Neo asked me last week if I knew about PGL. I did not really except for the fact that Yeonhwa (Moon's assistant) was coming to Wuhan the very same week. We had a discussion about it, none of us knowing much about the current status of the competition.
After contacting Yeonhwa and receiving this nice promotion poster, I realized that Moon was coming to Wuhan too, to face Th000 in the finals!
The rest of the event was played beforehand and had been kept a secret, as the sponsor Thinkpad apparently planned to broadcast the whole competition that was played in May (?) up until the final in Wuhan. Anyway long story short, I take an appointment with her for Sunday, quite believing that we go to a studio to register the final.
I have no idea why this must be played at 9 AM on a Sunday though. it's only when I reach the meeting point that I realize that we are not going to be placed in a small studio... it is a University's gymnasium! It is played that early because the afternoon is scheduled the CS:GO final.
I tried my best to find the Grid and tweet it, even asked for Yeonhwa's help but we failed. This information is available nowhere on the web. Just know that Moon and Th000 qualified against Fly100% and Lyn respectively. Then Lyn went on to beat Fly for 3rd place, got a nice money prize of 30,000 RMB while I believe Fly100% ended empty handed.
I have time to kill before the game starts. Moon and Th000 arrived with the PGL bus at 8:30 while games were supposed to be played at 9:00. They will end up starting at 10:00, as they need to get familiar with the set up and get prepared. I get contacted by Anxi after he saw me posting a few pictures of the venue on my Wechat account. Going to meet with him, I run into my friend Yumiko with whom I spent so much time in Shanghai. I am happy to see him, though he would be better of in Beijing playing WCA, where China is struggling so much against Korea!
They are there as official shoutcasters of the finals. I am happy to forward the link to the few Europeans that were up at 4:00 AM to watch this!
Watching those games on a super giant screen... I want the same at home! For me Th000 was the favorite : he just had won the Boss of Warcraft competition in Hangzhou . During that one day event, he eliminated Moon 2-0 in the group stage.
The level in those games was just amazing. I do not want to spoil too much but eh, I would just name a few moves : lvl 6 naga tornado surround on an archmage, base race against mass tp and tinker lvl 6, a battle that lasted maybe 10 minutes in Moon's base in the last game (I need to rewatch it!). Grab some popcorn, take a beer and just enjoy the show :
Note : if you watch on mobile, you will be forced to download the Youku app to watch
During the games, I have a little conversation with Martin @WCA. He is informing me that Team Korea is regrouped, watching their friend Moon from Beijing. They are currently playing the China vs Korea showmatch. Martin sends me that very nice picture of comradeship.
Lawliet, Remind, Check, Focus, Lyn, Lucifer watching Moon from Beijing.
After his flawless play against a great opponent that did not seem to make many mistakes neither, Moon seemed quite moved by his victory. It was not just about earning 100,000 RMB that day. He accomplished far more than that. For the last several majors tournaments, he usually failed during the semi finals or even in earlier stages. He struggled against Chinese humans. Sunday, he came back on the top of the alimentary chain, beating Th000 who is one of be the best Chinese player at the moment.
Thanks to Yeonhwa, I have access backstage and am allowed to spend about an hour there. Th000 is smiling and chilling and does not seems upset at all. He agrees for a little souvenir picture after his official interview with a Chinese media.
I am very curious about his tinker usage in two of the games. Th000's girlfriend is kind enough to translate the question. Th000 decided to go tinker second because in those games, he felt he was way behind and would probably lose full force battles. He went on a more harass based strategy. It failed sure, but short as both those two games were intense and close!
Moon comes back from his medias obligations and he is ok to discuss with me. He is so humble while being so popular at the same time. I am not really prepared so I ask just a few questions. He just came back from another long interview!
How did he prepared vs Th000? What changed since last month when Th000 won 2-0?
-> He explained that he studied a lot of his replays. Human is not his favorite matchup, as in Korea there are not many top Human players to face (Reprisal mostly). It seems that his hard training has payed of!
His views on Game 4?
-> Even from his point of view, the endgame battle in his base was one of the longest and most intense battle he had to fight. You should definitely jump on the VOD and watch this crazy battle!
What about WCA ?
-> He is hoping for a wild card. 1 player will get invited to WCA 2016. The issue is that many top guns failed to qualify so far : Th000, Yumiko, Fly100% (the defending champion). Even Infi is not yet qualified, as he needs to beat Romantic first. And there is only one Chinese Qualifier to be played afterwards. With this victory, he is certainly increasing his chances to go. I just wish they would allow more than 10 players to go to WCA.
I just had another great day of Warcraft! The day was not over though, as I went on to cover WCA for B2W right after.
My many thanks to Moon and Th000 for their time, Meng and Snow from Mo Gaming, Martin from WCA, Anxi and Yumiko (that gave me his access badge to run around safely) and Yeonhwa of course!
Yeonhwa, Moon's guardian angel!