IPL 5 - Interview with Axiom's Ryung, CranK, and Genna Bain
The recently formed Axiom Starcraft 2 team brings two of its three players to Las Vegas, where Ryung will be participating in the GSL Code S Round of 4 as well as the IPL 5 main event, and CranK has a seed into the fourth round of the IPL 5 winner's bracket.
I had a chance to briefly talk with Ryung and CranK, with CranK acting as our impromptu translator, so a big shoutout to him for his gosu English skills! I also talked with the founder and manager for Axiom, Genna Bain, about her roles with the team and where things are headed in the future.
Kim "Ryung" Dong Won
Image Source: thisisgame.com
How are you feeling going into your GSL semifinal match against Sniper?
I feel like my condition is good, I will win.
I guess you're feeling pretty confident, then. How did you practice for the match? Who did you practice with?
I practiced a lot with my Zerg teammate, Axiom Miya.
That leads into my next question, how much do you practice with teammates in general? How else do you practice?
I have not practiced much with CranK, with no chance of meeting a Protoss in GSL. So I pretty much just practice with Miya.
How do you think you will do in the grand final match since you will have no time to prepare specifically for it?
I have already practiced a lot with Miya, so I am feeling confident in all my games.
How do you like your new team?
Short, but sweet... You are in two tournaments at once here. How do you think you will do in IPL with GSL happening at the same time?
GSL is much more important than IPL, all my practice has been for GSL.
Do you have any words for your fans?
I will win this tournament, so cheer for me and Axiom!
Choi "CranK" Jae Won
CranK Sporting the Cynical Brit Jersey (Image Source: teamliquid.net)
You were the first member of Axiom, but you have some new teammates. How do you like them, as teammates and friends?
They are both teammates and friends! I think that player skill is not important. I think that players must have good personality. So, I helped pick these players!
You helped pick?
Genna: Oh, he always helps pick. We don’t consider a player unless we talk to CranK, we would make some foolish decisions without him.
How did you practice for IPL?
I could not practice for IPL [because of my neck issues], so I just took care of Ryung and Miya. My confidence is good, but I do not practice much myself.
Who do you think you might face in your first match? It could be someone like Bomber, Sniper, maybe even VortiX or TheStC?
I might play with Bomber…
Who would you like to play the most?
Do you think you can beat him?
Oh yeah. I don’t like playing against Terran… not my best matchup.
How well do you think you will do in IPL?
I can’t really answer, this tournament is hard. But I will do my best.
How do you like foreign events compared to Korean events?
I like foreign events, because they are an exciting experience. Korean events, they take so long!
Do you think you perform better in foreign events, and why?
Foreign events, because I cannot really practice.
Do you have any words for your fans?
Please cheer for Ryung and Miya, and Axiom!
What about you? People can cheer for all of you.
No, no, I’m good!
Genna "Intricacy" Bain
image source: twitter.com
Since we last talked, you have gone from personally sponsoring CranK to having a team of three skilled players, with Ryung even making the GSL Round of 4. So, all of the sudden you have a strong team. How does that feel?
It feels very good that we are able to attract such a high level of talent so quickly, but I think we are very fortunate to have CranK as our captain; he has helped us make the best choices.
Having all of the players be former SlayerS players must give a boost to team chemistry, but what else has Axiom done on top of that?
We allow the players to practice at their leisure; we do not have a strict practice schedule. CranK helps as a bit of a coach to help the other players, and keep them motivated. They are all there for each other, and they all live together right now, and I think that helps with the team dynamic.
Do you have any plans to add more players to maybe get involved in some team leagues, or do you have any other next steps going forward?
We’re currently looking into a partnership for the next GSTL until we can field enough players on our own as Axiom. As for players, we are okay for 2012. Our goal was to have three players by the end of the year, and we have met that. We hope to add a couple more at the very beginning of next year. Our goal is to have six players, and be able to participate in GSTL.
How do you like the team manager role? Rather, you really do everything, don’t you?
It’s very difficult; it is a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. Time is always a factor, and there is always a lot of pressure. I feel not really as confident since I am in America and my players are over in Korea, so if something happens, I always worry that I will not be there to take care of them the way they need to be taken care of during Korean events.
These are just different obstacles that I am working through. I have a great time, so they keep me going.
Do you just go through CranK in Korea, or do you have some kind of liaison?
I just trust CranK. There are so many teams that have a manager in Korea, but there are so many things that are lost having those different cogs in the machine. I really like to communicate with my team one on one. They feel like they can trust me with their information, and I feel I can trust them with mine.
We keep no secrets from each other; everyone knows absolutely everything, down to even financials and what’s going on with the team. No one is ever kept in the dark.
Do you still do all the same things you have been with Cynical Brit at the same time?
I do. I’m still CEO of the Cynical Brit, so I do run that company. I run Axiom. Here at IPL, I will be doing caster and host’s hair and makeup for both IPL and GSL, and try to help manage the team while I’m here, and conduct all the interviews.
It’s definitely a lot, but this is my full time job. It’s not like I have to go back home and work a 9 to 5. I run my own business, so it is a little more flexible.
That’s all I have, so do you have any words for fans of the team?
If you are going to be here at IPL5, we do have inflatable Axiom team axes that are absolutely awesome, so definitely try to find me and get your hands on one.
Big thanks to my team: CranK, Ryung, and our newest addition Miya. And thanks so much for cheering for us!
Check back here at SCVRush.com for more IPL 5 content, as I will be on-site looking for interviews throughout the event, even in video form starting on Friday!