The Super Champion Arrives: Polt joins Team Liquid
June 29 2020
It isn't every day you can say you're bringing a Super Champion into your midst. Polt is one of the most accomplished StarCraft 2 players of all time and one of the most influential Terran players during the early days of Wings of Liberty. His ingenuity in creating what would come to be known as the "Polt Timing Attack" gave many Protoss players nightmares when going up against Terran's on the ladder. That ingenuity is still alive and well as Polt takes on new challenges in TFT and we are proud to be able to support him during his new journey. We are thrilled to announce that Polt will be joining Team Liquid as the newest member of our family.
Follow Polt here
Interview with Polt
What led you to esports and made you decide that you wanted to make a career out of it?
For me it’s the same as most of the others. Most new players just start playing a game for fun and I kind of picked up StarCraft 2 fairly quickly so I had a chance to play in the qualifiers of GSL and I think I qualified for two seasons in a row. I really liked that experience, playing in front of people and competing there so I decided to give myself a year to experience more of that and figure out if I like it, if I actually liked it as a job.
Was your win at the Super Tournament a turning point for you then?
Yeah, so when I gave myself a year I was thinking if I could actually be successful and enjoy this at the same time then I’m going to keep doing it but if not, then I better have a normal job. That’s what I thought. After winning the Super Tournament I think a lot of things changed, not only my mindset but also maybe that gave me some kind of confidence. I suddenly got much better than before the Super Tournament. I still don’t know exactly how it happened but it did and it was a big turning point.
You’re the only player in the history of SC2 to have won at least one Premier event every year you were active. What was it that allowed you to have that type of success spread out over all those years compared to some players who have a period of dominance but then fade away?
I think it’s about how I practiced. I value future plans a lot so for example most players want to win RIGHT NOW because I mean, yeah, who doesn’t want to win, and it’s probably good for them and will motivate them more but I’d rather choose to be ready for the future. What I’m saying is no matter what the patch is like or how the game changes, how new strats come out, I aim to be ready for all of that so I kind of tried to learn the game on a deeper level than just what was good right now. That’s probably why I was able to win many tournaments over many years.
You also won the MLG Spring Championship while you were still in University in the US. How did you balance playing SC2 professionally with going to school?
So I started as a pro SC2 player in 2011 and decided to move to the US at the end of 2012 I guess. I wanted to experience more of the US culture because it was so different from Korea. I was in Code S but I gave it up to move to the US and I was even thinking I might not be able to keep up playing as a pro anymore but still it would be good for my life. So I didn’t move there for the hope for the esports side of things, I just wanted to learn English and that stuff so I went to the University of Austin for the ESL classes. Suddenly Blizzard announced the WCS system and I figured it looked good for me so I can keep competing while I’m going to school. So I just tried my best. I was pretty confident doing both at the same time, I knew how to manage my time but it was still very difficult. My English was not very good so I had to spend a lot of time in those classes but somehow I did it *laughs*.
Did SC2 help you make your decision to join Team Liquid, knowing the org from there?
Yeah for sure it helped me. I was playing under other sponsors and teams when I was playing SC2 but I knew a lot of players from Team Liquid and all of those players liked their team so I had a good impression. I mean I never really knew how it was because I never played for Team Liquid but because of all of those players I thought ok, it must be good to play for Team Liquid. Because of that, when TL reached out to me, I was able to make an easy decision.
What got you into TFT?
For me it’s the same as any other game. I started playing it for fun of course. I didn’t start playing it to play it professionally but after playing it more I realized I enjoy the game a lot and that’s what matters the most. I’m not sure if it’s the strategy, the random units fighting, the aspects of luck, or something else but I really enjoy the game so I tried to play the game more and more and got quite good at it. I hit rank 1 in NA eventually and I thought I enjoy this game and I play it a lot so why not try to become a pro player. One other thing I really like is that Riot takes care of this game a lot. When I played SC2, it’s a different game but there weren’t really that many patches, especially in the recent days. You have to wait for half a year or so for another patch but in TFT they patch it practically every other week. This means if there are any problems or anything really overpowered they try to fix it immediately. It makes the game more enjoyable to play and I think it makes the game have more longevity.
You interact quite a lot with your chat while you stream as well which is pretty different from SC2 and how focused you have to be for that. Do you find it more enjoyable to stream TFT and being able to interact more with your chat?
Yes I do. If I want to fully focus then yeah it can be really hard to talk to chat even when playing TFT, but when I play normal ranked games I can read and interact with my chat and I think it’s really good as a streamer.
What are your plans for the future with TFT?
My future plans for now are just continue playing TFT as a professional player and keep streaming at the same time. Hopefully it goes well and I’ll keep playing this game and if Riot takes care of this game well I’m confident I’ll be one of the top players and I’ll be able to keep competing. But, I always say this, no one knows about the future. I might like other games more or I might want to retire and just have a normal job someday. In that case I guess I’d just have a normal job but I doubt that’s going to happen any time soon.
Anything else you’d like to say to anybody who follows you or will be tuning it to watch you play TFT?
I know some people will feel weird about me playing a new game but if you watch my stream you probably know I always try to work on being prepared to take advantage of new opportunities. So I got a big opportunity when playing TFT and I’m trying my best so I would be really glad if you keep cheering for me no matter what I play, even if it is not StarCraft. I really appreciate it.
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