It's been a rollercoaster to say the least for our good friend Kim "viOLet" Donghwan, a professional StarCraft II player that made arguably the largest impact and entrance into the scene during the 2012 season, accumulating nearly $100,000 in prize money and solidifying his place in the game's short history as one of the best Zerg players in recent memory.
After a wonderful 2012, real problems started to occur regard visa issues. As I've touched on during my in-depth piece regarding Kim's career in Jeju's Hidden Talent, he's seen both his good and bad days, seemingly running into an obstacle with something or other just as things were looking positive for him. Nonetheless, throughout the last two years, Kim has perservered through thick and thin and, through overcoming incredibly tedious visa issues regarding his ability to stay within the United States, will be returning stronger than ever in 2014.
Fading out of the scene as many do, Kim's career seemed to be doomed -- a hiatus of over 6 months, no major tournament wins, no streaming and no real indication of where he was headed. What seemed to the public as just another player that had fallen off the cliff of competition was in reality an incredibly complex and somewhat serious problem: if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services did not grant him access into the country, he would not be able to compete and would be forced to enlist in the mandatory 2-year Korean military program, ultimately ending his gaming career.
Luckily, after a reported 500 pages of documentation, months of stress and worrying and a dimly-lit flame of hope, Kim became the first ever StarCraft II player to be admitted a P1-A visa, enabling him to traverse to and fro the United States and Korea as appropriate and extinguishing any previous doubt of a career-ending situation. We were lucky enough to reach out and grab a quick interview just as Kim arrived in Texas from South Korea, detailing the basics -- his career plans from here on out, what he thought of the situation and what we can expect from him.
Photo Courtesy of CSN
I had incredible stress with the visa stuff; it became such a distraction that it was affecting my practice. As a result of this, I was unable to play in as many tournaments as I desired. It is now the occassion to make up lost time in 2014, you will see much more from me and can expect much more this coming year.
I can't say, as it's still a secret. What I can say is that I have maintained a rank of GM on the Korean servers.
ABSOLUTELY, I plan to start streaming next Monday. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my fans, especially the ones that never gave up on me. Thank you to everyone at /r/starcraft as well for supporting me through this.
Well right now Protoss is really strong, I would compare it to Zerg towards the end of WoL and Terran at the beginning of HotS. Regarding changes to my play style, since Protoss is the strongest I need to prepare strategies around that.
I have confidence against any player, I am and will be training extremely hard to show my games to the fans once again.
I have always liked ZvZ and I feel that it is my strongest match up, however Protoss is my weakest right now.
I am completely focused on qualifying for WCS AM. One thing at a time.
My goal for this coming year is to win Blizzcon 2014.