vVv BabyToss with EG.HuK at DreamHack
What did you expect from DreamHack before flying out to Sweden?
vVv BabyToss: I tried to have no expectations of the event in all honesty. Expectations usually lead to letdowns, so I just wanted to be finally there, to experience the event in person. What would happen, that all was to be uncovered. No need to burden myself with unnecessary expectations.
How was your practice regime in preparation for DreamHack?
vVv BabyToss: The basics, they are the safety net of every StarCrafter. I didn't make an exception from this. I very well knew that my game wouldn't be top notch, due to very strong inclinations towards so-called "choking" - basically making mistakes under pressure, that kind of mistakes you'd normally not make - so I knew I needed that safety net for myself. Also, coming back from a long break, it was necessary for me to focus on the very basics. Mechanics, macro, refining my builds. StarCraft 2 is a game which requires consistent practice, otherwise your skill sets will get rusty. Repetition is a good way of solidifying stuff so I kept that in my mind while practicing before DreamHack.
Did you have any difficulties preparing for DreamHack?
vVv BabyToss: You could say that. I was very excited to go. My mind kept being distracted by this fact. Imagine a small kid standing in the candy store, seeing all these yummy things. Do you think they'd be focused much on anything else? It was difficult for me to focus on other things, even though there were things I needed to finish and work on before leaving to Sweden.
Did you encounter any problems traveling to Sweden?
vVv BabyToss: Except the lack of proper sleep? Not really. The trip was long, due to me not flying over there, but traveling by a car. Couple of energy drinks and coffee could help with that, though.
Have you ever competed in Sweden before? If so what were they?
vVv BabyToss: Nope. This was my first international StarCraft 2 event. I certainly hope that it's not the last one. Again, it depends on money, and they seem to be a problem quuuite a lot.
Who would you say was the favorite to win the tournament you were in? Have played him or her before? If so what was the result?
vVv BabyToss: I thought Liquid'HerO was honestly going to take this tournament. I played against him in the group stage and he just was top notch. He of course schooled me as if I was a little school girl, but it was a good, interesting experience for me. Although, I really rooted for WhiteRa, who is my favorite player and I really wanted him to win the tournament!
Did you meet any people that you haven't met before? Players, staff, etc?
vVv BabyToss: As I said before, DreamHack was my first international event. I met many people that I had only known online until then. I liked that. You can put a face behind the person and it's generally easier and more comfortable for me to talk to them then. Even though internet provides me with anonymity, it's not bad to get to know people in person from time to time.
I of course met many professional players too. The whole Team Liquid crew, which was present on DreamHack, Evil Geniuses' Sir Scoots, who apparently thought I was much taller, based on my pictures on the internet. That one was actually funny too, as I'm really a midget, so his comment really made me chuckle a lot. Can't forget mentioning WhiteRa - I brought Czech beer for him, we agreed to meet up in the Player Lounge, but in the end, we just had to miss each other, so I brought the beers back with me. Poor Aleksey got no beers! But, there's always another time, I extended an invitation to him to the biggest Czech LAN where he may get a huge beer if he comes! (laughs)"
What did you enjoy most about the event?
vVv BabyToss: There are so many things, really. Meeting people I look up to, trying to face the huge challenge in the form on the tournament, the StarCrafty feel of the area. You could feel the enthusiasm all around the place. I could literally breathe just that and be happy. It was awesome to see the games casted live too. It adds so much to the event compared to when you just sit at home and watch the streams. Everyone who loves the game should try and attend an event like Dreamhack. I can't describe it with just words. There's so much.
How did you feel about your performance at DreamHack?
vVv BabyToss: To be honest, not very good. Especially shortly after I finished my games. There were mistakes I couldn't forgive myself for. I thought of myself in the darkest way possible. I nearly cried after my first game, which was streamed by GLHF.tv casting duo, I felt so ashamed and low. I didn't expect myself to be visible to such extent and the pressure seemed to be way too high, much bigger than I was prepared for. Nothing can prepare you for this. No amount of words of wisdom will help you, this is a fight you have to cope with on your own.
In retrospect though, I realize that I'm still learning and growing, both as a person and a StarCraft 2 player. Giving up at this point would mean just me wasting all the time, efforts and my heart I've already put into this. So I know that there's this long road ahead of me, and this were the very first baby steps I needed to take, in order to become stronger and better player. And I try to hold that thought very closely in my mind, especially when self-doubts come. I managed this, which may as well be one of the hardest things I did in my life, when it comes to trying to face the personal obstacles and my lack of self-confidence."
Were you comfortable playing at the game stations? How was the equipment?
vVv BabyToss: Physically speaking; the tournament area was very well made. Well, the chair could be better, as I'm of a small size. Otherwise, the table was roomy enough and the fact you could bring your own keyboard, mouse and related stuff was a plus. I'd think that it's a standard during events like that, as these things influence how you play too.
When it comes to the psychological side; not really. I expected the group stage to be played in the BYOC Arena, on my own computer, while not watched by anyone. There were plenty, plenty of people there, so it'd be so easy to just get lost in there. I originally had no idea we would be playing on designed tournament area, with having huge monitors above our heads, which were showing the game for the viewers and passerby's. I always struggle with performance while people are watching, that is no secret. Cold fingers, stiff neck, growling stomach, you know it. It's something I have to overcome tho, so again, a learning experience there, albeit unexpected and surprising."
Did the tournament run smoothly? Were the referees easy to deal with? Did they understand the game?
vVv BabyToss: The tournament itself seemed to run smoothly enough. Referees were mostly young guys who seemed to know the game. That is always a plus. Nothing worse than having a referee who'd look at the game as if it was from another planet. We were given enough time to setup our stuff, to get comfortable and all that. I felt no rush and when I asked for a short break in between my matches they completely understood and I had no problems coming down from them. There were no delays and, as I said, the whole organization of the tournament seemed to be smooth, at least from my point of view.
Did you have any problems with the staff?
vVv BabyToss: Not really any real issues, except the fact that the crew at the entrance gave me wrong ID band. I was supposed to get a player and press one, but they didn't ask, so I only obtained the event pass one. I had to run around the venue to find out what the issue was, but it seems that the crew at the entrance simply didn't ask me, so they thought it was all okay. Generally, I think that the staff members should at least know the basics like where the sleep area was. It was also a bummer when I wanted to sleep some and nobody from the staff I encountered in the venue was able to tell me where the sleeping area was. I was a bit frustrated by this fact too.
I don't expect everyone to know every single piece of information there's to be known, but again, there should be an outline of the very basic information which the staff members should know. Maybe something for the future.
How was the venue? Was it big enough?
vVv BabyToss: The venue was huge, are you kidding me? (laughs) I'm good at getting lost, the only map I understand is the damn StarCraft 2 minimap, don't laugh. I liked the fact that the air was breathable and it was not hot in the venue either. Admittedly, it was a little more cold than I'd like, but it was bearable if you moved around a little and didn't just sit down all the time on your pretty bum.
Was there anything that can be improved at future events?
vVv BabyToss: Better staff organization. Like I said before, some of the staff members had no idea about the very basic things regarding the event. Again, putting emphasis on the fact that nobody can know everything. That's simply impossible. They could outline the basics and work with that. It'll make it much easier for people to find the information they need, as well as the event will be much smoother.
Anything you'd personally like to add about the experience?
vVv BabyToss: I loved the event. It was awesome learning experience. I met many people and got out of my shell for a bit more. I definitely know that this is great part of being a StarCraft 2 player, knowing the community, people. Competing and overcoming personal hurdles and difficulties. Nothing can really compare to that. Seeing places outside of your country, playing with the best players in the world. I could say so much more, but I think I'll just point out to my personal write-up about my experience there.
We are proud of vVv BabyToss in her personally successful venture to Dreamhack. We wish her massive amounts of luck in the future and we look forward to continue watching her growth as a player!
Interview by vVv Killzmane