Jos "Ret" de Kroon is the star of the 26th episode of my 'Grilled' interview series.
How difficult was it for a foreigner to integrate themselves into a Korean BW team house? How does the team house hierarchy and difficulty of the GSL structure affect the mental toughness of the top Korean players? Is Ret someone who struggles with motivation issues in his life outside of StarCraft? Why has he struggled against MC, despite periods of doing very well against Protoss? How has the Zerg era caused problems for Ret, when he was doing well prior to it? What is his take on why Stephano has been so successful?
Time line of topics:
00:25 What would be a SC2 reference point to contextualise the foreign players' level in BW?
01:56 How would Mondragon and Testie have done if they'd gone to Korea to try and become pros?
03:20 How does he reflect back on his time in Korea in BW?
05:09 How difficult is it for foreigners to integrate themselves in the Korean team houses, in terms of the culture and hierarchy etc.?
07:55 Difficulties of the Korean hierarchy meaning Korean players are battletested before we in the West ever hear of them, in comparison to foreigners becoming pros w/o much experience.
11:11 Contrasting Korean tournaments to foreign tournaments, in terms of structure.
13:25 How difficult is the GSL style of tournament for a foreigner, in terms of preparation etc.
15:25 Korean players helping each other in foreign tournaments, contrasted against foreigners who have a lot of petty rivalries/beefs.
17:35 His colour blindeness.
18:20 Is it fair to say he's always had consistency/motivation issues?
20:28 Issues with self-discipline, both in starcraft and outside of the game. Is he a person who lacks motivation or drive?
23:41 His runs of success, overcoming issues in certain match-ups and his general cycle.
26:07 Why he had problems playing MC in Bo5s even though he was doing very well against Protoss at the time, in early 2012.
28:23 Is there a tournament in his career where he felt like he was at his peak?
29:28 The notion that he can beat better players and Koreans, but then can also lose in the next round to a guy who in theory should be worse.
31:12 The deciding game against Grubby at WCS Europe in the lower bracket, a game many people consider a huge throw.
34:52 Due to being so famed for his macro play, how versatile does he think he is? How much does he mix it up?
36:54 Being one of the very best foreign Zergs when Zerg was supposed to be hard to play, yet not being as good during the Zerg era. What are the reasons?
39:04 Has it been discouraging to see some of the lesser Zergs having success in this era while he's been stuck trying to figure out a viable style?
40:26 People, such as MrBitter, calling him very talented, so what does he think of that and has he been unable to show his full potential?
42:01 What made Stephano so good and did everyone copy his style?
43:34 Does Stephano not practicing as much as others show that at the top level it's more a case of will than skill?
44:45 Picking a couple of people who haven't had such good results but who he thinks is really good.
46:08 Where should Ret be in six months?
47:39 Aliens come to Earth, Ret has to pick foreign Zergs to play all three matchups vs. them and also Korean Zergs for all three matchups.
50:30 final message/outro