Interview With World Champion Frederic Chorein
by Jens Kreutzer
translated from the French and edited by Jens Kreutzer
Here are some questions I was able to ask reigning Netrunner World Champion Frederic Chorein from France.
Could you please tell the readers something about yourself?
Bonjour to everybody! I'm Frederic Chorein; my nickname is yocho. I'm 28 and I live in Clermont de l'Oise (France). I have a
little sister, who is 16 and doesn't play Netrunner. But I've taught my little cousin Gerald how to play - the next generation
is taken care of, even though I think that he plays too much Warhammer Battle!
I'm a pharmacist, which is a good job, and I have quite a bit of free time to indulge my passion for Netrunner and all things Cyberpunk,
like novels, movies, comics and so on. Apart from that, I'm really into music, particularly rock'n'roll. Finally, if you ask me who the
sex symbol of the year is, I'd have to say: my girlfriend!
Well, we'd have to ask what she would have done to you if you had said anything else. But what about your "Netrunner history"?
I started playing Netrunner about one year after it came out in France. It's been a long time, so I don't remember the year exactly.
Like I often do, I had played (and spent a lot of time and money on) Magic in an RPG club in Amiens, where I was studying back then.
My friends and I decided to look for something else then and tried out Netrunner. The least I could say is that it hasn't disappointed
me. I found everything I like in it: a gripping background story (thanks to Cyberpunk), a perfect and multifaceted game system (thanks
to Mr. Garfield) - especially so in Sealed-deck play, which is my favorite format (and to this, my wallet says thank-you).
We quickly organized our first house tournaments, with prizes donated by Wizards, and success didn't make me wait for long. I can't
really explain that success, because at Magic, I used to be hopeless and without any luck, while at Netrunner, I was successful and
lucky. My nickname was "yocho la main chaude" (Yocho Hothands), because at the first tournament I won, I opened my boosters and pulled
Bartmoss and Joan of Arc. At that time, nobody knew that combo! My friends (and no less rivals) of that circle and I went quickly from
playing with starters to building much more elaborate decks, which were, however, still a far cry from those I would encounter later
in the first French Nationals.
I met Emmanuel Estournet and Laurent Lavenant; we played a lot and did a lot of friendly trading. And then, one year later, I made the
top four in the first French Nationals. In the semi-finals, I got to know the power of the devastating stack with Priority Wreck,
Synchronized Attack and tremendous bit-flow played by Laurent (though designed by Emmanuel) and lost miserably, while Laurent went on
to become the first French national champion. My match for third place against Frederic Vasseur, another strong opponent, ended in a draw:
For me, Frederic remains, alongside Florent Jeudon, one of the Netrunner elite - cool under stress, determined, intelligent and blessed
with luck, as is normal for players who also belong to the Magic elite. We shared third place, and a friend of mine, Gwenael Fortier,
took second place.
What followed was less glorious, but I always did reasonably well in tournaments. Every year, I've organized a tournament in Amiens
myself. In short, I'm still an active member of the French Netrunner community after all this time because I'm passionate about this game
and I get to meet a lot of great people.
That way, against all expectations, I qualified for World Domination.
The WD tournament had to broken off in the final round unfortunately, but this left you as the winner (and very much deservedly, I think).
How did you experience the tournament? Are there any memorable moments that you still recall?
Well, it was a very long tournament, but everybody was cool and played fair. I understand that some grew tired of it and I'd like to thank
once more all those who participated in this adventure (Jens, the players, the judges, the spectators, the girlfriends, pets etc.). Of
course I'm sad that it had to be cancelled like that, but it became impossible to continue.
What I (and also my opponents) remember is the incredible luck I had in certain situations: In one game, my opponent only had to access
my subfort to snatch the agenda, but although there was nothing suspicious at all about it, he got his doubts in the last moment and
jacked out. Yannick (the judge) and I thought we were hallucinating, and I went on to score the agenda in the following turn. This
confirmed a game principle for me: In a desperate situation, you have to do the opposite of what appears to be the sensible thing to do,
because the most powerful element of Netrunner is bluffing. What joy it is when you manage to pull it off!
Can you give us any other advice, more specifically on playing the Corp and the Runner in Sealed, perhaps?
For the Corp in Sealed, that's easy: build a balanced deck, with a little bit of damage if possible, but above all a means of scoring
For the Runner: surprise effects, most importantly bit-gainers, and making your runs with good judgement and not on forts where there is
nothing to gain.
Did you get any prizes from Jennifer yet?
Jennifer, if you're reading this: Thank you again for the Olivia Salazar print and the Brainware Blowout supplement!
Your title of NR World Champion might not be challenged that quickly because we'll need to find somebody new to organize the next WD first.
In your opinion, in what format should the next WD championships be held?
I think I'd prefer playing the next WD on the Gatling Engine. For the format, I'd naturally prefer Sealed. Most players on the gEngine
seem to be motivated to play in such a tournament. A real Sealed tournament there would be a novelty, but many are already expecting
the French to win (my good friend Frederic Garnier and I have won both tournaments played there so far). Vive la France!
Organizing the next WD will be a lot of work, and Eric Platel, who is developing Netrunner on the gEngine, has recently turned father,
which leaves him less time for organizing things like these. Nevertheless I'd like to congratulate Eric for his work done in the past,
the present and in the future - he's a great guy. Thanks to him, you can now play Netrunner on the Net versus somebody from the other
side of the globe or even the World Champion.
What's up in the French Netrunner scene at the time? Are there any events planned?
To be honest with you, it's a bit dead at the time. I'm starting to get worried a bit, and I'm somewhat ashamed since I didn't
organize our annual tournament in Amiens this year. But then, Gilles Delcourt always organizes some very enjoyable tournaments in Belgium.
What is your favorite Netrunner card?
Without any hesitation: Technician Lover! The games I've won thanks to this card are countless.
Is there a message you have for our readers?
Thanks to all "Runners", especially Jens, the interviewer, for his devotion. Netrunner is number one. Bye, everybody!
Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview.