The Mad Catz-sponsored Western Wolves recently signed a former Kespa StarCraft II player (Korean Esports Association) from Team 8, now known as Jin Air Green Wings. Despite being fairly unknown, Kim MinGyu also known as Check, has started to make a name for himself after performing really well individually in the IEM New York qualifier, and in team leagues like the Acer Teamstory Cup after he played a pivotal role in defeating Fnatic and mYinsanity.
Western Wolves interviewed their new acquisition Check after one of his recent powerful performances:
Western Wolves: Hey Check! You just had an amazing showing in Stage 1 of the IEM NY qualifiers. You managed to beat former MLG, IEM, DH and GSL champion DongRaeGu, WCG 2012 and WCS Season 1 champion Parting, BroodWar legend FanTaSy and StarTale’s Avenge. This is one of the sickest qualifier runs we’ve seen. You were also the Ace in the ATC Qualifier match versus Fnatic in which Western Wolves won 5-4, 3 of which were your wins. There’s a lot of people especially outside of Korea that are only now getting to know you. Could you tell them a little bit about your career as a pro-gamer thus far?
Kim “Check” MinGyu: Hello I’m Kim MinGyu (Check). A lot of Koreans were misinformed and would often mistake me for Lee Hyung Joo, another Korean gamer who used to use the ID “Check.” I would like to clarify that I have also been active since 2011 as ALBM, formerly of Kespa Jin Air. When I first saw the qualifier brackets it was intimidating because all of my opponents had extraordinary reputation to their name. I think I won because I played level-headedly; I thought that if I were able to play comfortably, I would win. Despite experiencing some frustration, I was confident playing in the qualifiers because I was able to reach the finals in previous tournament online qualifiers. I think I was able to control my mind better this time around by playing level-headedly; I had lost many times in the finals in the past. I think I had a wonderful experience thus far in my career. It had been a little difficult to adjust during my Kespa career because I had moved around often; since StarCraft: Brood War, I went from MBC GameHero to STX Soul, and then to 8 Team (currently JinAir Green Wings). From now on, I want to produce good results and expose my name to many foreign fans~ Even though there is some server delay from playing on the foreign servers, I think the team leagues provide a good experience for me because I get to play many games against foreign players. I think it helps me a lot because the style differs from that of Korean players. I really want to reach new heights now.
WW: How would you describe your style of play?
Check: I think my style of play is more aggressive. I try to stay ahead of my opponent whenever possible so that I have an advantage. My style uses optimized, timed pushes to quickly attack my opponent.
WW: How does it feel to have knocked out these big name players?
Check: It felt really great hehe. When I won I automatically began laughing heh. I would’ve attributed winning to luck if I had only played and won against one famous competitor, but because I won against multiple players, I think I gained a lot of confidence. Now when I play in the future, I don’t think I will be frustrated as often.
WW: How would you rate your chances in Stage 2 of the IEM NY qualifiers?
Check: Hmm, because all the players that I defeated in Stage 1 were amazing players, I may have good results in Stage 2 if I play with confidence, heh.
WW: What were your reasons for moving to a non-Korean team?
Check: In contrast to the systematic training that I received while on a Kespa team and focusing on pro-league, I wanted to experience different types of foreign tournaments. There’s also a trend in which frustration builds when a team puts increasing pressure to perform to standards, and I wanted a team that would be willing to place more emphasis on personal career development.
WW: Terran or Protoss?
Check: When I’m practicing, Terran seems to be more playable but I have mis-controlling errors often in tournament situations, and mining opponents seemed difficult. In contrast, Protoss is difficult to use in practice but I think I connect to it more in tournaments. They’re both pretty similar to me hehe.
WW: New York or Hollywood?
Check: Hmm keke I’m not familiar with being abroad so New York!
WW: Batman or Iron Man?
Check: Iron Man seems so cool heh.
WW: Jason Bourne or James Bond?
Check: Jason Bourne
WW: Any last words?
Check: As of now I only have the record of getting through Stage 1 of this qualifier. Therefore through Stage 2 and other tournaments, I want to build up a stronger record of my results so that I can be noticed by my fans more quickly. I hope to receive lots of support and well-wishing as I continue to play more in the future~!. I would also like to attribute much gratitude to Mad Catz, Sapphire, and AMD for the gear and support that they’ve been providing. Thank you!