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Sky, the man who is helping keep Warcraft3 alive

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
May 30, 2009 09:25


ImageChina is now the new center for Warcraft III, and Xiaofeng "Sky" Li the gatekeeper. His presence and popularity is helping to keep the Warcraft III flag raised.

"Sky's Midas touch in China could be Warcraft3's one saving grace as we drawn ever closer to a Chinese monopoly."
China is heading towards being the only pole for Warcraft III, with the future of ESWC looking grim, the WCG to be held in Chengdu this year, as well WC3L, PGL and G-League all hosting their finals here in China, this will soon be its final stronghold. Its success and popularity in China is hugely down to the success of one individual,namely Xiaofeng 'Sky' Li.

The importance of Xiaofeng "Sky" Li to the Warcraft III cause is incalculable, with the likes of Yoan 'ToD' Merlo and Seong Deok 'SoJu' Lee already filing for retirement and Jae Ho 'Moon' Jang turning into a marketing tool for WeMadeFox's MMO Avalon Online, his role in the new hub for Warcraft3 is crucial, and well deserved. The creator of the aptly named Sky Push and winner of over $157,000 in prize money, has been in the scene since 2004, half a decade ago, but yet continues to perform.

ImageHe has been labelled as a villain by some by resorting to constructing towers for the sake of victory, but Sky's Midas touch in China could be Warcraft3's one saving grace as we drawn ever closer to a Chinese monopoly.

With the success of Chinese stars in recent years, the popularity of Counter-Strike has declined and Warcraft III is the title most highly spectated, alongside Defense of the Ancients (DoTA) another firm favourite.

Like any major sports star, Sky's fame transcends his own discipline, you do not need to follow golf to recognise who Tiger Woods is, or basketball to know Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. Their influence as well as their ability in their given field of expertise makes them become more than just players, they have become legends. His legendary status will remain regardless of his shape in Warcraft III, with back-to-back gold medals in the World Cyber Games, he has nothing left to prove.

"Sky's fame transcends his own discipline, you do not need to follow golf to recognise who Tiger Woods is"
Sky has become an ambassador for Warcraft III, recognised by not only gamers but even the general public. Type Sky into China's most popular search engine Baidu.cn or even google.cn and the first result is his personal blog.

He has carried the Olympic torch, appeared on national television - even making an appearance on Lu Yu a few years ago (a well-known TV interviewer) - appeared in a film about his own life as well as being a protagonist in the Beyond the Game documentary.

At the Blizzard College eSports tournament earlier this week, a battle between the "Oxford and Cambridge of China" - Beijing and Tsing Hua University - the crowd clapped but it was not until the entrance of our protagonist that they really stood up and cheered. His presence was the touch of class the tournament needed, to make it truely a momentous occasion, with his showmatch victory - despite a handicap of only being allowed to use one hand - greeted with a nationalistic pride as if to say "that's our Sky!" .

ImageHis second showmatch where he was forced to play Night Elf resulted resulted in a defeat to MoonFish, a female player who appeared in the Steelseries Iron Lady tournament, but he showed no anger, no irritation, he just smiled and joked of his defeat with the presenter, and the crowd loved him even more for it.

Sky fully realises his position within the Chinese community and how much a small effort from him can go a long way for his thousands of fans.Having had the honour to sit down and chat with him, he gave off no air of self-importance or egoism, only pure modesty.

Sky has walked with kings but not lost the common touch, the worldwide fame acquired is second nature to him now but it has not spoilt his character, for these reasons, Sky is essential to the survival of Warcraft III in China.

"He gave off no air of self-importance or egoism, only pure modesty. Sky has walked with kings but not lost the common touch"
For those who look simply at his results or his reliance on towers to determine his star appeal, you need to widen your perspective. You must look at the bigger picture, of how he represents the game we love in a positive light to the masses, and more importantly, to prospective sponsors.

Sky is one of few professional players to go that extra mile and give back to the community that enabled him to become great, to be accessible to the writers who have documented his success and to be grateful to the organisers who gave him the platform to succeed.


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