TL, Live from Shanghai
To celebrate the legendary game that is Brood War, the Chinese community PLU is organizing an all-stars event in Shanghai, featuring Korean ex-pros turned Afreeca streamers Bisu, Sea, Movie and ZerO, as well as Chinese favorites Pj, Lx, F91, and Super. edit: the Chinese line-up was modified to Jaystar, Fengzi, VIP and 334. The former line-up was present as special guests for the Chinese BW retrospective that took place after the games.
This event, aptly named "The PLU 2014 Sino-Korean Brood War Carnival", will take place on Sunday, Aug 17 5:00am GMT (GMT+00:00) local time, at the Shanghai Expo Grand Stage.
Our very own TLer endy will attend this event, and will provide live coverage, photos, interviews, and tidbits.
He will continually update this thread and will try his best to answer questions!
by PLU and Kongdoo
Chinese trailer from PLU, the organizer:
Korean trailer from Kongdoo
The venue has been host to several esports events in the past, including the StarCraft II WCS Asia Finals in 2012. It has a thousand-seat capacity. Tickets for the event sold out quickly.
Bisu needs no introduction. He is the most successful Protoss player of all time, with 3 Starleague titles, and a stellar Proleague record. He stayed a while with SKT after the SC2 switch, then retired. His debut on Afreeca generated an insane amount of hype, and he won the largest BW amateur event to date, the Sonic Starleague 9. He announced that he will not participate in new tournaments and will join the army soon. Is this for sure? We will try to find out in tonight's interview!
Sea has been the resident Terran master in the Korean amateur scene ever since he retired from playing StarCraft II for Team Liquid. While he never was as successful as Bisu -- Sea is famous for never passing a Starleague quarterfinals -- he always was a solid asset for MBC Game Hero in Proleague.
ZerO was close to becoming the #1 Zerg towards the end of the pro scene, with deep runs in individual leagues. He will play against the Chinese Protoss JayStar today.
Fengzi is currently China's top player. Kind of like the Chinese Sziky. He was ranked very high on the Fish ladder not so long ago, and if anyone can take games off Korean, it's him!
Pj and Lx were by far the two strongest Chinese Protoss. Both were invited to play for SKT T1 in 2005, and they stayed at the team house before returning to China mainly due to the language barrier. Unlike what was announced earlier, they will attend the event as special guests.
F91 was considered one of the strongest foreign Zerg circa 2008. He was known for his unconventional play that allowed him to abuse IdrA's predictability in the Liquibition Broodsport showmatch organized by TL. He was also the first and only player to win 5 consecutive Liquibitions.
334 is China's best 2v2 player. He won a similar offline event last year, playing with the one whom I shall not say the name.
JayStar is a very skilled Protoss player, but was overshadowed by Pj and Lx until they retired. He's still active and will be playing against ZerO in this event.
(All times are local time in Shanghai, China, GMT+8.)
11:30 Doors open and broadcast starts
13:00 Opening ceremony
13:20 - 14:00 Hosts, commentators, and players introduction
14:00 1v1 Mini-tour semifinals Bo3 match 1, JayStar vs ZerO
15:00 1v1 Mini-tour semifinals Bo3 match 2, Bisu vs Fengzi
16:00 2v2 Mini-tour finals, Bo5
17:30 1v1 Mini-tour finals, Bo5
19:00 Awards ceremony
19:10 - 21:30 Random events, fan interaction.
(All times are local time in Shanghai, China, GMT+8.)
Saturday: 4pm - Getting ready
In a few hours, I will join a small private media conference where I will be interviewing Sea, Movie, Bisu, and ZerO. Luckily, a fellow TLer's girlfriend just flew to Shanghai specially for the event and will be my interpreter!
Saturday: 8pm - Press conference over
Two Chinese websites supposed to attend the press conference cancelled at the last minute. To fill the gap, they basically made me interview Bisu, Sea, ZerO and Movie simultaneously. I had only prepared individual interviews ;; Players looked really tired after a whole day of sightseeing, and mostly gave evasive answers. Movie fired a few shots at the Chinese players. When I asked him why they all looked so tired, Movie replied: "I am trying exhaust myself so that tomorrow, Chinese players will stand a chance!"
Saturday: 8.10pm - Chatting with my Korean translator
At the end of the press conference, a representative of Kongdoo, that apparently is YellOw's company gave me his business card. My translator, Se, tells me that she absolutely loves YellOw: "I didn't pay much attention to him when he was a progamer. But now, he his a fantastic entertainer, he's just hilarious!". Here is a recent TV show with English subs featuring the Kong.
Sunday: 1am - Late call from the host
I receive a call from Vincent, who was the host of the press conference. They will not be able to get me a wifi connection at the venue, unlike I was told previously. The good news is that there will be post-game interviews!
Sunday: 2pm - Here at last
The venue is packed, and the lightning is incredible; this is by far the most well prepared I attended in China, including non-esports events. I spotted F91 in the crowd. Looking at the number and the quality of the hype videos, we can tell they have been working on this for months. Organizers said they had no spending limit, and that all they wanted was to make this event unforgettable. Games are about to start, see you in the LR thread!
Sunday: 4pm - Too easy
Jaystar and Fengzi were completely outclassed by ZerO and Bisu. At least Fengzi prevented the cannon rush in game 2 thanks to his drone micro. Fengzi drone > Bisu probe.
I was very impressed by the production quality. As most of us I was a bit disappointed by the games, not only there were a few, but they were all PvZ, and the Chinese players were obliterated by the Koreans. Not that I expected Fengzi to defeat Bisu, but I thought that 334 and VIP, who are China's best 2v2 specialists would have put up a decent fight against Movie and Sea.
We should keep in mind that the purpose of this event was to commemorate Brood War's legacy, with a strong focus on the Chinese scene. The three commentators have been casting both Chinese and Korean events for years and have superstar status, hence the three separate intro videos. After the games, a Chinese BW retrospective was held. The event gathered a lot of fans with over 20,000 viewers if we add up the Chinese and the Korean streams. According to one of PLU's staff, it took them several months of preparation. Mad props to PLU for organizing an event of this scale!
Note: The players' wording is certainly not accurate due to the live translation focusing on factual information. I hated the layout of the room [see gallery below] as it created a distance between me and the players, but I still want to thank PLU for the opportunity that was given to me and for organizing this awesome event. Special thanks to Alone and Vincent from PLU, Sehui my interpreter, and BisuDagger from whom I stole a few questions.
Hello! First of all, thank you for taking the time to interview with Teamliquid. I did not really expect to interview the four of you at once but let's do this ^^
So...what about China? You just arrived but you all seem a bit tired already. [note: that's an understatement, they all looked like they had just awakened when I entered the conference room]
Movie : We arrived yesterday, I'm a little bit tired but I'm enjoying the trip. I'm trying to exhaust myself so I will be closer to Chinese players' level.
Sea: I am really surprised by the city, I would definitely like to come back later on my own.
Bisu: This is not my first time here.
ZerO: This is my first time in China, I am surprised by how China improved, it seems to have developed a lot! It almost feels like Korea!
I've heard from the organizers that they have taken you out, and that they have no spending limit. Did you have a chance to order the most expensive steak on the menu?
Bisu: [laughs] No, I went for Chinese dishes and I enjoyed it. I actually really like Chinese food.
Bisu, did you watch the StarCraft II Proleague finals last week, and what was your reaction after SKT's defeat against KT?
Bisu: Yes I watched all of it, I felt sorry that my team lost. I think they were lacking tactics and leadership [note: I think he meant lacking a real ace player]
Who should be SKT's ace player? SKT has a super stacked line-up.
Bisu: Rain. [note: without hesitation]
Have you heard rumors about FanTaSy retiring?
Bisu: That's actually the first time I hear about such a rumor. I can guarantee you FanTaSy is still practicing really hard.
Sea, Chinese fans gave you the nickname you 大头海, which means "Big Head Sea". Do you have any idea why they gave you this nickname?
Sea: I think I actually have a big head kekeke, but I am simply pleased to see that there are a lot of Chinese fans cheering for me.
Sea, you haven't been dominating as much as before, how confident are you with the upcoming SSL10? [note: the day after that, Sonic announced that SSL10 would be delayed to at least October ]
Sea: After I retired, I just wanted to become a BJ and not practice hard like I did as a programer, so I haven't actually prepared.
Now that you are no longer on a team, where do you guys live? On Afreeca streams, all we can see is pretty much a the room you're in ^^
Zero: I live with my parents.
Bisu: I also live with my parents. Surprisingly I can focus more on the game, because before I had a lot of distractions at the team house that I don't have now.
Sea: I also live with my parents. This was my main reason for retiring, I wanted to spend time with my family.
Movie: After I retired, I spent a lot of time with my family. Now I live on my own, and I am currently studying English and Chinese. I am getting a bit tired of broadcasting. I'm starting to think about other things than Starcraft.
Looks like a plan for Movie. what about you Bisu, Sea and ZerO?
Sea: I will be joining the military next year.
Bisu: I already retired a year ago and I haven't had proper rest yet. I will have some rest, travel a bit, then join the military.
Zero: When I was progamer, I was so busy, I couldn't think of my future at all, I would exclusively focus on the game. Now I am trying to catch up and meet people as much as possible. I try to
Movie, you did pretty during the SSL9, placing third, are you preparing for the 10th edition?
Movie: Actually since I retired I've never prepared for any game; I just felt so comfortable playing without any pressure. That is one of the reason I can now obtain good results [laughs]. I will try to reach the finals next time!
Are you still close to your former teammates?
Movie: The three of us are very close [+Bisu and Sea]. But I am also trying to stay in touch with as many players as possible.
Sea: I meet MBC Game players weekly.
Bisu: I am still meeting SKT players often. I recently traveled to mountains with soO.
Zero: I am still close with everyone at Woongjin. I like to have drinks with Soulkey.
What was the most memorable moment of your career?
ZerO: Each of my wins provided me an intense satisfaction.
Bisu: Two years ago in when I beat Flash in the PL finals. I will never forget it.
Sea: After the team won the Proleague in 2007 [note: Sea didn't mention it, but he won the Grand Finals ace match against GoRush], we had a team trip, all together, it was awesome.
Movie: The first time I faced ZerO in a Starleague [note: clean 2-0 victory in the Ro8, riding the Royal Road] [laughs]
What about Brood War outside of Korea? What do you know about the foreign scene? [note: since this was an offline event in China, they all seemed to believe there were similar large events held in other parts of the world. If only...]
Movie: I don't know much about foreign tournaments, I would like to join one if there's any. [Movie made an easy $25k in the last tournament he was invited to in China]
Sea: When I see people still playing Brood War, I am surprised. Yeah, I am just really surprised people play it outside of Korea. Thank you all for still loving this game!
Bisu: I would love to join a tournament abroad, like in USA.
Zero: I only know about the tournament Movie won in China. If there is any chance, I would like to participate in a foreign tour as well.
Alright, time for some fun questions. Can anyone of you cook?
Zero: I lived alone for 5 months after I retired. I cooked a bit but only basic stuffs. I am not confident at all in my cooking skills.
Bisu: I lived for so long at the team house, and now I am living with my parents. I only cook when my parents are away, and I cook very well!
Sea: I never cooked in my whole life! I always get take-away! [laughs]
Movie: My mum does all the cooking. I saw her cook, so I actually know the theory behind cooking, but I wouldn't guarantee anything about the taste! [laughs]
Any favorite pop-star?
Movie: No one in particular, it's always changing.
Sea: I am a bit old, so I like JYJ [note: a boy band] [laughs]
Bisu: I like Super Junior, I don't like girls group. I only like Super Junior because they sing well.
Zero: It's always changing because I don't watch that often. I just like good choreographs. When I went out the other day, I saw AOA, and they were really pretty.
Thank you for the interview, any last word for the fans?
Zero: I want to thank you for still loving this game, and I wish there is more events like this one.
Bisu: Last time I attended an event in China, it was cancelled because of a typhoon. [note: 2011 Proleague Grand Finals in Shanghai]. I will try to compensate by showing good games tomorrow.
Sea: I still think that Starcraft is an amazing game and I still enjoy it. I hope you guys will love Starcraft forever.
Movie: It's been two years since I retired, and I am still invited to tournaments and I am grateful for that. I am happy I chose this game because its fans are truly dedicated.