Going back to the good old times for 3 memorable days
"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson : you find the present tense, and the past perfect" ~Owens Lee Pomeroy
Grubby, still thinking about Karmar getting a book of the dead
You announce that, and all social medias get saturated like a 911 call center during an earthquake. You read that, and suddenly you get thrown back to a time when you started playing that game with your friends. You had a bad internet connection - you maybe still do if you are me. You were in a clan with your buddies and organizing clan wars. You started learning English just to talk with that UD from Sweden that was so good in 2v2. Your mum told you to go to bed already.
You were hoping for Grubby to beat Moon and Lyn. You decided to play Orc because that had to be the reason why Grubby was winning. You failed because of bad luck.
You've got a Blademaster that could go through units. Your opponents called it cheating, sent angry messages on forums. They all quit because of imbalance. The next day they were back trying to play orc. They lost and went back to their race.
That was your youth, it was not such a long time ago... except that you are not in high school anymore... or is it that you just got married ?
Damn, I have two kids!
Nostalgia Battlefield in Harbin would not have been that nostalgic without a huge comeback. The 7 other instructors were all active players, and one was only 20 yo.
There could not have been a huger comeback than the one of Mr Manuel Schenkhuizen. And after all these years, I can honestly say that... I still cannot pronounce his name!
This being said...the master was back on the Battlefield, and here is his story...
Dear Grubby, thank you for agreeing on this interview! For once I will skip on the presentation question, is that ok?
1- Back from Harbin, did you go straight back to your streaming duties or did you take a break?
Yeah, it was a lovely little break from my very fun job at home (streaming), and really helped to refresh me while reliving some awesome memories from the past. I did want to go straight back to streaming to reconnect with my regular viewers. In fact, I started streaming within 60 minutes of reaching my home... as I had a online tourney to cast for Heroes of the Storm, haha.
2- When was the last time you went to China for a LAN?
I actually went to China 20 November - 5 December in 2016 for a Heroes of the Storm tournament cast, called the Gold Club World Championship, which was the most competitive Heroes tournament to date (Koreans won!).
3- And when/where was your last WC3 LAN tournament?
Before Nostalgia Battlefield, that was the IEM tournament held in mid 2015 at the Mobile Phone convention. I took a map off check there, but I basically hadn't played a game for 4 years. That was actually the tournament that got me interested to start streaming Wc3 in weekends.
4- The fans always asked for your return to Wc3 competition. Why did you agree to play THIS one?
My sponsor ASUS Republic of Gamers asked me to participate, since they are a sponsor for the event, and they definitely helped make it happen in terms of paying my trip, supporting me at the event and helping me explain the whole tournament format before going to the tournament. I got really excited to participate once it was all finally settled, but I didn't want to get my hopes up too much. I'm still a retired progamer, but at least I get regular weekends of WC3 play these days. I decided to just go and have fun, and see whatever will happen.
5- We announced your presence in Harbin mid January after the organizers confirmed it to B2W. It took 3 more weeks for you to confirm it : can you explain why?
It was for personal reasons, I had a different engagement on the same date as the tournament range, and while it was very unlikely to become necessary to cancel my tournament participation for that, I don't want to 100% confirm unless I can give my word for it. I also made sure I had a cancelable flight ticket. Not announcing things unless all parties are agreed is pretty much the standard in eSports or business for that matter, but I think there was a misunderstanding somewhere, so it got announced too early. Sorry for the confusion.
6- I believe this does not mean you are returning to competition anyway... was it a one time stand?
It was a one-time thing for sure, but I'm not ruling out another one-time thing in the future. This was a very special tournament format that was a lot of fun, takes just a step away from the deadly seriousness of a hardcore 1v1 competition. I didn't have any expectations, I hoped to have fun, and the event organizers even planned an excursion for us to the Harbin world of Ice and Snow. So it was a bit like a vacation as well :)
7- You stream Warcraft twice a week, why not playing small cups like MooCups? This cannot be considered as a real stressful competition as it is mostly for fun?
It's not so much the stress, as it is that I've pretty much played about as much ~100-weekend cups as I think I'll ever enjoy. While they are a great regular show for the viewers of eSports, as a competitor it's a lot of time for very little pay-off. That means it has to be fun, and for me the downsides outweigh the upsides. I could get maybe 2, 3 quality games in, for half a day of commitment with a set starting time which is earlier than I normally start. There are a lot of waiting times, searching for host, and lag issues, and I just don't want to have to deal with that anymore. I enjoy my regular show of playing competitive ladder games much more. I do hope that the cups can do well and get a lot of viewers, as viewers deserve regular eSports content :)
8- When you go online streaming Warcraft, you get an automatic 5k viewers figure. Do you have special tricks to entertain a large audience? Is it just about your legacy?
Initially I also found it really surprising that there are this amount of regular WarCraft III viewers for my stream. I kinda get it, I guess... for me, watching another pro wc3's stream that is good quality is incredibly entertaining for me, like for example when I turn on ToD's or Happy's stream. It's a really lucky feeling that there's so much love for WC3 and my stream, and I will definitely continue to honor that attention with my continued streams for so long as I can. WC3 <3
9- How good of a living can you make with streaming? Any advice to give other streamers?
I mean you pretty much put almost your whole life on hold to stream. Streaming is like a 7 days per week job, but it's really fun so it feels rewarding. The fans and viewers treat me well and can be generous, and that definitely motivates me to work as hard as I can, and keep up my very regular streaming schedule. Advice to other streamers would be to be very consistent and be friendly, personally I don't like watching unfriendly streamers.
10- Can you say you met old friends in Harbin with Moon/ Lyn or any others? Did you have time to talk with some of them?
I respect them for their huge accomplishments, so they are old rivals I would say :P It's hard to talk to them because I don't speak Korean and they speak very limited English. They are kind enough, but it's hard to know what they are really thinking. ReMinD is easiest to talk to because he is more outgoing and can speak English better. It was nice to see all of them. I missed seeing Sky, as he wasn't there unfortunately, haha.
3 legends : Fly, Lyn, Grubby
11- Have you read the funny interview of WFZ, about when you picked him and Xixi?
I haven't read it
12- How did you communicate? Were there a team leader in the crew or was it consensual?
I was the team leader in name, but it seemed Xixi made all the calls. He was confident about a lot of things, so I just went along with it. The two of them seem friends, so they had a lot of discussion. I contributed some info like the fact that I would like to play against TBC on Twisted Meadows, that's why we picked it in the Winner Bracket which led to my win against him, I guess.
13- Isn't it little disappointing that a "Moon v Grubby" showdown was announced, and we only see "Grubby v Karmar" ?
I guess so. That's mostly my fault for losing to Karmar, so it didn't become a possibility. Unfortunately, it took a few games until I got into a proper state of play. I struggled with rustiness issues such as not making myself comfortable enough physically (taking shoes off, correcting posture and chair position), and making loads of unforced errors. You can hear more about that in my analysis of those games here:
14- One win for four losses : what were your expectations before coming? Can you go through your performance in the tournament?
I wasn't expecting to win any games. I know that may seem dour, but from a mental perspective it was the best attitude for me. I'm pretty emotional so if I started believing in a positive outcome I would probably get way too stressed and play worse because of it. My first two games against the NE's were to be honest embarrassingly bad. Like forgetting to scout with Altar Peon, not going past shop to buy circlet - like the most basic things went wrong in standard build orders. Losing vs Focus was fine, I think we had a decent match, he just played better. Against TH000, I've pretty much never won so not surprising to feel I had no chance, but at least I felt like I had the possibility to play well. It wasn't unforced errors, just him being very effective at disrupting me. It may seem silly, but I'm happy with my 1 win out of 5 games. TBC won a lot of games, so it's worth something to me. Of course, I know, that there could be people with higher expectations for me, sorry to them.
15- We discussed picking options right before it started : how much do you follow the pro scene at the moment?
We did! As a full-time streamer I don't actually get to sit down and watch a whole lot of streams, myself. I made sure to spend the 3 days of streaming WC3 leading up to the event to finally find out who this 120 guy is, and I was very impressed. UD level of play in 2017 is higher than in 2010 when I quit. The other races mostly the same I think, which surprised me as well - I thought people would be worse now due to lack of competitions.
16- Were you sending tweets while on stage? It appeared that way sometimes :D
Yeah I was letting B2W or you know what was happening, LOL. I also had to check my phone sometimes to see the player names. When we were picking from the qualified players, they showed the NetEase names. For 70% of them, I had no idea who they were because their name was written in Chinese or they used some weird pseudonym that wasn't their real name. So I had Liquipedia open and looked at the Nostalgia Battlefield page to see who would still be available, while Lyn told me who was who, lol.
17- You told me you knew Xixi for a long time and he was training with you before in China?
Correct. There were very few people I trained with while I was in China, but Xixi was one of them. I will always be thankful for his help. So I was happy to play in a team with him.
18- A word to your teammates WFZ and Xixi?
Good job guys. You made me, and more importantly, yourself and the fans, very proud.
19- MVP of the tournament was?
For me it was Xixi. If I had to say MVP on the winner team, it was FoCuS. He went on a rampage. Even if the finals was Bo5 x 2, I think FoCuS' strength that day may have just been too much for us. TH000's team got a deserved first place.
MVP Xixi will get picked up first next time
20- Many videos were posted on your Youtube channel during the events. I figure somebody is helping you with managing your channel? Can you introduce him/her?
That's true. Of course in theory, I could, because you can schedule video's to be posted at a certain time and date. Maybe in the future I can introduce the guy who's helping me to everyone :P
(-> Ok got burned there! :) )
21- Anything yo wished I asked or something you want to say to your fans?
Huge thanks to ROG Republic of Gamers to organize this event, and MagicYang's company Yuugames. It was very fun, thanks for inviting me. Thanks to everyone who believed in me, thanks to hoan85 for supporting me to go for a win, and thanks to everyone who watches my stream. Thanks to you for the interview. Gee, that's a lot of thanks isn't it.. but I am grateful in life for all this :)
Our turn to thank you Manuel! We are very grateful for your time and support to WC3.
You guys know his stream better than I do, I just had the chance to watch it once. But still, I feel like I can talk about it. I loved the atmosphere there, indeed way away from the "deadly seriousness of a hardcore 1v1". Map was EI, Grubby asked his fans "what should I do?". It went on with a mass witch doctors strategy with a NE opponent massing MG. Just fun and hilarious and definitely quality spent time for his viewers.
Grubby's stream is all about the "you" and little about the "me".
From a mix of my friends translating some quotes of his interview and my google translator that is somewhat accurate, here is the alleged story ; I apologize for any imprecision :
Quite rusty as he was among the 8 team leaders, the 16 qualified players were hoping to avoid being picked by our legend Grubby (tournament was played in teams of 3). This is not disrespectful, just what appeared as the obvious option for a safer path to money.
WFZ made fun of Xixi because as he was the only one of the 16 qualified that Grubby knew, he would probably be picked first. WFZ felt safe because Grubby surely did not know him! But we discussed pick options and Grubby chose WFZ straight up, which made both WFZ and Xixi laugh a lot.
Then Xixi was incomprehensibly not appointed before the 2nd round, and was himself picked right after by Grubby initiating more laughter.
In the end, it all worked out as the team finished in 2nd place. It does not matter that Grubby's team did not get the title. What does is that good spirit and friendly atmosphere, combined with skills, got them rewarded. And Manuel went to Harbin just for that : to have fun and give his fans a good time.
Dear readers, I hope that you all enjoyed reading that interview. ~Ugrilainen
Twitter : twitter.com/playffa
You still were with friends Jester, happy birthday!