Create Account

Upcoming Event: W3Arena solo tournament

Format:1on1 Tournament
Live Countdown

Yumiko interview | Fair Game

Published Sun Dec 04, 2016 by Ugrilainen
33 comments posted. Log in to write a comment!

10,000 viewers saw this interview live ~ it is potentially the deepest interview I have made to date. It has to do with the subject of course, but also with the interviewee.

Nov 25th : Yumiko just earned the WCA Wild Card in Chengdu, the last access to WCA 2016. Right away I suggested to get an exclusive interview to ask about everything going on with him in the last few months. Appointment is taken for November 30th, 10 PM local time for an interview live on his stream.

It is 8 PM on that very day and my friend Chatwin says that Yumiko is ready and his fans cannot wait until 10 PM. Problem is that I cannot be available at that time (you know, kids and stuff ^^). Chatwin takes over and anyway, it is for the best, there is no need then to translate everything to me. I had a list of many questions with several sensitive ones. Did Yumiko answer them all? Yes!

10,000 viewers saw the interview and apparently, it was interesting enough for Yumiko to get several high donations during it.

Right after the interview was concluded, Chatwin was flooded with requests to publish it asap. Yumiko was honest in his answers, I do not think he showed any disrespect to anyone. Still this interview is eagerly waited for in China. It is not sure that Yumiko will allow it publication in Chinese language. But as an exclusivity for us on, he agreed for its publication in English!

Congratulations after your qualification! How did you feel right after beating Xiaokk? Relieved ? Excited? You do not look too happy on pictures...

A : Well, actually, I was blowing my nose while playing the game, so you see I was sick then and until now, I haven't recovered yet. Winning the game didn't change my mood much, because I simply took it as a task to complete.

You know what? I am happy

Did you hesitate before registering for the Wild Card event? Some other refused to do so (Colorful, Fly100% etc)

A: It's true that you have to invest money and convince yourself to register for this match, because you have to pay all the fees (Hotel and transportation) just to fight for one single slot at WCA.  xiaoKK lives in Chongqing which is quite close to Chengdu, but is is more troublesome for Romantic, Anxi and me to go there. However, I went with a lot of determination. I was a little anxious because it would cripple my confidence if I failed to qualify. God bless me, I would spare no effort to achieve my goal.

Did you feel you were going as a favorite to Chengdu? Many thought your confidence might be shaken after S3 final.

A: Regardless of confidence, I would definitely go in any case because this is my job! I can't quit just because it is hard, this is not what a real competitor is. Therefore I would go no matter what would happen. It didn't shake my confidence losing WCA S3. On the contrary, I was in stable mood during NWL2. Playing matches is just my mission, this is what I do.

Then he compares this situation to ESWC 2010 in France

As for ESWC, I had to travel 30 to 34 hours to get there.

I was in Dalian for a tournament called CEG ~ my visa for France had just been refused. It was 7.30 AM when suddenly my manager called me : "Yumi, there is one last chance for you to apply for the visa, you want to try?".

Trying to go to ESWC, I would have to give up on 3-4 tournaments. I said : "Yes, I do" without hesitation.

Then finally, the visa was agreed and i went back to my dorm to pick up my luggage right away.I didn't speak English well at that time and i was a little helpless. Finally after 30-40 hours, i'd find an hotel and sleep.

At the end of the day, after 3 rounds of group stage matches,I was still eliminated and faced a lot of criticism. I did not regret my choice. If you ask me to make this choice again, i'd still go to ESWC even though i knew i had no chance of winning.

Yumiko in France - ESWC 2010

How much did it cost you to go to Chengdu?

A : Hmmm, I chose the cheapest round-trip ticket, stayed there only one night, went back home after the game ended the next day. Counting this all, it costed less than 2000RMB (290$). I think that WCA's choice to give a second chances to runner-ups of the 3 Seasons to take part of the final round of qualification was a good one ( ZDR in S1, Romantic in S2 and  Yumiko in S3 - ZDR lost to Xiaokk) because you received a prize by getting second. This prize helped financing the trip to Chengdu. Anyway overall the key to decide whether to go or not for any player was time and motivation.

Few days before, just after beating Nigh Elves TH000 3-2, you lost 0-4 to Focus - another orc during NWL2. How did you turn the tide to beat Xiaokk 3-0?

A: It is a big personal investment to prepare for such matches. Before I went to Xiamen for WCA S3 finals (against TH000), I strictly focused my training on human mirror for one month, even though beside it , I had many other matches to play = like GCS preliminaries(solo and 2v2) and NWL2= I still put WCA as my top priority. 

Sad thing that my training was not no rewarded as I went to face a NE player, not a Human one!

After I came back from Xiamen, I did a lot of different trainings that made me able to beat TH000 3-2. As for the 0-4 loss against Focus afterwards, I expected it because I haven't played against ORC for almost one month. Of course  Focus played very well which I don't deny (recently some people think that it is not a big deal to win a game, but if you lose one you are a big loser*). My loss 0-2 to 120 can be explained the same way.

But after those defeats, I went back into training and it paid back for the Wild Card matches against other Undead and Orc, Anxi (2-0) and Xiaokk (3-0). I am not saying that I was sure to qualify, just that I went back to Chendu in shape.

My losses to  120 and Focus are some kind of side-effect of my WCA preparation, because I practiced human mirror for one month and few training against other races. You know the WCA S3 final was so important, no one would like to fight for the Wild Card matches if they can qualify beforehand. I was wishing I could defend my NWL title (he won in Season 1), but unfortunately I took WFZ's place!**

*hard to translate but you see the point, you can get criticized after any sort of loss, while the successes are considered normal ~ not worth mentioning

**this is a joke as WFZ is nicknamed "the brother of fourth places" in China, as he ends up more often then not one step below the prize pool!

Yumiko (literally) facing Xiaokk in Final. Romantic standing behind. Picture from Anxi.

Did you notice Xiaokk scouting blunder in Game 2? (he sent a peon not far enough to see Yumiko's main and sent his BM crossmap)

A: In the second game, I saw his peon. I didn't know that he didn't notice my main at first, maybe because the peon's vision is smaller than my building's. This situation is quite rare in professional matches. This plus me getting a tome of experience, the game went under my domination. BM mistaking my location was not lethal though. 

During another tournament (ESCC 2015), I did the same mistake while scouting  Infi's expansion. Keeping this expansion was Infi's only chance to win and I sent a footman to scout it... but did not see it. Such a pity, just like for  xiaoKK in Chengdu.

Xiaokk, Yumiko, Anxi and Romantic before the Wild Card Finals

Let's go back to WCA S3 Final. What did you feel when you saw TH000 picking NE instead of HU? 

A:I WAS ANGRY. Each time when the game started, TH000 asked for a pause to adjust the screen. The referee asked me if i was ok with it, and I agreed. 

But when it comes to the race changing, I think even i opposed it, the referee would not have followed me since there is no rule mentioning this case (changing race between playoffs and final)

The only question was whether or not to agree to play ~ or to just give up. I chose to play, to not disappoint my fans. In theory, I had no real chance of winning .He practiced NE VS HUM during a month. I practiced human mirror. 

And as a result I lost easily 1-3. I did my best and tried to be flexible, I did not give up but it was not enough.

Yumiko and TH000 were friends ~ can they be friends again?

Some say it was unfair, some say it was smart : what do you say?

A: From the rulebook, nothing mention that this trick is disallowed.This idea is quite extreme and only TH000 could do it (as he is the rare one to play all races at a competitive level?). However, this issue should be discussed seriously from a neutral point of view. I do not think that a large debate is necessary. There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people eyes*

Blademasters used to enter UD bases with an item bug. Before someone did it, there were no rule to forbid it. But obviously this is not correct to do so.

Some people said "he used NE ~ you can just use UD if you are good enough". I just want to say that the races we play define us towards our fans. This is why they follow us and support us, and how we are remembered.

Before such an important event, your opponent should have the right to know which race you will play, unless you decide to use Random.

He compares this situation to TH000 behavior during IET Finals 2014 and WvW 2014

This has an effect on the map pool as well. There are maps you prepare for and maps you ban depending on your opponent race.

During Yiwu IET Finals 2014, TH000 used different races on each map (NE on TM, UD on TR) against my HUM. At that time there were no rule against this.

Then in WVW 2014, he did the same. On last refuge and ancient isles, I had to face his Orc. No matter what map i would veto, he could always pick up his favorite race for the remaining ones.  What is the meaning of vetoing any map then? 

After this, I fought very hard for the rule to be changed, and it was decided that you could not change race during a BO3. I fought for the fairness of the game. 

In my opinion, if professional players could change race all the time, none would try to improve the most difficult match-ups of their main races. They would just find the easy way out and change race depending of the situation! There was a time when  Ted played against  Sweet, they would play NE vs ORC! Funny right?! 

There were a lot of similar cases, Sky would play only NE against them. If the rule did not change, then we would not have any pure HUM,NE,UD,ORC players.  SKY,  MOON,  GRUBBY,  FLY,  LYN... they are the leaders of their race and are remembered by their fans for their contribution to their race; not for changing their races at any occasion to escape difficulties.

*Hamlet quote is Chatwin's translation of Yumiko's thought on this  : interpretation could be that a large public debate would not help defining the correct rule on this case ~ and that it should be discussed calmly between admins and major players. This is just my interpretation because as for Shakespeare, there is a thousand Yumikos in a thousand people's eyes!

Yumiko and TH000 during WVW 2014

During NWL2, you used the ID "injustice" against TH000 (3-2 victory) :

This was my way to protest. Whatever I would have said would have made no difference anyway.

Are you aware of how popular you are in Europe? Neo called you the "savior of the scene".

A: There were only a few tournaments left when I started the Warcraft Esport League (WEL). It was very bad time for Warcraft and i wanted to do something about it. 

It was very hard to organize, we did not have a good way to host games then ~ only hosts in the far east which could not connect worldwide players (China/Korea/Europe) easily. 

Thanks to the help of all the Warcraft fans, I had a nice prize money to offer in donations. WEL helped to some extend support the game. 

Now Warcraft is way healthier because streaming can provide some income.  4-5 years ago, I was mocked when I said that Warcraft still had a decent audience and was not dead. I was called crazy then, a looser that would not let go ~ stubborn and stupid. 

I think i was right and that we should stick to something we think is right. If you believe in something, then keep moving. A few years later when I am looking back, history proved that I was not mistaken. Can you imagine now that everybody was saying that Warcraft was dead two years ago? 

He mentions Starcraft II

What I do not understand is people that used to say that SC2 was a perfect game and that it would be successful. Those people never played any SC1 tournament or participate in any SC1 event. So, SC2 came and destroyed the player base of SC1, but could not duplicate its success. Fans were not really allowed to chose what they want to play and what they liked. They were sort of forced to go and play Starcraft 2.

When i was joining Warcraft tournaments, a lot of people asked me when i would give up Warcraft and try SC2. Even in a War3 interview, they asked this very question!!! I was so angry that I said "Delete it! I don't want to talk to you anymore! Just delete the interview!".

I always believed that War3 still had a big audience and was being treated unfairly. War3 did not get what it deserved then. I am always true to my word and kept playing Warcraft.

You did not qualify for GCS Fall in 1v1 nor 2v2...

This is because of my preparation for WCA, as I mentioned before. As for the failure in 2V2, I do feel depressed. You know the GCS map pool choices were difficult for me and WFZ : when Turtle Rock is vetoed by our opponents, our UD/HUM team had no good maps left.

WCA group : you have 3 NE in your groups, how do you see your chances?

Even though I think that I am in good shape, I still can't be 100% confident to win.  Games are BO1 and we have no idea about the map pool yet*. 

During NWL2, many top players were eliminated early (Lyn, Moon, Infi etc...). Games can go in different ways than expected. Now my mood is stable, I will just try my best to qualify and to complete the mission.

* the day after the interview, WCA made the group stage games BO3

Yumiko eating in Chengdu after his victory. Ready for Yinchuan! Picture from Anxi

We talked in Shanghai about sponsoring and gamers revenues : would yo agree to explain how much you earn from streaming and donation per month? Or at least if it is enough to make a living?

Well, this is kind of hard. Matches or streaming is just a part-time job. You cannot live on just that.

Anything you wished I asked or something you want to tell to your fans?

Nothing special to add, unless you guys have something else to ask. by the way, you can always go to my weibo page or on my stream room for more information.

Yumiko on Weibo

Yumiko's stream


And actually yes, we had one more question... the one question I wanted to ask for so long! We did it per writing afterwards

B2W repeatedly stated that they heard rumors that you declared stopping your career if you did not qualify for WCA : is that true? (please do not do that, we all love you too much!)

I did not stated that. I just said that if I would fail to qualify for both GCS and WCA, I would invest less time in preparing and in the game overall. Whether I would win or lose then would have mattered less to me.*

* I received this answer per audio from Chatwin, his words were "let it be, let it be... c'est la vie!".


This is during moment like this that i like to do what I do. This interview was full of honesty and determination.

Now Yumiko's attention is fully turned towards WCA. Mr White predicted Lawliet to qualify with 120 in Group A. I think Yumiko will. Then why not playing the playoffs against TH000? The rivalry would reach another level then, and that is something I would not miss for anything!

Side note, WCA has just confirmed booking my tickets. I just received the message, I cannot wait, such hype... I am ready!

Yumi and I in Wuhan ~ PGL July 2016

If you would like to follow me on twitter, i would very much appreciate that :

Yes I insist do it!

What? Then just make a twitter account!

I will be commenting and taking pictures live from WCA Yinchuan.


Comment #1Sun Dec 04, 2016 09:11 am
One of the best wc3 interviews i've ever read. Thx Ugri. What would we do if Yumiko wasnt exist. Great guy.
Comment #2Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:24 pm
How can he possibly say anything about th000 changing his race??? It's his fcking strenght that he is able to play more than one race and it's also an "outplay" that during a month of practice he invests it smartly cuz he knows his oppo is not able to play anything but Human. I definatelly agree that during vetoes u should know what race is your opponent going to play, but not before the tournament starts.. or in case there are more players able to switch races and play it on super high skill lvl then during the vetoes they write down a race to each map and when it comes to those maps they have to play the race that they wrote to the certain map.., (and only referee gets the paper) that also happened before thats why we saw some Elf mirror during (not sure now - Sky/Infi Sky/th000)
Comment #3Sun Dec 04, 2016 13:02 pm
nafowt, I think the fair way was to veto with maps+races when they decided who will play finals. So they can prepare better for maps/races. What is the reason for waiting 1 month? To prepare better and show best games to audience. You need to know maps/races to prepare even more better.
Comment #4Sun Dec 04, 2016 13:20 pm
Sorry, but no way :) maybe this comparison will be ridicilous, but it's like if I was about to play hyped dota match and I would be forced to pick limited heroes or smth so both teams are prepared and one of the team cant outsmart the other1 and stomp them in 15mins.. He literally could've practiced that OP UD vs NE on certain maps (Kappa) and be ready for everything :) He is just upset cuz he got outsmarted by th000 badly but to me it looks like th000 is just another lvl (:
Comment #5Sun Dec 04, 2016 13:27 pm
Good interview man
Comment #6Sun Dec 04, 2016 13:38 pm
I think that should be no complains about th000 Ne choice. If he can play at high level both races why not?? Or course i agree that your opponent should always know before map Vetos which race will be facing. A part from the fact that players can change race will make wc3 more creative and brings more fun to the table.
Comment #7Sun Dec 04, 2016 14:07 pm
the best interview I have seen for some time! I think you are really good at that! I personally think raceswitching makes Th000 a more interesting player and it should be allowed!
Comment #8Sun Dec 04, 2016 14:43 pm
Really cool interview. Yumi fighting!
Comment #9Sun Dec 04, 2016 16:48 pm
#6 I'm 100% sure he knew it during vetoes, but he is mentioning that he "wasted" 1 month of practice vs hu and th000 decided to pick NE (:
Comment #10Sun Dec 04, 2016 22:07 pm
Not the flashiest guy. Not one of the legends. But one of the players that I personally respect the most. Truly passionate. Truly good in spirit. I hope he makes it far in Yinchuan and finds the success he deserves.
Comment #11Sun Dec 04, 2016 22:07 pm
Also; calm down, Cechi, mate. You been drinkin or something? :D
Comment #12Mon Dec 05, 2016 00:31 am
I think you should decide for a race before each Bo3/Bo5 which you have to stick to. Yumiko says, that players become legends by being the best of their reace and represent all the players of the respective race. Considering this, I think TH000 is the legend for all random players and/or all players who did not 100% commit to a single race.
Comment #13Mon Dec 05, 2016 02:26 am
Great interwiev Ugri,i think Yumiko is right,they should not be able to change race,or if they can they must tell which race they will play to opponent one month before match.
Comment #14Mon Dec 05, 2016 03:09 am
I have been talking to both and after thinking about it, I made my opinion. It is ok that TH000 plays NE. Yumiko should just be allowed to know it in advance though, to prepare correctly. Because of the required training to do in such finals (planning maps veto and strategies ahead). Then if TH000 does not want to be remembered as the leader of the Human race, that is his decision. And I wonder if TH000 would have done this to Infi or 120, without warning : probably not.
Comment #15Mon Dec 05, 2016 08:32 am
Is is truth that th000 stole yumiko's girlfirend??BEcause if this is true, than it become very personal :)
Comment #16Mon Dec 05, 2016 09:47 am
If a player is capable of playing more races, he should be allowed to do so. Its like choosing the first Hero, if yumiko woudld have trained one month only against AM and then TH000 suddenly uses MK, then wow that would be rather naive. Especially, if he knows Th000 and assumes that his opponent wants to maximize his chances of winning, he should prepare vs several races, just as you prepare several strategies.
Comment #17Mon Dec 05, 2016 13:03 pm
#14 What warning? It's just th000 being next lvl nothing else, nobody told yumi not to practice UD in case th000 will try to use NE against him.. Same goes for HLA in europe if rudan loses him in NE mirror is he gonna start complaining about not preparing for NE mirror against him?? Ofc not, but there is simply a possibility ur opponent is able to play more than one race thats all and Yumi after all those years should've known how th000 plays
Comment #18Mon Dec 05, 2016 14:45 pm
The problem is, that you may end up in an endless spiral game theory style. TH000 switches to Elf --> Yumi switches to UD --> TH000 switches back to Hum --> Yumi switches back to hum --> TH00 switches to Elf --> and so on [repeat infinitely] If both players have to tell the admin before a match which race they will play (without knowing the opponent's race), we end up in a rock paper scissors game using the races^^
Comment #19Mon Dec 05, 2016 15:30 pm
In fact, you cant prepare for th000.He is the most versatile and most dangerous player in wc3 history.When he is in shape, noone can beat him with every race.I like yumiko more, but there is no room for arguing.The only working rule must be "Do not switch races in Bo3/5/7/9"
Comment #20Mon Dec 05, 2016 16:36 pm
There's no an endless spiral ever, both of them are able to play 2 races (f.e) so both of them have the same fear factor during vetoing the maps.., th000 chooses HU/NE Yumi says he ll play HU/UD and then they write down their race to each map, maybe th000 would be scared that Yumi might play UD well on certain map vs his elf so he chooses HU instead and yumi mindgamed it to an hu mirror f.e or not. My personal opinion is that there's no way u are revealing your race 1 month before ur match starts if one of your biggest strenght is that ur able to play more races on very high skill level it's just benefit of the player and everyone has the same right to play more races.
Comment #21Mon Dec 05, 2016 23:56 pm
I agree with ugri,the other should be allowed to know oponents race definetly...
Comment #22Tue Dec 06, 2016 07:19 am
#2 , cechi ,you are so funny. It is his strength? He is ok with that? Tell me why tournament ban switching race in a whole bo3/5??tell me what is the meaning of veto map? tell me if i am a hum player, you are a hum player, and i choose TR as loser map, then you use UD suddenly.... What is the meaning of veto map? such a joke.
Comment #23Tue Dec 06, 2016 07:23 am
#15 , i think it is the other way around.. that girl liked yumi first.....but th0000 envy... so.....
Comment #24Tue Dec 06, 2016 07:27 am
Comment #20 , no need to reveal what race u pick in the match, just tell the admin , what race you might use in the tournament, for example, u submit your file with your name, age, and the race u might use: NE/HUM
Comment #25Tue Dec 06, 2016 09:49 am
#22 ridiculous. if you can't use any races, what is the meaning of being able to play 4 race at the highest level? are you going to force players to practice only one race?
Comment #26Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:57 am
#25, what is the reason of veto maps? what is the reason of rules only allow 1 race in a whole bo3/5/7? Tell me
Comment #27Tue Dec 06, 2016 14:02 pm
does anyone know where to find the replays of this wildcard-tournament? I couldnt find them anywhere and i am really curious about it.
Comment #28Tue Dec 06, 2016 14:24 pm
Nice interview !
Comment #29Tue Dec 06, 2016 17:06 pm
I have to agree with cechi. It is your decision how and what you train for... It is like in soccer you would know for 100% what is going to be the line up and the formation and the tactic of the enemy. The preparation and training is to outsmart and suprise your opponent. Th000 did it the cool way! If yumi could play other race competitively then maybe he would have picked ud and mindfucked th000... he couldnt, he lost. end of story Th000 deserved the win!
Comment #30Wed Dec 07, 2016 13:05 pm
Czech's opinion is correct and fair
Comment #31Thu Dec 08, 2016 08:44 am
#27, add me in skype and i will send you :? manchester11990
Comment #32Thu Dec 08, 2016 08:46 am
#29, tell me what the reason of rule banning swithcing race in a whole bo3/5/7?
Comment #33Thu Dec 08, 2016 08:47 am
#30 ,cechi,s complains are fair and fair too.

Write a comment!

Please log in to write a comment!
Help us keeping W3Arena alive!
W3Arena Privacy Policy