Interview with Seonghun "Polt" Choi
Interview with Seonghun "Polt" Choi ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!
Joining me today is none other than Seonghun "Polt" Choi. Polt is a Starcraft 2 legend with eight premier titles, has completed the Triple Crown, and is regarded as one of the best players to ever touch the game. He has recently taken a liking to Teamfight Tactics and quickly became the #1 ranked player in North America, and was also previously the #1 ranked player in North America for Hearthstone.
Let's talk about who Seonghun is outside of SC2 or TFT for a moment. What do you like to do when you aren't grinding out strategy games?
When I don't grind, I enjoy my life like others. I watch TV shows, go out to eat some delicious food, and work out to stay healthy.
How are you enjoying life back in the states? Is Texas treating you well?
Yes, people in Texas are treating me very nicely. The life here in Texas is exactly as I expected, and I'm satisfied with it.
Before becoming a professional Starcraft player, you went to Seoul National University, the best university in South Korea, and got your Bachelor of Agriculture in Animal Biotechnology. Then, while competing, you attended UT Austin and studied English. What were your career plans before competing full-time took off for you?
I was planning to go to graduate school before I started competing. I think I would have my degree around this time if I chose to keep studying.
At what point did it become apparent to you that you were good enough to play Starcraft on a professional level? Do you remember a pivotal moment that opened your eyes to it, or did you just ride the wave and see where it took you? How was your support system between family and friends in the early stages of your career?
To be honest, I was not confident I would become a professional gamer. However, I liked the experience of competing so much, so I decided to give myself a year to test my potential. My family and friends were skeptical in the beginning, but they liked my decision in the end.
Over your career in SC2 from 2010-2016, you have earned many titles and achievements. From having created the Polt Timing Attack strategy, to being deemed Captain America, to completing the Triple Crown, and winning eight Premier events over the course of six years. Out of all of your accomplishments and victories, which one are you most proud of and served as a defining moment for you personally? What was the atmosphere like when you held the trophy at a LAN event in front of a roaring crowd?
The very first tournament I won, GSL Super Tournament, is the one I am proud of the most. As I said before, I gave myself a year. Winning GSL Super Tournament made me keep going and stand where I am right now. You never understand the feeling of holding a trophy at a LAN event in front of a roaring crowd until you experience it. It is awesome, the best!
In October 2016, you retired from competing to return home and complete your two-year mandatory military service. Tell me about your thought process on deciding to do this when you did, and you're reasoning behind it.
I wasn't able to delay it any longer, so I decided to go back to Korea and serve. I didn't want to be a fugitive.
When announcing your departure from professional SC2, you said, "Unfortunately, the time has come to say goodbye. However, remember that every ending is a new beginning. I am looking forward to seeing you again soon." What were your feelings on having to pause your career for a couple of years, and did you know you would return to esports once you were done?
It felt sad to leave where I worked for many years and spent all of my time. I wasn't sure if I would be able to come back, but I somehow made it happen.
Before your service began, you played and streamed games fairly regularly, Hearthstone being one of them. Before leaving for service in June 2017, you got rank #1 in North America for the game. What made you want to test out your skills in a card game and grind for the #1 spot?
I didn't grind Hearthstone that much. I just tried to get better and enjoy the game at the same time. I was never near tournament competing level.
I know the military service paused your plans for a while, but did you enjoy your time during it? How did the skills you learned and developed in esports help you during your time in military service?
The skills I learned and developed in esports didn't help me much in military service. As all Korean men feel, the two-year mandatory military service wasn't pleasant for me either.
April 3, 2019, was your final day of service, and you returned to streaming and YouTube shortly after. Then, you moved back to North America at the very end of November, and once you got settled in, announced that you were in search of an organization to represent. Are you still looking for an organization to compete under, or have you diverted your attention to solo content creation instead?
I am still looking for an organization to compete under because I feel better when I have people supporting me.
Starcraft 2 has been your main game for many years, but recently you have delved into some other games. What are your feelings on the way SC2 has, or hasn't, developed recently?
SC2 hasn't changed much for the past few years with slow patches and updates. It was disappointing to see developers not taking care of the game very much when SC2 had many problems.
You picked up TFT in early May and achieved rank #1 in North America in the same month. That is quite impressive, and, if you hadn't done so already, proved that you are one of the best strategy game players in the world. What made you want to try out an autobattler, TFT specifically, and is this just a break from SC2, or will you be competing in TFT moving forward?
I played TFT Set 1 when it first came out and hit Challenger. I didn't play Set 2 because I wanted to focus on SC2. I heard Set 3 came out and decided to give it a try while I took a break from SC2. Now, I am moving on and competing in TFT.
Seonghun, Thank you so much for your time. Before I let you go, can you please tell us where we can find your content and keep up with you on social media? And, is there anything you wanted to say to your fans out there?
My Twitter name is Poltsc2, YouTube is PoltSC2TFT, and my Twitch channel is Polt. To my fans, thank you for waiting for my return and cheering for me. I will be competing in TFT from now on, and I hope to see you there again!