First time I went to cover a live event was GCS Spring 2016. I remember my meeting with Keke, seeing her running the show backstage and ordering the players around.
She was in charge and she still is involved in most of the major events China has to offer to Warcraft 3.
So for my last day at GCS Summer 2017, we went to do an interview. Her first interview I believe.
Interview actually happened during the battle between Romantic and Foggy (1-2 victory for the Ukrainian) so the interview was sometimes interrupted with some shouts or debate about whether or not Foggy should have taken that Tinker second.
Can you give us a little introduction ?
Hello my name is Keke. I currently help as a volunteer on the GCS tournament. I play Warcraft since 2006.
I work as a brand manager in a finance corporation. I help companies to promote their brands during fairs or other events.
I am also a traditional Chinese opera singer and I like to paint on my free time. For example I made paintings of Yumiko's dog and Qiaolin's cat and offered them as a present!
I am married and have a daughter. I live in Shanghai.
Keke in traditional opera costume
What is your role in Warcraft Management in China?
I am just a volunteer and I make suggestions. I help dealing with the players logistics for live events. I am usually the connection point between the organizers and the players. I did that work for WCA as well at the time.
I started to manage my University Warcraft team back in 2006 and I never stopped since then. I am also the Team manager of Clan Go.
Tell us more about clan Go
We ended EWCL Season 23 2nd behind clan A1.
Most active players in the squad are Life, Xiaokk, Alice, Elegant, Foggy.
You were casting RPG during GCS Spring 2016. How big is the RPG community compared to Melee Warcraft 3 ?
There are probably 10 times more RPG players than Warcraft melee ones. The RPG mode has many different available games that are easier and less stressful to play than WC3.
The overall amount of players is stable or maybe slightly decreasing on Netease.
Would that be due to the Regional limitation now imposed when registering an account from outside China?
That may be a factor but probably not the main one. By the way, these restrictions are from Chinese laws, they were not implemented on Netease's decision.
Also, Netease has acquired the rights on the game only in China. The platform is not supposed to be accessible to foreign players. It still is, the access is not locked.
Netease is not the only Warcraft 3 platform in China, they have two unofficial competitors that drain a lot of players too.
Let's talk about GCS : will there be another "Super GCS" tournament with 4 players?
Yes, it will happen after GCS winter. The 4 chosen ones would be those that had the best results during the 2 seasons.
Is GCS Summer a success in term of viewers on Chinese streams?
Yesterday, there were 300,000 viewers online*. It was more than for the Hearthstone tournament happening at the same time and the ratings are better than for last GCS also. TeD is very popular and attracts a lot of viewers as well**.
*Chinese streams use inflated viewing numbers. We cannot take this number as a fact, but we can compare it to others stream on the same platform.
**Chinese casters share the games between 5 of them. TeD only came for the last two days.
Caster/UD player Xun and Keke
How many slots will Europe have for GCS winter? What will be Netease's position on Happy?
Decision has not been made yet, it will depend on Europe's performance evaluation by Netease*.
As for Happy, he will not be invited to China for an offline event anymore. He renounced giving unacceptable motives.
As for playing the online Qualifier or not, this is your decision. Netease gave you authority on organizing the Western Qualifier**.
*it was revealed later that Europe/America will have 2 seats next time
** you = Neo + Ugri
Is there a chance to have 1 specific slot for America one day?
Maybe one day, if they can justify playing on a specific different platform than Europe or China.
For now, they will play with Europe.
Will Korea have its own qualifier? Only 3 qualified this time...
No, Korea will not have a specific qualifier. Their playing conditions are the same as Chinese players, there is no valid excuse for not qualifying.
Maybe this time they were not prepared enough.
Will WCA come back to Wc3 anytime soon?
Yes actually, they will before the end 2017 with another event China v Korea!
You have a very good relation with Foggy. What do you think about him?
He is very shy and does not know China so I take care of him when he comes. He does not speak Chinese and English is not his first language. He is also my teamate in clan Go.
This time as he wanted to come to train earlier than other, he stayed at our place for a week and trained in my office. He is very dedicated, and that is why he has such good results. An example to follow for any player.
GCS Spring 2016 : Keke brings Foggy on stage for his 1st ever televised game vs Lyn
Anything else you want to say or wish I asked?
We need more volunteers during GCS to help on site. This time we only have 5 (+ our 3 friends Jeremy, Chatwin and Will). Warcraft needs those volunteers to insure smooth events.
Well I am sure many Chinese fans will answer the call for help! Thank you Keke for your time!
Look at this, Foggy won 2-1 against Romantic. I did not even have to stress watching the games...
Now let's watch Foggy vs 120. I have a bad feeling as Foggy did not practice the UD matchup at all. Let's discuss this with Neo on a smoke break!
Yumiko sent us a picture of the now famous painting of his dog