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Crossing Over: Grubby
by Ciel

Where are they now? A question that many of us Warcraft III fans ask with regard to our former idols: The Warcraft III pros. Well, in most cases the answer is but a simple one. They are now playing Starcraft II, of course.

Every Thursday WCReplays will be catching up with a former Warcraft III player who has since 'crossed over' to Starcraft II. Once we've tracked them down we'll be asking these players a series of questions in relation to both Warcraft III and Starcraft II. This week we'll be finding out why the King of Orcs isn't also the King of Protoss. That's right, it can only be Grubby.

General Information

Real Name - Manuel Schenkhuizen
Age - 25
Nationality - Dutch
Warcraft III Race - Orc
Starcraft II Race - Protoss
Favourite Warcraft III Map - Lost Temple
Favourite Starcraft II Map - Terminus
Favourite Warcraft III Unit - Witch Doctor
Favourite Starcraft II Unit - Carrier
Favourite Warcraft III Hero - Farseer
Warcraft III Achievements - 1st place WCG 04/ESWC 05/Blizzcon 05 and many, many more
Starcraft II Achievements - 3rd place Copenhagen Games 2011

 


The Frozen Throne expansion saw Warcraft III change quite substantially. Do you think that Heart of the Swarm will have a similarly big impact on Starcraft II?

I hope so. I think Warcraft III became a lot more interesting with Frozen Throne's release. I'm hoping Heart of the Swarm will do the same for Starcraft II. 


How do you feel when playing former top level Warcraft III players in Starcraft II? Is there an added level of pressure in that situation?

It seems easier to me because I know a lot more about their tendencies.


Does your Blizzard fanboyness extend beyond RTS titles? Are you psyched for Diablo III? Have you ever given WoW a shot?

I'm super psyched for Diablo III but that's a dangerous game for my progaming career. I'm not sure I should get too involved. I never played World of Warcraft outside of early beta.


What are the most useful things you learned in Warcraft III that you carried along to Starcraft II?

Mindset, tournament experience, the best ways to practice, and confidence.


Similiarly, did your Warcraft III play ever hinder your Starcraft II ability? Over-microing, perhaps?

Yeah, I think it used to. Overmicroing, different approaches in relation to expansion timings, different priorities, thinking 50-Food armies are effective... but I'm not too bothered by all that anymore.


Would you say there are any similarities between the Warcraft III and Starcraft II races?

At first I thought Orc and Protoss would be quite similar but now I don't think that at all. The Sentry's Forcefield is vaguely reminiscent of the Raider Ensnare ability in that you control fights with it, though it is still pretty different. I also don't see a unit that's quite like the Raider (for some reason Marauder is more like that). My favourite Warcraft III unit is the Witch Doctor; there's nothing more like it than Creep Tumors. Furthermore, I thought Protoss was going to be "the melee race" (because of Zealots) but it's more like Night Elf in the sense that you usually have a big ranged army which needs to squeeze itself in to tight corners in order to be effective.


Do you miss the RPG elements that Warcraft III had? Heroes, items, mercenaries...

Yep, they're what I miss the most!


Warcraft IV or Heart of the Swarm?

I'd rather take something I know is coming/here now over a vague possilbility in the future. Heart of the Swarm. I'd be super psyched for Warcraft IV if it ever comes, though.


Have you played the Starcraft II campaign? Do you have high hopes for Heart of the Swarm's?

I've played but not finished. Multiplayer started taking precedence since I was playing the Assembly Finland tournament early this year. I haven't quite finished the campaign yet and now I'm not sure I ever will. Probably will, though, it was really quite good.


Do you miss Gnolls? You've got to, right?!

Haha, not really. The creeps I enjoyed killing most were Ogres. No poison, no Purge; nice 'n easy!


What one, non-balance change would you make to Starcraft II?

Clearer graphics. I find it hard to distinguish colors between two players in a mirror matchup. I also find it hard to spot Fungal Growth on Stalkers. Also, I think you should be able to tell from a Hellion's pilot flame whether he has Infernal Pre-Igniters upgraded.


There was a time when you were truly dominating the Warcraft III scene and were known by many as the "King of Orcs". Do you think you can reach a similar level of success in Starcraft II? How does "King of Protoss" sound?

Nothing is impossible but it seems unlikely. Statistically, in 2004/2005/2006, I was like the 80% favourite to win in most tournaments I participated in. It wasn't like that in 2007-2010 anymore, though I still did well and won a major tournament practically every year. It would be nice if I could do increasingly better in Starcraft II. If I don't, it won't be through lack of trying!

I guess the nickname wasn't just for pure tournament results, but for providing the community with miscellaneous efforts such as strategy articles, Q&As, extensive interviews, and whatnot. I'll definitely continue to do all I can and should to deserve the name of King of Orcs or Protoss. =) Thanks!


On the Dutch TV show 'De Wereld Draait Door', they showed a video clip of you talking to Gary Kasparov, former Chess master. You mentioned in the show that Warcraft III was infinitely more complex than Chess. Do you feel the same way about Starcraft II?

That's right, the rules of Warcraft III are more complex than the rules of Chess. You can explain Chess to a new beginner in 15 minutes and spend another hour going over basic openings and strategies and how to control the board. In Warcraft III you would need dozens of hours to explain each element of the game. High level play is extremely intricate for both Warcraft III and Chess, of course, and the same goes for Starcraft II. I do think Starcraft II is a lot simpler than Warcraft III in the sense that it is more straightforward and easier to understand the action. That does not mean that Starcraft II is necessarily easier to play at high level. Of the three, Starcraft II is also the youngest, therefore also the least developed.


Whenever you participated in a Warcraft III tournament you were almost always one of the favourites to win and people looked up to you. When you switched to Starcraft II all of a sudden you were the underdog. How did you deal with this sudden switch of roles?

That's fine by me. More shockwaves to send through hyperspace if I do win!


Finally, any shoutouts for your (WC3 or SC2!) buddies or sponsors?

A big round of applause for supporter of eSports and Team Grubby; SteelSeries! Without them I'd not be able to do what I'm doing. Also some love to egsonline.eu where we recently held the Grubby Jersey Give-away Cup and Enuzi Clothing who created my tournament apparel.

Specifically for you guys at WCReplays, do you guys remember Joshua "Raihn" Keyes? He did some cool designing stuff at WCR. He's currently doing some freelance art work for me and doing a great job of it. Consider this a reference letter; he's doing awesome. Fine out more about him and how to contact him at JoshuaKeyes.net.

The freelance art that Raihn worked on for Grubby turned out to be a redesign of his website; FollowGrubby.com. Check it out. Next Thrusday, ThomasG is Crossing Over's subject of interrogation.





  1. uuuuuuuup

  2. Been looking forward to this! nice interview : )

  3. Thank you Ciel! :D Great interview. Good luck Grubby!

  4. Favourite Warcraft III Hero - Farseer




    DO WHAT?!?!?!?! :P

  5. i think you missed wc3 in 2002-2006 :)

    yes - orcs were ruled by farseers :D

  6. Good interview!

    I like the portion with the chess comparison, mostly because I think Grubby went crazily off the rails there and those sort of remarks tend to be the most interesting to think about.

    The remark about RTS being infinitely complex relative to chess is technically true, but also trivial. From the pure calculating strategy perspective, both games are well beyond the point of complexity where any human mind can come close to solving them perfectly.

    But more importantly, premium skill in RTS games also happens to depend more strongly on your ability to execute moves than on your ability to think of something brilliant. This actually makes RTS a closer relative to sports than to chess, which has no such execution component at all. Would you call soccer infinitely complex compared to chess? Again it could be considered technically true, but comparing those two at all in such a way is more obviously silly.

  7. @ BlackBadger

    When I saw he called wc3 ''infinitely more complex than chess'' my eyeballs popped out of their sockets. Although, when I thought about it, it did make sense in a certain way. Very dangerous thing to say in any case, even though at first glance it might seem correct. I refrain myself from saying such things, and I'd expect the same from a professional like grubby. When one becomes an expert in a certain field( in this case wc3), you'd expect him to become more humble and aware of the fact that he absolutely does NOT know the intricacies of chess.

    Anyway, great interview. Always nice to hear from the Grubbster. Cant wait for the next article

  8. @ BlackBadger

    couldn't agree more.

    I used to play chess competitively on national level and to me it's a riddle to solve from the frist move on, not really a "war" game. Although wc3 needs a lot of stratigical thinking it cannot be compared to chess in any way. Wc3 is played in real time, while chess is played in turns, also there is a huge element of Luck in Wc3 which doesnt exist in chess. And dont let me start on micro, just to point out some of the most obvious differences.

  9. Awesome interview. I'm glad he still knows that WCR exists. Now if he would still play in wc3 tourneys, it would be truly lovely.

  10. Great interview :D

  11. Chess is too hard for me and I could never be very good at it, obviously (train from young age is quite necessary). Yet if you read what I said: the basics are easy to explain in Chess (the high level play is not). WC3 basics take way longer to explain (I explained for 4 h long today to a South African man in the train and I wasn't even beginning to create a whole understanding yet of simple basics)

    edit: Oh and if an admin can remove my clantag I'd be much obliged. Thanks :)

  12. How can Grubby make that conclusion : "War3 is more complicate than chess" ???

    That conclusion is totally wrong. Chess is Turn based, at each step you have about a hundred choice, and at each choice, you have a thousand of thousand possibilities. War3 is real time, you can make a Trial and Error : Attack and retreat and rebuild army. Chess can't do that, if you do wrong, you lose easily.

    If I were Kasparov, i will say to Grubby that : "You are wrong, make a more carefully opinion".

  13. You got about 5 years to get world champion in Wc3, but even you got 15 years, you can not get the champion of Europe in Chess, Grubby.

  14. Awesome interview!

    To the retards that somehow completely ignored what Grubby said in the interview and his post, READ WHAT HE FUCKING WROTE:

    the rules of Warcraft III are more complex than the rules of Chess. You can explain Chess to a new beginner in 15 minutes and spend another hour going over basic openings and strategies and how to control the board.

  15. ^

    This.

    Great interview once more.

  16. @Ptnk.TriZ: I actually met Kasparov, and we spoke already about the same thing. We really respected each other's games. The rules are undoubtedly more difficult in WarCraft III, yet I never said it's more difficult to play, nor that I could become good at chess ;)

  17. cool interview.

    quoted from a grubby interview six years ago, "my name is Manuel Schenkhuizen, I'm kind of a professional' gamer if such a thing exists."

    gaming has come a long way o.o'!

  18. I think clearly RTS games are more difficult than chess. There are so many more things to consider in an RTS game, actions to implement, constant use of eyes and hands, not even beginning to mention the strategy aspect of the game. However Chess is obviously infinitely more subtle than any RTS. Because there's much fewer things to consider in chess (the board, the strategy) and the strategy is so complex each move becomes a range of possibilities that only great depth of mind can actually perceive and exploit.

    To summarize, Chess has much fewer aspects but is much more subtle, while RTS games have tons of necessities just to implement a strategy (which in itself is quite a complex thing - but nowhere near to the level of chess)

    Btw thanks to Grubby and WCR always love to see new content and hear your thoughts

  19. i dont know, when you watch top top top players play RTS, whether it be Starcraft 1 or WC3 (sc2 isnt there yet) they are very subtle, and a lot of thought has gone into their actions.

    However, it is trivial to discuss it, to coin an old phrase, its like comparing apples and bananas

  20. to learn basics, deffinitely chess, to master the game its hard thing to say. id give an edge to chess here cuss wc3 has been 'solved' and its all the matter of execution.

  21. @grubby
    liar, you can not "edit:" comments in here, :P

  22. ^ Can too!

  23. Try to teach a fourty year old man wc3, then u will see what grubby means.

  24. For like 2 years every time i type "replays.com" i become a little bit sad. I realised WC3 its "getting old" and dies slowly. (and mostly because of blizzard and its SC2)
    I see moon, grubby and other warcraft3 players going for sc2 but i know for sure they miss their heroes and their great micro and that they will NEVER EVER love SC2 as much as wc3.
    I hate blizzard for all my heart. They could come up with wc4. But they have no intention. (why bother 2 strategy games in the same period ....not a good ideea for business)
    Sorry for my bad english and ty grubby for still beeing here. (at least for a while :))

  25. great interview!!!

  26. Nice article :)

  27. I'm late to the party, but yeah.. he has balls to say that to Kasparovs face, true or not, haha.

  28. Wow I cant believe Grubby met Kasparov. That is so weird! Wouldn't it be awesome if Grubby and Kasparov played starcraft 2 together as a team on bnet, 2v2 ? LOL. I wish I could find the video for Grubby's talk with Kasparov, but everywhere I look the link is bad :(