Interview with GXL champion Oxygen

This article was originally written by Jeremy “Vello” Mok.

16 year-old Lim ‘Oxygen’ Wei Yang claimed the Games Xtreme League 2007 Season 01 Warcraft III championship title from the newly crowned World Cyber Games 2007 Singapore champion Galvin ‘Gosubay’ Bay on Sunday.

GameSync takes a look at how this young player balances gaming, school and his social life, his views on the state of the Warcraft III standard game and his take on how his matches with Shana and Gosubay went.

Sup Oxy, let’s start off with a short introduction of yourself.

Hi, I’m Lim Wei Yang, male and 16 this year, both a competitive Warcraft III and DotA player. I’ve been in the competitive scene for about 3 years, winning few competitions, but hardly finishing first. =x

I know you’re taking your ‘O’-levels this year, how do you manage your time between school and gaming?

Hmm, I spend about an hour training Warcraft a day. The other time, I use to relax after school and do my homework and stuffs.

What about your social life?

I go out with my friends more often than anything else. Since one of my real life friends, Gowad, is also a Warcraft 3 player, we go out together, then arrange a time to train together when we go back home. It’s mostly social life over gaming.

How many times have you participated in WCG?

I took part in the World Cyber Games for 3 years in a row now, since Secondary 2. In 2005 I lost in the top 8, placed 3rd for WCG 2006 and top 16 for WCG 2007.

WCG has always been the most interesting event for me compared to other competitions. My most memorial game was when I lost to ice in the quarter-finals 2-1 in WCG 2005. Getting into Top 3 in WCG 2006 was also a memorable event.

What other achievements have you accomplished?

ESWC 2006 4th (WC3)
GXL 2007 1st (WC3)
ESWC 2006 3rd (DotA),
Rapture Gaming DotA League 2nd (DotA)
CAPL Premier Season 1st (DotA)

What are your views on DotA dominating the whole Singapore scene, as compared to the Warcraft 3 standard game? Do you think the Standard scene will get better when Starcraft 2 is out?

Better? Nah!

I know of so many people that buy Warcraft 3, actually just to play DotA!

Come to think of it, when we all started out, we bought Warcraft 3 to play standard, which was what got it the game of the year title, and not DotA. Although, I admit I switch over to DotA because of the inactivity of the Warcraft 3 competitive scene.

For your information, DotA generates $75 per team while Warcraft 3 solo generates $15 per player at a competition. Is it not logical to open up more DotA competitions so that the organizers can earn more?

But I do think that when StarCraft 2 comes out, it may get a little better, with old Warcraft 3 players purchasing the games and playing with their old buddies from Warcraft 3. Possibly the scene may become active again.

What do you think of the organization of GXL compared to WCG.SG? I heard that the GXL players had to stay till very late as they had to complete every game on that day. Most of you did not manage to catch the last train back home.

Hmm, the GXL is definitely a smaller organization in comparison to the organization behind WCG.SG, Rapture Gaming.

Rapture Gaming has tons of experience organizing tournaments under very restricted time slots. With the strict referees, and the rules they enforce, like 30 seconds per draft hero in DotA, they do not allow the competition to drag beyond the timing.

However, the GXL team was more flexible. Although they had a time constrain, they still allowed us to go for our dinner when all of us were hungry. Even though I must admit that they should have told us earlier that some games were on the next day.

And YES, most of us indeed did not catch the last train back home, but most of us were friends of the gamers. It was our choice, and the only thing that GXL could be blamed for, is letting us go for dinner. So yah, kudos to the GXL and WCG organizer!

Throughout the entire WCG 2007 and GXL tournament, who do you think was your toughest opponent?

In both tournaments, I would consider Titans|NickT to be my toughest opponent. However in WCG 2007, I was knocked out the same time as him, avoiding the match-up. In GXL, he was again knocked out by abuse, with myself once again avoiding him.

Haha that was very lucky wasn’t it. What do you think about the Undead and Orc match up? People keep whining that the Orc are too powerful for Undead players.

Contrary to popular belief, I do believe that the Orc against undead match up is rather balanced. Most Undead players say that Orc expands at tier 2 are entirely impossible to bring down. Even so, I’ve played against Undead who do not use an expansion, and they could still beat me with 2 expansions.

Let’s get simple mathematics to explain this. If the Undead goes Ghouls, Fiends, Statues, Destroyers and whatever else at 70 food against 80 food, it’s like 65 food of pure Undead units vs 60 food of pure Orc units + 20 peons, given 15 on gold mine 5 on woods. The Orc obviously have a slight disadvantage in pure numbers.

Likewise, given the double nuke by the Undead heroes (Death Knight’s Coil and Lich King’s Nova), together with the Orb of Corruption, it really evens out the expansion benefit, and the possibly imbalanced Tauren Chieftain.

What do you think of the match you played against Shana, your fellow team mate in both GXL and WCG.SG?

Oh, I can consider that was the toughest match in both tournaments.

In WCG.SG, the first map was Echo Isle. I was taken by surprise by his innovative adoption of the human tier 1 tower rush, exposing the rigidity of my strategy, which cost me the first game.

The second game, I tried to use one of my self-invented strategy to little avail, and lost to the eventual over-looking of his riflemen. Mostly, I made mistakes for the second game and lost to him 2-0.

In GXL, the first map which was Echo Isle once again. Everything went according to my calculation. Creep jacks were present, and catching him was present, so it was no surprise that I won the first map rather quickly.

The second map was Turtle Rock. A few early game mistakes allowed him to overpower my early harass strategy, tilting the game in his favor. Subsequently, I lost to him in that map.

The last map was Twisted Meadows. It was honestly a display of the sheer versatility of the Humans, or should I say, the sheer rigidity of the Orc. In the early game to mid game, I killed everything I could, ensuring a higher level hero advantage.

When everything seemed to be going my way, after having directly countered his mass summons strategy, to my surprise he retrained his skills to Blizzard. This forced me to focus fire on his Archmage, which couldn’t die, as I used Farseer as my first hero and Panda as my 2nd hero. With no units or heroes to stun, it was impossible to kill the Archmage which was holding onto a town teleportation scroll, a potion of healing and a potion of invulnerability.

Hence, the game dragged pretty long, with the bulk of my army gone leaving me with 2 raiders and 2 level 5 heroes facing a full sized human army. I was left with no choice but to try to destroy his buildings as my last resort to win the game. Luckily, luck was on my side. He had no expansions, and I manage to secure the decisive 2-1 victory in this match.

So, let me know more about your match against Gosubay. How did you prepare yourself against him, I heard u prepared a couple of strange and ‘gay’ tactic against him the day before the finals.

The match against Gosubay was a very nail-biting event, all the way to the last game. I think it was rather funny to a certain extent. Unlike other Orc players, my favorite match-ups are Elves. Everyone gives me the same look as though I am some weird newbie. They say, “WTF? YOU LIKE ELVES? ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE ORC? SHOULDN’T YOU LIKE UNDEADS?”

Well, in my personal opinion, I find elves the most challenging. Among the 3 races that you can play against, other than mirror, Elves are the least pain in the ass in coming up with a strategy to beat them.

I did prepare a lot for the general Orc vs Elf match-up but not specially to play against him (Gosubay). Likewise, I had no prior online training with him prior to GXL, so I just based my training around 2 of my good friends, mVp)i.w.u- and Rf.Girlyluck. Both of them are very good in their Night Elves against Orc match ups, and I really learnt a lot playing with them.

As for the strange and “GAY” tactics, I think you most probably heard some untruths. I didn’t prepare any strange and “GAY” tactics. The strategy I did against Rf.Girlyluck, was purely intentional, and I was not expecting to use it against Gosubay since he had already seen it. It was sort of my wildcard strategy against Night Elves, and since I have already used it, I doubt I can use it anymore. Haha.

As for the games itself;

The first game was on Echo Isle, I lost to a very unique strategy executed by Gosubay. He did a tier 2 push with Ancients of War and archers, which I tried to defend against. Although I pretty much spotted it really early, due to his over excess of archers, it was simply too much and too late.

The 2nd game which was again on Echo Isle. We both went normal, him going Talons, and me going my usual Raiders, Spirit Walkers and Demolishers. Gosubay and I took the Naga as our second Hero, sparking off a focus fire war. I apparently got the better of this match up, when he attempted tier3 Ancients of War again together with his Talons, Demon Hunter, a Naga Seawitch and the new recruit Firelord. I fought him halfway, and the game pretty much ended there, tying the match up 1-1.

The 3rd game, he chose Turtle Rock. Due to his slight miscalculations, his Wisps were all open to my Blade Master and grunts’ harassment. I took down 5 wisps, before taking down his Demon Hunter and a couple of archers. The game ended at the 4 minute mark.

Well, I thought it was over at this point. I jumped up, and offered a GG handshake to bay, only to realize that it was a best of 5. It was kinda stupid and embarrassing for me when the referee suddenly told me that it wasn’t over.

The 4th game was again on Turtle Rock. He went for Demon Hunter, Keeper of the Grove and bears. The game was pretty much one-sided, with him clinching the map easily.

The last and final game, I took Terena Stand, as I prepared a very unique strategy for this map. I did a fast expansion and harassed him, managing to take down his Level 3 Demon Hunter, together with his Town Teleportation scroll. This gave me a slight advantage at the moment, giving me time to let my expansion to go up successfully, and my second Shadow Hunter. He was going tri-units, as I pumped out my first wind rider.

I knew I had to change my strategy. Apparently on seeing my wind rider, he thought I was going wind riders and therefore, he start to build Ancient of Wind, mainly for the Hippographs. He subsequently scouted my expansion, and our last few concluding battles took place there.

The first time he came, I manage to take down 1 Dryad, 1 Talon, and 2 Huntresses and brought both his heroes down to red life, before being left with only my Blade Master and Shadow Hunter. With the gold advantage I had, I was able to build 4 Raiders by the time he came back with 2 Hunters 1 Dryad and 1 Talon. To his mistake, he headed to my base without any Town Teleportation Scroll on his heros. Well, it was pretty much end of the game, when I town portal over and killed off his heroes. This time, with that the nail-biting final of GXL concluded, I went over to acknowledge the Good Game I just had.

Alright, we have come to the end of this interview, any shout outs for your team mate and friends supporting you?

Yeah! Since this is the first time I’m doing the shout out, let me do from the basics.

Thanks to my family for their continued support, my gaming friends, especially i.want.u, Gowad, and my DOTA team mates, Kenneth, and WANK, and of course cynthia for introducing me to them back Last year in CAPL. Thanks!

Thanks for the interview Vello.

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