Interview with ROOT Hydra

ploguidic3 2015-01-13 04:28:53

Several months back ROOT's Chief of Operating Officer reached out to me and told me that Shin "Hydra" Dong Won was immigrating to the USA and it would be helpful for him to recieve a letter of affirming that Hydra was an internationally recognized competitor from an editor at eSports Heaven. I was happy to write such a letter to endorse such a talented player. When I found out that Hydra had been granted his visa and had moved into the ROOT house I asked if I'd be able to interview him once he had settled in. Hydra was happy to do the interview, and impressively he speaks English well enough that no interpreter was needed! Some of these answers have been edited for fluidity


When did you decide to come to the USA. What made you want to immigrate here?


I decided to come when I was teamless after CJ Entus. I spent seven years playing for a KeSPA team and I decided I needed a new experience.


What has the immigration process been like for you?


My visa is a P-1a athlete's visa. It was very hard to get, I spent a lot of time getting my visa, and I needed many documents to show that this is my career.


What has living in the USA been like so far? Had you spent a lot of time abroad before you immigrated here?


When I came to the US I'd been to LA, Singapore, and the Phillipines, but it was just for a few short days. Now I'm living in California and I'll live here for a full year. Fortunantely I like the food, weather, and people, I love this place. It is very good for me to learn English, and has been a nice experience.

Can you tell us what your favorite American meal so far has been?


Absolutely burger, I like burgers especially Five Guys. I've never ate a burger like this before, and also pizza is my favorite food.


CatZ has said that you reached out to him about joining ROOT, what made you interested in specifically in joining ROOT as opposed to other foreign teams?


I got some contact from eu team. but catz is very kind of me and contact me as actively, and I want to learn english. I did discuss this with my friends and family. So if I wanted to learn english and play in foreign team, we thought a US team is better than EU.


How has living in the ROOT house been? How does it compare to a KeSPA house?


ROOT house is free. If I'm hungry, I go eat, if I'm tired, go sleep. At KeSPA team houses there's rules. It's very strict. If you can control yourself, i think foreign team ( ROOT house) is also good for progaming. I think both have pros and cons.


What is it like to not be competing in Proleague this season? Do you miss participating in what many consider to be the pinnacle of StarCraft, or are you enjoying the freedom of not having to prepare every week?


I'm satisfied now, but my proleague record is almost 100 wins maybe 96~97, so I hope I can get 100 wins but i don't know it's possible. Nowadays I'm trying to hard practice every day. I do little tournaments, and streaming too. I'm living regularly.

Hydra in his CJ Entus jersey. Image Credit:GOMTV


Are there any ROOT players that have been particurarly helpful in termps of your improvement as a player?


When they are playing games I sit behind them and watch and iIlearned their mind. this is called "foreign mind" in Korea.


Could you elaborate on what the foreign mind means?


I think it's freedom. When playing the game their strategies and thinking are different than mine.


Korea is obviously the mecca of StarCraft. Do you feel that being away from Korea has impacted your training at all?


Yeah it has I think both Korea and the West have different fans culture. Foreign fans very active and that is a good motivation for players, but Korean fans also awesome.

As someone that has played StarCraft Brood War and StarCraft II at the highest levels, how do you think the games compare?


Both games are awesome. Brood War is a very old game, but still loved from people. I think SC2 also will be loved from many people

Hydra at the MSL Finals

Despite playing quite well, your results in StarCraft II have yet to match your achievements in BroodWar. Can you tell us what's been hard for you, and what you think you need to do to get win a major tournament?


I also think I need a career in SC2. Now I'm trying to hard practice. I will show you good results in WCS and the other events.


You managed to qualify for WCS Challenger without dropping a single map. Who are you most afraid to run into in Challenger and beyond for WCS?


Nothing. I will win.


Any last words or shout outs for your fans?


Thanks for cheering for me and supporting me. Follow me on twitter @ROOThydra and watch my stream. Also thanks for my team ROOT, and sponsors



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