Interview: Thomas 'Flash.Blitz' Kopankiewicz
Thomas ‘Flash.Blitz’ Kopankiewicz is one of Flash eSports’s newest signings for their StarCraft II team, and he’s quite a catch.
The seventeen year old German-Chinese looker plays the Protoss class, and hit round of 8 at the recent WCS Singapore Nationals. Despite his StarCraft II talent, something usually achieved by investing in lots of playtime, Thomas still manages to lead a full life as a Law & Management student at Temasek Polytechnic.
Thomas was first scouted by Flash eSports at a local LAN tournament, where team captain Marcus ‘Flash.Revenant’ Tan spotted him. From there, Thomas went on to meet Terence ‘SoloZ’ Ting, owner of Flash eSports.
“I was really compelled to join the team because of Revenant,” Thomas said in our interview. “[Revenant] was such a star, such an icon in Singapore.”
Read on to find out how being in Flash eSports has impacted this young player, and what his plans for the future are.
RGB: How long have you been training with Flash?
Flash.Blitz: Three months now. [Flash.SC2] is a new team but the team vibe is very good… it’s a good team to be in.
RGB: Do you think Flash has help you with your game? (Thomas placed in round of 8 at the WCS Singapore Nationals)
Flash.Blitz: …After I joined Flash, my game improved tons. It was a very obvious improvement…even my clan mates from before could see the difference.
RGB: Did you meet your own expectations for the WCS Singapore Nationals?
Flash.Blitz: I think I could have gone further… I was hoping reach the round of 4. [This tournament] just shows me how much more I can improve…and how the environment [of a LAN tournament] is like. It was a good experience, and I’m sure I can do much better in the next tournament.
RGB: Where do you think you stand in terms of abilities compared to your teammates?
Flash.Blitz: Everyone in Flash is very strong. If I really had to pick, I think I’d be even with Flash.Kyzer. But Kyzer is much more consistent, and his mind is much more [sic] fresh, hence his placing [for this tourney] is much higher. But definitely, Kyzer and I are probably not that far behind from Revenant. The team itself is actually doing very well, improving very fast. For me, what I really have to improve on right now is my mindset, as well as certain matchups.
As mentioned earlier, Thomas is a very busy guy beyond StarCraft II. The Law & Management student also finds the time for his parents and friends.
RGB: You lead a very full life. What made you pick StarCraft as your game of choice, since it’s a game that requires a lot of dedication and solo play?
Flash.Blitz: When my friend introduced me to StarCraft, I saw how much fundamentals, skills and mechanics actually go into the game, and that it’s actually a very competitive sport. I started off with DotA, but it was obvious [my clan] couldn’t really go competitive in DotA. [With StarCraft] I had a chance to play well.
When I started the game, I trained a lot. I actually started out casually, but then I started understanding the game more and I saw how the scene’s pro gamers were like. It really inspired me, and I wanted to be like them. How cool is it to be in a professional team? That was what made me indulge in StarCraft.
RGB: What do your family and friends think of you playing StarCraft, and of you being in Flash eSports?
Flash.Blitz: My family disapproved at first because it actually takes a lot of time away from my studies. But they started to see the passion that I have for the game, and they agreed that if I can balance my schoolwork and my playtime well, they would allow me to play.
Most of my friends play games, so they are definitely okay with me. But now I play less with them because they are mostly DotA players. I guess they’re okay with that – they’re very understanding.
[My friends] were very surprised when I joined Flash, because it’s in a different gaming scene and they didn’t know it very well. But Flash is a prestigious team, and they are very proud of me for that.
RGB: So what’s the next step for you after WCS?
Flash.Blitz: First of all, it’s my studies. Exams are coming up in three weeks – I’ll be putting StarCraft II aside for three weeks. Right after that I have a holiday, so I’ll play then and hopefully be very well prepared for upcoming tournaments like the World Cyber Games, Cyberfusion (over in Malaysia) and IESF (by the Internationl e-Sports Federation).
I’m hoping to place top three for every tournament I go to from now on, no matter if it’s in South-East Asia or Singapore.
For Singapore, top 2 is my goal.
This up-and-coming player certainly doesn’t mince his words. Stay tuned for a couple more interviews on the newest members of team Flash.SC2. In the meantime, you can follow Thomas on his Facebook page.