fragster: Hello Apollo. The third day of Starcraft 2 just finished. How did you like the World Championship so far?
Shaun 'Apollo' Clark: It's really good, it's a lot of fun, the commentaries were very good. Working with MrBitter and Rotterdam and Kaelaris has been really fun. Overall it's a little bit warmer then Sweden which is really cold at the moment
where I live. It's been really good games, I am really looking forward to the quarter finals and semis coming up in the next few days.
Out of all the games that have been played during the last three days, what was your favorite one?
Apollo: I think elfi versus MC. It was a lot of people's favor, it was a lot of fun to commentate and a suprise and a shock that elfi managed to do it. Defenitely that one, I think.
Speaking of which: Have there been any other surprises for you? Did you expect Feast do be that successful in his group for example?
Apollo: I didn't actually see that many of his games. I commentated just like one or two of them. Him getting so far is pretty awesome actually. It's really gonna be difficult to go further for him, though. He has to go up against Killer, tomorrow. I think that's going to be a pretty difficult test and if he passes that, he is going against a two times GSL Code S champion MC. At least if MC advances through, which he should. Concerning Feast, I hope he can do well.
Who do you think is going to make it into the finals here at IEM?
Apollo: I believe MC will win the bottom part of the bracket, I believe he'll beat viOlet and then go on to beat the other Protoss player. And I think MMA will go the full distance. So I do believe we'll have MMA and MC in the final.
Let's talk about you: Your career as a Starcraft 2 caster basically began one and a half years ago at IEM Cologne. How has your life changed since then?
Apollo: Yeah, I started of at IEM Cologne 2010, that was my first live Event and from that on I started to work for Dreamhack across 2011. It's difficult as a commentator, because you know you don't get a high amount of salarie, especially if you're not around the right top tier. They of course are doing pretty ok, but for everyone else, it's really, really difficult. There is a lot of criticism when you are a commentator. Everyone is experiencing it, the high end, the low end, and it's always hard to back up, because I've always been, since I was 17, working in eSports no matter what, being a full time player and working only as a caster I had to do a lot of coaching, which helped me advance through the year and was backed by casting events as well. But 2012 is looking really good, in here, working in Hanover doing this tournament. I got a lot of cool plans with Dreamhack and a lot of other tournament. So I'm really looking forward to the end of this year, for sure.
Have you ever regretted your decision to become a full time commentator and coach instead of playing the game professionally? Considering your superior game knowledge, you should actually be able to do quite well, shouldn't you?
Apollo: It's one of the decisions that is always hard to make, if you want to do one or the other. My initial plan was to be a player. I mean I spent time in Korea as well trying to be, but then I got persuaded very heavily by Tasteless to not do that and instead try to do the route as a commentator and he just said: "Try IEM in cologne in 2010, try to get that gig, if you like it. If you don't, continue playing." In the end, I had so much fun at that tournament and office came through from Dreamhack so I was like "All right, let's do that." But of course, I do miss playing, for sure
Alle Starcraft 2 Bilder der Intel Extreme Masters World Championship Season 6 in Hannover.
There are certainly many people out there who would love to get into eSports, but just don't know how and where to begin. Is there any advice you could give them?
Apollo: You know the number one advice I pretty much give to everyone is just hard work. It'll eventually shine through. If you are meant to be, you work hard and you give quality content, then there is no reason for you to get there. A lot of hours, of course, a lot of dedication to the game and eventually you'll get noticed just like everyone else does.
Your tutorial videos are very appreciated within the community, especially because you always address those little but important details of a race. Apart from the usual Supply Blocks and the non-continuous unit production, what do you think are the most common mistakes of the majority of Starcraft 2 beginners?
Apollo: They don't know how to play Starcraft. You go in there, you make money and produce units. That is the common perception of Starcraft, but there is actually a kind of guideline that you should follow along of how to play straight up. That's what I focus a lot on in the tutorial videos. Guys, if you do this and you play normal, and this is how to play normal, then you can win a lot of games really easily if you just know how to. That is the biggest thing, I think, it's just "How To". That is what I really try to emphasize throughout the every race and every tutorial.
You are going to host a new eSports show called "Killing eSports" alongside 2GD and Semmler the Riot – at least that's what the title of the teaser video was named. What can we expect from this show and how much do you know about the other games that will be covered apart from Starcraft?
Apollo: Obviously I can't talk to much about it until it is finally out there. I can definitely confirm that it is not called "Killing eSports" for all the people out there who were thinking that after the video. But the other games in there? I won't be doing that, I will do the Starcraft, of course. The other stuff, I won't be messing around with. Maybe if there is a show, if there is something like that, maybe I play a bit of Dota, because I can. I don't play any Bloodline Champions or Quake, so maybe doubled around with Dota 2, but definitely focussing on Starcraft and that is kind of the stuff you'll actually have to wait for and find out what actually happens with that.
What are your hopes and wishes for your personal future in eSports?
Apollo: Nothing really, I just want to continue doing my own thing and you know, doing tournaments and see where time takes me. A couple of years ago I didn't think I would be here, last year I didn't think I would be here, so I have no expectations for next year.
Is there anything left you want to say?
Apollo: I just hope you guys enjoy my content, just follow me on twitter @dApollo1337 and on YouTube, just dignitasApollo, and TwitchTV, as well dignitasApollo.
Thank you very much for this interview. Have a nice day!