Choi "Polt" Seong Hun Talks $20,000 Ender's Game ESports Tournament
by John Gaudiosi exclusive
Right now in the United States, 32 of the best StarCraft II players are competing in the first-ever video game tournament sponsored by a Hollywood movie studio. Lionsgate Home Entertainment is promoting the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Video release of Ender’s Game with the tournament, which features $20,000 in cash prizes.
After two rounds featuring 16 players each--the first running now through Feb 9th on Twitch.tv and the second running Feb 11-16 on MLG.tv--the top players will advance to the Ender’s Game on Blu-ray Tournament: Championship Round taking place February 22nd on Twitch with a $10,000 grand prize.
Choi "Polt" Seong Hun, a Terran player from South Korea who is currently playing for CMStorm, is taking part in the tournament. He’ll be competing against eSports greats like...
- Chris "HuK" Loranger
- Paulo "CatZ" Vizcarra
- Choi "Polt" Seong Hun
- Kim "violet" Dong Hwan
- Gage "Sasquatch" DuBose
- Chad "Minigun" Jones
- Brandon "puck" Qual
- Alex "Neeb" Sunderhaft
- Conan "Suppy" Liu
- Bailey "Bails" Thomas
- Max "Astrea" Angel
- Kevin "qxc" Riley
- Chris "Illusion" Lee
- Zifeng "hellokitty" Wang
- Libo "xenocider" Chang
Polt, who is only the fourth player in the world to complete the Triple Crown by winning major tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia, is currently a grad student at the University of Texas Austin. He talks about the implications of Hollywood validating eSports and offers some of his favorite movies in this exclusive interview.
What do you think attracted Hollywood to the eSports scene with this Ender's Game tournament?
The passion that eSports fans exhibit is so genuine and real. I think for advertisers with products designed around our audience, there is a significant influence that sponsoring an event like the Ender’s Game tournament can have.
How do you think this tournament might attract other Hollywood companies to eSports?
Since this tournament is the first one supported by a Hollywood company, it's really important. I'll be one of the players showing a great series of games that will make for great entertainment. If other potential sponsors are watching, they are sure to be in for a great show and will see a connection between the audience and the product they are trying to sell.
What are your thoughts on the Ender's Game movie?
I think that Ender’s Game is a very entertaining movie with a very unique story behind it. There can definitely be some parallels between the game played in the movie and StarCraft. Also, I heard Asa Butterfield is a StarCraft fan, so I think that’s very cool, as well.
What do you think about the book that has stood the test of time?
It doesn’t surprise me too much; many great movies have been made from successful books. If I had to choose something that has enabled it to stand the test of time, it would be the inner conflict Ender faces throughout the story. It’s characters like Ender that an audience can get behind and cheer for, which can definitely be applied to StarCraft 2 tournaments as well!
What are your thoughts on some of the inventions (like the Internet and virtual reality gaming) that Orson Scott Card wrote about over 20 years ago that are now all true?
Well, I’m not sure what to think about this. Perhaps he is a visionary!
What do you see when you look at the future of eSports?
To be honest, the StarCraft 2 scene was kind of stagnant. However, because Blizzard is doing so much work for StarCraft 2 it's been getting better. eSports as a whole has been getting bigger and bigger and I’m very optimistic with what the future will hold, especially after seeing tournament announcements like this one.
ESports Arena just opened its first of several planned dedicated eSports arenas in the US. How do you see actual arenas growing eSports moving forward?
I'm happy for that news. More arenas will attract more people and potentially more sponsors. Also, a new arena opened in Korea too, so we are starting to see similar global trends.
Outside of Ender's Game, what kind of movies do you like to watch?
I usually enjoy action or thriller movies like The Dark Knight.
What's your favorite movie and why?
I have really enjoyed the Die Hard series, from the time. When I was really young I started to watch it and my favorite one is Die Hard 3.
What role do you see tournaments like Ender's Game and Twitch are putting together play outside of your season?
It's very important for players to play matches regularly. Tournaments like this help players to be in the best condition. Also for the players that aren’t currently qualified for Premier, it gives them a chance to earn money.
What's a memorable interaction with a fan you can share from being on Twitch?
Everything I do with fans while I am streaming is memorable. Especially since I can directly communicate with them, it's really nice to talk to them just after a great game. Everyone is having a good time on the chat and I enjoy it so much.Originally Published Feb. 7th 2014