Exile5's StarCraft 2 Division is Going Global!
With the release of Legacy of the Void coming ever closer, and the growing popularity of Team League events, Exile5 has chosen to expand its StarCraft division professional roster even further on the international stage.
Our StarCraft division has already been blessed with the inclusion of two skilled players located outside of Oceania:
Tileä and Chan Kim have proven their worth over and over in the DuSt League and Saulo Silva Team League.
Now, to increase the depth of our roster and provide more variety in our training and preparation, we are excited to bring four more very talented players into the Exile5 family:
Anyone familiar with the Starcraft streaming scene on Twitch.tv likely already knows these names, and the years of combined experience they bring to the x5 Starcraft division.
If you live in North America, look out for these guys at LANS! You'll be able to recognise them by their Exile5 jerseys. Make sure you head over and say hello to them!
To welcome our new members, we asked James 'x5.Crescendo' O'Dwyer to sit down with them and ask a few questions.
Please enjoy the sometimes tongue-in-cheek interview below:
=====Interview (by x5.Crescendo)=====
C: First of all, welcome to Exile5!
To start things off, could you share with us how you decided on your usernames - is there a story behind them?
xKawaiian: I originally created it when I moved to South Dakota for college. Everyone had a twitter and I had to make a new username. I didn't want to make it
my xbox gamertag VSt3althNinjaV cause it was too complicated. So since I was from Hawaii and I am Korean I figured I put it together to make Kawaiian, added
the "x" because I thought it looked cooler. And then later I found out Kawaii meant cute in Japanese so I guess it worked also!
aGiLeZERG: aGiLe was my original username, because I always thought I was a fast player compared to the average, as far as actions as camera flicking goes. It
grew into aGiLeZERG when I began streaming and the name Agile was already taken, and used to advertise what race I'd be playing on my stream. Random
capitalization because we all know, and Koreans agree - it looks cool : ^)
Believe: Well I used to be a WC3 player for a long time before SC2, there was a progamer called "Believe" and we played the same race and at the time he was
the best UD player, I was a big fan of him so when SC2 came out I used that ID haha
Neuro: Neuro (as in Neuroscience, Neuron, Neurofunk) represents a focus on the cognition of the strategist. I studied Cognitive Science (with emphasis on
Neuroscience) at uni and realized the great host of commonly committed cognitive errors, biases, maladaptive predispositions of human thinking. Managing
emotions, morale--finding purpose as a living person--manifested on the frontier of RTS.
Let 'Neuro' be a reminder to get even more value out of the power of your human brain and pay close attention to its thoughts.
C: Speaking of RTS, please tell us how each of you became involved in the competitive side of StarCraft. What drives you forward even now?
xKawaiian: I had only played Starcraft casually for fun when I played Wings of Liberty. When Heart of the Swarm came out I was promoted to Platinum thinking
that's the highest I'll ever get. Eventually I kept getting promoted until I hit Grandmaster. My main drives is to just see how far I can push my limits to
become the best player I can possibly be. My faithful viewers help me with that also with all the kind words they say.
Neuro: after university I transitioned into online poker in Canada, studying solid ways to approach the game and discovering the expanse of literature on the
mental side of the poker--dealing with losses, variance, tilt, entitlement, etc. and putting the theories into practice. I played Starcraft HotS beta
recreationally at the time and realized there was not nearly as prominent awareness of mentality in eSports. After my US-Canadian visa expired, I transitioned
into playing Starcraft full-time to translate the knowledge of cognitive science and poker into the language of online gamers and demonstrate their advantages
through live streaming.
I press on beyond GM to discover more about the path of mastery--its tribulations and glories. My purpose in eSports is propagation of knowledge of human
thinking--that gamers may empower themselves to become wiser strategists and individuals.
Believe: Back when I was in middle school a friend showed me a game called Warcraft III: The frozen throne. After that I began playing it allot and before I
knew it I became very good at the game, later on SC2 beta came by and I picked that up and starting playing zerg. After 1.5 years I switched from zerg to
Protoss and got really high on ladder, since then I've been trying to make a name for myself and become the best player I can be!
aGiLeZERG: I grew up on BW and WC3 when I was younger, never fully understood those games because there's only so much you can understand between the ages of
6 and 10ish, but I had a general feel for RTS. I picked SC2 up when I was 16 and just played team games casually, not actually trying to push for success in
1v1 until I was 17 nearing 18 years old, me and some friends from high school had the egotistical "who can get the best the fastest" sort of competition
going. They all moved on from SC2 ultimately to other games, but I found an addiction in the 1v1 side of SC2 that feels extremely rewarding at times, and
extremely punishing at others, and I hadn't experienced that in a game before.
C: Over the years of experience you've had playing Starcraft, which elements (or other aspects) of the game do you find the most interesting and/or
compelling? What kind of strategies do you enjoy employing the most?
xKawaiian: I've always respected the micro intensiveness of Terran bio play. A lot of my inspiration comes from aggressive Terran's that play in both NA and
KR scene (Drunkenboi, Maru, Innovation). But I always will add my own sort of aggressive style into each matchup very uniquely. I've never tried mech in a
serious game LOL
Neuro: The process of understanding the economic spectrum--from maximum greed to full-on aggression and discovering solid plays between them--is a frontier of
ongoing interest. Roach/Queen/Nydus attacks into 3 base Muta/Ling/Bane is a fantastic ZvT strategy; base race scenarios vs Protoss; queen-heavy styles into
Ultra/Brood/Infestor/Corruptor/Viper; Ling/Bane battles in ZvZ with overlord drops. I try to learn to appreciate the infinite varieties of ways a match can
play out and embracing the order and chaos within.
Believe: I find everything In StarCraft interesting from how a few simple chronos can make a timing so much stronger, or to how some good players can win from
sheer mechanics. on top of that to be a very good player you must be very good at both sides of the spectrum, able to all in but also able to be very good at
a macro game while switching your strategy up constantly.
aGiLeZERG: The aspects of the game I find the most interesting, are creating styles that differ from the current meta. If I choose to play the current meta
much like Believe said, I also find it interesting how cutting a few small corners that makes a push come 10 - 15 seconds earlier makes it much stronger. As
far as strategies I always enjoyed playing unorthodox, as far as gameplay I always enjoyed styles that allowed my higher APM to shine over those that played
C: A lot of us, whether in tournaments or on ladder, have games which stick in our memory as being more fun or entertaining than others. Do you have a war
story or favourite match you'd like to share or brag about?
(Bonus points for links to VODs ;) )
xKawaiian: It was during a clan war when I was a diamond. I lost literally all my workers and still managed to beat a rank 4 Master Zerg player. I was a noob
back then but I always think about it was one of my favorite sc2 moments.
Believe: inb4 I pick me immortal all-inning Scarlett on youtube ;)
My 2 favourite matches are probably my qualifying game for WCS in 2014 S3 because I finally qualified, or beating bomber near the start of HotS in a macro
aGiLeZERG: My favorite games were probably winning a series vs a KR GM when I was nowhere near KR GM with multiple 1 base builds in ZvZ
~VOD p1~ & ~VOD p2~ the guy was so disappointed he lost to me that he retired afterwards, not coming back to the game until a week ago for LotV
I love how u added that extra part ;)
aGiLeZERG: He used to stream and want to pursue pro gaming, my friends told me I "beat him into retirement"
C: #TheDream Kappa
Neuro: My first GM promotion match was memorable (August 20, 2014); I had clicked into a new gear of focus and determination 2 days prior and knew GM would come as soon as a slot opened : ~VOD~
Roach/queen/nydus into muta vs avilo is always an amusing endeavor: ~VOD~
The 'legacy is fucking awesome' vod has commentary which captures my sentiments about the coming expansion and starcraft as the main RTS in the world in
C: Echoing the sentiment of 'Legacy is fucking awesome', as we get closer to the release of the next expansion, could I please have your thoughts on what you
are most looking forward to, which changes from beta you are hoping will make it into the release, and why?
xKawaiian: Honestly LOTV atm seems a mess. I know people are trying to figure it out and learn how to develop the meta. But I'm personally gonna take my own
approach at it with each matchup. I heard they're changing the siege tank drops which will probably be biggest thing so far for TvT (TvT is dumb atm with
I am looking forward to putting the pressure on my opponents and use my aggressive strategies to see them crumble! bwahahaha
Neuro: The broadening of harassment options with a more reliable Nydus and individual Overlord drop research create fantastic indirect damage opportunities.
Lurkers remedy many frustrations related to defending huge gateway-based all-ins, Ravagers give Zerg a way of dealing with Force Field, and Swarmhost is
surprisingly powerful when applied correctly. The overall pacing of the game is way better. Experimenting in a fresh meta and creating what becomes standard
is an exciting prospect.
aGiLeZERG: I'm most looking forward to how ravagers are going to make a huge difference in the meta since they're extremely versatile units, I'm also looking
forward to games the revolve much more around counter attacks and multi pronged attacks rather than really really refined attack timings, since that stuff can
get repetitive and dry really quickly to me personally.
Believe: I'm really looking forward to the mineral start actually. Because of this lots of gimmicky openers like proxys and such won't be anything near as
strong, so now if you're a much better player then your opponent you should win allot more of the time then you would be able to in HotS because of all the
C: For a bit of fun: if you could challenge anyone in the world to a Best of Five series, who would it be, and why?
xKawaiian: Definitely MMA. He's one of my favorite Korean influences in the starcraft scene
aGiLeZERG: Wintergaming because I think the games would have a lot of substance to them, and I'd really be honored to analyse some replays versus him and gain
something from those high caliber games, he's been an idol of mine since I was 16 years old, I've followed his career religiously. One day I hope to be as
good as him myself.
aGiLeZERG: ^ I don't know why he's laughing, I'm serious. I LoooOoOOve winter
Believe: PiLiPiLI because I'm a huge fan of him, when I see him warping in those stalkers on an 8gate all in I'm so amazed by his skill. I wish I can warp in
those units like he can.
aGiLeZERG: oh yeah I want to play PiLi too, I think there's a lot to learn from those games when he 7 gates me and a moves me, I really have to critically
think about how many roaches I should make without ever scouting him once when we play
I love that guy! huge fan
also Temp0_ because he is my favorite pop star
he make the starcraft song
Believe: But in all seriousness I'd love to play against CJ herO, he's a very influential player to me that I regard very highly.
aGiLeZERG: Livibee would have to be my 4th pick because I need to practice making spine crawlers
Neuro: Kim Jong Un, because he is a despicable human who deserves to be crushed beneath swarmy might.
C: Perhaps we should make those Bo420 ;)
Outside of the game itself, could you please share with us a bit more about yourselves? Music, books, hobbies, and/or anything that gets you pumped up.
xKawaiian: I really am a big Rock climber. I worked in a rock climbing gym while also streaming. I also enjoy cooking (which I'm cooking atm at the ROOT
house). And pretty much a jack of all trades. I'll try anything any time at least once!
aGiLeZERG: Outside of Starcraft food and girls get me excited, I majored in culinary so I have a passion for cooking / eating (girls always get impressed when
you tell them you were a chef ;) ) and breaking down whatever meal I had so I can attempt to replicate it when I get a opportunity. I also follow the hockey
scene pretty closely, I try to catch as many of the L.A. Kings games as possible. As far as music goes I genuinely enjoy all types of music, I always end up
gravitating back towards trance and progressive house though.
Believe: When I'm not playing StarCraft the things I usually like to do are : movies, other games, going out for drinks or mall, cooking
Neuro: Music: Drum & Bass, Black Metal, Psytrance
Books: Tolkien universe (LotR, hobbit), Steven Pinker-How the Mind Works, Douglas R. Hofstadter-Godel Escher Bach, Frank Herbert-Dune, Sun Tzu-Art of War,
Miyamoto Musashi-Book of Five Rings, Bruce Lee-Striking Thoughts
Movies: Revolver, The Matrix, K-PAX, Chappie, 13 Assassins, Mr. Nobody, The Man From Earth
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Samurai Champloo, Samurai Jack, Death Note, Parasyte, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Kill La Kill, Hellsing Ultimate
Hobbies: Running, Parkour, Rollerblading, Writing, Documentaries
Dota 2 Heroes: Shadow Fiend, Anti-Mage, Spectre, Drow Ranger, Slardar
C: On a more personal note, is there a moment in time which you consider particularly important or formative for who you are as a player and person now?
xKawaiian: Probably when I hit GM a 3rd time or something. I've never really counted as myself as the BEST. But I'm always a person who keeps on motivating
those who need it. I'm a hero of the people hue
Neuro: Discovery of Poker literature related to improving one's mindset--an approach which is greatly lacking on the frontiers of eSports. Delving into Jared
Tendler-The Mental Game of Poker established understanding of how to inject logic into emotional moments and maintain focus on your goals. This inspired
expansion into texts related to martial arts, war, and fighting--I currently seek to employ the useful principles in these writings and translate them into
knowledge pertinent to the progress of gamers.
aGiLeZERG: I was never inspired to get good at 1v1, I used to watch a guy named Fitzyhere stream though, who eventually ended up joining ROOT gaming. He had
a unique style to me, having based a lot of his play around really slow clunky units with 20+ queens in WoL or he'd play off of proxy hatch styles. Doing cute
unorthodox shit is what made me want to keep playing 1s, the fact you could do that in 1s and it'd work was awesome to me.
Believe: I was never inspired much to be a pro gamer, but I really liked the game and kept practising and then WCS was announced, after that I had managed to
qualify for WCS S3 2014 and I remember how happy I was and how much it meant to me. I also really found it amazing watching Rain play because at the time
everyone was all-inning as Protoss but rain would always play defensive and execute it flawlessly; that really inspired me as a player.
C: Now that you are fighting under the Exile5 banner, what are your next plans and short-term goals?
xKawaiian: To accelerate to a player of top pro potential in the North American scene and ultimately to become the best player I can be (Cheesy I know >.<)
aGiLeZERG: My plans don't change as a player, the goal ultimately is still to improve my play the way I've previously had success. The only difference is I
have team mates to grow with and help me improve, they're as much of tools to me as I am to them, for all of us to get better as a whole I hope.
Believe: Just as AgileZerg stated, my plans don't change much because I've always been someone who wants to be the best that I can be, and whatever team I'm
on won't change that. On the other hand I'm very excited to join and I hope I will grow as a player while x5 will grow as an organization/team at the same
aGiLeZERG: : inc book from Neuro
C: I'd read it
Neuro: Joining Exile5 opens opportunity to learn from more knowledgeable strategists and put in hard sparring. PiG and (Former x5 Academy Coach) Juno have
been immensely useful coaches/mentors for around 1 year, and I'm happy to be signing on alongside Agile--who was a big help in securing my Twitch partnership.
I'll be looking to create combinations of styles for bo3 and bo5 series for sequences of builds that create advantages moving into the next game. Also,
incoming book--the Neuroscience articles from the Weekly All-In will compile to form a gamer guide for improvement and growth.
Also, incoming book
The prophecy must be fulfilled
C: Finally feel free to self-promote, give sponsors shout-outs, and drop some links here if you want folks to follow you on the various social media/streaming
xKawaiian: My biggest s/o will definitely be to my previous team (Team Ascension) for helping me out all the way to this point. And of course my faithful
viewers that both motivation and support my Starcraft career. I truly love you guys and I'll try to make you guys proud!
Mastery is a path--an active, ongoing, process. Be deliberate in training and in life. Shout out to Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, and Bruce Lee for teaching us
how to not suck at 'da gaimez'!
And a shout out to my old team TES(bigbogia and horus!!!),
They're a really great team that takes care of their players, also a big shout out to the ex core sc2 group ;)
Shoutout to tekjess, and RabbitSC who are by far my biggest fans / supporters, always attempting to re-motivate me when I'm not feeling good about my play or
progression as a player. Shoutout to ROOT Fitzyhere and CORE Edge as well, for inspiring me to come as far as I have in 1v1.
C: Thank you all for taking the time to let us get to know you a bit more :)