoll Wood, Human doesn't have Speed Aura or very fast units, which is why GW, a big map, makes it easy for me to expand. Favorite map vs Orc is also Lost Temple.
bunny: Maps you don't favor vs specific races?
Grubby: I don't like Turtle rock vs any race. I think the map is too narrow for Orc.
bunny: Are there any changes you'd like to see to any of the maps or any item drops? And are there any maps that you like playing on in league games that are not a part of Blizzard's ladder mappool?
Grubby: Turtle Rock should be turned 1 notch up as to mapsize; exactly same lay-out, except it's like 196 x 196 instead of 128 x 128 (I think thats how it currently is). Some minor map abuses should be fixed like being able to kill Ogre Golem level 9 on Gnoll Wood with 1 Watch Tower or to expand without creeping on Echo Isle with Tree of Life. I also think valuable items should be a bit less easy to get like on Twisted Meadows shop, the Book of the Dead is too good vs Orc.
Maelstrom seems a good non-Blizzard map for competitive play, but the Tavern should be protected a bit more effectively by the rocks. Lightning Shield item drop should do 10 damage per second so the effectiveness is half of the Shaman skill, just like Sentry Ward has a 5 min duration, which is half of the Witch Doctor's skill. Ankh should sell for less, for instance 300 gold instead of 400.
bunny: What about the evolution of the game, do you see this game evolving from its current state and what would you like to see added to the game to either improve the game or make it more interesting?
Grubby: Well, I believe one of the criteria of evolution is, apart from the natural selection of "strategies", that also ineffective strategies should die out, but I don't believe ineffective strategies ever die out in wc3. ANYWAYS, I think the very reason that the game is kept interesting is BECAUSE it keeps changing, not because some height of balance will eventually be reached. It forces people to have to keep changing styles and creates new opportunities and new strategies all the time. Every patch should make underused strategies more popular and the most used strategies less viable. That's the basical evolution of the game as it should go.
bunny: So you don't foresee this game ever flattening out like Starcraft BroodWars? or rather reaching a really balanced state?
Grubby: Starcraft has flattened out in a sense, but the way that it has been kept changing is because new maps keep being made and I presume the map-makers have also gotten quite good at this, but yeah to an extent, wc3 will reach a quite balanced state, but the question is if it wouldn't become too boring after one year of the same patch.
bunny: Even if new maps are added? I'm referring to the boringness part.
Grubby: 95% of the new maps being made currently are not suitable enough for competitive play. If the mapmakers become more adept then it is quite possible that new maps keep the game alive, yeah.
bunny: I've heard a lot of people say they think the game is dying, what do you think?
bunny: What is it that you think keeps this game going at the moment?
Grubby: The fans, the pros, the sponsors, it's a combination of all those things. The fans attract sponsors, the sponsors attract pros, and the pros attract fans.
bunny: It seems though that now it's much more difficult to become recognized these days from ladder play (compared to the past)... you basically have to be a competitive LAN player for most of the community to even notice you.
Grubby: Yep, it's become much harder to get noticed.
bunny: Do you think there are a lot of players out there who do not have the opportunity to visit LANs or compete offline that are capble of reaching the level most gosu's have reached?
Grubby: The level of skill in general has gone up a lot since Reign of Chaos, it's only natural that it also becomes harder to stand out from the crowd. Definitely there are always people who might be good if they had the opportunity, but because of too poor internet or no national qualifiers, never have the chance to prove themselves properly.
bunny: What does it take now to become pro? Do you still believe its practice, practice, practice? or has it evolved to more than just that?
Grubby: It definitely starts with practice, practice, practice. The true difference after that is made by a combination of good behaviour, intelligence, and creativity.
bunny: What are your thoughts on players who are only considered gosu because they know how to take advantage of the current imbalance, so to speak?
Grubby: IF Bloodmage was the best hero in the game, and IF it was feasible for Human to tech to tier 3 with only 1 Guard Tower and no Footmen and mass Flying Machines, Angry_Korea_Man would win everything. However, this would not be so impressive, because that's all he does. If you do only 1 thing which happens to be best, you can win a lot but it's not creativity or micro that's awarded, but doing the right strategy even if it obviously won't work, it will still be done and in some cases it does work. The strategy can just be seen from a replay so it's nothing more than tracing the lines fo a picture, whereas the true wc3 master is like an artist, a picasso, or rembrandt, and many less known but still talented painters.
bunny: Who do you think is most successful at doing this right now at top level play? For most part, at high level gaming, sometimes executing the right strategy won't always win it for you.
Grubby: The difficult thing about this is what you should judge "skill" on. Do you judge skill only by the quality of someone's gameplay, or also on how *HARD* it is to execute that gameplay? This is a very hot topic with most people not even realising it. There have been soooooo many BW vs WC3 discussions about which game is better and I've found that the disagreements mostly spawn from different ways to measure skill. It can, for example, be extremely challenging to play Tetris with a ball-mouse where the ball is missing, but that doesn't make it a better or harder game than wc3. Just the same, I think most comparisons of BW and WC3 don't do justice to either of the games. Most people who advertise the superiority of BW do so because it's a harder game to play, using APM as an example. But another example that is given, is that for example spell-casters need to be selected seperately while casting, because otherwise you'll get 10 psionic storms in 1 location which doesn't do more damage than 1 psionic storm. However, I fail to see how an obsoleted game engine proves that it requires more skill, or how that's something to be proud of.
To me, BroodWars seems to be much harder to control partly because the game engine is so obsolete. Control groups respond less readily and units have lower AI. If that's what it takes to give a game quality, I say remove every single hotkey there is for WC3 and let's see how much harder WC3 is than BW. However, that would just be stupid, and perhaps it would also be stupid to condemn "1-strat-wonders" or "low-micro-strats", because it's not about how hard a strategy is to execute, but about how effective it is and how well it works in a situation. A lot of people seem to care even more about how hard it is to execute a strategy than about the result of it. It might be very hard to stand on one hand with your foot in your mouth, but it's more impressive to see someone do a spin on the floor with both legs in the air; while that may be a much easier move. That's why I think the animosity towards low-micro-strategies is unfair.
bunny: Now let's have some fun and do free association where I say one word and you answer with your initial thoughts.
Grubby: Bleh, I don't like towerrushes... the only reason these should be used is to punish someone who takes a risk too big, not to defeat someone who makes full tier 1 against your full tier 1. Besides, the games will be too short :/
Grubby: Poor misunderstood guy... I understand a lot of people don't like towers, but it's one of the things I enjoy most in this game; watching replays of people who tower shamelessly. Keep up the good work mate!
Grubby: Teamspirit, diversity, fun; it's one of the things that keep WC3 so much fun for me.
Grubby: Inventiveness: 6/10 Execution: 10/10 Friendliness: 10/10
Grubby: I think APM is an indication of how fast someone is, not how good someone is... though I think anything below 150 is really too slow for someone who want to reach top player, and anything above 300 takes away from the efficiency of your clicks.
Grubby: Learn from the best! Also source of great enjoyment.
Grubby: Uhm... fourkings?
Grubby: Adventure, unforgettable experience, getting to know good friends even better
Grubby: One of those deeply ingrained words in the WC3 scene I'd rather do without
Grubby: ahahahahaha, one of the less dangerous MMORPGs, a game which does not only require mass gaming but also some good sense of mind, a game which offers me some relaxation and fun when I want to lose myself in time for a short while :)
Grubby: which one?
Grubby: Funniest bar of chocolate in the whole wide world
Grubby: Nice guy & good micro & better random player than I am
Grubby: SK-forums are informative because gossip as well as results spread like fire there, but the stupidity of some people here are mind boggling and the trolling of others makes it a very unhabitable place.
Grubby: A great source for good replays, though most are transferred to websites I visit more frequently. Owe them a great deal of gratitude for the honour of inviting me to the StarWars match in china! So important site for me and the WC3 community.
Grubby: The staff is admirable in how important they are to the community, and the replays are usually plentiful. However, I'm not sure you'd want my opinion on the many of the visitors of this site... :P At least the guys that comment here seem largely ignorant and out to hurt people rather than be constructive or have interesting discussions which leave freedom of speech as a standard.
bunny: AT ???
Grubby: YES PLZ lol. Nah, it gives me instant associations of those people who are amazingly enough completely oblivious to the chance of that happening when they ask me on the rare occasions that /o igw isn't protecting me from getting a heart attack.
Grubby: Religious rituals I can't relate to
Grubby: ? :)
Grubby: cute pig
Grubby: Best game development company EVER- with the only blemish on their name being WoW
Grubby: In the eye of the behoslder
Note: The interview was done prior to the release of the latest TFT Patch 1.20, so before publishing this feature I asked Grubby to give us an update on what his thoughts were of the recent changes made.
bunny: What are your opinions about the new patch? Was it what you expected?
Grubby: Every patch brings new life to WC3 :) So a patch is a good thing no matter the content. In this case, a lot of issues were fixed. I really like the Spirit Walker change and the Raider Ensnare reduction time (it was ridiculous) and the -1 Destroyer armor and the -1 Tower Armor per Masonry. All much-needed changes, though I would've liked to see Dryads get a small cost raise. The maps are also refreshing. I'm enjoying war3 a lot more again, like always after patches.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FANS
GGL.GoKu: If you were to leave 4K and join another team, which would it be and why?
Grubby: First and foremost I've never seriously considered nor do I ever see myself joining another team. To humour you by pure speculation, I'd have to say it would probably be an all-Dutch team since that adds a nationalistic sense and enables me to speak my native tongue more often (a language which I'm all but neglecting while on-line these days :) ).
I would also strive for it to have a positive impact on the Dutch gaming scene so people in the Netherlands start to get an inkling of a clue as to what is is what we're really doing 'out here'.
br0ken7: What do you think is a better accomplishment, WCG or WEG?
Grubby: After I won WCG I once said in Korea, "the next challenge are the Korean leagues", and I still stand by that. It's very hard to compare the better accomplishment in a 50m sprint and a 4km marathon, and that's how I also see the difference between these two. I meant of course MWL & OGN as opposed to WCG; because WEG didn't exist yet.
For those saying I failed miserably in those while I won WCG, therefore ranking the difficulty between the two; that's not how everyone was talking when I was 3-0 in the MBC league. When you consider my losses were but 3 out of 8 games between OGN/MBC, 2 of which were attributed to who many people refer to as the best player in the world, I fail to see why I should feel miserable (which I don't).
Concludingly I think WCG is a much more notable accomplishment than WEG, though the way in which WEG I & II were won is more impressive than how WCG 2004 was won.
Mandos.: How long do you see yourself continueing as a profesional gamer?
Grubby: I can't see my future in 1 month, let alone answer such a (commonly asked) question, when my life involves so many big unknowns :)
NoBigThing: Plans for 4K to return to Korea in the near future?
Grubby: We have the wish to, through reminiscing we've come to miss that time, but I don't know if it's possible with real life obligations taking priority :)
soadfan09: If you could have any player in the world for your team. Who would it be and why?
Grubby: That's insider information! Naturally we don't disclose our internal discussions about potential players for recruitment, though I'd have to say we also don't really need a new player as it currently stands, as we've showed so far.
Snowi: In Dutch: "Hoe voelt het nou om Neerlands trots te zijn?"
In English: "How does it feel to be (the)Dutch pride?"
Grubby: In Dutch: HHet voelt eerlijk gezegd helemaal niet zo... er zijn maar HEEL weinig Nederlanders die bereid zijn om ervoor uit te komen dat ze trots op me zijn van de mensen die dat dan al zijn, en de rest is dat gewoon sowieso niet. Er heerst weinig nationaliteit op dit gebied en de grote meerderheid van me fans zal ook in het buitenland liggen, bijvoorbeeld in China. 'tis Haast of ik China's trots ben... :)
In English: To be honest it doesn't feel like I'm Dutch Pride at all... there are but VERY few Dutch people who are actually prepared to admit that they're proud of me, and that's of those that actually are proud of me; the rest isn't in any case. There is little nationality in this area of expertise and it should also be said that the majority of my fans is probably in other countries, like in China. It would almost seem as if I'm China's pride... :)
Krossinc: Do you enjoy where you're at? Was it more fun working your way up to that top level or sitting on the throne? Do you still enjoy it as much as you used to?
Grubby: Yes, I do still enjoy it very much. Yesterday I was in a state of great happiness that we were able to keep our WC3L winstreak even against such a fierce and worthy opponent such as SK. We also prepared more than a week for that clanwar. I don't think I have the right to say *I'M* sitting on the throne; but of course it feels good to be able to have such a confidence that you know that there aren't many things which you couldn't achieve when you try your hardest (this goes for WC3 but also for real life; WC3 is not just a game but also a show of psychological strength and it's about perseverance and a winner's attitude).
k4m1: Other than in Korea have you been recognized as 4K.Grubby during a normal day say... at the supermarket?
Grubby: I have on two occasions that I know of... it was quite strange actually, one such instance was when we were taking a break in the cinema half-way. We ordered some popcorn & drinks and went back into the hall and this guy said (while raising his 2 fingers in the universal sign of peace) "respect for grubby"! I don't know how embarassed I was, but I didn't know what to say. The other occasion was one which I wasn't directly aware of; a guy claimed to have seen me in the AH-to-go (fast-supermarket) which is a good possibility since I like to go there before I travel to stock up on health food like insta-salads or mixed fruit drinks :P There could be other occasions (though I doubt it, I'm thoroughly unknown in the Netherlands) for which the people themselves were unwilling to admit it for some reason or the other.
MockingBird: Oppenent that you have most trouble with?
Are you superstitious?
How do you stay focused?
Grubby: Opponents that I have most trouble with are really good friends; I am superstitious where it fits me to soothe my consciousness or where coincidence has led me to believe so (imo the 2 main reasons for superstition); staying focused is a matter of concentration, preparation and superstition (drinking a lot of water has a magical effect on me, a sort of trigger-thought which activates my competitive beast within me)
Fr0st: (Classic) Rice or noodles?
Grubby: Rice. Noodles is no match.
pootie: Has the time you have invested into Warcraft thus far been worth it?
Grubby: Definitely, no great accomplishments come without sacrifice. But that's something to be proud of for me, not regret.
AreBelongToUs: Boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Which players' replays did you watch to get to the skill level you are at?
Grubby: briefs !
4K's current winning streak & winning WCG.
I started out long time ago with watching replays from what to me were such great and unreachable players as: mTw-Taker, ocr.d-link.kookian, wise_gray, dayfly (ofcourse), bestwolf, angels, krazikatt, hazeem (admitting it with shame), and probably some others. The most funny example I had though was some guy named god on east or something who had 124-1 with extreme towerrushes only, coming from the middle of the map all the way to the enemy's base :D Great source of inspiration :)
unsinn: Do you think that if you would have stayed longer in Korea, you would maybe have been able to dominate tournaments/leagues as you did in Europe/International tourneys? Will you participiate in next WEGs?
Grubby: Yes I do think so, as CADX2-craft once said, everyone is a slave of his or her environment. Never saw a more truthful thing regarding the Warcraft gateways. All I would need was time and the same amount of perseverance. On the other hand, I don't know if I would be happy to live for such a long time in such an unknown and (to me) strange country and this could affect my domination :)
WEG: can't say anything about that yet.
Seryph: What's your favorite DOTA hero (if you play DOTA)?
Grubby: I don't play DOTA :P
Grubby wins eSports WC3 Player of the Year 2005
blaze: What is the worst pronunciation of your last name that you've heard?
Grubby: copyrighted by SeaWeed, even after proper training on my part, end result was no worse and no better than 'sggkenkhousah"
BetrayerOfLight: What are your thoughts about the current AMM?
Grubby: I meet too many players which make it too boring for me to try my best which results in losing to players I shouldn't lose to. On the other hand, even medium players have surprising tricks up their sleeves which fine tunes me to various surprises more than any other AMM could prepare me for. In short: less 600-600 players would be nice, and levels more meaningful, too.
Right now I sit back and play with 1 hand if I meet a level 50, and if I meet a level 10 I know it's a smurf with good potential which is what I'll try hard for... it should be the reverse. Overall, I'm more pleased with this AMM than any previous AMM though, because one constant is that I'll always find a game in under 30 seconds which is infinitely more useful than waiting 30 minutes for games like in the past.
Krossinc: Who do you believe are some players who will make a big impact on the scene in the near future?
Grubby: If I told you, it might influence them in such a way that they had to live up to my expectations, therefore cancelling out my foresight! I'll have to keep you in the dark with this one, but let's say I've been right on quite many occasions and equally many times I was wrong (IMO) :)
Amez: How come we haven't seen AbuseYouDNA on top of the Northrend ladders recently? With whom do you usually play practice games? What are you doing to get ready for your title defense at WCG?
Grubby: Because I'm no longer interested to abuse anyone's DNA anymore. I might be interested to make such adjustments in the future when I think it's necessary.
With good players whose game ethics I like.
Nothing yet, too far off :)
Talliusc: Any chance of seeing 4K.Shortround in this season of WC3L or is that something we're going to have to wait for?
Grubby: We decided recently that the recruitment of Shortround would not be beneficial to either party. This was concluded on mutual agreement of Short and 4K that there was no need anymore... his character, skill, or any question of legality were NOT relevant topics.
catfish: What is the biggest/best thing/prize you have ever won.? (playing war3), and inversly what is the worst prize you have ever won?
Grubby: Biggest prize $25,000, and best thing that happened to me was internationalisation & friendship in 4K.
Worst prize I've ever won was a "cord holder" of which I haven't figured out the nebulous workings. It's basically an iron polished paperweight with peculiar form, but there's no 'holding' of any cords possible at all O_O... I think there must be some part missing. I'm really depressed with the usefulness of this 'prize'. Luckily it was part of other gadgets and a moneyprize in one of the tournaments which I've won. I won't say which one out of risk of offending a big company (which produces small nothingnesses :D)
Infernal: Would you beat FoV at a drinking game?
Grubby: Please.. this is no comparison. FoV gets helplessly drunk on apple cider...
AMP: What is your opinion on the American WarCraft scene, such as with the recent inclusion of two leagues (CAL & WPL) largely targeted at Americans? Do you think that the "general skill level" of the American players as a whole has improved? Is it enough to even pay attention to as a player of your calibur
Grubby: CAL? WPL? Aren't those means of conducting internet through cable?
I don't think that American cups are currently very well developed (prize-money wise) or if they are, I wouldn't know about it. American 'talent' always seems to have the cultural inhibition of extreme prejudice against them. Talent is more often looked at as 'no-lifers' than 'talent', in USA more so than in any other country as far as I know. That's why I don't think we can see any American dominance soon.
In fact Wizard was a surprise to me, and I point out one of the main reasons of his albeit short succes being his complete lack of regard for what people think of him which gives him a great aura of confidence. I also believe that's who he really is. That makes him funny and has him wearing unfashionable pants and doing something which the majority of Americans perceive as 'wrong'. It also means his gameplay hasn't had to suffer under that regime. I think only few others can surpass that from USA...
CaN-of-IEL: Grubby, I have just restarted playing wc3. I am currently top 10 in 2vs2 on azeroth with one of my best friends. Lately, we haven't been doing as well and both think that we are better than how well we are playing. I have been solo'ing alot lately because I think it will help me improve my micro but I find myself getting seriously out played every game most times being against nightelves. So my question to you is: What do you sudgest is the best practice for a player in my position is to get better in solo?
Grubby: I have always found in my own work, that zeroing in tightly on a particular problem is self-defeating. Why not relax and talk about something else, and your unconscious mind - not labouring under the weight of concentrated thought - may solve the problem for you.
sTr1nG: Do you enjoy smoking marijuana?
Grubby: Do you enjoy owning a gun?
Grommash: Your favorite games (of course beside Wc3)?
Grubby: Fantasy Empires by Silicon Knights (old RPG/RTS mix with orcs,dwarves,humans,undead,halflings,elves and 5 types of heroes: magic user, fighter, elf, dwarf, cleric (with sub-class druid)). Really cool! And Populous II which is also a RPG/RTS mix, much more known of course, with a lot of macro involved regarding building your town and terraforming the landscape, while trying to gather big hero strengths. How cool it was to see 100 of 'treemen' splitting up... (for the connoisseurs!). Those are my two other fave games.
Nuget: Dear Grubby,
Can you explain your mental processes while approaching different scenarios during different times of the game. For example, your opponent and yourself have low upkeep armies and you engage in battle. What do you first all the way to what you do last? Spells? Position? Micro? etc. How about when your opponent comes to harrass you? What do you think about when you are under pressure (within the game itself, not pressure from your context such as fans at LAN's etc)?
How often do you look at the minimap? Watching your replays I see you are very good at splitting your hero and army and harrassing with the hero and creeping with the rest. How do you keep track of both groups? Constant flicking between the groups, looking at the unit icons in the status bar below etc?
Do you like trance? Your home country boasts some of the biggest names such as my hero Armin van Buuren. Are you a fan of his?
Grubby: Dear Nugget, What you ask of me is to explain things which come to me instinctively. Do I check the minimap often? Do I flicker back and forth between my armies or do I keep track by looking at the HP bars? I honestly couldn't tell you without various experiments. Explaining 'my mental processes' is too complicated, for it is the accumulation of years of training, asked to be translated to a few words in one or two paragraphs. General rules that apply to the Prioritizing of Battle Actions is to do the most important thing first, and the least important thing last.
I enjoy trance when introspecting, as it strengthens that sort of mood. Music has this kind of effect on me...
FuBaR-: (1) How long have you been playing the piano and how good are you? Do you think that your time on the instrument contributed to making you such a fast typer and such a skilled player (given the intense speed and hand-eye coordination required at the top level).
(2) Your vocabulary and grammar is very good for somebody whose second language is English. How did you become so proficient? Do you like to read, do you have a really good teacher?
Grubby: (1) Actually I think gaming (since it came first) has given me the affinity with the keys of the piano, but I wonder if musical talent or interest is really there. This is because I've already stopped again and I can't keep myself interested for long enough to become actually good. Quite to the contrary with wc3, where I can't remember ever having grown *really* tired of practicing to become better.
(2) Good general reasons are subtitled TV shows and movies rather than having them dubbed; original language video games and books; English education starting at 11 yrs old. I also did a bilingual course in school which had me following the half of my classes in (British) English for about 6 years. And yes, I enjoy reading a LOT...
Prime.zeroth: Have you ever played or seen people played Starcraft? If yes, how do you think WC compare to SC as a RTS game? If Blizzard releases a new RTS game in few years, would you switch or would you still play WC?
Grubby: I've played Starcraft for about 5 years on and off, more off than on. It's an exciting game with infinite possibility for 'perfection' when it comes to handling several things at a time. The 'always build more worker units' concept appealed to me, but the low variety of strategies was less interesting and made it boring, unless i was messing around with Queens and such. If Blizzard releases a new RTS game, I'd DEFINITELY try it out and try to see if it's better.
OLBATAR: What are you thinking about when you are about to start an important game, during the few minutes before the host press "start" button.
Grubby: My immediate concern is to kick anyone who doesn't belong in the game or whom I don't know, because they can cause problems with lag and freezing. Then I'm thinking about all the preparation I've gone through so far. Then I'm just focusing with a 'do not disturb me stare' at the minimap and imagine creeproutes and possibilities branching off to here and there, so I get attuned to what I need to do in the start and how I might be forced to adapt.
7smurfs: Which Orc unit is the sexiest?
Grubby: The spiritwalker, in and out of your bedroom without so much as opening the door. How's that for pleasant surprise!
sonicboozy: Can you explain what happened in this game?
Note: Due to the ladder reset, the link to the game mentioned above no longer exists. It was a 4v4 RT match with Grubby and FuRy on opposite teams and Grubby's team had lost.
Grubby: FuRy and I had hosting problems, so we couldn't go AT :P Searching 4v4 RT together had a reasonable chance we'd get in the same team... but we got in opposite teams. This lowlife traitor had put up all his allies to rush me (and declared so quite openly) and my allies were less co-operative (or comprehensible). It's always fun to hear "Rush" after 15 minutes when the guy finally made 3 Huntresses. To make a long story short, I thought we were playing casually so there I am with my fortified burrows and 2 Wyverns and level 2 Farseer against Fury's Death Knight, 5 and 8 Destroyers and 2 of his allies focusing my heroes~ ^^
Grubby versus Moon
FAMQ (Frequently Asked Moon Questions)
Question: Are you afraid of Moon?
Grubby: No, I am not afraid of Moon. As I've said before, I hold Moon as a player in very high regard. In fact I feel that he belongs more in starcraft because warcraft seems too easy for him. I don't completely understand the necessary connection of moon whenever I'm mentioned and the reverse, but it's very flattering. I know my chances of winning are very low (not 0%), especially when you realise several facts:
NE > ORC on most maps
Moon > ORC on all maps
Remember that realism does not indicate fear.
Question: But why are you dodging Moon at events then?
Grubby: I am not dodging Moon at events. It's very silly to draw conclusions on such foundations as that I'm making life-important decisions such as not going to WEG. Is Moon dodging me by not playing in WC3L anymore? Of course not. You have to realise that none of my important decisions (and similarly, his) are made to please the critics.
Question: Why aren't you going to WEG then?
Grubby: For that I have my reasons. First of all, for me it's a very unattractive tournament system, in the very sense that I don't like it at all. Best of 1 with a specifically assigned map for game-breaking matches, seems to me much more based on luck or bad luck than bo3's with double elimination for example. There is no way to justify an ORC vs UD on LT for example, just as there is no way to justify an ORC vs NE on Turtle. Secondly, I couldn't go even if I wanted to. I'm actually starting university soon (12 september) so there's no possible way to take a 1 month-time frame out of my studies. Apart from that WEG III will even have conflicting dates with WCG and I don't know how that'll be handled.
Question: Who is better, you or Moon?
Grubby: How can you judge such a thing? Which is better, rock papers or scissors?
Ry(a)N: Were u ever trained and by whom?
Grubby: I wasn't trained, but there were always individuals who have lighted certain paths of darkness. The main force must come from within oneself. I'd like to use that opportunity to name few who I've really remembered:
Lusted_Rice; I don't even know if that was an AKA or a known player or a faded-away player, but I remember his selfless help to me when I looked up to him, giving me advice when I asked for it.
mTw-Tak3r; helped me to towerrush nightelves, something which I enjoy doing til this date, also never asked something in return when I requested help at that time.
All of my brothers Arthur, Jorrit & Taco who at various intervals have shared some of their superior life's wisdom with me at times where I needed it.
My father who claims he knows the game better than me and takes credit for at LEAST half of my accomplishments indirectly through coaching/ nurturing : D (all in good fun).
Each of the 4Kings players Zeus, Fury, ToD, and Fov for who helping me is an assumption, not a question, which is nevertheless appreciated greatly despite of its normalcy.
And lately Rotterdam who has shown promise and hopefully prove himself @ LAN some time, who has made illogical thinking logical for me sometimes :)
Grubby: I'd like to thank Intel for their continued support of our gaming through 4Kings and to everyone who loves watching my games. Cheer for me! I will try to bring more victories to the horde ^_^
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