fragster: I am sitting here with TargA who lost two of his games in the group stage some minutes ago. How do you feel now that the tournament has ended for you?
Kristoffer 'TargA' Marthinsen: Kind of bad, because I thought I was going to win against Pomi and I did some really stupid mistakes which cost me both games. That hurts. However I am happy that my All-Ins worked against HasuObs, because I practiced them a lot. Also I did not expect to take a map from MMA, but I am really mad that my Six-Pool failed because – again – I did a stupid mistake and chased all his SCVs and kind of threw the game away. I let him build his bunker and move his Barracks. In the end a lot of those small mistakes hindered me from advancing.
Was MMA as good as you thought he would be?
TargA: Yeah, but there is a huge difference between playing him at IEM and playing him at the GSL, because at the GSL he is preparing for his opponents, whereas he probably did not know who I am at all and thus didn't watch any replays or anything else from me. It was kind of like a ladder game. Since he probably underestimated me, I could surprise him. In our first game he tried a really stupid opener that cost him the game, but in the last game on Antiga Shipyard I had absolutely no chance to win.
Did you expect to make it to the playoffs or did you think that HasuObs and MMA would be just too strong?
TargA: I knew that I could beat HasuObs and I knew that my All-Ins worked very well, but I was sure that I could beat him in a macro game as well. I felt also very certain that I could win against Pomi, so I kind of thought I would advance from the group stage. I expected MMA to win the group flawlessy and make it look easy, but luckily Hasu and I both took a map from him. I think it's okay.
You were talking about Pomi. Did you expect him to be that good, or do you think that he isn't that good at all and it was only because you did fails?
TargA: I kind of knew how he played and that he did a lot of weird Two Base All-Ins, so it was my mistake. I probably should have played Two Base Mutalisks and then eventually done a base trade when he tried to push out. He prepares an All-In, scouts and plays the All-In no matter what he sees. I only watched Pomi against MMA and he didn't look any good there, but he qualified for this event and beat HasuObs, so he must be it somehow.
Speaking of the qualifiers: You qualified for Kiev in the SEA tournament. What are your thoughts on the scene in South East Asia?
TargA: When it comes to eSports, the scene is not really big, but there are a lot of people who like to play and watch Starcraft. There is not much money to make. mOOnGLaDe takes pretty much everything and only leaves a small rest for us other guys. However it is a really cool scene with a lot of nice and friendly people, but there isn't much going on as far as serious eSports is concerned. I hope this will change in the future.
You can't practice on the North American and European servers due to lag issues. How does it feel to be only able to play on the SEA or maybe also on the Korean server?
TargA: Actually, I have a worse ping on the Korean server than on the North American one, so I play most of my games on NA. I like to play off-race on the SEA server, so it is not that serious. On NA, I still have a lot of lag. I tried to play on the Korean ladder sometimes but it is simply unplayable. That sucks. The problem with Australia is that you can only get ADSL and I live with three other guys who are all playing and downloading stuff, so I lag no matter what. Some Australians get cable, so they have a better connection to Korea, but it sucks for everyone, also because of the time zones.
So you feel like the other players here have better circumstances for their training?
TargA: Yeah, I would say so. The Koreans and Europeans have the best conditions and there are a lot of top players, which makes it easier to practice. On SEA there are like ten good players and – to be honest – you don't really want to practice with them, because those are the players you are playing against in every tournament, so you have to go on NA, play with lag and get frustrated because you lose against bad players.
You are a native Norwegian and only living in Australia. When did you move there?
TargA: I live in Australia since about a year now. I am studying business and have two more years left before I'm done.
Why did you leave Norway?
TargA: I wanted a change of scenery. I always thought that Australia looked like a cool country to live in, which it absolutely is and I was a bit tired of living in Norway, so I just hopped into a plane and moved to Australia.
How long do you want to stay in Australia?
TargA: I will stay there at least for the already mentioned two more years, but after that I don't really know.
So you don't really want to focus on pro-gaming because of your studies? Or would you like to take a break in order to go to Korea or something similar?
TargA: I want to try pro-gaming, but at the moment I am not good enough and the teams that are asking me to join them can't offer me what I want, but as I said, I think I am not good enough for what I want. I would like to have the opportunity to go to Korea for a few months or stay in a European team house to become better, because I think I can improve a lot.
Are you getting paid a salary at the moment or even hardware or things like that?
TargA: No, I don't get anything. I don't have an official team. I play in a clan with some friends from South East Asia. Some people might know Revenant. He is a pretty good player from Singapore. We also have Ice who is a DotA legend and a few other guys from Thailand and Hong Kong. But it is only a clan. There is no money involved.
Did you pay your travel expansions to Kiev on your own with the ESL stipend or did you receive any help from someone else?
TargA: No, I paid it all on my own. The ESL flight money didn't cover it all. I did it because it is a lot of fun here. I wanted to meet some people like for example HasuObs or RotterdaM and get to know some new people. I also wanted to visit the Ukraine. So far it is a nice country and Kiev is also a great city.
Are we going to see you on some other international tournaments in the future? Maybe at Assembly LAN or MLG?
TargA: I qualified for the NASL Season 3. I was thinking about going to a MLG and I maybe will if there is one in summer, but I haven't decided it yet because it is very expensive. Yeah, I'm not sure yet. When I go to the US then maybe not only for the tournament, so for seeing something of the country as well.
We found your name in the Wikipedia article about your hometown Stavanger. How did that happen?
TargA: Because there is an Australian guy whose nick is EdgE and he also edited my Liquipedia page. Just friendly trolling, but for some reason it hasn't been deleted yet. I think it's really funny.
So you are the star of Stavanger?
TargA: Nah, not really. (laughs)
Thank you for the interview!