ESL Daniel 'D4nny' Brooks : Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Even though you are growing fast in popularity, Please introduce yourself for those who may not know who are you.
Ga-Young'Aphrodite' Kim: Hello my name is Ga-Young Kim aka Aphrodite, and I play Terran for the team StarTale. I was born on the 4th of November 1988, and I am StarTale RainbOw's girlfriend.
ESL.D4nny: You Share the same exact birthday and year as me :O!
ESL.D4nny: Can you tell us how you got your start in computer gaming? Did you ever play Starcraft 1 or any other RTS games?
Aphrodite: When Starcraft 2 first came out, I just played team games with RainbOw, and I have just started to play on the 1v1 ladder, and it has been about 3 months. I have no experience in Starcraft: Brood War or other games.
ESL.D4nny: In Korea, Starcraft 2 is such a male dominated sport, so what motivated or inspired you to start playing Starcraft 2 competitively? What also inspired you to pick terran?
Aphrodite: When I first started going out with RainbOw, Starcraft 2 was released, and I think that was what largely influenced my decision to play this game. I used to watch him play and began to understand the game little by little, and I also appeared on RainbOw's stream a few times but I had no 1v1 ladder experience before that.
At that time a lot of my fans gave me words of encouragement and cheered me on, and that's when I decided to take interest in the ladder. When I first started the placement matches, I went 4 Wins and 1 Loss and was placed in the Platinum league, but I won a couple of games and went straight to Diamond. I then played in Diamond league for about 2 weeks and reached rank 3 in the division, and got promoted to Masters. I had no previous experience in gaming but it seemed that I was improving very fast, so I have been continuously interested in this game. I also picked Terran because of RainbOw haha.
ESL.D4nny: If you were not a starcraft 2 pro-gamer this day, what career path do you think you would have taken?
Aphrodite: I am currently still a student. If I was not a Starcraft 2 pro-gamer I would still be in my 3rd year of study at the moment. I decided to take a break from study and focus more on being a pro-gamer haha.
ESL.D4nny: On the Korean Starcraft 2 ladder, Do you encounter other really talented female Starcraft 2 players when you are playing or is it rare / never happens?
Aphrodite: I am currently one of the top 300 Masters league players on the Korean server but I haven't met any other female pro-gamers yet.
ESL.D4nny: Aww what a shame.
Aphrodite and RainbOw
ESL.D4nny: With Startale_Rainbow being your current boyfriend, did he play a major role in getting your skills and mechanics to a masters level on the Korean server? What are some of his techniques for coaching you?
Aphrodite: Of course! I watch and learn from RainbOw the most, and he teaches me a lot of things. I use the same strategies as him and you can just see me as a downgraded version of him hahahah. I've learned a lot from him, and that's how I got into Masters league within 2 weeks of playing.
ESL.D4nny: Yes, I have actually noticed your playstyle does take after him a whole lot. A very good player to mimic the playstyle of, and congrats on improving that fast!
ESL.D4nny: You became popular in the Starcraft 2 community when you got invited to the ZOWIE DIVINA Cup. Was this your first ever tournament you have played in? What were your nerves like going into it?
Aphrodite: The ZOWIE DIVINA Cup was my very first tournament that I've entered. I was very nervous and made lots of mistakes, but it was meaningful because it was also my first tournament win. To be honest I didn't know there were other awesome female pro-gamers before I entered this tournament, but I was surprised to see how skilled the other participants were. I didn't prepare anything big and just practiced as hard as I can ^^;
ESL.D4nny: You met some of North America's most skilled girl gamers at the tournament like DaSakura and Flo, what did you think about them in terms of their personalities and skills?
Aphrodite: I think Dasakura has the skills to beat the male pro-gamers in Korea because when I played against her in the Iron Lady Cup, she had improved so much since ZOWIE DIVINA and I think she is an incredible person to have improved this much. And my new teammate Flo is worthy of having the title MarineQueen and is also an extremly talented player. I personally think that these two have incredible potential!
Aphrodite with ZOWIE DIVINA Prize
ESL.D4nny: Describe some of the feelings you had winning the first every major female tournament?
Aphrodite: ZOWIE DIVINA was my first offline tournament and I was extremely happy because I had won it and I was also proud to represent Korea! I hope that I can continue winning!
ESL.D4nny: After your win ZOWIE DIVINA you joined the team Startale, how has that been for you so far? Do you stay in a team house with them and/or train with?
Aphrodite: Actually, I was already training in the StarTale team house before the tournament haha. But I felt that it would be better to announce that I had joined StarTale after I had proven myself. Also, the team house and my home is about a 1 Hour and 30 Minute drive, so I can't visit often, but I try to visit and learn from them as much as I can. RainbOw lives about 5 minutes away from where I live so I practice with him everyday haha.
Aphrodite trying for GSL Code A
ESL.D4nny: What is your biggest goal to accomplish on the team? Maybe playing in GSTL or GSL Code A for example?
Aphrodite: RainbOw had always told me that my competition are not female pro-gamers, but are male pro-gamers in code B,A,S. Therefore yes, my current goal is to achieve Code A.
ESL.D4nny: Coming into Iron Lady Champion Cup 6, did your win at ZOWIE DIVINA boost your confidence for this cup? Did you have any fears or any players you were worried about?
Aphrodite: I was slightly nervous, but I was confident, and I wasn't worried about specific players. ^^
ESL.D4nny: Unfortunately Flo slept through the cup, but you met DaSakura in the Championship Cup 6 Winner Bracket Finals, where she defeated you 2:0. Can you walk us through what may have went wrong for you? Was lag an issue or even the time you had to play? Or were you just caught off guard with her style of play?
Aphrodite: I think Dasakura knows my playstyle very well. Also, the delay from the Korean to North American server was about 0.5 seconds so it was really hard to micro. So all the games were very tough.
Aphrodite and DaSakura at ZOWIE
ESL.D4nny: You later came back and actually reset the series from the loser bracket side in the grand finals of the cup, where you pulled out a very close 2:1 victory in there. In what ways did you adapt to her style to pull out the win?
Aphrodite: The 1st and 3rd matches I used strategies that I used the most and had the most confidence in. In the 2nd game, I thought of Dasakura's playstyle and executed a Hellion/Marauder strategy that I had never done before, but a fast roach rush came and I panicked and in the final engagement, and I couldn't split my units properly because of the lag and lost. After this game I just decided to do what I'm the most confident in for the last game !
ESL.D4nny: They were some great games! For anyone who wants to check the replays of it, you can do so by going click here! (click the vs. )
ESL.D4nny: What did you do with your $ 100 winnings? :-)
Aphrodite: Its in my bank account :p
ESL.D4nny: Overall what did you think of the Iron Lady event, and do you plan to compete in more?
Aphrodite: It was a shame that there were no protosses but it felt great to compete against other female pro-gamers and I felt honored. Overall it was a great experience and I would participate in any tournament if I can get the chance ^^
Startale and Quantic Partnership
ESL.D4nny: Startale recently partnered with Quantic Gaming, will this allow you to travel international to events like MLG , Dreamhack ,etc and compete?
Aphrodite: Yes through this partnership I am able to compete in foreign tournaments and I am also able to practice with other foreign players.
ESL.D4nny: I can't wait to be seeing you at those events!
ESL.D4nny: You and your partnered teammate Flo will have a chance to do a rematch from ZOWIE Divina in a showmatch you have coming up. What are you thoughts on that match, and how do you think you will do?
Aphrodite: I'm excited to play against Flo once more! My playstyle became exposed, soI will practice a variety of different strategies. I hope the games will be exciting!
Aphrodite with Startale team jacket
ESL.D4nny: What advice can you give other girls who are looking to be like you and other top performing female gamers? What is the secret to your success since many other girls are struggling to reach your level of play?
Aphrodite: I think the most important thing is that you should watch and copy a lot of the builds in order to get used to the build and understand the game better. As you slowly improve over time, you'll suddenly become a great pro-gamer. I'm still lacking in terms of skill, but I always try to learn as much as I can ^^.
ESL.D4nny: I want to thank you for taking the time do this interview with me Aphrodite ! Anything you want to say to your fans and supporters and sponsors?
Aphrodite: I'm lacking in a lot of ways but thank you for cheering me on! I will practice harder to become a much better player. PS. StarTale Fighting !!
Favorite Mouse: Zowie mico
Favorite Keyboard: Zowie gear Celeritas
Favorite Pro Player: hahaha Raibow <3
Favorite Team: Startale + Quantic
Favorite Food: Korea bbq
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Movie: Titanic , Avatar
Where to Find Aphrodite!
Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/sungjeismine
Stream link: www.own.3d.tv/Aphrodite