Esports.gg’s Frodan spoke to Wang “ShuiMoo” Qihao, the surprise winner of the Masters Tour Dalaran on the weekend. The champ discussed his deck, the event and his thoughts on China’s power as a region.
Masters Tour Dalaran ended with a triumph for Wang “ShuiMoo” Qihao, as China dominated the top of the leaderboard. ShuiMoo had a stroke of good fortune with favourable tie-breakers allowing him to progress with a 7-2 record, but once he hit the top 16 he hit the ground running.
ShuiMoo’s record in the playoffs ahead of the Grand Finals was 3-1, 3-0 and 3-2, with the final match a close encounter with Croatian Franjo “reqvam” Blažević. ShuiMoo’s opponent in the Grand Finals was Zheng “OmegaZero” Lin, the 5th highest earning Chinese Hearthstone player of all time. However, despite OmegaZero’s prior success, he was overpowered in the finale of the Masters Dalaran, losing 3-0 to ShuiMoo.
– Intro text written by Malystryx
- ShuiMoo (China) – $25,000 – 22 GM Points
- OmegaZero (China) – $17,000 – 20 GM Point
3-4th Reqvam (Croatia) – $15,000 – 15 GM Points
3-4th Leaoh (China) – $15,000 – 15 GM Points
Esports.gg’s Dan “Frodan” Chou had the chance to speak with ShuiMoo, shortly after his victory. The interview was made possible thanks to Chinese-English translator Bennidge.
MT Orgrimmar had 3 Chinese players in the top 8, none in the top 4. MT Dalaran, a very different story, 3 Chinese players in the top 4. Has the Chinese scene finally proven they are the top region in the world?
ShuiMoo: It goes without saying that China has been making progress, and I do believe we’re at the top of the world right now. Though for myself, I think I’m still yet to represent the highest level of our scene.
Rank the 4 major regions from #1 to #4: China, Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific
ShuiMoo: #1 China, #2 Europe, #3 APAC, #4 AM
Where do you rank yourself in the top players in China? Who are the 5 best Chinese players at the moment?
ShuiMoo: We’ve actually talked about it before. I’d put myself at Tier 3, if we’re doing it like a HS meta tier list. There’re just too many players better than me. Top 5 Chinese players in my heart: Syf, XiaoT, Xiaobai, LoveStorm, Melody.
You were one the lesser known Chinese player in the top 8. Did you feel the underdog pressure? Did any matches stand out in particular on his run to the Finals?
ShuiMoo: Actually, being less recognized helped me get rid of all the pressure. If there has to be a particular reason for my success this time, I’d say it’s because I slept really well this time, given that we’re playing at Asia time. (Translator Bennidge: He has a day job, and for previous MTs in EU/NA time he couldn’t fix his sleep schedule at all)
The one match I remember the most was facing my idol Alutemu in round 6, I really like his plays. We had a very intense match, and I also felt honored to manage to have a bit of a conversation with him after the match.
Did you talk to OmegaZero before or after the finals? Who are some of your practice partners that helped you prepare for the event?
ShuiMoo: We didn’t talk before the match. I mostly talked with my practice partners during the weekend, LoveStorm, Melody, and LBB.
Who from MT Dalaran impressed you? Which players outside of China do you respect/fear the most?
ShuiMoo: No one else in particular besides Alutemu. I respect Alutemu a lot, and also Gaby. (Watch our interview with Gaby from MT Orgrimmar)
How effective do you think the Target Priest line-ups worked? Did this weekend open your eyes to other strategies at all? What do you think of Shaman’s performance ending as the highest win rate class?
ShuiMoo: I feel like targeting priest is, meh, mediocre, because priest now bring Southsea Scoundrel, that gives Priest a lot more percentages when facing anti-priest line-ups.
Shaman definitely caught my eye, though it’s because our practice group had already come up with a really ideal build of aggro shaman before the tournament — bringing more aoe and devolving missiles. It’s a deck that’s hard to master, which is why I didn’t bring it myself, I wasn’t able to get it learned in time, but I did practice a ton with them on how to beat shaman with my rogue and warrior. So for us, shaman’s high win rate was totally predictable.
(Translator Bennidge: Here is the Shaman deck code: JokerRing, another practise partner of ShuiMoo went 7-3 with it, it also got banned twice)
Were there any surprise cards that performed better than expected, either yours or your opponents? Any deckbuilding decisions that you would change now that the tournament is over?
ShuiMoo: So for my own Rush Warrior, I listened to my friends and replaced Kresh with Ogremancer, which is a lot better against token druid or other spell-heavy decks, and I’m very happy with this change. And I’m also very happy with all the cards I brought, they are my perfect 120, I wouldn’t have changed any of them.