120 talks openly about the UD race, the scene and his highly discussed TWI finals performance.
It's October 23rd and I am proud to announce to my readers that I just published a very cool interview with WFZ.
The day before that, 120 was losing 5-1 in Ting Warcraft Invitational Finals against Th000 in a weird series where we saw the first DK as a second hero in game 5.! My friend Oleg (AKA SearcherFF) contacted me right after and urged me to interview 120 so he can explain what happened.
I thought it was a good idea, I already talked a little with him in Shanghai with my friend Sirui. This time I was more prepared to ask better questions, and Sirui was there again to translate!
Hi 120 and thank you so much for giving us some of your time.
Could we start with some introduction about who you are, where you live and what do you do in life beside playing Warcraft 3?
I am a 3rd year student in Computer Science. I live in Tianjin, China. Apart from studying, I love sports like swimming and basketball.
We heard that you are running another career in Hearthstone: how is it going? Are you as successful?
I have played Hearthstone for about half a year. My best ranking on the ladder was in the Top 50. I felt that luck was too huge of a factor in Hearthstone so I decided to give up that game.
So which of those two games is your favorite?
War3, of course.
I often hear in casts that maybe dividing your attention between two games is not good for your results in Warcraft: do you agree?
Yes, I agree. You need to be in a good shape to play Warcraft 3. This differs from Hearthstone which you can play on mobile anywhere... So, if you want to play Warcraft 3 at the best level it's nearly impossible to play other games at the same time - as Warcraft requires a lot of time and practice.
When we met in Shanghai, all of your Group opponents (Foggy & Lucifer) told me they thought you were the best in the world at that time: you think that you are you as feared now?
I think they were just teasing me... or maybe they thought that I was the strongest UD player.
One year ago when I used to meet Foggy a lot on the ladder, he was not as strong as he is today. He sometimes asks me questions about how to play against UD, and we have discussions. He is very modest, and I think we have a good relationship. So maybe that's why he said that I was the best.
120 meeting Foggy in Shanghai
I asked the same question to WFZ that I interviewed last week : who is the best UD in the world at the moment?
I think as Top UDs we are at a similar level, so what matters the most is how the grid or the groups are shuffled in competitions. If I am in the same group as the best HU (like Infi or Th000) or orcs (like lyn & fly), it will also be difficult for me. But, if I am in the same group as NE or UD, it will be easier. So luck is a big factor to determine which UD will go further in a tournament : the one in the better group is likely to have a better result.
You are teaming in 2v2 with Check now. How did you decide to play together? And what are your objectives this season?
Since Check's usual partner Lyn is now playing with Moon, he was available. There are already many other 2v2 teams in Korea. So Check came to find me and I agreed to compete with him.
We've played many games recently. I think we are getting more and more familiar with each other, and I would love to continue playing with Check.
Did Check ask you about that when you both were in Beijing for WCA (China v.s. Korea)?
No, we discussed it afterwards.
I have to ask about this BO9 final of Ting Warcraft Invitational, it raised a lot of comments. Are you working on new strategies that involve neutral heroes against humans?
Nowadays, its getting difficult for UD to beat Hum using fiends and fast teching. As you only have a single DK at the beginning, it is s difficult for you to get any advantage at start.
If you want to beat a Human, you need to pressure him as much as possible when he is trying to expand. You need to take a decisive advantage early on - To achieve this, I think neutral heroes are better than DK.
However, what I didn't expect is that TH000 would use MK & Paladin in some of the games. The neutral heroes I chose were meant to beat an Archmage. So we might say that his strategy countered mine.
120 picked FL 1st in game 1, adding a Naga afterwards
There were a lot of disappointment on forums, fans say that you just gave the victory to Th000: what could you answer them?
Actually, just before TWI, there was also a game where I used FireLord as a 2nd hero and beat Th000.
What did you think of the format of Ting Warcraft Invitational? You know, many people actually agree that in this BO9, it's difficult for a UD to beat a HU
I want to say that TWI was a very good competition. BO9 is very good for the audience and it attracts more attention. I don't think Bo9 is a problem.
In my opinion, the only issue was that for the final two maps were added where it is is nearly impossible for UD to to win against HU. So I think it was a little bit unfair on this point.
Once again you have beaten Lyn during TWI, so I'd like to ask about WCA China/Korea: how do you explain the result then?
( Lyn noticeably beat all of China's Team, including 120)
Before WCA China/Korea I was playing Hearthstone intensely. I did not play any Warcraft for a while up until the tournament was announced. I started practicing late, but I was not in the best shape. Lyn beat me easily in Beijing.
This afternoon you will play your GCS group: I feel like you ended in the death group there! (Life, Remind, Romantic). Which opponent is the most serious for you?
Life. I think he is the best NE today. Unlike the other NEs, he has no trouble when facing UD. So I think that he is likely to win and get the qualification.
But you have beaten Life in TWI?
That's because I've prepared really a lot for TWI! I watched many replays before the matches against Lyn, Foggy and Life, and adjusted my strategies.
In my humble opinion, if I did not prepare that well before playing Lyn or Life my chances of winning would have been very low.
120 with Life during WCA China/Korea
Do you have a good Win record against Romantic?
I am not very sure about that. As I haven't played against Romantic recently, and seldom played against him before.
Who will qualify for WCA: Yumiko or Th000?
My guess is that it will be Th000.
Because…If Th000 qualifies, we can keep playing our favorite board role-playing game together! (they like to play "Avalon")
Against Human, is there a way to use UD casters at high level and win (banshees, necromancers)?
Banshees are coming very late into the game. Before that, UD need to survive for a long time with 1 mine against 2. If you are trying to transition to banshees, the Human is likely to take a 3rd mine and/or produce tank to make you feel awful.... That's why this strategy is nearly impossible.
For last, what do you think about this funny comment of Remo @B2W "if 120 would have just chosen to play Night Elves, he would be the best player in the World!"
I agree that when compared with UD, NE has some advantages - especially against Hum. If I uses NE, it's possible that I would get better results.
So are you considering about change your race to NE one day?
No. I will keep fighting for all the players who love UD!
Is there something you wished I asked? Or a word you wanna say to your fans?
Even if UD might not be the strongest race today, we should always believe that what matter the most is not the race, but the player. If we are better than our opponents, we can beat any race!
Thank you 120 and good luck for GCS!
After the interview, 120 went on to beat Remind and Romantic not losing a single game. Here again he used some unconventional strategies (Lich first against Remind) and here again he impressed. The final match will be played Saturday against Remind once more. 120 is a huge favorite.
Lich used as a first hero (frost armor is casted on illusion for creeping)
On Monday, he went on to play the GCS 2v2 qualifications with his new ally Check. They took the first place in a group where Team Xiaokk/Xiaokkai and Team Lawliet/Focus also participated. They have very good chances to qualify for the Main event.
Focus' SH is surrounded (Check/120 vs Lawliet/Focus)
I heard on B2W stream that 120's popularity decreased after his defeat in TWI, because of his unusual play. It is quite usual to burn what we once loved but frankly, he would have been called a genius if he would have succeeded. He tried to apply maximum pressure on Th000 very early and it backfired. It is hard to take Th000 by sruprise as he is probably the HU that adapts the most to his opponent, being able to play a large variety of heroes depending on the situation.
Especially for UD lovers in the Warcraft World, we can be blessed with what 120 or WFZ are currently accomplishing. They are trying to fight the "curse" stating that UD is a losing race. The path to greatness is not an easy one, some accidents might happen along the way - but we cannot doubt that 120 will make his best to get there and claim the main title for the UD race!
//A note from the author// : I am very lucky now to have a group of friends, working together to try to bring the best articles on both w3arena.net and replays.net! From Sirui (interview, transcript, translation for this interview), Chatwin (my partner from the start), Aries and Will that translated many articles in Chinese to Ka-Shing doing technical work for our Wechat official channel: thank you!