Hello Harstem. You made it out of the second group stage with 3-0. Did you expect that result?
Kevin 'Harstem' de Koning: When I saw my group I expected to win 2:0, 2:0, 2:1 and it was 2:1, 2:0, 2:1 so it's a bit what I expected, but I'm still happy, that I made it out with this ease.
Why are you so confident at your play at the moment?
Harstem: I practise a lot, and not many European players practise a lot. So, I think, I have an advantage against every other European.
A lot of Protoss players complain about ZvP. You beat Bly and even expected to win, as you said before. Do you also feel confident in this matchup?
Harstem: I don't feel confident in ZvP, I don't think any Protoss does at the moment. You got to do what you got to do. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, I guess. It's not completly imbalanced. Protoss has many strong all-ins, 2Base-Timings, 3Base-Timings and Zerg has a pretty strong late game. So I guess the win rates are 50:50. I'm decently confident.
Are you afraid of any player in the playoffs?
Harstem: Any Zerg player.
How far can you go in this tournament?
Harstem: Depends on how many Protoss players I get in a row. I don't lose PvP.
Harstem: I practise the matchup a lot. I just don't lose it.
You joined fnatic some months ago. Did it help you to develop your play?
Harstem: Yes, it really helped me. Especially NightEnd helped me a ton in PvT and PvZ, showing and explaining me what to do. I really think that joining fnatic helped me grow as a player.
Do you feel any extra pressure?
Harstem: No, not at all. I don't get pressured, so I don't feel pressure at all.
You are, like, the second best player in the Netherlands behind Grubby. Do you feel like standing in his shadow? When will you step out?
Harstem: I don't know. I think ret is still better than me. You shouldn't underestimate him. He is a bit in a slump, not posting really good results. But his play is quite solid. So I think I'm still third Dutch player. And Grubby – I don‘t mind standing in his shadow. He has a nice shadow, I like it there.
You already postet decent results, but you never won a big torunament or finished top three. Do you think, that you have the potential to do so?
Harstem: Yes, I think I do. I think I can win this tournament, as long as I am lucky. You always need a little bit of luck, with the payers I want to face. If I only get Protoss to the finals, I'm pretty confident, that I'm going to win. And if I get a mix of Terran and Protoss I'm also pretty confindent to at least get top four. So it's a bit of luck and mostly skill.
You said early that you practise a lot. Are you a full-time pro-gamer?
Harstem: I play full-time and I don't have to do anything else. That's why I practise a lot, I guess.
fnatic has a team house in Korea, are there plans that you will go there?
Harstem: Nothing solid yet. But in the future I will go there. Maybe with the release of HotS. There is no use to go there now, if I qualify for DreamHack Winter. No solid plans yet, but I might go there.
How long do you plan to be a pro-gamer?
Harstem: Depends on how well I do. If I feel like I get enough out of it, I will continue this career. And if not, I will go back to studies and be perfectly fine with it.
If you could change three things about Starcraft. What would it be?
Harstem: Mothership Vortex, I guess. It's a pritty dumb spell. I would also change the clouds around the Watchtowers. The smoke makes it really random. Especially in PvT and ZvT. He can do three racks pressure, he can do run-bys. And you can't really run into the towers. Because there can be three Marines, there can be six Marines, there can be twelve Marines. You have no clue. I think that's not good for the game. And the last thing I want to change is Infestors. I would like to change Fungal. I don't know how I want to change it, but there is a lot discussion going on now. And I'm sure we will come to a point where the Infestor will be changed, because how it is now, it's not good.
Thank you for the interview!