China's biggest Warcraft newspage, Replays.net, summed up the year 2014 by giving out awards to the best players there were. We translated it for you, so let us know what you think.
Player of the Year: Infi
When the master of towers and tanks came back from StarCraft II, nobody thought he would be able to reach his former strength again. But in 2014, Infi shut up all his critics in a remarkable way.
This was by far the most successful year of his career, even considering his WCG win in 2009. Winning WEC, WCA and WGT back to back and reaching second place in G-League brought him not only the first place in the Warcraft 3 Order of Merit but more than $72.000 in a so called dead game.
Breakthrough Player of the Year: Yumiko
Being in a family with two older "brothers" is hard, especially if both of them are Human players and win the biggest tournaments again and again and again. For years and years, the lovable Yumiko failed to achive a big victory and the community put him a weak mind-set that kept him from winning the cups.
The final tournament of 2014, NESO, was finally about to change that. Yumiko beat wfz in the finals and was able to break the curse that followed him throughout his entire career. Hopefully we'll look back at this as the coming out party for Yumiko that led him to an even more successful 2015.
Most Improved Player of the Year: wfz
This guy is a phenomenon in today's Warcraft scene. Not only did he not lose a single map against orc for several months, he single handedly changed the way to play against humans as well. His infamous tier 2 push brought the big three; Infi, TH000 and Yumiko, closely to the edge of losing. In fact, it was wfz who eleminated TH000 from the WCA tournament crushing TH000's dream of becoming world champion again. After an impressive second place at NESO, 2015 might be wfz's time to shine.
Rookie of the Year: tara521 aka. 120
If you asked anyone about tara one year ago, the answer would've been "who"?.
Showing his skills only in 2on2 games and small clanwars, the talented undead flew under the radar of many experts even in China. When he finally began to play Phoenix cups, his star was breaking through the glass ceiling and resulted in the qualification to the biggest tournament this year, WCA. Since he's only 18 years old, we can expect a lot more out of him.
Foreigner of the Year: Hawk
Being a strong player in a struggling scene is an extremely tough situation, especially if you want to compete with the big boys in China. Hawk managed to not only dominate the remaining European tournaments this year, but managed to qualify for the two biggest tournaments in China, WEC and WCA. WEC in particular was the time to shine for Hawk who managed a huge upset by eliminating TH000 in the quarterfinals before grabbing an impressive 3rd place finish for himself. A strong contestant that Russia and Europe should be proud to have representing them, we can only hope that he stays in shape for more tournaments in the future.
Disappointment of the Year: TH000
The former World Champion, the last WCG winner, the dominator of the scene, TH000 was the most successful player since Warcraft began to decay in 2010 and many people thought he would be on top of the scene until the end of time.
This is no more.
A favorite to win WEC, he managed to get eliminated without a single map win. At WCA, he disappointed his fans again, by being beaten by wfz in the Losers Bracket Quarterfinal. His chance for $50.000 smashed into pieces.
He gained a little momentum at the end of the year by winning G-League, maybe this will stop his ongoing downward spiral.
Scandal of the Year: The three humans and their inadequate behaviour
This is pretty hard to explain since the translation of the Replays.net text says that "everybody knows what happened and we don't have to bring it up again". We asked a Chinese source to explain the situation and this is what we got:
"Earlier this year, TH000 and Yumiko were very close friends, even outside of the Warcraft world. They shared a stream together, practiced with each other and hung around a lot.
It's said that this friendship began to crack when both players met eachother in a tournament. It was Yumiko's turn to choose the map, when he nicely asked TH (who is a master in all four races) for his race, who replied, that he would choose it depending on Yumiko's map. You may notice, that the dog bites himself in the tail here, so referees had to smooth things over between the two.
We can only assume that TH won those matches, because he made fun of Yumiko's behaviour online afterwards to whom it must have felt like a second betrayal in a very short period of time. But of course that's not the end of the story.
Yumiko has, or had, a very close female friend, who should shortly afterwards become TH000's girlfriend. Rumors say, Yumi was in love with the girl, something he denies, but that was the third and final thing that he saw as in insult. And so, tragically, the friendship has been completly ruined.
TH000 moved forward, teaming up and streaming with Infi now. Throughout the practices, they became what Yumi and TH were before, very close friends. This lead to an agreement between TH000 and Infi to share their prize money 50/50 regardless of where they finished in the tournament, a practice that Yumiko despises.
Of course, every single move was documented and commented online throughout social media, so this became a very big thing throughout the Chinese scene and during all those months, friendship turned into a feeling close to hate."
Please note, that some things are considered as rumors and some other things may be changed due to Chinese/English/German translations.
Big thanks to our friend Mage for proofreading and several guys who helped to translate the original article