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ESWC Masters of Athens Special: ďraphaĒ

NatŁrlich werden wir dieses Wochenende eine ausfŁhrliche Coverage zum ESWC Masters of Athens fŁhren. Scores, Demos und News aus erster Hand -, beginnend dazu hat Oleg ďeoe.d1abloĒ Kogut ein interessantes Gespršch mit Shane rapha Hendrixson gefŁhrt.

Der Amerikaner hat sich in KŲln mit dem Polen av3k zum Bootcampen getroffen. Wie es dazu kam sowie weitere Details erfahrt ihr, wenn ihr den Beitrag weiterlest.

‹brigens: Wir haben das Layout ein wenig auf unsere BedŁrfnisse angepasst - also nein, das hier war noch nicht der Relaunch! Nur wir brauchen etwas mehr Platz fŁr die anstehende Berichterstattung.

Interview with SK.Rapha:

Actually the people know you some better after the 1on1 interview on SK-Gaming, but still letís begin with few personal Questions. How does the life behind the nickname ďRaphaĒ look like? Where does your life lead you?

sk-rapha: Do you want to know where Iím heading towards in gaming or in life?

Gaming is part of the life, isnít it?

sk-rapha: Yes true :) I think for right now I will continue to play and maybe when Iím 22 I will stop. I donít want to play past 23.


How old are you now?

sk-rapha: 19.

3 years, not too much if you look back at you being 16?

sk-rapha: Yea time goes by fast thatís why Iím going to try and make the most of it :) going to attend college when Iím done with gaming, so I can be focused on it.

In the 1on1 with Carmac you told us that youíre religious, how does it affect you?

sk-rapha: Thatís a difficult question to answer :P It effects my everyday life. The decisions that I am faced with are affected by it in what I choose to doÖ I dunno.

This subject wasnít discussed too much in the gaming community, thatís why itís also pretty difficult now

sk-rapha: I donít know how to explain how Iím helped by it for quake

So it helps you in quake also?

sk-rapha: Well I know that it wasnít just me who made me this good :P after all the years that I was barely able to play, but still kept getting better after long periods of not playing. I knew I had a gift, and I didnít want it to go to waste, and Iím glad I was given and am still being given the opportunity to use it

Cypher said that you have clear goals, thatís why you are winning and will probably get champion sometime.

sk-rapha: Yea, I try to set goals and Iím normally very focused. When I want something I try to focus myself on that one thing. Thatís why Iím not going to school now, because gaming would hurt my learning, as well as learning would hurt my gaming.

I agree with you, why someone without having the goal to win would win anything?

sk-rapha: I dunno. I donít know of a player in Quake whoís won and hasnít had his mind set on winning that tournament, when it comes to the finals for something, for example ESWC, CPL, etc. Cypher this year had his mindset on winning everything and getting his 1 ESWC title and took it. Av3k when he went to GameGune went to win and not to go for a money placement - and he won.

What was your goal this year?

sk-rapha: My goal at the beginning was modest, to get top3, because I knew that players like Zero4, Cooller, Fox and Jibo were very very good and that it would be difficult to beat them. But I felt that I could do it, if I didnít think so I probably wouldnít have worried about this summer.

Did you change your goal now?

sk-rapha: Iím taking one step at a time. If I set a goal for a long distance I may get lax after awhile for the tourneys in between. I want to focus on one thing at a time and my goal is to be number 1. Hopefully I will be able to do it, it will be very difficult but I think that I can :)

And thatís the reason why you are bootcamping in Cologne now, at least there are some rumors about that. Is that true? And who is your partner then?

sk-rapha: Yes, Iím here in Cologne getting used to the time change :D and Iím bootcamping with av3k.

Who came on the idea to make the bootcamp? Who realized it and why in Germany?

sk-rapha: Carmac asked me if Iíd like to come to Europe to bootcamp for the reason of practice first of all but secondly, getting used to the time change (jetlag sucks :P). So why not eliminate that problem if you can, and also, since the finals there has been pretty much no one playing in the US.

sk-rapha: And being at the SK office (in Cologne) is very convenient for practicing purposes plus if I have any needs they can take care of them right away.

How much do you play? How many games a day?

sk-rapha: My type of practice schedule is probably bad compared to most players. If I can Iíd only play probably a maximum of 15 games a day so thatíd give about 3 sets for each map.

sk-rapha: I like to do other things and keep my mind fresh. If I play too much I just go through the motions and play worse

So you arenít fan of the famous fatal1ty style.

sk-rapha: Haha, no I donít like it :D I understand why he and some other players I know do it but itís just not the practice style for me.

I see. Itís more an anti-jetlag camp.

sk-rapha: No, the bootcamp is useful because if I stayed in America I would only be able to play maybe 1-2 good games a day and thatíd be it. The community here in Europe is a lot better. And I like playing here in Europe. You can easily search for a challenging game online.

*There was a small funny misunderstanding, due to my English skills I asked not the thing I wanted to know.(d1ablo)*
American playing Russian Style

American playing Russian Style

Whats your quote vs Av3k? (winning quote)

sk-rapha: Winning quote? I donít taunt him when I win :P

Sorry my English. I mean percentage, like 5 of 10 etc. =))

sk-rapha: ohhh OK =D Iíd say about 5/10 or 6/10 in my favor, heís getting back into good shape.

But we saw you both playing onlineÖ do you need fresh blood sometimes? :)

sk-rapha: We both donít like playing just one style, it gets you into bad habits because then you play to outsmart that one persons style. You need to play others to stay fresh and to not be surprised by different decision making.

And whatís Av3k taking from this bootcamp, is he ready to get to his Quake4 form?

sk-rapha: Iím not going to give away anything :P Just that he should be ready. If heís focused like he always is he will be a very difficult opponent for anyone. His play style is like no other player around and itís a very confident one.

Letís talk a bit about the upcoming Masters tournament: You have both best Swedish players in your group, a little bit afraid? What were your feelings after you saw the group?

sk-rapha: It is what it is, it reminds me of the finals where I was a guy on the outside looking in, in most peoples minds, so my group at the finals was very difficult but I looked at it as ok just deal with what youíre given and donít complain about it. If I start to complain about it Iíll just play worse, so this group reminds me of that. Hopefully it will keep me very focused early on, since each map will mean so much. Because of how good fox and toxic are.

Do you think toxjq can now be competitive enough after the long break?

sk-rapha: I think so, Cooller barely missed out on advancing to the second group stage and he doesnít play as much as he used to from what I know and who knows what would have happened had he advanced and hit a hot streak. So I will approach toxic as if heís played every day. Iíll just expect him to play really good.

You are one of the few players who could beat Cypher with 2:0, but can you repeat it?

sk-rapha: That would be very very difficult. I think if we play this time and I win, it would likely be 2-1, not 2-0. It would take something amazing for me to 2-0 him again

At the grand final you played on TFTs and many players didnít perform very well because of thatÖ your thoughts about that? Will it be much more different on CRTs now?

sk-rapha: I think rockets will be less effective :/ I liked the way the game felt at the finals. It didnít feel as LG/Rail dominant, felt a bit like OSP. But now I think the game will be a bit quicker again but who knows

So there was some space for brain actions?

sk-rapha: Exactly! But Iíve been playing ok with a CRT.

The interview is getting so long :) I think we should move towards the end, so you can show Av3k some Ďwinning quotesí :)

sk-rapha: I donít have any quotes, ha-ha :P

By the way, howís the food in Cologne?

sk-rapha: Very good! I havenít had a bad meal yet.

Last one: Whatís your Top-3 @ Masters of Athens?

sk-rapha: Such a hard question but everyone always asks it. Iíll just say 3 players I think will do well, not including myself.

sk-rapha: Cooller, Cypher, and Jibo/Av3k :P

You called four?

sk-rapha: I put a / - either or.

Thank you for the nice talk rapha :) Good Luck in Athens!

sk-rapha: no, thank you. :)

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