Follow Grubby on his Pro-Gaming Adventures: December 2009
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Reflecting on WEM victory posted on

I've just had an incredible 10 days behind me. It's been so enjoyable for me, and I don't only say that because I ended up winning. Although the success and the results really put me in a good mood which I suppose will carry over really nicely into the planned vacation I'll be taking around the end of this year.

To me, "World eSports Masters" is starting to become synonymous with professionalism, excitement and comfort. I see this as the 3rd edition of the tournament that I join (the first being WEG Masters 2006 and the 2nd being WEM 2008), and it keeps getting better. Like last year, the organization has provided for the players very well. There were dozens of translators (chinese-korean-english), nearly all of whom were (English) students at the university at which this event was held. These guys, who happened to be fans of CS & WC3 big-time, also turned out to be really great guys and I have much to thank for with the help they've given. Special thanks to LeBronc (that's not his real name, but they use English names for our convenience) and Alex who ran to get me some food before my semi-finals match.

Although the match format is BO1 and this produces some randomness to an extent, at least the groups were announced several days before my departure from Europe, so there was a certain amount of control a player could have over practicing his specific opponent and map. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who I've practiced with (you know who you are). I'm sure it was mutually beneficial but I am very grateful.
The BO1 format does make things very exciting though, and pushes you to try your hardest. I may have got unlucky a few tourneys, and maybe now I got lucky. Whichever way, I can't describe how happy I am to take the last big tourney before the year 2009 is over. In a final against Moon no less, whom I respect a lot.

We got food provided for every morning, afternoon and evening (if you happened to be around or awake), which although it wasn't haute cuisine, was not spicy and therefore suitable for everyone. It was also well varied, so it helped to keep me at least healthy and fed. There was a special VIP area in a PC cafe (same as last year's WEM 2008) with a very likeable PC Cafe owner who really makes the pro-gamers feel special I think. There were plenty of PC's for every time to practice at any time they liked.

One other thing I really liked was the time schedule. Having one best of one over the course of 1 or 2 days means that you really get a lot of freedom as to how you wanna spend your day. Enough rest and time to eat are important factors for comfort and health. I really like the set-up of this tourney. Maybe that's why I went the extra mile to try and get into the finals. Once I was in the finals, I felt, dunno, redeemed, ecstatic, happy, and privileged to be able to battle out a grand final match once again. Whether or not I'd come out on top was a 2nd concern, which I took very seriously, but wasn't essential for my existence. Having won it, I'm happy that I did =]

Hangzhou really made me feel at home. It felt weird going to the Training Center; there was posters of Sky, Moon, Infi, me and others all over the place. It all felt strangely familiar, as if I was at home or surfing the net. Hundreds of people recognized me outside of the tournament grounds. We even had dinner with some very nice fans after my semi-finals game against TeD. They were students at the university and knew the neighborhood well, and we ended up eating very nicely with some Fusion western-chinese food.

When we approached the restaurant, there was a group of 3 guys sitting near the window. One guy, who looked a bit like Jet Li, smiled congenially and waved enthusiastically. I wasn't sure how to respond. I mean, there's a chance this guy is a fan and I should wave back and smile. There's also a chance that he isn't, and that he's interested in me. In that case, I shouldn't be encouraging him. But we entered the restaurant and it turned out they were all WC3 fans and just wanted to say hi and so on, haha :P

The fans in Hangzhou were really amazing. I really want to thank all the fans who supported me, who gave me the strength and energy to win this tournament. After disappointments at other tournaments, I received nothing but words of encouragement (including from fellow pro-gamers) and this really helped. I really mean it when I say this victory doesn't only belong to me, but also everyone who cheered for me, be it from the live audience or sideline at home. That includes my family, for example my mom, who, when my match with TeD had about 2 hours delay, could hardly work as she kept skipping to the PC to press the infamous F5 (refresh). Thanks for being so involved and supportive, mom.

Needless to say, but I want to anyway, thanks to my fiance, who, although she fell sick with the flu about 5 days ago, has stood by me every step of the way.

Well, there's so much to tell (we've been here for a long time, it seems!), but I'll cut it short here. We finished the closing dinner around 10 PM this sunday, where I was forced to consume large quantities of booze from my Champion's cup not entirely against my will. Fnatic promptly followed on CAN's urgings. I have lived nearly like a monk the last few weeks (months?), so it was nice to unwind and have a laugh and a glass with everyone.

It's 4:42 AM on monday morning, chinese time now, and we're leaving with the bus at about 6:00 AM to go to the airport, preparing for our long flight back. Needless to say, we haven't gone to sleep and hope to do so on the airplane. Hopefully we can! BTW, I thought it was cold here with near-freezing, but it's -10 + snow in NL.. whoops! Going to have a white christmas :p

Best regards,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winners of "Favourite Grubby Replays" Facebook contest

We spent a few hours going through the entries. There are more than a 100 entries, and it was really hard to decide the winners. It was even harder to decide who is #1 and who is #2. We like most of the entries, because they were written with such passion, it touches our hearts. This is what REALLY makes it worth it to be a progamer - having so many fan's support and appreciation for your work.

Without further ado:

First Prize goes to: Adam Zhang
(gets Grubby's autographed 4Kings T-shirt, a Christmas card and Grubby bookmark)

Second Prize goes to: ROnan Larkin
(gets Grubby's autographed SEC 2005 T-shirt, a Christmas card and Grubby bookmark)

3rd - 20th Prize (in no particular order) goes to:
(will receive a Christmas card with Grubby bookmark)
Jeroen Van de Pol
Sergei Vilbik
Jim Zenox Salte
Christoph Geisler
Lukas Smolka
Tory Boudreaux
Xi Yan
Nick Dorazio
Orion Yan
Albert Gonzalez (Di Xu)
Wang Oceanus
Matt Schlenker (Inclnerator)
Jannes Tjarks
Wang KeLong
Minh Duc Vu
Tony Zhang
Ben Macdonald
Xi Zhang

Almost forgot, honorable mention to Sam McCafferty whom we were until the last moment considering for Top 2 position as well, but we couldn't squeeze in more than 2. Thanks for sharing your story with us. We will be sending you a Christmas card accompanied by 4 different designs of Grubby bookmarks.

Congratulations to all the winners. Please send a private message with your full name and full mailing address to "Cassandra Ng" on Facebook (can be searched by email:
NOTE: You need to message me with the account that you submitted your entry with. And please do it soon now/soon so you will receive the items before Christmas!

Thanks to all for participating so far. This has been a very enjoyable contest. We read every entry with joy! We wish we can give everyone a prize. We are paying for all the postage costs ourselves so this is the best we can do for now. If you don't get any gaming souvenirs this contest, don't worry, because we plan to do many more of these activities in the near future. Grubby has put aside lots of other gaming T-shirts/souvenirs from his home to be given away.
The next contest will be announced on "Grubby page" on Facebook.

Before we sign off, here's the entries of #1 and #2:

# 1 Adam Zhang:
King of Orc, allow me call you like this. You never know that in faraway China, in a self-studying room of my college, I wept for your WCG2008 Champion before my laptop, as if there were nobody else in that room. When Moon tapped out "gg", when I saw you brandishing your double arms, when you turned around and showed "WCG2008" on the back of your orange T-shirt before my eyes through webcast, I couldn't stop tears welling up in my eyes, only because that you are the King of Orc, and you regained your Crown of WCG which lost for years.

As one of your faithful fans, you led me into the world of Warcraft3, you are the pillar of strength for me when I suffered successive loses and you always give me new ideas of the game to keep me happy and keep me on edge. The reason I choose the replay to be my favorite one had little to do with the strategy or micro-controlling, instead, this replay arouses all my passions inside my body, toward my king, toward my Warcraft. At last, GL grubby, sincerely.

Replay File:

#2 ROnan Larkin:
It’ s like trying to pick a grain of sand on a beach. An endless number of them. Some shinier than others, some unnoticed and yet as brilliant. But people like stories. I like stories. That’s why, taking the risk of the unoriginality and cliché prize, I went for the glittering.
Avoiding, bootlicking - and had Moon held the same contest, he would have got the same answer -the WCG 2008 Grand Final was one of the best Warcraft III moments ; and I’ll tell you why.
The very core of the question raises the philosophical “what’s a good replay ?” . A last minute saving invisible spell, a wisp surround do provide excitement, they’re real turn-on to any fan. Creativity, risk-taking, magic moves. But in the end, what will we remember ? I’ll remember the story beyond the encounter that day. In sports and elsewhere, that’s what build legends.
This final was made of that rare wood. I’ve always found it hard to talk about e-sports History with the noble connotation of the word, but no second thoughts, it was. The two most recognized TFT players, the WCG finals. What else could one ask for ? Once fierce rivals, then teammates, on opposite sides once again. Those two kids fighting on Korean TV back in 2004 have won everything since, but had vanished. Two young men still at the very best level took their place. Sure, you could deny the rivalry bit, but the shared joy, the beam of light on your face after the WEG 2006 win betrays you. Grubby – Moon has always been something special. Like Connors and McEnroe, when both met, you supported one or the other; but take a side for God’s Sake. Moreover, at the time, some felt you both weren’t enjoying that total domination that used to be yours back in the old days. It was a matter of pride for each of you to take that one home (plus Moon missing a WCG title).
Out of the great games, I picked number 2 on Secret Valley. Game 1 was about raiding the elf base, Game 3 was of course fireworks for you, and the worst but so touching black hole feeling for Moon. He collapsed a bit under pressure on TM.
But Game 2 was the core of the encounter. Right before, Moon has a psychological advantage. Right after, It’s the other way around. That game turned the match. I would lie saying It’s the most brilliant piece of Warcraft I’ve ever seen entertainment wise. An early archer-kill advantage, a few nice surrounds, and Moon seeming to always recover until the end, even with only his tri-hero left. A nice game ; But it meant so much more to all the community.
To all the scepticals, to the “Warcraft III is dying” believers you both gave the best reply; to fans, a waking dream. It was like, the ideal ambassadors of the game had arranged a final match. After it, Warcraft III could have just died.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More give-aways added to "Favourite Grubby Replay" contest!

Good news to participants! Because there are many good entries for favourite Grubby replay contest, we decided to add more give-aways:

1st prize giveaway: Grubby's old 4Kings T-shirt, Christmas Card and laminated Grubby bookmark.
2nd prize giveaway: WCG 2005 SEC gaming T-shirt, Christmas Card and laminated Grubby bookmark.
3rd to 12th prize give-away: A Christmas card (Best wishes from Grubby for the festive season!), accompanied by a laminated Grubby bookmark.
(Pictures of the gaming T-shirts/souvenirs:

WCG 2005 Samsung Euro Championship T-Shirt (Back) This T-shirt is signed 4K.Grubby because he signed it 4 years ago and we found this in our closet recently. Second prize of "Favourite Grubby replay" contest

Christmas card, best wishes from Grubby for the festive season! (Accompanied by a laminated Grubby bookmark)
1st - 12th prize

Laminated Grubby bookmarks, autographed at the back. (to go with the Christmas cards)
1st prize - 12th prize

Thanks to all for participating so far. We wish we can give everyone a prize. We are paying for all the postage costs ourselves so this is the best we can do for now. If you don't get any gaming souvenirs this contest, don't worry, because we plan to do many more of these activities in the near future. Grubby has put aside lots of other gaming T-shirts/souvenirs from his home to be given away.

Once again, thanks to everyone for their support, this contest will end in 3 days, on Sunday 6th Dec. We will announce the winners at 6pm CET. Good luck guys!! :)

Submit your entries here:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Autographed old 4Kings Jersey give-away!

Hey peeps,

Grubby is giving out his old 4Kings Team Jersey!

Grubby's old 4Kings Team shirt - Front

Grubby's old 4Kings Team Jersey - back, autographed by Grubby.

Here's how you can win the 4Kings Jersey:

1) You have to be a fan of Grubby page on Facebook.
2) Tell us your favourite Grubby replay and why (in no less than 50 words, not more than 500 words.) Provide a link to the replay if you can. The replay can be from any patch.
3) This contest is international and open for all. We will send the 4Kings T-shirt to your address by post.
4) Submit your entries to the Grubby page Wall entry in a comment. All comments/entries will be read by Grubby himself.
5) The winner will be decided by this Sunday 6th December 2009.

6)All entries should be written in the comment on this page:

Grubby page on Facebook:

Grubby's old 4Kings Team Jersey give-away:

Grubby gives back to fans:
There will be more souvenirs/articles/gaming T-shirts (from Grubby's home) to be given away to fans. We would like to give all these to fans before Grubby's retirement from progaming (whenever that may be), so do expect a lot more of such activities going on at Grubby page on Facebook! Come and join in the fun, and perhaps win some Grubby souvenirs!