October 4th : Yumiko and Th000 just qualified for the final of WCA S3 in Xiamen.
On that day, many feelings rushed through my head. What a final loaded with emotion it will be! I am hearing that the Th000 / Yumiko rivalry is the fiercest of the scene for so long now... Having them meeting for the last ticket makes it as dramatic as a final can be.
All odds tend towards a Th000 victory. He is more stable in results, more versatile also : it's incredible how he can adapt to any sort of strategy! Only one fact seem to be favor Yumiko : he won their face-off 2-0 in the group stage. Yumiko seems quite on point in mirrors, while struggling during the other matchups.
Now that I think about it and just reading this introduction, hints were there on what Th000's strategy could be. But nobody expected it, except probably Infi with whom he must have trained a lot.
With one month to prepare for his most important match of the season, I can only imagine here that Yumiko practiced countless hours with his friend Romantic. All this intense work was ruined by only one simple move - instead of facing Th000, Yumiko would have to beat a totally different adversary : Th000!
At first when I logged onto Ted's stream, I thought he was streaming some other game. I saw a Night Elf and quickly moved onto B2W's stream, to see the same game! Wow!
It smelled trouble right away : Th000 had enjoyed one month of studying Yumiko's play against NE and could train his special tactics. Yumiko was already in reaction mode - not knowing what to expect - while Th000 had a clear plan to follow.
Yumi shortly before the final (picture by Mr. Cat)
Can Yumiko get back on his feet following the shock of seeing his opponent switching race? It seems so. After a very disputed game on Echo Isles, he successfully takes down Th000 expansion who played Beastmaster 1st. It was not easy, but he leads 1-0.
Th000 expo will fall, Yumi leads 1-0
After Game 1 and since Th000 could not return to his standard race, I thought that he might regret his gamble. But the second game lasted just a few minutes : Yumi tries to expand, he forces the DH to tp but all his units suffered heavy damage. He cannot build the shop fast enough before Th000 comes back. After wandering a little with his exhausted and dying army, Yumi is caught up and defeated without an expansion up.
Where can we go now?
This tough defeat was not the end of the suffering for the Guangzhou champion. Th000 had more tricks in his bag! Playing a very innovative Dark ranger 1st in both games, he added Hypporiders in game 3.
Hypporiders in a pro game!
In game 4, he executed a brutal rush that left Yumi's main in shambles.
Archers and skellies took that main out
Thanks to Sirui once more, I could have a quick talk with Th000 after his victory.
Th000 congratulations and thank you for talking to us from Xiamen right after your qualification!
When did you have this idea to play NE?
I had this idea right when the date of the final was announced. It gave me half a month to prepare
You were not confident enough in your Human mirror? (he lost 0-2 to Yumiko in the group stage)
I am just feeling more confident in using NE vs Hum as opposed to Human mirror.
Can you explain the benefits of the dark ranger play against Human?
There are two advantages of DR:
First, you do not have to worry as much with micro management and attention to details with a dark ranger. It is different with the NE heroes.
The Second advantage of DR shows at a later stage of the game during big 80 food fights. DR can dominates air battles (silencing dhawks for example - or using charm).
Were you worried after losing Game 1?
It was fine. It certainly affected my confidence at first, but I found quickly enough the reason for my loss : it was the BeastMaster that I used as the my first hero.
So even if it worried me a little, the feeling passed real fast.
That is why you switched to DH for the next map?
A: Actually for every map I had prepared specific heroes and strategies. I want to mention that, on Terenas Stand my initial plan was to play Beast Master. But I learned from my loss in Game 1, and I picked to DR (in game 4).
Would you play NE against Infi in Yinchuan?
I don't plan to. I think I would have a 50% odds of winning against Infi whichever race I pick. So I'd rather stick to Human.
You trained with Infi before this competition?
Yes, of course.
So now Infi knows all of your strategies?
So possibly you need to train Orc, to give Infi a surprise. (This is a joke)
-----------(my joke did not work out)
Did you talk to Yumiko after the game? ---No
Do you have any knowledge about the qualifier in Chengdu? Do you know any player who will go there? ---I have no idea at all.
Anything you want to say to your fans or anything you wished I asked? ---Nothing special
Ok Th000 thank you and good luck in Yinchuan!
The 10th seat to WCA 2016 was to be a Wild Card. Supposedly a wild card is given directly to a known player that could not qualify. My feeling was that it would be granted to either Fly100% or Moon. Well not at all!
There will be two qualifiers organized the next two weeks to determine the 8 players that will go to Chengdu to compete for this wild card between November 25th and 27th. There will be one qualifiers for pros and semi-pros only, one where anybody can register to.
The thing is that the winner will not get any prize money, nor will he have his tournament fees taken care of. At least this is the situation at the moment. That is why we might not get all the most famous Chinese players that are left to qualify. Colorful told me he will not participate for that reason. Yumiko might which would be a very good news as B2W has been spreading rumors that he might quit Warcraft 3 after his defeat. I could not talk to Yumiko directly so I cannot confirm or infirm these rumors. But we certainly hope to see more from Yumiko!
This was one intense day of Warcraft! If you would like to follow me on twitter, i would very much appreciate that : www.twitter.com/playffa