Interview: Bryan 'Flash.draKe' Sum
Bryan ‘Flash.draKe’ Sum is the third player Flash eSports signed into their StarCraft II team this year. The only player specializing in the ‘Terran’ race on the team, this 19 year old is full-time National Serviceman with the Singapore Armed Forces. We checked in with him following the conclusion of the Singapore StarCraft II World Championship Series.
RGB: How did you get started with Flash eSports?
Flash.draKe: Terence approached me around January after I placed second at the Nanyang Polytechnic LAN tournament. Revenant also dropped a recommendation for me.
RGB: What made you join Flash eSports instead of other teams?
Flash.draKe: No offense to Team Eve, but I feel it’s the only true progaming team in Singapore. It’s got history, it’s got its players – of course, Revenant is an inspiration to us all.
RGB: Do you feel you’re pressured to do better with Revenant in your team?
Flash.draKe: Not really. I don’t feel I’m a favourite to get top three. The other players (in the team) who get top three are always the favourites. But I’m certainly motivated by the fact that Revenant’s on the team.
RGB: So if your teammates are always the favourites to win…
Flash.draKe: I think they’re the top three players in Singapore.
RGB: How do you think you rank against them?
Flash.draKe: I think I’m on equal level with Blitz, but against Kyzer I’ve not been doing very well in practice. That affects my mentality against him a lot. As for Revenant, when he practices against me I know he doesn’t reveal his true strategies.
RGB: How do you think Flash eSports contributed to your training for you to place 4th at WCS Singapore?
Flash.draKe: In terms of discipline, a lot. Because of the boot camp (that Flash eSports conducted) I actually managed to play 40 games in one day, which is something I’ve never accomplished before. I think the discipline of being with a team that’s always motivated, always wanting to practice and to win is good. And of course, the management has helped me a lot with my confidence.
RGB: Where do you think the next step is for you after this?
Flash.draKe: There’s another tournament at TGX. I really want to get a podium finish there, and I want to beat Kyzer. He’s always been knocking me out, and it’s always been 2-0 scorelines, very one sided games. I really want to beat him.
RGB: You used to be from Clan imperiaL. Was there any culture shock when you moved from imperiaL to Flash?
Flash.draKe: I felt like I’ve never really left imperiaL, because I’m still friends with the Eehan guys. imperiaL never really dissolved, it’s just that the players from the clan all moved on to separate teams. People think imperiaL dissolved, but we’re all still together, and we’re all still friends.
RGB: Team Eehan is considered an up and coming team in the StarCraft II scene in Singapore. Do you reckon someday that rivalry is going to affect your relationship with the guys there?
Flash.draKe: I don’t think it’s even a rivalry, we’ll always beat them. I think Eehan should just practice standard playstyles; that will improve their game in the long term. Like how Blitz, Kyzer, I, and Revenant do. Yekke, too. I think their playstyles are very limited. There’s not much you can improve on by just choosing your build and hoping your opponent doesn’t do this.
RGB: And do you think that’s how they’re going to be able to beat Flash?
Flash.draKe: If they practice this way and they become more dedicated to the game, they might stand a chance. But as of now, I don’t think so.
RGB: Any advice for aspiring pro StarCraft players who are also NSFs?
Flash.draKe: It’s actually a huge sacrifice, because there’s actually no way to keep up with the top players and balance your life. That’s what I feel. I’ve actually sacrificed a lot of my social life. I’ve even forgone outings with class friends just to practice StarCraft. I’ve actually gotten very distant from them, but I don’t regret my choice, because I’ve also made new friends. It’s really up to you if you want to sacrifice your time and if you really want to win.