Interview with Jin Air Green Wings Head Coach Cha Jihoon: “I don’t think that working hard and practicing are enough to become a progamer, you need a bit of talent.”

Jin Air Green Wings SC2 Coach Ha Taejun and Head Coach Cha Jihoon

It was the final day of the GSL Super Tournament 2 and also the last chance for Solar to qualify for the WCS Grand Finals. The first PvZ opposed Jin Air sOs and Infinity Gaming Solar who was leading 2 to 0 before sOs woke up and tied up the score. In game 5, sOs went for an uncommon build on the pro scene by building a pylon in Solar’s main and producing Dark Templars. Solar wasn’t prepared and finally lost his last hope to Blizzcon.

At the end of this match, Jin Air Head Coach Cha Jihoon answered some questions for Korizon.


Congratulations for sOs victory! But you must have been worried. How did you feel when he was down to 0-2?

Last year sOs narrowly missed the WCS Grand Finals. I had many thoughts, wondering if he wouldn’t make it this year either. But it’s a relief that he did great until the end.

How did your team prepare for this tournament?

It was Chuseok –Korean Thanksgiving, one of the two biggest national Holidays with big family gatherings, ed.- just before so some players and the coaching staff had to take a vacation. As we couldn’t all in on our practice because of the tight schedule, we focused on the fundamentals.

How is it when Jin Air players have to play against each other?

In case of these “team kill”, they don’t play together to prepare and other teammates don’t interfere. They have to figure it out by themselves. This way, it isn’t uncomfortable.

sOs will now face Dark or Classic. What do you predict?

I think Dark will win, I hope so at least. PvZ would be more interesting than PvP.

(The interview has been led during the second semifinal, he couldn’t predict that Classic would reverse sweep Dark, ed.)

Let’s talk more about Jin Air Green Wings SC2 team. You are the only SC2 team left in Korea. Out of your 6 players, half of them are going to Blizzcon! Please describe a standard day for your players.

They wake up at 10 am, have lunch at 1 pm then practice until 6 pm. They rest for an hour then they practice again 2 hours. Afterwards, some do sports and other activities. You can compare it to a normal office worker timetable.

Who is the life of the party inside the team?

Actually, it’s the Coach Ha Taejun – he is also known as herb, a former pro player who is now Jin Air Coach, ed.- There is a nice chemistry between him and Rogue so they set a nice atmosphere among the players.

And is there a “hyung” –who behaves like an older brother- who takes care of the others? 

No, there isn’t. They are all busy taking care of themselves.

If last year was favorable to Rogue, 2018 looks like the year of Maru! How does he do that? Do you have a secret?

I don’t think that working hard and practicing is enough to become a professional gamer, you need a bit of talent. To these young talented players, you have to add the practice and also a little something. In particular, Starcraft is an evolving game with always new patches. According to it, there are more or less good players. If last year was good for Rogue, I think it’s time for Maru, who is now able to show everything he prepared during the past time.

People usually say Jin Air players are good because they still have a team. What are the pros and cons of being a team?

Teamless players are more free, nobody is watching them. When living in a group, there are rules and also a coaching staff so players can feel a bit supervised. But it helps them to have a more regulated rhythm of life and mainly they can share information, exchanging feedback and practicing together.

If Korea has Maru, the World has Serral. Any thoughts on this Finnish player?

He seems good. Before I thought there was a huge gap between Korea and the rest of the World. Even if they [the foreigners] won some tournaments, it was thanks to some original builds and not based on pure skills. But Serral is different, he is a consistently good player. We will have to remain cautious and do some research.

As a zerg player if you had to compare him to Rogue, what would you say?

Rogue is stronger of course! It’s like asking his mum *laugh*

I see, haha. Are there any other foreign players who stand out?

Not really. Serral is in a league of his own. Other players feel different for each tournament. The way they prepare, their build, they have many ups and downs.

What is your objective for this year Blizzcon?

I want to see a Jin Air final!

And if you had to choose 2 out your 3 players…

Hmm…I don’t want to make any comment on this matter.

I understand. For the last part of the interview, let’s discuss the future of SC2 esports scene. There were more viewers this year, new tournaments. How do you reflect on this?

Korean players and also foreign players are constantly doing their best. Especially in Korea, Jin Air, the company keeps supporting us. Fans keep also giving us their love. So what do you think SC2 esports need to keep growing?

*His question caught me off guard* Well, I guess Blizzard keeping supporting the pro scene and as the gap between Korea and the World is nearly nonexistent now, I wish they abolish the region lock so that Korean players can compete abroad again.

*snapping his fingers* Exactly! Fans, Players, Teams like Jin Air are all here. We need Blizzard’s support. They need to pay attention to it. Starting from removing the region lock, I think their next moves will grandly affect the players but also the community. I’m not talking about the game balance but esports itself so that pro gamers can live from it and keep the fans getting involved and cheering for them. There are still many pro players who want to keep playing in Korea and also abroad. If Blizzard could reflect on how to better support the players, it would be really positive also for the younger ones who dream of becoming pro. Overall, I really wish Blizzard will work on this to improve SC2 esports.

Talking about new players, is there any new good player on the Korean ladder who could debut as pro?

I don’t think so. And even if there was one, nobody can take him under their wings to help him to grow. There is us in Korea but we don’t intend to recruit any new player. Blizzard isn’t supporting either. So the new talents are doomed to disappear. It’s Blizzard’s responsibility to create new tournaments and also amateur tournaments.

Thank you for your response. Any last words for Jin Air fans?

If you need a plane, there is Jin Air! *smiling*

Haha, I thought Jin Air was only flying inside Korea.

It also goes to Hawai, Guam, China, Japan, Vietnam, etc. Visit our website! Please support our team and players. Besides, don’t forget Jin Air has also coach Ha Taejun and me [Cha Jihoon].

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