Community interview with Grubby

Users' questions

JDHello, Manuel. Can you tell about your «pernicious» habits in game (for example, I tend to always hold Alt key and heal almost healthy units)? I wanna thank you for all your games, they're truly beautiful. You're doing well, good luck to you and Cassandra!
Hello, JD. Oh dear, I had to look that one up. Pernicious habits... I like to think I have none! For other people who are too lazy to look it up as well: he means habits which harm oneself. Of course I gear all my habits to be productive, not counter-productive. I have no obsessive disorders which cause me harm, I think.
GG.rox.kis.craft: Looking back at all the interviews that you've done what question are you bored to the death with?
I hope I don't offend anyone with this one, but «where did you get the name Grubby» is not so interesting I think. But I can understand people want to ask such things sometimes so I don't really mind either. But, bored a bit, yes.
▲†СДОХ†▲!OAA: What undead style of play and strategy is the most difficult for you to play against?
Mass necromancers and frost wyrms from 1 base. Saving up 5,000 gold : S
psixodyb: Do you consider esport as a true sport? Are you devoting yourself to it because of passion to the game or because of money?
It was never for the money although that helps justify the life style. If I earned no money with WC3, I'd have to find a job and I'd not be as good at WC3^^ and that'd be a shame, because I love this game. I'd probably play it my whole life if I could haha.
ZZ4.Seven: What year was the most happiest in your life?
  Every year since I've been together with Cassandra.

hamaHama: Do you plan to get married? Where do you wanna spend a honeymoon and how do you imagine wedding ceremony?
Yes, anywhere beautiful, haven't imagined it yet.
SHADEron: Which european player you consider the most hard rival in your entire career?
ToD of course.
Z-Zarcon: Hi, Manuel! I've been following your career very deeply, so that's my question: did you study some psychological trainings and adapted them to warcraft in parcticular? Sometimes watching your games makes me wonder — «how do your enemies can even continue to play after that?!». I believe that warcraft is not just a strategy, there is definately mental war and pressure. If you can, give a couple of advices regarding psycological playing please.
It's all self-taught I guess, for what it's worth.
Trice: What is the most essential thing in the life in your opinion? (Do you remember your first love?) Thank you.
My first and only love is Cassandra. I've never met anyone remotely like her. The most essential thing in life is to reproduce (for survival of our species) and to be happy without harming others. I would say being concerned about distant future generations is also essential. By this I mean to treat the environment and our natural resources responsibly.
ArGON18: Hi. I'm professional sportsman (playing volleyball) and consider you my colleague. It's hard to live through hard losses but we must keep on moving. Everyone has it's own ways to regain themselves. How do you recover yourself after serious and vexing defeats?
Hey Argon18. I consider us to be colleagues as well. It helps me to concentrate on the next tournament. Keeping that in mind, you learn to handle your loss with a constructive perception, rather than to only punish yourself for your mistakes.
GG.Tentro: What is the most stupid thing you've done in your life and what consequences had it led you to?
Lol. Ummm... I once shoplifted some Lion King collectible cards! One of the guys I was with got caught by the supermarket manager, and his parents got phoned. They called my parents (the little wuss confessed everything! Hah!). Well, I don't need to tell the details exactly, but looking back at it, my parents handled it in possibly the best way ever. I confessed and felt really bad for a while, but it became one of the most memorable experiences in my life and I've never shoplifted anything since. =p I was like 8 years old I think.
Yellow_Cat: Grubby, when do you usually stream your games? Is there a streaming schedule? Thank you.
I am not in the mood for streaming recently. There are big things in my mind — big, like Season 7, BlizzCon and so on. Streaming is something I had a lot of time for because I didn't have any LAN tournaments for many months in a row. I will do it again, that I promise, but I can't say when.
3D!HydraOrc: What kind of rest do you prefer? Alone or with a company? Do you prefer active or more relaxing way to rest?
For me, rest = sleep. I don't really «rest» much, as I feel like I already don't have enough time to do all the things I'd like to be doing. I do have some relaxing hobbies like watching DVD's (I don't like to do this alone) or reading books (well-suited to do when alone).

WarBossII: Hello, Manuel. What do you think about unconventional strategies and why are they being rarely used on a professional level?
Not because they're necessarily bad, but because the chance of consistent wins is mathematically lower. There's often no need to try your chances with an unconvential strategy unless you don't like your chances with a more standard one. There's much more to be said about it, but the answer would become too long.
s-love: Hi, Grubby! I've been watching closely on your career for a long time, I like your playing style very much, your wise and tactically right decisions always impressed me. You're doing well, keep it up. 

1) What aims have you set for yourself?

2) You're playing professionally since long ago and I think that former enthusiasm has gone away. More of that, it's definitely harder to stay among the best than to become a top player. So share your secret with us — where the fresh motivation comes from? :)

3) You've been to a lot of countries. Which ones did you like and which ones didn't impress you? Do you have a plan to visit Moscow or St. Petersburg? :) Thank you, good luck!

1) To be the most successful WC3 or eSports player in history. To be happy. To help others whenever possible.

2) You think wrongly! I think I am even more enthusiastic now than before. You can see that from my APM (the average has gone up from about 150 in 2002 to 180 in 2003 to ~200 in 2004-2007. Now I'm at average of about 250!). I don't know how to answer «where does the motivation come from?»

For me, a more urgent question would be: how come other people lose their motivation? I don't understand : P

3) There were places which didn't impress me, but it would be rude to say that. I did like Moscow very much, and would love to visit St. Petersburg. I heard it's beautiful.
SLA: Hello, Manuel! Please, recall the times when you was just starting to play good. Let's say, you're taking part in some tournament and you're becoming nervous (all shaking inside:) So the question is how did you handle this feeling back then and how do you deal with it now?
I used to not that get nervous, because I was the underdog! The first time I felt really, really pressurized was in WCG 2005, because I was the «title defender!». I wouldn't say my nerves killed me, but I don't think it helped me to play in a relaxed way. Dealing with it is personal for everyone, you won't have any help from this answer except to play a lot in practice and important games.
ShadowsMind: Hi, Manuel. Do you think esport has a bright future? Will it be able to reach other's sports level like football, tennis, basketball?..
I think eSports in the future can be more popular than all of those combined. The possibilities of video-games and/or virtual reality are probably infinite. I bet that in the (far) future, it will be hard to distinguish whether something is real or not, when you watch it from your TV! But for now, we have a long way to go. But that's also the exciting part: we're all trying to find out how eSports can be most effective, business model and everything.
kadafi: Many people have kind of things that influence them and make huge impact on their lives. For me it's music (Sum41), warcraft and you as the best warcraft-player. Do you had/have this sort of things?
For me the three most influential happenings of the last few years have been WarCraft 3 (the gaming+traveling), going into a relationship for the first time in my life and living on myself.
GG.west2: What means your battle. net account jjs9×143.7-vl.1? Is this your microwave model or something like that? =)
No meaning.
steelart: You're doing well with Happy in 2v2. How do you think is UD+Orc pair the most powerful combination? If not, which one is stronger? =)

How often do you practice with Happy in 1v1 and 2v2? Happy is losing almost all games against orcs, which is bad for WC3L performance. Will you both try to solve that problem through mutual practice? And what advice can you give to undead players?

I think UD+Orc is not powerful, but Happy is powerful and so am I. : P As most people know, playing UD vs Orc is not easy, so it's hard to avoid such losses sometimes in WC3L. We practice from time to time, 1v1 and 2v2. But not if we may meet each other in a LAN tournament. Advice to UD players: try to like the match-up. It will help a lot!

DieGo: Dear Manuel xD, I want to inquire about you reading books. How much time do you spend on reading (if you read at all)? If you do, please name a few authors and books.
I spent avg. of 30 minutes reading per day. Not as much as I'd like, but it's all I have time for. About 15 minutes before going to sleep, and about 15 minutes on the holy throne of defecation. I read primarily science fiction and fantasy books. I especially like science fiction :) right now I'm reading a book which combines space flight, Aliens and paleontology ^^
Skarlath: What do you think about Russian gaming community? In your opinion, does it have a chance to reach the international level or will it be hold on a few players like Happy?
Most countries only have a few top players. I think Russia, Korea, China, Germany and Sweden have the most amount of «very good» players. It makes the national qualifiers a lot harder so I don't mind living in the Netherlands, but at the same time it's also really cool to have a strong national scene. Russia is great, because it produces many big names over the past few years, like Deadman, Caravaggio, Happy, Sting, XyLigan, TitaN, Neytpoh...
avto: Grubby, you've been playing Warcraft since 2003. When it came out it was a brand new game in the whole genre (combination of classic RTS and hero arcade). Now when the game is going to its decline as esport discipline what aspect is prevailing in the pro's games? Have DotA progress affected the Blademaster strengthening and made perfect hero control crucial to the powerful playing? And don't you think that Warcraft used to be more of a strategy game and now arcade has outweigh it?
Huh? What does DotA have to do with WC3? Actually, I believe Sting invented the Blademaster buffing. He was the one that started selling his TP and buying Circlets for it. I'm 99% sure that he was the first (pro) to do so. I don't think he got his idea from DotA, but out of love for the game of WC3. He has many great ideas ;) I think WC3 is just as good now as it was in 2003.
JusT4SkiLL: Hi there. What do you prefer?

1. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
2. China or Korea?
3. Cola or mineral water?
4. WC3 or SC2?
1. I like Harry Potter but LOTR wins easily for me. 
2. I like both.
3. Mineral water.
4. WC3.
eoT.Koluch1y: Fatality is a very famous esport person. What do you think about his way to continue career? Do you want to follow it?
I respect what he has achieved both professionally and commercially. I can't see into the future, though.
Ikki: Hi, Manuel. Do you read your fan's posts? Do you reply to them anywhere besides your blog? Does their support make any result?
I always read fan's posts, except when I'm extremely busy. Then I read it a bit later! Sometimes a message from a fan nearly moves me to the proverbial tears. It helps me remember that I'm not just playing for myself, there's also a lot of people out there who wish for me to win. That gives me even more motivation: I literally wouldn't want to disappoint them, because they'll have to listen to that one hater and wait for my next win!

NUC.StaR: 1) Did you like Russia when you was there? What Russian character features have you noticed)?

2) How to counter human using mass air (gryphons + hawks with 3 armor upgrades) since batriders aren't that effective and they are catched by hawks?

3) Name the best orc player on the planet.

1) Yes, I liked it. Ok, now to the interesting part. What Russian character features? Hmm... I would say: outgoing, proud, but ultimately quite private. Most Russians also seemed quite humorous to me, quite funny : D Take XyLigan for example. He's funny and crazy.
2) You need economical advantage and put good pressure on him.
3) HAHA: D You mean of the UNIVERSE, right?
Stream: If you have an opportunity to send a small message to yourself in the past, what will be the content? ;)
Haha, I actually thought about that before, so I have my answer ready. It would read like:
«Hi Manuel. I'm you from the future. Here's a list of tournaments that you can win if you follow these tips: use Blademaster, Sky is going to towerrush you in WCG 2006, ToD has an expansion in WEG Masters on TS, etc... You can thank me later!
I know you're thinking that this could be considered as „cheating“, but... it's still you, right? And it's not a 3rd party program!

P. s. don't try to write back, the world will collapse in on itself.»

K_FoR: Name 3-5 most important matches which influenced your career.
WCG 2004 finals vs Zacard, and ESWC 2005 finals vs Deadman. These gave me two world championship titles. It was my first year of «sabbatical», first year free from school. If I had performed below my satisfaction, I would probably have gone to university and nearly or completely stop pro-gaming. WEG Masters Semi finals vs Moon was important, because it gave me hope again (before playing Moon, I kinda felt like I wanted to call in sick and not show up).
clify: Hi, Champion. Please, name your favorite book/movie/music performer or a band. Do you listen to misic while playing? And what is your favorite way to relax after the game?
I think listening to music while playing is distracting. But I am listening to music while doing this interview! Nirvana, Nickelback, Christina Aguilera, Coldplay all do really well for my ears. Favourite way to relax is to watch the replay (if I won). If I lost, I can't relax, but I will try to take my mind off of it for a while and then come back and analyse it.
BloodeR: Hi, Grubby. As far as I know from your interview, you've been playing a piano for five years. In your opinion, does it affect finger movements and, in parcticular, micro? Almost forgot: is it hard to challenge Lyn? Do you like to play against him or you try to avoid it?
I would say there's a cause to my skill with the piano as well as the computer. It's a common cause, but I am not expert enough at such things to say what it is. However, I think saying that piano skills «help» in computer skills, is not true. It's the wrong order of cause & effect. I love playing against Lyn, because I love Orc Mirror match-up and he is one of the best. Winning such games is high on my priority list.
Buster: Hi, Grubby!

1. How do you think, what is the right way to practice to become a perfect player? Mass laddering or custom games? What about special micro training maps?

2. Do you remember Russian night elf player Deadman? You and Tod has lost to him at KODE5 2006 in China. Do you remember those games? Why didn't you defeat Deadman back then? Was it good Deadman's shape, imba factor or something else?

1) You don't need special micro training maps I think. You just need to train exactly what you need to improve, and you do that in any kind of game with a strong opponent. 2) I Know What He Did Last Summer. I also remember losing to him at KODE5. I was not following my instincts 100%. Deadman's shape was also at its peak I think. So yes, he was very good in that time.
SiOL!IAMDJ: Grubby, what are your parents' occupations? Did they want you to follow their footsteps in life? What kind of person did you want to become when you was a boy? Don't you wanna start doing some sports like Sky or Insomnia?
My parents' occupation is not important. What's important, is that they just want me to be successful / happy / safe etc. They never asked me to follow them in their footsteps. I am not interested in sports right now (except snowsports or watersports, but no time hehe :)
DIAglhf: Hi, Grubby. Your strategies are amazing, your decisions deserve A+ mark, but tell what marks have you got in school? How did you realize that you don't need studying and did you think about what you would've done if you wouldn't became a progamer?
Answer: In the Dutch grading system, there's 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. 1 is lowest, 10 is perfect. 1-5 = fail. 6-10 = pass. I'm usually around 6,7 & 8. I usually spent little to no time at all preparing or studying for tests. I wouldn't say that's a recommendation for anyone, but I knew that I could pass with little effort. Perhaps if I tried my best I could get 9's, but I did not see the benefit in it. I was not interested in «grade-frenzies».

At 17 years of age, I realised I cannot be a «10» doing both WC3 and Studies at 50%. I chose for WC3 100%. I don't enjoy being a «5» or «6» at both WC3 and studies.
HF_GL: Grubby, hi. Which Korean, Russian and Netherlands dishes are your favorite? Thanks in advance for answers. GG.
Favourite Dutch dish? Haha : D To be honest, Dutch food isn't that nice or special. My family has Indonesian roots, so luckily our kitchen included lots of Indonesian style cooking, which I think is a lot better. For Korean dishes, I like the BBQ «one-bite» dish (sam gyup sal), the Kimchi soup (pronounced kim chi chigge or something) and the 'bean soup' ( djendjang chigge ). The food we had in Moscow overall was not very good, but maybe we ate in wrong places. The best two things I ate in Russia was 'borsch' and the Russian bread! I loved those!
Smoke[rus: Hey, Grubby! I wanna find out, is there a tradition to meet your schoolmates in Netherlands? Do you attend it? Do your schoolmates know about you as an esportsman? And do you know what they're occupied with? Maybe there is someone connected to esports too? :) I'm very interested in your answer! Thank you!
I went to a school reunion once for my primary school (when I was about 15 years old, so it was 3 years after my primary school finished). I was not doing eSports yet; so I had very little interesting stories to share with anyone. It was quite boring.
Tw1ster: Hi, Grubby! Some progamers moved to China or South Korea to practice there, but you still stay at home. Many people associate your country with your name, tulips, football... ;) Please, tell something interesting about the Netherlands. Something that would make one to visit this country. What do you like about it? Tell about town that you live in and what is the feature of Dutch mentality? :)
Netherlands has good sides and bad sides.
Good sides are: relatively safe, not at war, wealthy, stable political system, lots of freedom, pleasant climate with variety of seasons, extensive social security system, good internet connection & ping.
Bad sides are: high taxes, controversial politicians getting murdered, too much freedom, low punishments for crimes, the inability (or illegality) to exercise self-defense when you, your family or your house is threatened, government more concerned in getting votes than improving our country, inefficient use of tax money for country improvement.

Obviously the good sides are important enough to say the country is good for me. But I would feel happier if severe crimes got punished more severely, ie. a murderer getting more than just 10-15 years in prison.

Dutch mentality overall is: try not to act too different, we won't like it. Generally minding our own business. Loving to discuss the weather. Always complaining but never really doing something about problems.
Smoke[rus: Have you seen Russian movies (maybe from Cannes film festival)? Are they being shown on Dutch TV? If you have seen something, what's your opinion on it?
Nope, I haven't.
Lind[Res]: Hi Grubby. You've told that you'd like to have children. Will you be happy if they'll try to become progamers? Argue your answer :) Sorry for bad English :)
The first thing I'd like to do if I ever am lucky enough to have children, is to find out who they are, and to love them for it. That is more important than teaching them any single thing, I think.
Editor's questions

Grubby, when you joined Evil Geniuses you admitted that team's site is very good and that you pay very serious attention to that matter. How is ideal teamsite look like in your opinion?
Ideal teamsite covers all the players' exploits well, and has interesting content to read for both new visitors and regulars. Interactivity is a big plus.
In your recent interview you said that you're enjoyng playing and streaming live and consider it fun. What is the difference between normal playing and with observers watching and why you're enjoyng it so much?
I guess I am a bit of an entertainer, so when I know people are watching I enjoy playing even more, and will try harder to win.
EG is doing quite well at WC3L though your lineup is small and you can't surprise your opponents. So, you must prepare very good for each clanwar to keep the points flying in EG's backpack. What is that preparation looks like? What role plays each member of your team in that process?
Preparation is something continuous for a full-time progamer. You always train for the next matches. That's all I can say =D
Are you satisfied with new WC3L-system or you miss the old one?
I miss the old one, but I am happy with the current one as well. I was shocked by the severe reduction of prize money, though. With such reduction of prize money, there is invariably also a reduction of prestige. I feel like it was not worth all the hard work we put in the whole season, considering the LAN finals were arranged so very poorly with all the delays, network problems and poor conditions. There was no travel support and the prize money would not even cover the travel expense to send 2 European players to China.

Do you plan to further improve communication with your fans?
I am always looking for new and interesting ways to communicate with my fans. It's one of the most fun things to do, hehe!
What is your favorite tournament system to play and watch? Do you like crazy ones like PGL?
My experience with last PGL was very bad. I got very ill from the tournament conditions, I haven't felt so bad in a decade I think. The temperature of the tournament area was below 0 C* I think. It was like playing in a permanent frost nova.
My favourite tournament system to play is probably Double Elimination Bo3, like the Blizzard, BlizzCon and Bnet Season tournaments. The online qualifier for Season tournaments is also always highly enjoyable and exciting =)
What can you say about the movie Beyond the Game? Have you enjoyed to act in the movie?
It was a new experience for me. I've learned more about how documentaries are made.
What color matches your playing style?
Green! I raze buildings to make space for Mother Nature to reclaim the land to what it once was, tens of thousands of years ago!
Do you continue to fill your strategy notebook (which we saw at WCG 2008)? If you do, what is last note there? Will you publish this notebook after retirement? :)
That strategy notebook is pretty much full, I had to start a new one ;) The last note right now is an info page I wrote up regarding Season 7 Bnet Euro finals! Map system, opponents etc. :)
How do you feel about going to ESWC Cheonan? Is it hard to attend a LAN event after so huge offline break?
Yes, I found it somewhat difficult to attend a LAN after such a long break.
Grubby, you've done so many interviews in your career and answered so many questions. But if you have an opportunity to ask any question addressed to all readers of that article, what the question will be?
Answer: I have so many questions to ask my readers, too, haha! Like: «how did you get into Warcraft 3?» and «what do you like about Warcraft 3?» and «what's your idea to improve the foundation of eSports?»
Thank you for this interview. and its users wish you the best of luck!
Thank you too, it was really fun! GL to everyone as well =)