One incredible year to be covered in one interview. Foggy the Humble, Foggy the Fearsome!
It came out in the conversation when we were discussing Happy's interview with Chatwin that I never did a full one with Foggy. It's probably because after GCS Spring, he already had been interviewed live by Hawk for maybe... an hour? And the transcript was available somewhere.
We also did that short video interview after him beating Lucifer in the group stage. Short because quite clumsy at that time, I had nothing to power my camera and it just died. Be sure that now I come to any event with a 3 meter long multi 8 slots plugs + 4 different chargers to be prepared. It has its little effect on security at the airport.
This was my first ever interview and actually my last audio recorded one...
For the anecdote, we came back to that internet cafe with Foggy in December. I even showed the place to Romantic later one day so he could train...he was like "how do you know Shanghai so well?..". I just know this one place and the restaurant next to it (where we can drink beers at 2 AM with Neo!).
Anyway, after WCA Europe, he was interviewed by Izzard at goodgame.ru that gave me a full translation ready to post so, no need to do anything myself. Interview is available here.
Now that 2016 has ended with Lyn winning WCA and 120 GCS Fall season, we can go back on Foggy's incredible year and discuss a little bit of his personality. Ok, you know he is kind spirited and very focused. And for all the time I've spent with him, I can vouch that he is exactly the same in real life that he is on stream. I mean wtf, he always has only nice things to say about everybody.
This being said, he also has funny anecdotes and good advises on how to make progresses in Warcraft and in life in general. Let's see about that!
Dear Foggy, Thank you for agreeing to this interview!
Can you make a quick presentation of yourself for the few people that were in a coma in 2016?
Hi all, my name is ANDRIY, and my gaming ID is FOGGY. I am 24 year old and I play Warcraft 3 professionally. I work on GoodGame.RU and Twich.TV as a Warcraft 3 streamer.
You often use the ID "sk.hot" on W3arena, can you go back in time and count how you became the best player in Ukraine?
I have not become the best player in the history of Ukraine. SK.HOT still had better tournament results than me and earned more money. Sk.hot is the 22nd in history, I am only 60th according to these rankings :
I am only the second best, but i want to go higher than HOT !
WCG 2007 1/4 Finals - Hot 1-2 Moon
In the plane from Yinchuan to Shanghai, you told me about your last "normal" job in a call center. Can you share it to everybody? That was hilarious.
When you start working in an office being a pro-gamer, it looks just like an internet cafe.
Everyday I would go to work with my own keyboard and mouse. I learned all the hotkeys from the software I was working on to have the highest apm possible!
We also had a ranking system in-between employees to see who was the most efficient. It reminded me of the Warcraft ladders. I tried to reach the top rank and finally did. I really liked that job, but I love streaming even more!
Can you detail how you balance your gaming life with your family life at home?
I live with parents, and my goal is to buy my apartment. It's a good motivation because having his own place is very expensive. I have my own room, which is also my office! When I get up, I just need one step to reach my computer.
Foggy's gaming place
Now streaming is a very popular type of work, and in Ukraine it is a good way to make money. However, I am only focusing on gaming when a big competition is coming up. The rest of the time I try to read many books and take some business lessons in order to develop myself. This way, if my streaming/gaming career comes to an end, I can switch to something else.
I also take very good care of my health. I eat healthy food every day, I go to the gym twice a week and I go sleep early. I can sleep between 9 to 11 hours every day!
This is my balance, work and rest, keeping an healthy style, studying and following important news.
How does your family sees your career in Warcraft?
My parents support me a lot now, my dad even became my fan after I won WCA Europe. It is so funny because when I started to play, they hated it and did not understand my passion.
You discovered China this year and spent more than a month overall : any funny anecdote to share?
When I took a cab once, the taxi driver said : hey HARRY POTTER !
During the time I've spent in China, I really felt like a professional gamer. Got up every day at 8:00 AM, went to ImbaTV office to practice all day long and came back to the hotel at 22:00.
For me it was a very nice experience... and I love Chinese food!
Is this anecdote the reason why everybody was calling you Harry Potter in Shanghai?
Oh not at all, I've been called Harry Potter since I started wearing glasses :D !
Is there a player that you particularly bonded with?
In Russia I have a friend called ClownPooh, he taught me how to play Warcraft 3 and coaches me.
In China my best Warcraft 3 friend is Yumiko. He helped me a lot when I started to play on Netease. He also taught me some strategies in the beginning when I was such a bad player with a 400 ms ping.
In Korea I particularly studied the way Moon was playing. It was very impressive to see Moon in real in Shanghai!
In Europe my best friend are Back2Warcraft and Ugri
Actually I like all Warcraft 3 players, and can only tell good thing about everybody.
Remo & Neo meet Foggy for the 1st time in Yinchuan
First turning point of your 2016 career was your victory against Lyn and qualification for the playoffs. Can you go through this event from group stage to Playoffs?
I prepared 1 month for this match against Lyn. Played like a hundred games with Sini and Orcworker!
I was very confident that I could win. Sini and Worker really helped me to make progress in my NE/ORC matchup.
Nobody believed that I could beat such a legend. After I won, I felt extremely happy.
What was the most intense : victory over Lyn in May or Th000 in December? Why?
Lyn and TH000 are two legend and currently the best players in Warcraft 3. I felt so happy... like I had beaten two world champions!
For me and my fans it is very important because I work very hard to do this and they are supporting me, watching me training on my stream.
These two matches had the same intensity!
Demonstrative Foggy after beating TH000
You then qualified for WCA, winning WCA Europe. How was it to climb back the whole loser bracket?
First day I played sloppily, I felt drained after my loss (against Hawk)
I just went to sleep to not think too much about it, and I slept well. The next day I woke up, took some energy drinks and I was back more focused. It helped me.
For me it was a very long and hard path to qualification. In 2015, I qualified for the final four of WCA Europe but had my visa to Germany denied (note : he was replaced by Yaws that went on to reach the Grand Finals). Then right after, I lost an additional qualification opportunity against to OrcWorker in a BO1...
I promised my fans then that the following year I would play again and reach the WCA finals ! My only goal during WCA Europe 2016 was to win the tournament!!
You seemed to have improved your Human matchup a lot?
Yes, I play many custom games with Yumiko. On ladder I face Infi and TH000 and during Ifeng Cup I face Romantic.
I face Hawk a lot too during Gera Cups and he gives me many advises. So I regularly play against the best humans.
How high would you rank yourself in the overall world rankings? (Please give a specific rank).
I think I belong in the top 10 in 2016, but my dream would be to be TOP 10 in these rankings :
Happy seems to win many of your last encounters. I know he says he is just a streamer but would not he be the best player in Europe skill wise nowadays?
Now all players are streamers, I think Happy and I are now the best in Europe. We always have close games. Happy taught me a lot on how to play better against UD, that is the reason why I play well against 120 and that I won against WFZ during GCS.
I am very thankful to Happy for playing many tournaments. He makes the scene in Europe look stronger. It is always a good motivation for me to play against him!
And all a sudden we have 3 UD on the top of the rankings, UD imba?
I only believe in hard work in WC3, not in race imbalance. UD players are at the top now on their own merits.
In the history of the game, Moon is still the best earner of all times so maybe NE is imba? :D
NE is the race that struggles the most against UD. What is the key to the matchup?
I think this match up about micro level, if both sides choose the right strategy, the best micro will win. For Night Elf it is very important to choose right strategy :
- if you go 2 bases, and the UD rushes, you will probably lose. So before going 2 bases you need to know what is the UD planning. The Key for a 2 bases strategy is to have an advantage early game, or to have an UD who goes late creeping. Many Night Elves are losing due to poor scouting.
- Massing dryads do not work if the map have many trees, where the UD can hide his wyrms. Hyppos are needed to fight against frost wyrms in this case.
Foggy with 120 in GCS Spring and WCA 2016
What went wrong in Yinchuan during WCA Finals? (Won the first map then lost 6 in a row)
After winning the first game vs 120, I started to be nervous. I then lost 6 games, I was playing worse and worse...
But I still think that LawLiet and Yumiko were really in a better shape than me and deserved to qualify. I made many mistakes in my games.
Did you feel bad that your one win eliminated 120 :D ? (that one loss made 120 lose the 3 ways tie-breaker with Lawliet and Yumiko)
Well when we were drawn at 1-1, I gave him a free kill on my DH that had a +500 hp potion... I was very disappointed after the game ! 120 made less mistakes than me, so I lost to him again.
How can it goes so wrong in Yinchuan, then so well during GCS (3rd place finish)
I had more time to prepare, and the tournament system was different : one match per day is the best format for me. I can focus on how to beat 1 player, learn from his replays and practice.
During WCA I had 3 matches in 1 hour, it is much harder.
Nostalgia Battlefield : did you try to register for it? Why did not you participate?
Nobody invited me or told me about it before it was too late to register for the Qualifications. For other tournaments different Chinese admins usually inform me.
And this time they invited just Grubby from Europe.
///Questions from Chinese Fans///
It seems very hard now for NE to beat Orcs. Moon lost (allegedly) 10 game sin a row against orcs. What do you think about this matchup evolution?
I think that when Night Elves play very passively, and Orcs play very aggressively with 1 burrow tech, they take map control very quick.
The key on how to beat an orc is not to just survive waiting for talons to come into play, but to fight as much as possible and put pressure!
Who are the top 3 NE in the world, in which order?
I would say Moon, Lawliet and... Foggy! :)
Koreans Night Elves still have more experience, but I think we can fight against them! And maybe one time Life, Colorful, Xixi or Foggy can become the best Night Elves in the world !
Lawliet with Foggy - WCA 2016
Who created and who manages the russian VK page "Welovewarcraft"?
At start it was my own "Foggy's group", but now it operates for all of Russia and even Europe Warcraft communities.
Especially Hundredkg does a lot for it. When I am in China and cannot manage the group page, he adds photos and comments. Now the page is about all Warcraft 3 news, videos, statistics,... We also do some tournaments. Each day more people join our group.
I think a social network is better than a website, because it easier to manage and it does not require money or anything else to support it.
Webpage : vk.com/welovewarcraft3
How much money do you earn from twitch and donation? Is it enough to make a living? How long do you plan to play Warcraft?
From stream donations, it is like an average Chinese salary. I can get some extra money from tournaments. Every year I decide if I want to continue to stream and play warcraft 3. For 2017 I've set some goals for myself.
What are 2017 objectives then?
In 2017 my goal is to win more competitions and get better results than in 2016. My big dream would be to win some important competition like GCS or WCA
What about your boxing tribute after victories? Did you box in the past? Does it have any meaning?
No I am not a boxer, it is just that my favorite movie is Rocky, and I recommend everyone to watch this movie!
Just when I played the first time with Lyn, he was the Champion and I was just Foggy, a player with no win on any major competition, only practicing on NetEase with bad ping and disconnects.
So if you know the story of the movie "Rocky", he was just a random boxer first and he goes on beating the world champion ..
No matter what the ping, the lags and the disconnects can be, practicing hard to achieve your dreams is the most important.
This is nothing new, the first time I heard about this movie was on HawK stream after he won a ZOTAC Cup. He used the movie song "Eye of the Tiger" and I went straight to watch the movie. I was so excited by the movie that now I continue this tradition on my stream !
Foggy, a Stallone in growing
///End of Chinese fans questions////
You are so dedicated to the game it even impresses Chinese and Korean players I talked to. Do not you think you are missing on key moment of youth? Party, discover the world...
Not at all, I think that the people that have never beaten Lyn and TH000 are missing more than me, hahaha
When I was in China for GCS/WCA, we went to restaurants many times after matches. I think going out a few times in a week is enough to relax, but for sure before a big competition you need to sacrifice all your time to practice, so you can get the best result possible.
So I think that the best time to party is after one's hard work is done. And it's not needed to do this too often.
And about discovering the world, without Warcraft 3 I would probably never have gone to China... I actually don't like to travel much.
Nice meal : Infi, Qiaolin, FOggy, Orcworker, Ugri, Neo, Remo, Ted, Yaya
You won the European Challenge thrice against Romantic, Lucifer and Life. Which match was the most intense?
The most intense match was against Romantic. We always have very close games and my DR strategy really did not work. I felt more confident for the next two series against Lucifer and Life.
You were trailing 1-2 against Romantic and Life, lost first game on EI twice and won 3-2 twice : no panic for Foggy?
After playing many Gera cups finals and GCS, i feel more confidence when playing these kind of matches.
Even after a loss, even a loss because I've let my DH die again, I know that it is not the end. My match continues and I start to play better after each loss.
A word on Imperius/Misterwinner : any way to make him not produce a rifleman?
Only god can stop him ..
My personal coach ClownPooh offered him his help, but he rejected it!
How did ClownPooh become your coach?
ClownPooh was a famous player in 2006, he was fighting against famous players like Deadman (who was the one of the best player in the world)
In 2015 when I was streaming ladder games, he gave me many advises... and these advises worked! I started to ask for his counsel more and more and we started watching replays together, and became good friends.
Also he taught me how important it is to watch replays at x1 speed to see important details. I used to always watch them at x4 or x8...
Pooh can be anybody's coach! :) ~ Yumiko and Foggy at WCA
Anything you wished I asked or that you want to say to your fans?
I want to say big thank Keke ! She is amazing ! Also Ugri and HuaHua always help me a lot.
I love you guys.
Special thank all Warcraft 3 sponsors and organizers (ifeng cup admin who register me every week :D )
and Warcraft 3 fans .. you are the best ! I hope that in 2017 we show you more impressive matches and you get much fun to watch them !
Keke takes care of foreign players during GCS. Here with Foggy before playing Lyn for the first time
Foggy will always be special to me as I took my first step in Warcraft Esport at the very moment he came to China for his first big breakthrough. I was totally oblivious to what was going on in the scene and could hardly recognize players by their face. Foggy was easy to recognize of course because... he looks like Harry Potter right? And he also have his name written on his sweater.
His story made me want to write more stories... I had never written shit about Warcraft before. And what I wrote made me meet many great people and travel around, making life just more interesting.
Let's just hope we will see more exploits of him in 2017 as he is the only European players that can scare some of the best players of. Happy could too of course, but he is only a streamer and is retired... or is he?
Take care Foggy! (and thank you for the kind words in the interview)