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About BabyToss

  • Rank
    Ex-Aspire StarCraft 2
  • Birthday 10/09/1984

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Profile Information

  • Full Name
  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Czech republic
  • Alias
  • Favorite Games
    StarCraft 2
  • Favorite Foods
    Ramen, chicken
  • Favorite Movies
    Star Wars
  • Favorite Music
    Anything trance, melodic metal, rock...
  • Interests
    StarCraft 2, StarCraft 2, StarCraft 2, StarCraft 2
  1. Sadly, there was a huge lack of passion for SC2 not just from you, but the upper management. That I feel is the biggest mistake happening in vVv. Jerry, Doom, Jason, you=> everyone involved in making the crucial decisions in vVv was more interested in LoL. That's fine I guess, but then, there's a problem for SC2 people to even get any support, if all of you basicly didn't care about the game and the division. And honestly, you should've stepped down as SC2 manager and work towards finding someone to replace you sooner, if you, yourself knew you had no longer passion/time/mood for managing SC2 team. We all might've be free of what transpired a week ago. Personally, I felt the lack of passion from any of you was the biggest downer, and dropping John was simply the proverbial last straw. Alas, I've moved on and accepted that everyone makes mistakes. Best of luck in what you guys do. ~BT
  2. BabyToss

    2013. The resolutions. The plan. The game.

    Fightingggg.. Always will be behind you.
  3. BabyToss

    2012 - My Year of StarCraft!

    End of the year. Yup, here comes the end of 2012. There's so much I wanted to do, things I've not been able to fit into this busy part of the year. My videologs were neglected for longer than intended. My practice became rather erratic last week again, due to so-called pre-christmas madness. You know, the chores around the house, families keeping us busy. Well, me complaining about the hecticness of year ending, that's not really the purpose of this writting of mine. 2012 - My year of StarCraft! Originally, I actually wanted to make this into a videolog, however, time constraints. But, I would like to look back at this year. Share the upsides, small victories, but also the downsides, struggles. Every story has two sides and the main character of this story is not without struggles and happy moments either. Diamonds are forever! Sufficed to say, that I made it into Diamond sometime in January. That was a good way of starting my year, isn't it? For those following my story so far, as a reminder, and even for those, who are unfamiliar with my story - I originally started out as a really, really low Bronze player, with no RTS/StarCraft/Brood War experience. So yes, for me, that was huge achievement. I was really happy and my motivation was going through the roof. It was certainly one of these small steps on my journey I was happy about. Back then, I was still part of one Czech team, however, the team wasn't very active and I haven't learnt much from them, which was my main grief. I didn't want to be just that "token female" or a team mascot. So, around January, I left the team, to try and join Fem-FX, which used to be female-only team. The worst enemy - myself At the beginning, things seemed all neat and nice with my new team. The team seemed really tight, even though I really struggled with them, as my notorius anxiety was kicking in, and I was really shy around them. There were some nice people along the way, Lydia, who was the team's CEO, was nothing but a super, Austin, who was one of the managers, been a good friend ever since as well. Sufficed to say, by the time I decided to join them, I was already struggling with myself, as depressions seemed to re-emerge, but I didn't want to admit that to myself, I didn't understand the signs, I didn't even understand myself at that point. Around March, things got really bad, and I suddenly dropped everything I had passion for. I was hating on myself, all I could feel was this ever-present fatigue, everything felt like a chore. I couldn't find any enjoyment in my life. I was simply surviving, it wasn't even living. At the top of all, Team Fem-FX's activity dropped. People stopped showing up at practices, and overally, everyone saw StarCraft more and more casually. I knew I needed to have highly motivated people around myself. I knew, that this alone should help me through my depressions, as I somehow seem to be highly motivated by people, who are likely to be highly motivated as well. Forwarding to the end of March, I announced my retirement from Fem-FX. I needed a change and I needed it fast. I needed to find like-minded, highly motivated, and positive teammated. A place, where I could grow not only as a player, but also as a person. Of course, I knew there would be obstacles, given my anxiety issues, which cause me to be really shy around new people, but at the same time, leaving things as they were, that'd mean me withering even further. So, around the end of March, after I left Fem-FX, I actually finally found courage to apply to vVv Gaming. I didn't understand how the team/community operated back then, but I was familiar with their tolerant approach to people, as well as they'd accept you no matter where you were, personally and gaming speaking. Simply said, I hoped I'd find my chance to gradually grow as a StarCraft 2 player, to get over my depressions and solidify my practice at last. The Academy - under construction! Few of those familiar with the situation in vVv Gaming will remember, that vVv gaming's StarCraft 2 community lacked a person, who'd push things forward. I needed something to do, so I basicly did writing and graphics. At that time, my depression was still at it's peak though. I still missed a solid team of like-minded people. An insane idea then sparked my mind. It's something I wanted to find for along time. A team dedicated to growth in StarCraft 2. And since I still had no luck in this regard, an insane idea struck my mind - Why not to try and make an Academy team in vVv Gaming? Both it takes the "Entertain, Educate, Dominate" on the next level, and I'd also be able to have something I've only dreamt of - A solid, dedicated team, who live, breathe and shit StarCraft. I made a very, very long write-up and sent it to the vVv management, crossing my fingers, well aware of the fact that their previous Academy ended up with a huge fail. DreamHack Summer, the personal Trial of Fire...? I have to sidetrack here a bit. The Academy project was still in discussion between me, LordJerith and some other people from the management. But, I was starting with practice again. After solid 5 months of erraticness and lack of practice, I was getting back to it. I saw a hope, something to aim for. Despite of me still struggling with depressions, I felt a bit more energetic once more. So, when an opportunity to travel to Dreamhack to Sweden emerged, I was shitting gold bricks. I saw it as an opportunity to learn, grow and also to fight my personal struggles. And surely I did fight them. I also learnt a lot. I was on emotional rollercoaster. Sheding tears after defeat by Merz, but also happiness, that I could breathe that all-StarCraft 2 atmosphere. Happiness from meeting White-Ra, who is someone I truly look up to. Being glad for meeting some of the people I've known only online until then! After DreamHack, I've made many realizations. How much StarCraft 2 means for me, and how much I needed to grow stronger as a person, if I was to pursue this passion. The Academy - Emerges! On 4th July, while still being on holidays with my family, after being in a car-crash (yeah, rough patch there), the vVv Academy team was announced officially on the team's page. Me being me, I had to get online for the launch day, despite of being on holidays. It was a big day. Of course, I was put in charge of the team, so I was a team's Captain, manager and player in one. It's just how I do things. I wanted to lead by best possible example, as that's how all good leaders should be. Well, it's something I truly believe. Take it as you wish. The team started with mostly Diamond players, a bunch of guys, who were to suddenly act as a team. It was time for all of us to learn to be a team. And for me to learn, how to be a leader. The only pain you feel, is the growth one! No growth is without pain. Something I learnt during the couse of the time I've been with my Academy team. I see my self-doubts emerging quite a lot. Am I doing my job correctly? Am I truly the captain, manager and player this team deserves? I won't deny it, I've often been feeling really down from the fact, that I am the weakest player in the lineup. I often call myself, literally "a fucking excuse for a player". Depressions in and out, they make me an emotional bomb at time. It is really easy to doubt one's self. Especially when things get out of my control. When self-doubts and lack of good performance occur. The Academy team gives me a purpose, a drive. Something I didn't have for a long time. There are glimpses of moments, when I feel that maybe, maybe I am worth of something to others. That I can be of help. A light in the darkness. I should also mention that to combat my anxiety/shyness, I've began making videologs, to learn expressing myself better while talking (after that disaster in my first ever video-interview at Dreamhack, lol). I believe that during the time I've been doing them, I've actually became less awkward - enough to be bold and if someone asks me ever again (I hate, hate that question), if there's any advantage to being a female progamer, I'll just tell them "Of course, no queues on the female toiletes." with a nice troll-face grin. I've grown very fond of my team. They are my second family away from home. Seeing all of them progress, seeing them grow, I couldn't be more proud of them. Despite of all of my personal bullshit, I've been able to hold, and I know I am not going anywhere. A big part of why that would be would be that team. I don't care how much crap some people throw at vVv Gaming or my Academy team. They don't know us; living in the past. And well, it is true we are not the best players out there, wrecking tournaments, but I have some of the most passionate people on my team. That is what counts. You can't learn that, unlike in-game skills. These can be gained if you train properly. But you can't teach your heart to love something, if it's simply not there. It is my job to cherish this passion, this dedication, not just in myself, but also in them. Epilogue Coming to an end. Everything has an end, and this writing is no exception. What to look forward to? My personal wishes? First of all, I want to become a more solid player, with a good, healthy practice habits. To learn to accept losses and setbacks, not just in StarCraft, but also in general; and that they are not the end of the world. To accept the fact, that I too am just a human being, making mistakes, without going and hating the shit out of myself. To learn to forgive to myself, to be more patient with myself. To be able to see the good, positive things about myself, both in regards to StarCraft 2, but also in general. I want to compete more in StarCraft. Really hoping to go to DreamHack (Early Bird Dreamhack Summer tickets on, Secret Santa, anyone? Wink-wink ) and show a progress! I want my team to have a reason to be proud of me, as a player! And a reason for me to shed tears of happiness! I know I will once the time comes! To feel is to exist, and for a change, I want my feelings to be the happy ones! A new year is closing in. What it will bring? You all are welcome to continue walking this journey of passion with me. As I am nowhere close to the journey's end - after all, I am BabyToss, so to 2013 onwards! PS: Sorry, no pictures this time! Except this one! OP, OP, OP Zerg style!
  4. It's December, a month usually circling around appreciation for others, where we share our thoughts about them and show how much we appreciate them. A month, where we appreciate all these small things. It's also a chance for me to let out that closet fangirl - I don't do this often. Well, could you blame me? I'm 28 years old woman, so it would be it bit odd, to say at very least, to scream like crazy how much I admire someone who can be considered famous. Heh. But, since it's December & I just feel like giving some appreciation to someone I'll probably not talk with to tell them in person during all this upcoming Christmas/December craziness, I'll make a small exception and let the fangirl out of her closet for a while. What or who am I talking about? (You probably know, assuming you read the topic of this article tho!) Here, here, fangirl, come out, you can do it today, I won't shun you away this time. I want to dedicate this little blurb of mine to Aleksey "White-Ra" Krupnyk, my favourite StarCraft 2 player and personality, who's been very inspiring not just to me, but to thousands and thousands StarCraft 2 players out there. What makes White-Ra so special for me, though? His personality. His wittiness. His passion for the game. He is down-to-Earth man, who loves what he's doing. He has his own unique sense of humour. Not only that, for me, he is a perfact example of what a professional StarCraft 2 player should be like. He sets positive trends, which influence the community widely. A natural role model & leader personality, people just want to be "like White-Ra". Showing people how it should be done! I know I do aspire to be like White-Ra! To me, being a "good StarCraft 2 player" means much more than winning a GSL or any other notable tournament. It's the combination of skill & attitude. And White-Ra is exactly like that. He is personable & friendly. A lot of famous players get this "celebrity syndrome" and they'd not come anywhere near "mere mortals" - but White-Ra? Nah, he'll have beers with you if he finds the time His mindset is humble and a yet another reason why I am a fan of White-Ra. Always looking inwards, how to improve himself. His trademark slogan "More GG, more skill" comes into mind. Remember what I said about positively influencing the community? Well, this is another example as to why he is so admirable for me. White-Ra won't even turn you away, even if he loses his games - he always seems to have a genuine pleasure when he can interact with his fans. Another reason, and that is purely subjective is, that White-Ra is close to my own age group. Even though, funnily enough, he played StarCraft for at least half of his life, whereas in my case, it's not even 1/10 of it. Yeah, yeah, BabyToss in her true colours, still a Protoss Baby. That fact makes it easier for me to relate to him; and I also don't feel so "old" in this community. Would you believe it, that all these teenage guys think of me as a "oldie" and I get to be called "MamaToss" in my team? Meeting White-Ra at Dreamhack Summer was a small dream coming true for me. Of course, all cool composure was kept, but you know, the fact I met THE White-Ra in person, that was just priceless. Not only that, he was his perfect, genuine self, doing what he always does - shows good games, interacts with his fans and at the top of all, he really enjoys it. Do I wish there were more players like him? Oh yeah, you bet. The community would be much more heartwarming place. Do I wish to meet White-Ra again? Yup, for sure. Maybe I can finally give him those beers I had to take home last time we met! But you know, share some drinks, laughs, witty StarCraft 2 love or even play some... yup, yup. So, at the end of all of this - my message to you, mister White-Ra, would be - Keep being yourself. Love the game and the community. Keep being the role model & inspirational player not just for me, but also for other aspiring StarCraft 2 players. People like you are iconic in the community and it wouldn't simply be the same without you. Just like you say, win or lose "More GG, more skill!" Also, merry Christmas to you And with that, I am wrapping this up. A bit (well, okay, a lot) different from what I usually write, but hey, it's December and it's good to sometimes unleash that fangirl and allow myself to share that appreciation I usually can't under normal circumstances. Now though, back to my closet! And, if you excuse me, I'm off to watch White-Ra's stream. Time for some SPESHUL TAKTIKS!
  5. BabyToss

    Thoughts on our new application process

    While the new app process is nice, and it really allows people to do what they really want, to shine in vVv Gaming, I see the month or sometimes even longer application process as a bit too excessive, perhaps. Especially with not enough feedback at times (and it did happen in past, it's getting better though) - so the applicant then probably thinks we are not interested in them. I'd say, that it would be wiser to shorten the waiting period to 14 days. It is still enough time for us to see, if they truly wish to comit and be part of vVv, but it doesn't deter those, who want to be part of vVv for too long, to actually be part of it. We've lost some good applicants because of this in particular - I think more direct and quicker approach should be taken, while still upkeeping the brand with the cautious nature we've always had. (pre-interviews & interview with Doomhammer).
  6. [size=5]Another videolog of mine. This time, I am directing my attention to recently discussed topic on teamliquid forums - Academy teams. Should teams do these more? And who should be allowed in such an Academy team? What is a B-team, really? Do we really need to make it difficult for players to have a chance to be in organized team enviroment and become stronger players?[/size] [size=5]I am also talking about developments in vVv Gaming. With the change of our management, there will be also change in SC2 division. Looking forward to developping the new A-team; the team is currently searching for players to fill in that spot. Talking about new weekly clan-matches, which I hope to organize for the Academy.[/size] [size=5]And lastly, since there's less than 2 months left until I go train at Ministry of Win, I briefly talk about that as well. Sharing my fears and struggles with practice due to depressions.[/size]
  7. After longer hiatus, I am back with more videologs. This one is 9th, and I am talking about my experience as a leader/captain/manager of vVv Gaming's Academy team "Aspire". How such experience affects me, what I learnt so far? I am also touching the recent drama & negativity surrounding the whole StarCraft 2 scene. Is the game dying? What is my opinion on this whole negativity and what could be improved in SC2, as a game, to attract more people? At the end, message of the week would be "Complain less, contribute more."
  8. Written by Ott Madis "Oakwarrior" Ozolit Hi guys and gals, I'm back with another interview with the vVv's StarCraft 2 Aspire team, this week it's going to be Jake "vVv_Virulent" Smith, a 23-year-old Zerg player. Currently he's focusing on Wings of Liberty as much as he can, but since he got his Heart of the Swarm invite, he can be seen actively playing the beta as well. Interview with Jake "Virulent" Smith Hey Virulent, how is it going? "It's going pretty good. I got into the HotS beta recently, so having some fun with that." Could you give a short introduction of who you are and what you do? "I'm vVv_Virulent. I’m a junior at Western Carolina University, studying Psychology major and a Japanese minor. I play Zerg right now and I'm loving the fact I actually get to micro in HotS!" Looking forward to HotS myself! Fun times to be had. Could you talk a bit about your early days in StarCraft 2, and how did you end up playing it? "Well, I played Brood War a bit as a kid, but it was just messing around and using the cheat codes on campaign mainly. When SC2 was coming out I was really excited for it. I ended up getting myself into the beta pretty early. I was really really bad at first, I remember when I watched a stream and it dawned on me you didnt have to go one base every game. SC2 is the first RTS I ever played with attempts of getting better." So besides your Brood War expeirence, how did SC2 work out for you and what led you to vVv? "I actually took a break from SC2 when Star Wars: The Old Republic came out. I was playing that for a while and got an invite, into vVv on SW: TOR. Didn't take long to become an Officer, Main Tank, and Raid leader. After I got tired of SWTOR, I decided to start SC2 again and stayed with vVv." How are you doing in vVv right now, being a trainee in the Aspire team? Everything working out? "I'm doing really well. I like the people, there are always good practice partners looking for games. Everyone has a good sense of humor and they are all just solid people. Aspire is set up really well and it just feels like a really refreshing community." How has Aspire affected you as a player, in general? Also, do you think your education (psychology) is helping your play? "Well, under Aspire I have worked my way from mid-diamond to mid-masters, so it’s been going great. As far as psychology goes – not really. You can’t get much about your opponent out like on ladder, but I think it helps after getting to know someone, you can get a deeper insight into how they play I guess " I guess it's pretty hard to read people when they're miles away behind another computer. But, what's the story behind your choice of race and your nickname? "Well I was always named, Idgaf... Then when I started up SW: TOR someone had already taken my name. I was really disappointed but, I was going to be a Sith Warrior. So, I wanted something that sounded Evil and all that good stuff so I went with Virulent. It's stuck with me ever since." How about your playstyle though - do you like to keep it on the offensive or macro up and play defensively? "I would say I'm a reactive player. I don't often start a game with an aggressive strategy in mind. But, I will look at what my opponent is doing and if something triggers a response out of me I will go all-in on a dime." Who do you follow and/or admire in the StarCraft 2 scene, so far? "Well, Jaedong is probably my favorite Brood War player and I'm really excited to see how he will make a name for himself in SC2. I also really enjoy watching Stephano play and I have taken in a lot of his play and incorporated it into my own play. But the player who has probably influenced me the most is vVv_Glon. He’s been coaching me and is an all around great guy and a great player. I really hope he keeps gaining fame and a solid following in the future." Can you tell me what are your short/long term plans concerning StarCraft 2? "Well, my short term goal is to get high masters in WoL! But more of a long term goal is getting into GM in Heart of the Swarm." Pretty sweet plans if you ask me! How would you say StarCraft is affecting your other interests? "I find whenever I'm looking at something or learning something new, I consider it in terms of StarCraft. I actually, at my last univeristy, had a really good group of friends who all played StarCraft so most of my life was dedicated to it. Sadly, however, at my new school, I there’s hardly anyone who plays. I'm teaching one of my friends who picked the game up to play Zerg so hopefully he’ll start kicking some ass soon. " Maybe have him join vVv too! What would you say is your most memorable moment in your StarCraft 2 career? "Well, my favorite moment that's purely SC2 related was the last MLG Raleigh. I was riding with some friends from my last university, and one of them was trying to get rid of half a handle of fireball whiskey. So – he decided it was a good idea to give it to me on the 6 hour ride from Tennessee to Raleigh. I lost my wallet and keys 4 times. Got out of the car in gridlock traffic to smoke a cigarette while walking down the highway talking to other cars, and took a leak in the parking lot of our hotel. By the time I actualy got to MLG I had lost my wallet again and had no money on me to buy my ticket... Thank god I didn't lose my phone, because I texted vVv_Doomhammer and he ended up getting me in and I wandered around drunkenly making fun of League of Legends players and watching awesome SC2 games. My other favorite moment was when some friends from StarCraft and I played Diablo 3 together and one of our group, vVv_Einherjar, played a Barbarian. We got everyone we knew and played with to carry around a stack of pink armor dye. Every time a good item dropped for him, we would dye it hot pink before giving it to him. He thought Blizz was trolling barbarians *laugh*." Just to wrap this baby up – special thanks to anyone? "I'd like to thank Jesus, and my momma, and my baby momma. Wid out y’all, I ain't never be here yo. GAME HARD!"
  9. BabyToss

    vVv Gaming's Aspire - Introduction

    We are often being approached as to if our lineup in this and that tournament is our main vVv Gaming's lineup. It came to our attention that there's not a huge knowledge about the so-called "vVv Gaming's Aspire StarCraft 2 Team". And thus, allow me to shed some light on the team. Take it as a belated introduction, if you will. Aspire.SC2 team was officially launched in July 2012 - with the intent of accepting hardworking, dedicated players, who aim higher than playing couple of games per week, to help them grow, as equivalent of an Academy team, to fill a void on the scene, where only the top players usually have the chance to compete in tightly organized and motivated team. We strive to reach higher levels of the competition and thus, proper commitment and dedication are required, as well as tight organization, similar to one in a professional team, adjusting it to the conditions of the individuals, who are part of the team, as well as the fact, that we are an Academy team, thus a training team. The idea is to harbour three players per race; both to make the team small so people can relate to each other and create positive team atmosphere in the team, as well as to give the team enough space for practicing with each other, further encouraging the team spirit and growth within the measures of team. The players are encouraged to play in individual tournaments, as well as the team managment looks out for the opportunities when it comes to playing in the team leagues. We aim to provide the competitive part of the venture, as we see, that it is needed to further motivate the players to try even harder, especially if they wish to eventually break into the competitive scene of StarCraft 2. We've seen it many times, that an Amateur/Academy team was established, but it's members quickly lost interest, because nothing was really happening within the team, to promote the activity and motivation of it's members. Furthermore, the best behaviour is required from every member of the team; traits like responsibility and ability to communicate are a must. We do not want players, who just show off their rank, we want players, who put in the time and dedication, who have a sense for team-play and understand, that becoming a top tier player means more comittment than just playing the game. Players are hand-picked by the Team Captain and the team management. We look at attitude, will to improve and in order to accomodate current team roster when it comes to practice, for players to fit into current skill level of the team. Team currently caters Diamond to mid-Master level players, but as the time goes and our players progress, this will naturally be raised upon needs of the team, should openings be created. We are currently developping and changing our internal procedures, in order to make our functionality as effective as possible. There are currently two mandatory nights, when the team practices together, other than that, we put huge emphasis on the teammates practicing together and we are attempting our first tokens of competitions in two team-leagues, with the major goal being our improvement & tournament experiences, rather than winning alone. As a side note, our team originally started out as a bunch of inidividuals in Diamond league. As of now, five out of our nine members reached Master league & turned into strong teammates, who aim to improve each other, and we intend to keep that trend growing, in order to provide stronger competition for our adversaries in upcoming competitions. Of course, the team doesn't run on player base alone. We have management and leadership positions, which help the team to run properly - coaches, caster, manager & assistant manager. These are the backbone of the team and are vital part of the organization, in order to provide the players with the strongest experience possible. Jana "BabyToss" Otahalova - Founder Johnatan "Ein" Ballard Jana "BabyToss" Otahalova () Chris "PoSeR" Clauson Ryan "NazguL" Thorton Adam Son "SonTran" Tran Nathan "Wakai" Pigeon Thomas "TuFF" Parker TJ "Fearful" Lopez Ott Madis "Oakwarrior" Ozolit We are hoping that this little introduction post clarifies all of the questions, as well as that it would prevent the future possible misunderstanding as to who we are and what our main goal is. You can follow our team at official vVv Gaming's Twitter - @vVv_Gaming.
  10. Inbound for emotional video log. I talk about the recent VeraLynn drama, where the supposedly GM female Zerg was exposed to be a fraud, sharing my own thoughts and rambling about the issue and the whole issue of being a woman in StarCraft 2 community. On a bit sad note, my depression was creeping back in last two weeks, so I talk about that, to get it off my chest, in hopes it'd help me. I've been there once, for 6 moths, and it's state of mind I do not want to go through ever again. Still conscious enough to realize it, hoping i'd not slip any further into that depression... Mentioning Aspire - Recently, opponent's manager approached me if the guys I sent in were our main lineup, and he'd not grasp why I'd send an Academy team into match when the money are on line. Hear out my thoughts on that.
  11. Written by Ott Madis "Oakwarrior" Ozolit Hello everybody! My name is Ott Madis "Oakwarrior" Ozolit, a vVv community member and lurker (lol), bringing to you an interview series, with vVv's Aspire team. With the Aspire team in vVv well underway with its endeavours, I was asked by our very own BabyToss to complete the interview series with Team SC2 Aspire. First up, or rather fifth up, is actually Jana “vVv BabyToss” Otahalova herself! As a brief introduction to her doings, Jana is a 27-year-old Protoss player, and team captain for vVv’s Team SC2 Aspire. She joined vVv Gaming in the first half of 2012, and has been working hard on her skill and gamer persona ever since. But enough of that, let's hear from Jana herself Interview with Jana "BabyToss" Otahalova Alrighty then, lets start! How are you doing today? "Hey! Well, I had rather rough week, so kind of tired. But eh, gotta fight when it matters." I see, I hope you will get some rest soon enough. Could you give a short introduction of who you are? "Introductions... I am oh so good at those (laughs). My name is Jana Otahalova, although my StarCraft 2 handle is BabyToss and it's how you'll most likely meet me. I'm nearly 28 years old soon - yes, birthday incoming! I live in the Czech Republic, I am married and have a 8-year-old son." Well now that the hardest part is over, lets move to the fun! To the people who haven't seen you around and/or read your blog, could you talk a bit about your early days in StarCraft 2, and how did you end up playing it? "Hardest part over, hm? Getting tricky, aren't we? (laughs) It's a long story actually, so, let me try and shorten it a bit. Originally, I come from an RPG'er background. I love a good story and heroics, so, StarCraft 2 is actually my first RTS and I originally played it only because my husband and son enjoyed it and they simply needed mommy to come play with them. Naturally, I was terrible, as I had literally no idea how to play - so you can imagine, my enjoyment was close to zero. Although, me being me, I didn't want to be the one who was the worst, so I looked into the game and began to learn the ropes of the game. this is how I got to know about Day[9] too, and partially because of his knack for explanations and humour, I finally began delving deeper into the game. Honestly, if you told me, that I'd be so passionate about the game when my husband first brought the game home, I'd just laugh at you. But today, I am happy for that little discovery." Tricky is my trademark I'd say! I reckon it must have been quite the leap from one genre to the other, but you have managed to keep it together in an exemplary fashion, in my humble opinion. How did the next steps in your StarCraft 2 career pan out and what led you to vVv? "Well, the leap was huge, that I can confirm. You know, in RPG's, when you die, you either just load your old saved game or get “rez'd” by teammates if it's an online one. So, much easier (grins). In StarCraft 2, every little thing matters. One mistake and you can easily go and type “gg”, even if the game lasted for half an hour, where you fought a fierce battle. Let alone, the aspects of the game, they were very foreign for me. But, I guess, the fact that the game poses so many challenges in front of me, is the exact reason why I love it so much. The first team I joined was from the Czech Republic and I hoped to learn a lot from them. But, you know what, they only picked me up because I was a woman and I never really got anything from that. I wanted more and this whole female issue in the community really bugs me. I want to get better. Not to be a mere team mascot. That is why I looked elsewhere, ending up in female-only Team Fem-FX; only to find out that both I work better with guys as well as the team was way way too casual for me. I needed more motivated and dedicated people around me. Which is how I actually found out about vVv Gaming. In fact, I'd been watching them since like end of 2011, but I never had the courage to ask to join. In the end, it panned out wonderfully, because I was originally approached by SugarBear if I wished to write for their SC2 section." Talk about a bumpy ride. I guess that's something to be expected when you are in the search for "your own place", so to speak. How is it in vVv right now, with you being the captain of the trainee Aspire team? Everything working out? "Things got really up to the speed once Aspire was launched. It helps to be around like-minded people greatly. Of course there are occasional bumps here and there, but that is to be expected. Nothing is flawless, there always will be stuff which needs to be improved. But you know what? I always wanted to be part of the team, which accepts me for being a StarCraft 2 player, not because I happen to be a woman. And I have to cut slack to vVv Gaming - they never treated me any different because of that. So, it is easy to feel like home, part of the team." That's really good to hear! How has Aspire affected you as a player, in general? You mentioned starting out as a writer, but I reckon that did not stop you from tearing up the ladders and/or training. "Actually, I never took up the offer of being an official writer for vVv Gaming. I straight out came to SugarBear and Jerry, that my main dream was to pursue the dream of improvement as a StarCraft 2 player and a person. I was looking for serious improvement and then idea to form an Academy team in vVv came into my mind. I wrote up a couple of pages about the idea, sent it both to Jerry and SugarBear, with hopes they would support the project. It took some nagging - yes I am highly impatient (laughs) - but here it was. I didn't expect to be put in the charge of the team though, so that came as a surprise, but when you think about it, it makes sense. I know the best what the vision and goals of the team are. Who else was supposed to lead the team than me? Can't blame the old guys, and in the end, I find that particular experience truly enriching for me. I love learning and growing, so, this is an awesome opportunity for me. Annnd well... it is no secret I am not a fan of ladder for practice. In fact, since I began playing with Aspire, I barely even laddered. Either I practice on my private account or pick up my teammates for practice. You know, it helps immensely, when you can go to your teammate and say, ask them to 1/1/1 you a couple of times, so you grab firmer grasp as to how to deal with it. Imagine anything you struggle with, and you can compare it to power-leveling with a higher level group in a MMO! (laughs) Aspire gives me motivation to go on. Before Aspire was formed, I was on a huge depression and it stopped me from playing for nearly 6 months. Because of Aspire, I have a road in front of me again. (smiles)" Wow, your perseverance really paid off, and as for ladder, every player has his own way of improving Now, as indicated by your handle, you're a Protoss player. What's the story behind the race choice and how does it equate into your nickname (cute Zealots aside )? "I was actually wondering if you'd ask! Yes, of course. “My life for Aiur!”, Protoss is the race of my choice (laughs). I originally picked Protoss, because you know, I played Protoss campaign in original StarCraft, purely because of their awesomesauce lore. Remember, I am a RPG'er, so it makes sense. Protoss have the most moving lore and story. And no, I never played Terran nor Zerg and I even used cheats to get through the campaign! (laughs) Just for your information, I was like 12 years old by then, so laughing is not acceptable. My handle is actually a funny story too. You know, originally I went by my old RPG name I was using literally everywhere. But then, my friend and me began playing 2v2's - his handle being PapaToss - and since he was basically helping me with the game, an idea to change my name to "BabyToss" came; it sort of represents the fact that in terms of StarCraft 2 experiences and skills, I am merely a baby, who learns to walk, fight and tear stuff apart, as well as by then, he was really my Protoss daddy back then - symbolically speaking (laughs)." Ah, good ol' “power overwhelming”… I, too, hold a very special place in my heart for the Protoss lore, although I am a Zerg player - I find it's very well written. How about your playstyle though, are you more of an offensive player or do you like to play it more on the safe side? "Well, I am in love with long played out macro games. It's, I'd say, my biggest strength, as back when I started, all I'd hear hurled around at me, would be "learn to macro, learn to macro". It's literally the only thing I ever did since my early days. I play way too safe, sometimes sadly to the point of playing "scared" rather than safe. It often costs me the games, as you have to take a risk at times. Although, this is where mindset kicks in - I am not exactly confident in myself, nor my skills, so it actually soaks into my gamestyle. Something to address, so to speak. On a funny note though, because of that, I am probably one of few Protoss players, who never proxy gated nor cannon rushed! (laughs)" Whoa! Even I tried out cannonrush at one point Who do you look up to, as players or idols, in the StarCraft 2 scene? "The first person coming to mind is always White-Ra. His attitude as well as wisdom, its something I really look up to. He is what I believe should represent the term of "pro-gamer". Being a professional is not only about kicking every ass you meet on the tournament. You need to be a personality. Because, frankly, if we want this industry to grow, we need people, who inspire others, who make others to say "This is what I want to do, and this is how I want to be.". White-Ra is a genuine personality, has a great love for the game and for the scene. I'd like to be like that one day, if I manage to reach these heights, in terms of skills. There are more people I look up to, but White-Ra is the one who I admire the most, thus he is getting a little shout-out here. (laughs) Reminds me I still owe him some beers since DreamHack Summer." It's very heartwarming to see a player with such a mentality, makes me warm and fuzzy inside (laughs). Can you tell me what are your more immediate goals concerning StarCraft 2? A little birdy told me you are visiting the Ministry of Win house early next year! "Ohhh, now I regret plaguing the people I interviewed with this question! (laughs) But it's almost a must, so, let me think about this. My goals are, to actually prepare for my training at Ministry of Win - damn birdies flying everywhere and sharing my oh-so-not-secret... secret (laughs). Right now, because of my personal struggles, lack of self confidence and being prone to tilting/frustration from not playing well enough, my practice tends to be erratic, unorganized and inconsistent. I need to grow stamina in order to be capable of enduring the house's schedule, as well as more immunity to tilting. Of course, will have to hit the ladder, as when in the house, it will be the quickest way for me to get games in. Another goal would be to fix my personal schedule, as even that one is pretty bad at the moment, me going to bed around 4-6 am, waking up at 10 am, barely sleeping at all. So, my goals kind of encompass more than just StarCraft 2 - but again, the mental side, physical side and the game are very interconnected. To fix certain issues you have to work on other, seemingly unrelated issues. It's a challenge in front of me. But I want to face it, and face it fully. Hoping that my teammates will help me on this little quest too. I want my stay at Ministry of Win to strengthen me, both as a player and a person. For me, StarCraft 2 has become part of my life, a way for me to grow as a person, due to many aspects and layers the game hides within. And hopefully, want to cause couple of upsets and all-kills in the team leagues upon my return from Ministry of Win (laughs)!" Noble goals I hope it'll work out great for you! And wow, look at the time flying - I promise, only a few more questions. How would you say is StarCraft affecting your other interests? It would seem that your family, at least is quite hooked on SC2, reeling you in over time. "Well, StarCraft 2, to be totally honest, affected the person I am, completely. I had some rough times in my life, which caused, the loss of all self-esteem and self-confidence. Before, I'd give up on stuff when facing struggles really easily. While I still have the struggles with me, I now have something, which I love so much and which makes me to push forward. I began practicing Karate a year ago as well, to improve my physical shape and mindset, purely because of StarCraft 2 as well. As for my family - well, no, they actually gave up the game, when I began playing better than them. My husband, when we played our last game and I beat him like, 5:0, flew away with his Command Center and was like: "Not playing again, this game is a stupid speedclick" - and this is how he was done with the game (laughs) But, they do support my ventures to grow as a person and player; it's why I actually can go to Ministry of Win, because my husband took it on himself to handle the household and our son during my absence. So, I am not complaining, I am hoping that I can give it all I have, both for my own sake, as well as for my son and husband, who trust in me, despite me being really difficult at times." It's really nice to know that you have their support. Do you have any suggestions for other aspiring (pun intended) players as well, who want to "Go Pro", so to speak? "I cringe when someone says "I want to go pro". Frankly, my goal is not to be a pro and I am not even remotely close to that skill level either. My highest goal is to be as strongest player as I can be, as well as better person, while doing something I love. And this is what I would suggest to anyone "aspiring" to be a pro. Just put your heart and best effort into what you love doing. StarCraft 2 can be an awesome journey, if it's something you truly enjoy and love." Agreed! Another quick one: most memorable moment in your StarCraft 2 career? "Definitely attending DreamHack Summer. I had to face my personal struggles and fears there, being really shy and anxious person, as well as I got to see the most awesome StarCrafty atmosphere in my life. I felt joy, I nearly cried when I lost my game against Merz, but in the end, such an overwhelming event. And I got to meet White-Ra as well! I am hoping to attend DreamHack next year as well... and cause some upsets too! (grins)" Hope to see you kicking ass soon So, wrapping this up, do you have any special thanks you want to give out? "Yeeeah, my favourite part! So, my shout-outs to team Aspire, vVv Gaming - glad I can be part of something bigger, then, my thanks to certain Ryan Rushia, he knows why, can't forget to mention people like Rob Feeley, Allen Rulo and Fraser Bedwell, they also know why, love you guys, of course, huge appreciation and hearts to my husband and little son, who keep me going despite of me being a difficult pain in the ass at times and also to my mom, who still waits for me to stream my games. Hearts all out! (laughs)" Thank you so much for the talk! I hope you enjoyed doing this as much as I did, and I wish you the best in your coming ventures. "It was the biggest interrogation I ever went through. Thank you and will see you around!"
  12. Another vlog of mine. I felt I needed to just shake some thoughts off my mind, as I fully want to focus on my personal practice, rather than to worry about other stuff, distracting me from what is truly important now. First of all, sheding my personal thoughts on recent drama around Ministry of Win house; talking about it briefly, as well as giving reasoning for my own thoughts on that. Secondly, still at the topic of Ministry of Win, this time personal thoughts and realizations, that this personal venture of mine will take some preparations, as well as adjustments from my side, mentioning some of my fears and possible struggles I might be facing while at the house. And, the last part of my video briefly touches vVv Gaming's Aspire StarCraft 2 Team and our participation in two team leagues, namely Underrated league & Z33k's Sixpoolgaming team league, where our team currently competes and I touch as to how these experiences affect our team and the whole atmosphere in our team. Comments are always welcome!
  13. As promised last night on Twitter, I am announcing the huge happening, which is coming to me. Very StarCraft 2 related. I'm going over my personal goals once the thingy is announced, as well as small nagging to all haters, who might have issues with me having that little venture. Vlog done after barely 2 hours of sleep, so my apologies for occassional stuttering.. ^^; Hint hint at the end - 2nd January; Poland, Warsaw!
  14. BabyToss

    Two months of Aspire

    Time for some balancing. After short break, due to reasons specified in the vlog, I am bringing up talk about my team, vVv Gaming's Aspire StarCraft 2 team, where I try to summarize the events and how we were doing in these past 2 months. I am talking about how we started, bilancing the players at the beginning, going deeper into how we progressed in terms of skill levels and such. I am pointing out the positive, as well as focusing on what is in need of improvement, addressing each player of the team separately, ultimately, leaving a message for each one of them. Lastly, I am talking about our future plans and things we will do in the near future.
  15. BabyToss

    Vlog #5 - Two months of Aspire

    Time for some balancing. After short break, due to reasons specified in the vlog, I am bringing up talk about my team, vVv Gaming's Aspire StarCraft 2 team, where I try to summarize the events and how we were doing in these past 2 months. I am talking about how we started, bilancing the players at the beginning, going deeper into how we progressed in terms of skill levels and such. I am pointing out the positive, as well as focusing on what is in need of improvement, addressing each player of the team separately, ultimately, leaving a message for each one of them. Lastly, I am talking about our future plans and things we will do in the near future.