Interview conducted by CyanEsports on an older version of Esports Heaven.
Jared Krensel is perhaps one of the most unique StarCraft personalities that you could ever find. The man is based in one of the most remote continents in the world, Australia. He is soon entering his thirtieth year of life—a rare age for fulltimers in the esports industry—and he rose to popularity after StarCraft 2 had peaked.
Jared, commonly known as PiG, has been around since the beginning of SC2. Chasing the ‘professional gamer’ dream that so many esports fans are gripped by, PiG managed to find some success in regional StarCraft 2 competition and occasionally on the world stage. Through events such as WCS Australia 2012 and representing esports on mainstream Australian news outlets such as ABC and SBS, PiG became one of the most visible SC2 players in the SEA region. With his charismatic figure and a friendly smile, PiG found himself casting for WCS soon enough.
Now, PiG is a fan favourite WCS caster with a huge presence on YouTube and Twitch. With constant streaming and the series ‘The PiG Daily’, Krensel is one of the most active, visible, and beloved personalities in all of SC2 esports. His success serves as a constant inspiration for me and reassures that SC2 is still capable of creating and supporting new, top tier esports talent.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to discuss many things with PiG. Our conversation ran over two hours long, with him outlining his thoughts on everything from balance, his former team Exile5, what makes the Australian scene so unique and his plans for the future.
TIMESTAMPS3:30 – You’re a part of one of the most unique StarCraft scenes, the Australian scene. Tell me: what makes this community so close knit and develop so much talent?
7:14 – In the PiG daily 100, you say that people preferring team games over 1v1 is no new trend. Do you think that core 1v1 audience is perhaps more dedicated to ‘their’ games compared to the multiplayer gamers?
13:00 – You’re just returning from Maynarde’s wedding, a fellow Aussie WCS caster! How was that experience?
15:00 – I think it's so great that such close relationships can develop from the esports scene. Can you talk to this a bit?
21:14 – You started really gaining traction in esports as other big names in SC2 were starting to leave for other games. Were you ever worried for your future during this time?
29:11 – PiG... why are so many of your early YouTube videos exactly 15:01 long?
33:27 – I think its great how much of a role your girlfriend, Dot, has played in your esports journey. Can you talk a little bit about this?
39:00 – Some of your most popular YouTube videos feature your games vs. Avilo. What are your thoughts on Avilo, and why did you choose to publish these videos?
46:20 – It sounds like you published these videos as a form of public shaming for Avilo. Does it bother you at all that these are some of your most popular pieces of content?
49:40 – What prompted you to start making the PiG daily?
55:46 – What’s the future of the PiG daily?
1:02:00 – How big of a difference has focusing on livestreaming made for your life?
1:10:45 – You say in several points of the PiG daily 100 videos that you’re naturally a very instinctive player. Do you ever feel a sense of irony that you’ve become well known for being a learned build order guru?
1:14:00 – I wasn’t aware that x5 had disbanded. When did the team close its doors?
1:18:18 –There’s been a lot of discussion in recent months around the state of the meta, what are your thoughts?
1:24:20 – It's become a yearly tradition for Blizzard to do a complete overhaul of SC2 balance. What are your thoughts on these sweeping changes?
1:27:46 - FAN QUESTIONS
Nicholas Chaussios asks: I've noticed his casting style has evolved since he started casting (I'd say a more serious and sober style). has it come naturally or does he work on it on purpose? Does he choose to cast in a certain style or [doesn't he] think about it?
Gemini asks: What are his thoughts on the "generic caster hype" voice that people usually criticize casters for?
Shyrshadi asks: Have you ever thought of becoming a coach?
Daedalus asks: What was the hardest thing about transitioning from being a pro gamer to a caster/streamer and what was the trigger for making the transition?
Zelderan asks: What is the one thing that new players can do to make them a better player? What was the hardest thing you've overcome?
Shadow Adjutant asks: For those of us not gifted with Korean genes, how can we go about getting into the Australian SC2 scene? Are there even opportunities available to be able to work on SC2 esports from WA?
1:58:45 – We’re currently in the 20th anniversary month for the StarCraft franchise. What’s your favourite StarCraft memory that you haven’t shared on camera before?
2:01:36 – As someone who has experienced all levels of success as a content creator during SC2’s lifetime, from the highest peaks to the lowest moments, whats your prognosis for content creation in SC2?
2:04:09 – You’re obviously a career esports personality, but what are your long term goals for yourself in esports?
2:06:00 – You must be excited for the prospect of a WarCraft 3 remaster.
2:07:30 – What advice would you give anyone trying to rise in the SC2 scene right now?
2:10:10 – You say in the PiG daily 100 that your esports journey is defined by getting punched in the face and falling over. It's been over a year since that video was published, have you had any of those moments since then?
2:13:37 – Closing thoughts
If you enjoyed this interview, follow the author on Twitter at @CyanEsports. You can follow PiG at @X5_PiG. Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.