Condensed content that I'm translating
If you know Chinese, this is a nice read.
Basically the dude is a third-year uni student who got hired as an assistant ref for WESG. He has a pretty honest, descriptive POV of his interactions with and observations of Dark, Serral, Maru, Scarlett, and Inno.
Translated and edited for brevity and civility:
Out of the three Korean players, Dark's English is the best. Inno and Maru are often seen with their butlers by their side (personal assistant responsible for living situation, transportation, communication, etc. apparently costs 400 rmb per day), but Dark basically can just communicate in English without difficulty.
Overall, Dark is pretty personable, plus his English is already pretty good, so I often see him conversing with other countries’ players, like Special.
When talking with us refs he always carries a smile, his voice is pretty soft but very clear, gives me a really nice vibe/impression.
Dark’s practice regimen out of the three Korean players is the most diligent. Every day he’s the earliest one there, and not a lot of people watches him practice. Before his matches, Dark often plays custom, practicing hotkey and macro, not every player will do this.
Briefly mentioning this, the players’ official accounts are all new, so during the first two days of tournament the Chinese ladder was brutal… and then a lot of players went to the KR server to practice, probably felt that our CN server skill level’s not high enough. I saw with my own eyes a 4k mmr T getting destroyed, playing two base vs 10 base and then GG.
Serral the great demon king, non-Korean number one, world no. 1 zerg, unlimited future potential – most of the EU/NA players I’ve been talking with says so.
Of course, in general, Serral is not invincible, like getting 2-0’d by Neeb during group stage. My first impression of Serral is that he looks very young, as he was born in 1998, less than a year older than me. Feels like Serral’s the youngest out of all the NA/EU players, all the other players look middle-aged (Scarlett you’re the exception).
Serral’s practice regimen is also quite diligent, compared to the other NA/EU players, Serral practices a lot longer every day, but different from other players, Serral likes to find pro players to play custom 1v1, not laddering.
When Serral’s practicing, there’s always a lot of players watching, like Scarlett, DNS, Lambo, Special, Harstem, etc., and these folks like to chat a lot, often standing there and talking for an hour at a time.
Serral watches Maru play a lot, at least one match per day, then talks about Maru’s strats and control with other players. If WESG final is Maru vs Serral, personally I feel like Serral is more likely to win.
Top notch skills, friendly demeanor, good relations with others, hot topic champion, one of my favorite players, that’s pretty much all I have to say about Serral.
Maru’s always wearing a white jacket, not sure if he doesn’t wash it or it’s the natural color, the color is more greyish white, feels a bit…
Anyway it’s hard to describe Maru’s expressions, it’s like he hasn’t woken up yet, always looking tired.
Maru is very easy to talk to, whenever someone ask him for autographs he would say yes. When he’s playing his match or practicing, a dozen people would be standing behind him watching and he wouldn’t say anything.
I remember during puCK vs Meomaika, a lot people including Huang Xudong (T/L: Chinese caster/organizer) were watching (because Maru just got 2-0’d by the Vietnamese Zerg King), puCK wasn’t happy and paused to tell us to disperse the gathered crowd.
Maru’s table has two must-haves: a thin towel and a beverage.
Maru as a habit likes to put the thin towel under his mouse, and mousepad under the towel. Honestly this is the first time I’ve seen mouse moving on top of towels, wouldn’t it get stuck?
But the towel padding looks pretty cool, plus a cup of Starbuck or some other beverage. Watching Maru play, gives me a certain feeling, how to say it, enjoyable or comfortable – like a Gentleman slowly enjoying his dinner, savoring every bite.
As to why use towel and not the mousepad directly, I asked Maru quite a few times but he didn’t understand what I was saying, so I gave up.
Everyone says Maru’s T is the fourth race, 3:0 Elazer, 3:0 Neeb, Neeb already 2:0’d Serral during group stage. Is Maru actually trying now once he got out of group stage? I don’t know, but I do know that Special, Mana, and Elazer all told me Maru is the type of player who gets stronger the farther he goes in a tournament, cannot be underestimated.
Maru himself said, aside from TvT, he’s not worried about anything else. In other words, if he wins against Innovation, he has a lot of confidence against Serral.
Let’s see what happens.
Among all the players I’m following, Scarlett is probably the most care-free. You almost never see her during the days she’s not playing a match. Even on her match days, she usually uses 20% of her time to play her series, 30% time to practice, and 50% of the time she’s chatting with others.
Almost all the EU/NA players are well-acquainted with Scarlett, often talking for one to two hours at a time. The content of the conversation sometimes is about the tournament, but most of the time it’s not.
I’ve recommended to Lambo, Scarlett and other players to try some Chongqing Hot Pot (T/L: this is one of the most iconic, popular, and SPICY regional cuisine in China). Seems like Lambo and DNS etc. have never eaten it. Scarlett not only have eaten it, but she said she loves SPICY food.
My personal impression is that Scarlett is very approachable. She doesn’t talk too fast or loudly, so when you’re talking with her you feel pretty relaxed. She’s very understanding of the refs’ jobs. Sometimes the internet would get high pings and Scarlett would go talk to the other EU/NA players (Bly) telling them not to fret.
Innovation (T/L: actually written as Lv Bu here, his nickname among the Chinese fans. Lv Bu is the dude with the highest power level from the Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historical military fiction novel)
Innovation in terms of relaxation level ranks number two among the players I’ve talked about here, just behind the elusive Scarlett.
Although you will see Inno every day, you won’t see him arrive early to practice. Innovation basically only appears two hours before his match. Even when he’s here, Innovation won’t always be practicing. Generally, if you don’t see Inno in his own seat, 9 out 10 times he’s sitting next to Dark or Maru.
When Innovation’s not playing what is he doing?
1. Watching Dark and Maru practice, chatting with them if they’re not practicing.
2. Reading Fomos, a Korean esports site/forum, reading comments and laughing.
3. Listening to K-pop girl groups sing, normally by opening the music video webpage and listening to the song.
4. Watching LoL matches, last time saw him watching GRF vs SKT.
5. Lying in his seat with his eyes shut.
Innovation’s English is probably not great, maybe not even as good as his Chinese. I only use some basic English to converse with Inno. On the other hand, “Lv Bu,” “Ni Hao” these type of words he completely understands.
Inno aside from talking with the Korean players Maru and Dark, almost never converses with others, basically he’s always pretty quiet. I feel like he seems like a stoic wise sage-type of person.
Talking about Korean players, the fluctuations in their expressions and movements are pretty small, voice is also pretty soft, gives people a sense of calm, peace, and comfort.
Innovation also seems like a very chill guy. All the people looking for him to get an autograph or picture, or watching him play, he never refuses or gets angry.
On the other hand, watching Innovation playing low ranking ladder is really funny. Last time I saw him make his opponent concede at 6+ minutes, then Inno quietly macro’d until 4 bases 200/200 and moved out to destroy his opponent’s base and then left.
Edit: Oh wow, I'm glad that a lot of people liked this! It's pretty rare for us online viewers to get a glimpse what the pros do and think up close. But of course all credits go to Neo骑士 the original OP who not only detailed his experience from a fairly objective and descriptive point of view, but also had a really nice prose style and interesting observations.
There were actually some other stuff I didn't translate, such as the Maru vs Meomaika post-match, which agsub has kindly translated below. And the rest were mainly OP lamenting the lack of success (and diligence to an extent) of the Chinese players, as well as being concerned about some of the organizational issues with WESG, such as having only 200mb bandwith causing frequent ping, and being the translating intermediary to bring up player concerns to the higher ups who aren't responding in a timely manner.
Edit 2: Oh and there was one last funny anecdote: Serral brought up to the refs that the gaming chair they provided didn't fit because it was too short and the armrests were in the way, so they ended up replacing Serral's chair with something like this.