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August 08, 2012

Interview with Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn

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Written by: GoSu_Socrates


Hi Scarlett! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s start off with a short introduction. Please introduce yourself for all the readers and fans out there.

Hello everyone! ~ My id is Scarlett and I am an 18 year old Zerg player from Canada


It is amazing that you have only been playing StarCraft II for a year since April 2011! Did you have any previous gaming experience? [BW, other RTS, RPG, or anything basically!]

Yes, mostly blizzard games over the years. I've played Starcraft (mainly UMS), Diablo, Diablo II, Warcraft II, Warcraft III (mainly customs again); though I also played a bit of Counterstrike in the past


How did you get into StarCraft II? Did you start off by playing team games or did you start off by playing 1v1? Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to become a pro-player?

My brother got me into Starcraft II, I had played a few games in the beta a year before but didn't like it too much as I was mainly trying it out to see what the modding scene would be like (and it turned out the editor was very poorly designed compared to the Warcraft 3 one IMO); and what got me into 1v1s was watching GSL and watching my brother ladder occasionally. I started off straight away with 1v1s, but didn't think about being a pro player for a long time afterwards.


One of the first tournaments you won was the NESL Iron Lady. What made you decide to play tournaments? What was it like to play NESL Iron Lady and what was your reaction when you won?

I think that may have been the first tournament I ever played (in any game actually~). I was asked to play in it by one of the admins and agreed to in the end. I was a little happy I won but the competition did not feel too tough ingame so it wasn't really that exciting.


In March 2012, you won Playhem’s Sponsor Me!” Tournament to secure a spot in IGN ProLeague Season 4. How did you feel before your first live tournament debut? What was your reaction when you beat incredibly notable players such as Terious, DdoRo, and DeMuslim? Were your confident before you played them?

I was very nervous before the tournament but not when I was actually playing. Before the tournament I looked at the bracket and thought I would lose to Terious or Oz in the winner bracket, but was confident against DdoRo and DeMuslim when I saw I had to play them. Beating Terious was a great feeling with so many people watching in the open bracket area at the event


After IPL5, the eSports community knew it was just a matter of time before a good team picked you up. What made you decide to join Eclypsia and how was your experience on the team?

They had connections with Korea (3 players already living there at the time) and had plans involving Korea, which I was interested in at the time. I also liked everyone I talked to very much and the offer was good. (I also did not talk to as many teams as people thought I had back then; wasn't too much selection)


During your time on Eclypsia, your team faced ZeNEX in IPL TAC 3. I believe this was your first team clan war against a highly reputable team. What was the clanwar like , who did you beat, and what was your team’s reaction afterwards?

Artist pretty much won the series for us, beating 4 ZeNEX players by himself. Afterwards, I played their ace player in the series, ZeNEXAvenge (he was Code A ro24 at the time I believe, performing worse currently), and won by stopping his 2 base blink stalker +2 all-in. The team's reaction was amazing, as all the players had great chemistry together and loved playing clan wars, and beating ZeNEX pretty much assured we had qualified for IPL TAC3 on our first attempt. We played dream team gaming (Korean clan dtG) next who only had 3 players, which Welmu all-killed ^^


After a month on Eclypsia, desRow, Artist, and yourself left Eclypsia. There were many rumors shrouded around Eclypsia making promises they could not keep. Do you have any comments on what happened and why you left?

It was shorter than that, only a few weeks I believe. I do not want to go into it too much publicly, but basically they wanted to focus on Europe (France mainly) scene, and broke promises they had to many of the players, as well as not sending Artist to MLG Arena which he qualified for (and they had promised to send him to), so the players felt we could not really trust the team.


After leaving Eclypsia, you joined Team Acer near the end of June. What made you decide to join Team Acer and how is your experience with the European team? Is it hard to practice with your teammates due to the time difference?

After IPL4, I saw one of the Zerg players I looked up to, Nerchio, had posted a few times in the fanclub made about me on teamliquid. I managed to get his skype info, and we talked fairly often, mainly about strategy and the like. As soon as I mentioned to him I was leaving Eclypsia, he mentioned this to his team, which approached me the next day. Team Acer intrigued me because it had so many other Zerg players, and the legendary Sc1 Zerg Mondragon as a coach. However, I still took a long time to decide which team I would join, (over a month), and talked to several others during that time. One thing that disappointed me was not seeing a message from a team who was interested in talking to me that I would have possibly liked to join until afterwards, but I certainly have no regrets with having joined Team Acer. I don't practice much with my teammates (and most likely would not even if we were on same server) as I prefer to only ladder for practice, as it makes me mentally prepared for anything that could be thrown at me rather than subconsciously shifting my build to metagame people I know playstyles of.


Under Team Acer, you participated in IPL Team Arena Challenge 3 vs Team SCV Life beating incredibly talented players like RevivaL, Cyrano, and Inori. What were those matches like? Feel free to describe the whole experience!

I really wanted to win this IPL match, as beating Korean team TSL would have been a huge upset and shown the strength of my team, so beforehand I prepared for some of the players, downloading all replays of them from the past few weeks, which were thankfully plenty since the TSL4 qualifiers had all replays released directly afterwards. With that, and the fact that I am not at all scared of playing Koreans cross-server, I was confident going into my match against RevivaL. We both opened safe macro builds, 15pool 16hatch, but going into the midgame I had a massive build order win, opening fast infestor against RevivaL's fast muta. After scouting this, and getting small advantages through superior early game ling baneling engagements, I was very confident, and took the game easily once my Ultralisks were finished. This halted RevivaL's tear through our roster (he had just taken all our other Zerg players, Nerchio, ParanOid, and Bly) and stopped their momentum. Next up was Cyrano on Entombed Valley (ZvP). I had been focusing mainly on ZvP since IPL4 as back then I did not really understand the matchup, and now I had my own style worked out, and what better place to try it on than a Korean protoss on the best PvZ map in the pool? Once again, I had a large advantage from the start, safely managing to hatch first against a forge first opening, giving me confidence going into the midgame. I played a very passive and tech focused build, going for very fast melee/armor upgrade, while fast teching to infestor broodlord off 4 base (after scouting Cyrano's fast 3rd). He tried to poke in once off 3 base with collosus/blinkstalker but retreated once seeing my creep spread with spines and infestor support. I knew at this point the game was already over, as I had gained an exponential advantage since the very beginning, and easily cleaned him up with infestor broodlord (as well as running many banelings into his army because he mistakenly threw away half his sentries to clean up supply ^^). The 3rd game against Inori was slightly shakier, due to losing about 50 drones to dts in the midgame, but after deflecting an immortal sentry stalker push off 3 base, I easily took the game with infestor broodlord once again. At this point, I grew overconfidant, because the last player was Polt, on Atlantis Spaceship. I say this because ZvT is by far my best matchup, and Atlantis Spaceship is very Zerg favoured. Somehow this caused me to mess up my opening build, not starting my +1 armor for a long time after having the resources, and my baneling nest being extremely late, causing me to take game-ending damage to his signature 2 base marauder marine hellion push. This was disheartening and I was sad that we lost in the first clan war in which I was a part of Team Acer.


This past month, you showed everyone why you are the best player in Canada. Not only did you win WCS Canada, you played a near flawless tournament dropping only one game to Ostojiy. What was your mentality before and during the tournament? How far did you expect to get before the event?

When I go to LANs, I seem to have a much better mentality than online. I don't really get nervous and just aim to play my best, whereas sometimes I feel like I -should- or -have to- win online, which causes me to play much worse. Was very relaxed and just did my thing, as on ladder, and won without much trouble (To people that didn't watch the first series against Ostojiy, the 1 game I lost was from a nydus I did not spot while I was very far ahead). Beforehand, I thought I the only player I could lose to was Ostojiy, as he probably the player I lose to the most by far on NA ladder, but thought if I could beat him I should be able to win the event. I played slightly safer than usual against Ostojiy, which worked against his aggressive style, so thankfully I was able to win.



With WCS North America a month away, what are your expectations and goals for this tournament? How are you preparing for WCS? What made you decide to not play MLG but only WCS?

I would like to win it for sure (but it is not completely necessary as I did get a WCS Worlds seed from 1st place at Canada), but I think it will be much harder than WCS Canada was. Specifically I will probably be playing against ROOTMajOr In the semifinals if I am seeded 2nd and him 3rd, along with possibly running into very strong NA players such as HuK, IdrA, Illusion, as well as Hellokitty's amazing blink stalker all-ins earlier on in the bracket. I am preparing for WCS no different than what I usually do; watch tournaments, watch Zerg pro players stream, and occasionally play ladder. I chose to not play MLG open bracket as well, because I don't want to feel stressed and pressed for time like IPL4 open bracket, which could hinder my play at WCS (which is the most important to me right now)


What do you think about blizzard’s Starcraft II World Championship Series (WCS) and format?

I love it. It's a unique feeling to be playing to represent one of the best in your Country in a tournament. The money put into the scene by Blizzard is good for the players as unless you're winning major tournaments, 


Are you currently playing full time? Will you be attending college next year or playing full time?

Pretty much yes. I won't be attending university this fall, but perhaps next year, depending on how Sc2 goes for me.


Thank you so much for the interview! Good luck at WCS North America! Any last words or comments?

Thanks to my team, Acer, for supporting me, Nerchio, for helping me if I ever have trouble with something, and all my fans ^^

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