The Queen of Blades
Our "Queen of Blades" Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn is back from her summer vacation and we had the chance to ask her some questions.
Lions: Hey Sasha, may I kindly ask you to introduce yourself?
"Hey, my name is Sasha (ID “Scarlett”) and I’ve been a competitive StarCraft II player for the past 6 years."
Lions: A woman from rural Ontario didn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a StarCraft II professional, you even have been called the „foreign hope“, but you‘re most notorious for your macro multitask style and kick-ass creep spread. Is there anything mandatory to add that you feel your fans should know about?
"I wouldn’t exactly call Kingston rural (laughing). It’s more of a very small city, compared to what I’m used to now with Seoul or everywhere I get to travel from tournaments. I think that sums it up pretty well actually. Recently I’ve been trying to stream more so if anyone wants to come watch, you are welcome to stop by."
Lions: As the most accomplished woman in the young history of electronic sports, you are a role model for many young female players within the gaming subculture. Is there any advice you want to give to the female players who want to be recognized for their style of play not their gender?
"I don’t really feel like it’s a bad thing to be recognized for it as being different than most players. But if you want to be recognized for your play alone then focus on showing what you can do to the fans foremost."
Lions: It takes an iron will, at big offline stages, to not become anxious that the audience knows something important that you don’t. Players call this the mind game. How is it in your experience? Is it difficult to blend out the audience completely?
"For me I sometimes get stressed when playing in front of people and lose some focus on the game itself. It’s something I’ve been trying to get better at for the past few years. When I played at IEM Pyeongchang it really helped me that it was just in a studio with no live crowd actually."
Lions: The unwritten etiquette of cheesing is complicated. Can you try to explain where the fun ends and the obnoxious starts?
"I’d say cheesing is something that should rely on mind games or tricking your opponent. If it’s something that they know is coming beforehand and still can’t deal with, then it gets pretty obnoxious."
Lions: You came to know most of your opponents on ladders and in tournaments, but how much of your gameplay is experience and how much is instinct?
"Experience and instinct go hand in hand, the more experienced you are the better your instinct is. I think personally I play by instinct rather than thinking things out precisely than many other players."
Lions: Every now and then, Blizzard comes up with some balance changes. Is there any meta-game grumbling in the current version of the game?
"Recently ravens have been a big issue in longer games, but Blizzard says there’s a patch coming to address that, other than that I’m pretty happy with where the game is at right now."
Lions: Three of the top four players at IEM PyeongChang were house residents at your place in Korea. How has your stay since then developed? Is there maybe a queue of players who want to move in, in order to train with you?
Not to train with me specifically (laughing). It’s just a great opportunity for other players to come and stay in Korea in general. I think it’s going to be pretty full over the next few months.
Lions: StarCraft, the video game, is often compared to chess: it is strategic and extremely difficult, requiring a mathematical cast of mind. Are there any tips you can give a newcomer? What builds are especially easy to carry out at any MMR?
As a newcomer, I think it’s very important to learn how the game’s basic mechanics work and how to do what you want effectively, before worrying so much about strategy. So my advice is, pick any aggressive or normal defensive build and practice it many times until it feels natural, then move on to more variation.
Lions: What is your favorite unit in the StarCraft universe and why?
Personally I favor the Mutalisk as it is the core of the playstyle I enjoy the most in StarCraft II. Unfortunately Mutalisks haven’t been as strong in the past couple of years but I still try to play with them as much as possible.
Lions: We are proud to have a player like you signed to the team. If you have anything to add, I let you conclude.
I’m happy to be part of the team since such a long time, even if we have changed our name now for the third time, but the core team is still the same basically since the beginning of my professional gaming experience. And ... I’ll be streaming regularly from now on my twitch channel, so if you want to watch some games.
Scarlett will also start to stream regulary on the Tollenz Lions channel, so stay tuned for our upcoming streaming calendar with all the various different streamers and talents.
Image sources: esp entertainment e.K. and Blizzard Entertainment