As the Top 16 players in foreign competition prepare to gather in Toronto, Canada, theScore eSports was able to talk to four top contenders, one from each group. Group C's representative is Millenium's Lilbow, who discusses his preparations for WCS. This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.
Congratulations on your qualification for Premier and your spot in the Round of 16. How do you feel about your accomplishments this season?
I feel like I have accomplished the minimum, my goal is to make a top four at least this season.
Even with that goal, this is still your best WCS result so far. What do you think has been the key to your success this season?
Every time I lost, it was in Challenger matches. I used to be a bit stressed or didn't prepared well enough for my matches (e.g. versus DeMusliM, KrasS) or was unlucky with the pick. ShoWTimE is one of the best PvP players, while I'm pretty bad compared to my other matchups. Every time I lost in Challenger, I knew that I would do decently if I was to make it to the Round of 32 because when you fight against three different players, the general level of skill becomes more important than the preparation.
How do you feel about your Round of 16 group? Who is the biggest threat to you?
I think I should be able to beat everyone, but maybe TLO can catch me off-guard with his creative and weird builds.
You say your PvP has been weak -- how do you feel about your other matchups? Your PvZ has traditionally been your best, and you proved that by beating Hydra in the Round of 32.
I feel comfortable in both PvT and PvZ. I would say PvZ is my best matchup but it can be tricky. I never liked PvP because it's very random and the late game is quite stupid, so I never enjoyed practicing it.
Other players I've spoken to have said Hydra is probably the favorite to win the tournament, would you agree?
I don't know how to explain it in English properly. Hydra might be weak against one or two players, which themselves are weak against others...for example, Polt or I could beat Hydra, but Hydra should be able to beat MarineLorD who should be able to beat Polt. It's all about who meets who.
Can you tell me a little bit of how you’re preparing for WCS in general? Is it a lot of ladder games or custom games? Are you practicing for the matchup or for opponents?
Usually I like to play a lot of custom games if I can find good practice partners, otherwise I ladder a lot and basically cheese when I play a matchup that I don't need to practice. Against most opponents, I watch VODs and try to find weaknesses.
How closely will you be working with your teammates, specifically MarineLorD and ForGG, to prepare?
They both only have one Protoss in their group and I only have one Terran, which is not the scariest for me I think, so we don't really practice together at the moment.
I was wondering if you could tell us about what you think the biggest weakness in your play is right now, and what you are doing to improve upon it?
I think I have no real weaknesses at all against Terran or Zerg players to be honest.
Are you comfortable playing in front of a huge crowd like Toronto? How does that affect your mentality?
I think I should be fine. I'm not stressed anymore since I played in front of the huge Nation Wars 2 French crowd as a player for France, which is basically the most stressful experience you can live as a progamer in my opinion.
The French scene seems really strong right now, and when I talked to MarineLorD, he said that the French players push each other to succeed through competition. Would you agree? And from that, do you feel you have any rivals or enemies?
I think the rivalry between MarineLorD and I is quite huge. We are friends but every time one of us loses a match against a player that he is not supposed to lose against, he get trolled to death until the other one also loses an important match. I think it helps a bit to keep practicing hard but not that much.
How do you feel about your progress so far in 2015? Do you have any specific goals for the rest of the year?
I think my 2015 is good for now, if I continue to be motivated for practicing, then maybe I can achieve my goal that has always been to be the best foreigner at the end of the year. I would be very happy to go to BlizzCon, but of course it will be extremely hard.
Could you comment on the state of balance in StarCraft 2 right now, specifically for Protoss matchups?
PvT is fine. I think Protoss is a bit better than Zerg on a standard map, but Zerg is better on gold base or four players wide and open maps with a big ramp (such as Iron Fortress or Inferno Pools).
Have you played any Legacy of the Void games? Do you have any thoughts on the new expansion?
I haven't played or watched much, but I think making the game faster with low mineral bases is a good thing. I don't really like most of the new units though. The Adept looks weird, and the Disruptor is a late game unit, which doesn't make sense for Protoss, a race that is already good in late game.
If you were forced to switch races, which would you play and why? Also, if you could take one mechanic from another race and give it to Protoss, what would it be?
I would play Terran. I used to play offrace for fun quite a lot and I enjoyed Terran as I was able to achieve Top 16 Grandmaster on NA server, but the race is a bit annoying to play since you must follow the meta game. I would like to have creep, it would be great to make slow Protoss units faster.
If you were in the StarCraft universe, which unit would you want to be and why?
A Dark Templar because being invisible all the time is great.
Finally, if you could take one unit out of the game, not considering balance, what would it be and why?
Siege Tank, because it is the reason why everyone hates watching or play mech.
Christian Paas-Lang is an eSports journalist from Toronto who one day hopes to be an honorary member of Team Baguette. One day. You can follow him on Twitter.