Meet the pro
Shaun ‘Apollo’ Clark is a member of professional e-sports operation Team Dignitas and all-round StarCraft guru. We travelled deep within his carbon steel training bunker for a bit of a chat.
What made you choose StarCraft as your game?
Brood War [expansion pack to SC] has the largest fanbase and professional scene in the world ...I spent two months over the summer of 2009 experiencing the life and culture of being a gamer in South Korea, and it was an absolute paradise. With the release of StarCraft II gamers from multiple tiers are being given a fresh start to try and succeed.
How many hours do you practise each day?
Ever since the release of the StarCraft II beta, I’ve been playing an average of twelve hours a day during the week and eight on the weekends thanks to support from my family and the superb sponsors of Dignitas.
Anyone can read a list of all the new units and features of StarCraft II. What changes do they have on the game proper?
This is an extremely sensitive area because [as of this interview] the beta’s only been out for three weeks, but currently, if I could break StarCraft II down it’s 70% StarCraft with a 30% Warcraft III influence. I feel that the game is faster than StarCraft , and there seem to be a lot more things to keep control of such as correct timing of the Terran MULE, Protoss Chrono Boost and the Zerg Queen, whilst building and controlling an army with a mixed unit composition which then has multiple abilities needed to edge the advantage in your favour. On the other hand, I feel that the micro that differentiates players seen in StarCraft I isn’t quite up there yet in StarCraft II, but I believe this is because of how young the beta still is.
What do you miss from StarCraft I? And is there anything you’d have changed with StarCraft II?
The biggest thing I miss from StarCraft I, being a Terran player, is the Vulture. A fast, dynamic unit which was extremely fun to play with. Apart from that, I love StarCraft II.
...how do you counter a turtling Protoss teching straight for carriers and motherships?
He’s going to require a lot of vespene gas, therefore he’ll need to expand. You can deny him from expanding, cutting off his resources, but I would personally time an attack, compare unit counts and if I feel that I have an advantage going in, try and bust open his front door.
Apr 22, 2010