Other weeks – let’s say this one, for the sake of conversation – the columns practically write themselves.
So it turns out that Weiliang 'Fly' Lu won his second tournament in a row this weekend, and became the highest earning player of the year so far. His fellow countryman, Xiaofeng 'Sky' Li still has plenty of time to catch up, of course, but the orc is almost $2,000 in the lead right now. Fly’s form has been unbelievable on LAN and he continues to have that rare quality of being better offline than on. He has just three losses in his last ten solo games; all three were online.
After nearly two years of orc dominance it comes as little surprise, but even the staunchest forum-trolling orc hater seems to respect Fly’s achievement. It’s like a begrudging kind of “yeah, well… grats… I suppose.” High praise indeed when you consider that every other orc just gets called a patch abuser or worse.
It could be that people like him because – like fellow Chinese, TeD – he always seems to be smiling. You never hear a complaint from him and he appears to have the perfect attitude towards the game. Try hard, practice lots, and always enjoy yourself. You can see the pleasure he takes from the game every time he plays. It comes through in his play style, as if you can almost see his grunts smiling while they chop down archers.
But personally, I enjoy the strategies that play style leads to. Lord knows the Blademaster is the most hated thing in Warcraft these days. Anyone who is prepared to use a Farseer is sure to make a good first impression on the community these days. That’s especially if he uses for a nightelf player who will eat him and his mana for breakfast.
Yet Fly makes it work from time-to-time and he does it with style. Okay, not against nightelf, but against human and even orc sometimes he micros his wolves almost flawlessly. It’s a joy to behold and really breaks up the monotony that is an average orc vs human match. Farseer was always an “okay” alternative to Blademaster against mass casters – a well-placed chain/wave can decimate most armies. But Fly made it work against Gryphons in one of the most entertaining pro games of 2009. Oh, and don’t forget that this was against Sky, arguably the best human in the world.
Will Fly’s success push the FS back into contention as orc’s main hero? With the current state of the BM, it’s highly unlikely. That’s another fairly easy column to write, perhaps. But the fact that Fly tries something a bit different, in games which actually matter, just makes him more worthy of praise in my opinion.
The Zechs Files returns next Tuesday.
If I don't know you I will decline your friend request.
Other esports work
Zechs Files Uncut - A more personal look at esports and the stuff i felt i couldn't put in my column.
You can also follow me on Twitter for regular updates.
Everything I ever wrote for SK
Most of what I wrote for GotFrag
TeamAMD Gamer - Coverage writer
/ Clanbase - Eurocup/Nations Cup admin
GotFrag - Coverage/Features
ACON5 2005 UK Qualifier
ESWC 2005 Finals
ESWC 2006 UK Qualifier
ESWC 2006 Finals
CPL WT 2006: UK
IEM Global Finals 2009
IEM Global Finals 2010
Sky into final, seeking historic 3rd WCG gold
China's government sponsors CEPL
Grubby talks WCG, WEM and SC2
Cassandra blogs about Grubby and WCG
ReMinD wins first Korean WC3 WCG gold
THE NEW JERSEY