Yoan Merlo

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Yoan Merlo
ToD
Status Active
Date of birth (1985-03-20) March 20, 1985 (age 29)
Nationality France
Games

Warcraft III

Starcraft II
Counter-Strike

Yoan "ToD" Merlo (born March 20, 1985) is a French professional player of the real-time strategy games Warcraft III, playing as the race Human, and Starcraft II playing as Protoss; he was signed to the top electronic sports team in the United Kingdom: Four Kings, until November 7, 2007 when he decided not to renew his contract for unspecified reasons.[1] He later explained in one of the interviews that dissatisfying results of 4K team were the real reason for his departure. After much speculation, Merlo unexpectedly joined the team Mousesports on December 1, 2007.[2][3]

He is one of the most successful Warcraft III players ever, holding among other achievements first places at the World e-Sports Games, Blizzard Worldwide Invitational and Cyberathlete Professional League competitions. He is also a World Cyber Games silver and bronze medalist. He was recognized as the Warcraft III player of 2007.

Yoan recently gave an interview with GOMTV.net, an e-sports organization based in Seoul, Korea. During the interview, he hinted that his e-sports career is not over, and that has begun to compete in Starcraft 2,[4] in which he has achieved moderate success, winning some small tournaments and qualifying for World Cyber Games 2011.[5]

As of July 2014, Merlo's winnings from tournaments exceed $160,000 USD.[6]

Player Biography[edit]

Warcraft III career[edit]

Rise in France (2002-2003)[edit]

Prior to playing Warcraft III Yoan played such games as Starcraft: Brood War and Counter-Strike, he cites twofold Starcraft World Cyber Games champion Lim Yo-Hwan as the reason he plays the Human race.[7] He started high level competitive Warcraft III after joining French based ArmaTeam, at the time a high level competitive gaming team sponsored by Intel. While representing the team he took fourth place at the 2003 Electronic Sports World Cup.

Following this strong result he joined SK Gaming around August 2003[8] as ArmaTeam was facing internal problems at the time. Around this time he was competing in tournaments around the globe such as those organized by the Cyberathlete Professional League and Cyber X Games, something which he continues to do until today. After six months he returned to ArmaTeam because he preferred to compete with his friends in Paris rather than the globally diverse members of SK Gaming.

A year in South-Korea (2004-2005)[edit]

Several months after re-joining ArmaTeam he was asked to join the European based Warcraft III squad of the United Kingdom based team Four Kings in order to stay in and compete in the "mecca" of professional gaming: South-Korea. On September 16, 2004[9] the team consisting of Manuel Schenkhuizen, Dae Hui Cho, Sebastian "FuRy" Pesic and Ivica "Zeus[19]" Markovic took residence in Seoul and Merlo joined several televised competitions such as those hosted by Ongamenet and MBCGame. He was the most successful Four Kings player in these televised leagues.[10]

His reputation grew strongly during his time in the country, Merlo took third place at the 2004 World Cyber Games[11] and second place at the 2005 Samsung European Championships and would stay in South-Korea for almost a full year competing in two seasons of the World e-Sports Games following the closing of the before mentioned televised leagues. At this time the Warcraft III squad of Four Kings became known as the world's premier competitive Warcraft III team, going undefeated in the Warcraft 3 Champions League for over a full season and being recognized as the eSport Team of the year in 2005.

Return to France (2005-2006)[edit]

Upon returning to France in late 2005 he finished the 2005 season by qualifying for and competing in the 2005 World Cyber Games where he took fourth place. The following year he would once again take second place at the Samsung European Championship before embarking on a one month tournament in Hangzhou, China: the Master edition of the World e-Sports Games. Merlo would surprise many by taking home the first place prize of 31,000 USD, at the time the biggest prize ever awarded for a Warcraft III competition. He would continue to show strong results throughout the season as he took second places at major tournaments in China such as the World e-Sports Festival and KODE5. He finished the year by taking second place at the 2006 World Cyber Games, losing to Li Xiaofeng in the finals.

Move to China (2006-2007)[edit]

China was significantly growing at this time as an important country for Warcraft III competitions and Merlo was frequently visiting tournaments here in 2006 as well as using the country as grounds to train. In September of the year 2006 he took up permanent residence in the country. He would reside in Beijing, China together with Swedish professional gamer Kim "SaSe" Hammar which would allow them to train in China as well as have an easier time competing in the country's many competitions.

His successes still mainly came from international competition however. In early 2007 he once again took second place at the Samsung European Championship as well as first place in the Electronic Sports League's Extreme Masters. He would win one of the biggest tournaments of the year in the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational and also quite notably declined to compete in several competitions.

He declined to participate in the Electronic Sports World Cup because he would have to travel between China and France twice in order to qualify. He also declined to participate in the World e-Sports Games eStars in Seoul, South-Korea. Before agreeing to compete, he specified two conditions, which he claimed were agreed to but not met when he arrived to compete. Claiming to be pressured into a response after this apparent miscommunication, he declined to participate, dissatisfied with the organisation of the tournament, a feat which received both criticism for his demanding nature yet also praise for not accepting the false promises of the tournament organisers.[12]

He was recognized as the player of the year 2007.

Starcraft II[edit]

Wings of Liberty[edit]

Yoan began playing StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty during its beta but wouldn't officially switch to the game until late 2010. His playstyle relies on a strong micromanagement, inherited from his Warcraft III experience. He joined Millenium on January 9th 2011.[13] ToD quickly proved himself one of the best French players by taking the second place of Spirit Lan 8. On May 1st 2011, ToD and Millenium decided to end their collaboration, explaining that they were disappointed by each other's work.[14]

ToD participated in eOSL Summer 2011, where he managed to come out of his group in first place, and was eventually eliminated in the semifinals by SarenS. He then won 3-0 against Origine in order to get finish third place. He also competed in HomeStory Cup III, which was the first major offline event he participated in his StarCraft II career. Despite showing an impressive level in the group stage, with a victory against ThorZaIN, ToD was quickly eliminated in the playoffs, after encountering the future winner HuK and SaSe.

In July, ToD successfully got the French spot for World Cyber Games 2011, after his victories against Adelscott and SarenS at the WCG Qualifiers France. After this successful bout of LAN events ToD rejoined Millenium.[15] At the end of the month, he narrowly defeated his teammate Adelscott in order to win ESL Pro Series France X.

Then, he participated in the open bracket of the 2011 MLG Anaheim. He began the tournament by an unexpected 2-0 victory over the South Korean top Protoss player Alicia, but was then knocked-out the upper bracket by CatZ. Nevertheless, ToD made his way through the lower bracket, beating Alicia again, as well as OpTiKzErO and Stalife. He was finally eliminated in the main bracket by another top Protoss South Korean player, Choya.

On September 8th, ToD left Millenium for the second time in four months.[16] The same day, he announced on his stream that he was planning to practice in Korea for several months.[17] On September 10th, it was announced that ToD had joined Fnatic.[18]

During the weeks before his departure for Korea, ToD had a successful succession of achievements. In September, he was invited to SCAN Invitational 1 where he knocked-out Strelok and TLO in order to reach the final against his former team mate Stephano, whom he couldn't defeat, therefore taking the second place of the tournament. Two weeks later, ToD participated in the Samsung European Championship 2011 in Poland. He managed again to reach the final against a Zerg player, this time being Nerchio, and was able to defeat him in a tied series. The next week, ToD was back in France in order to compete in the first event of French Master Series 2011 - 2012, the PxL-Lan 31. Seen as the favorite of the event by the commentators, thanks to the non-attendance of most of the best French players, he made a clean run to the finals, and swept an unexpected Kamikaze to claim the win of the tournament.

ToD spent the last months of 2011 in South Korea, where he attended to World Cyber Games 2011 in December. His run in this event was short-lived, with a 1-5 record in group stage which resulted in ToD ending up at the last place of his group. He wasn't more successful at attempting to qualify for the 2012 GSL Season 1 a month later as he was stopped in the preliminaries by Creator.

On March 5th, ToD joined the Fnatic Gaming House.[19] On July 15th, ToD parted ways with Fnatic.[20] About 1 month later, on August 11th, ToD found a new team and joins ROOT Gaming.[21] On December 6th, ToD left ROOT on good terms, returning to France after failing to acquire a work visa in the United States.[22]

On July 21st, 2012, ToD participated in the IPL 5 European Satellite Qualifiers. ToD received a BYE in round one and then went on to take down UserStupid in order to advance in to the finals to face White-Ra. In the finals, ToD defeated White-Ra by a score of 1-0 and was able to take first place. His first place finish qualified him for the IGN ProLeague Season 5.

WarCraft III Achievements[edit]

  • 4th ESWC Poitiers 2003 --
  • 5~8th ESWC Poitiers 2004 --
  • 3rd WCG San Francisco 2005 --
  • 2nd Samsung Euro Championship 2005 --
  • 2nd CIG, Shanghai 2005 --
  • 1st WC3L season VII with FourKings, Köln Germany 2006 --
  • 1st CPL Summer Dallas 2005 --
  • 2nd Clanbase 1on1 Eurocup Amsterdam 2005 --
  • 3rd Blizzcon Los Angeles 2005 --
  • 4th WCG Singapore 2005 --
  • 1st WC3L season VIII with FourKings, Cologne, Germany 2006 --
  • 2nd China Internet Gaming Shanghai 2005 --
  • 2nd Samsung Euro Championship, Hannover Germany 2006 --
  • 3rd GGL transatlantic showdown 2on2 NewYork 2006 --
  • 1st WEG Masters invite Hangzhou, China 2006 --
  • 2nd E3 Vsportsallstar GGL Los Angeles 2006 --
  • 2nd StarsWar 3 With team Europe, Xian, China 2006 --
  • 2nd WC3L Season IV with FourKings, Oberhausen Germany 2006 --
  • 5~8th ESWC Paris Bercy 2006 --
  • 2nd WEF Qing Dao, China --
  • 3rd NGL-One Playoffs season I with FourKings, Germany --
  • 2nd KODE5 Finals, Beijing, China 2006 --
  • 2nd WCG Italy, Monza 2006 --
  • 4th Season IV Blizzard playoffs, Cologne, Germany 2007 --
  • 1st WC3L season X with FourKings, Cologne, Germany 2007 --
  • 1st Extreme Masters playoffs, Germany 2007 --
  • 1st Warcraft Worldwide Invitational, Korea 2007 --
  • 1st Season V Northrend(Europe) Qualifier, Germany 2007 --
  • 2nd WC3L season XI with FourKings, Hamburg, Germany 2007 --
  • 2nd Starswar IV with team Europe, Shanghai, China 2007 --
  • 4th PGL Invite, Beijing, China 2007 --
  • 3rd NGL-One Playoffs, Leipzig, Germany 2007 --
  • 1st Extreme Masters Supercup vs Hasuobs, Germany 2007 --
  • 2nd IEST, Beijing, China 2007 --
  • 2nd WGT, Beijing, China 2007 --
  • 1st Super Wednesday, Xi'an, China 2007 --
  • 1st IEF Masters, China 2007
  • 2nd Extreme Masters playoffs, 2008
  • 3rd ESWC Masters of Paris, 2008
  • 3rd IEF, Wuhan 2008
  • 1st WGT, China 2008

StarCraft II Achievements[edit]

  • 2nd Spirit Lan 8, France 2011
  • 1st Atomic RESO, France 2011
  • 3rd eOSL Summer, France 2011
  • 1st EPS France X, France 2011
  • 1st WCG Qualifier FR, France 2011
  • 1st Samsung European Championship, Poland 2011
  • 1st PxL LAN #31, France 2011
  • 2nd PxL LAN #33, France 2012
  • 3rd Gamers Assembly, France 2013
  • 3rd CPL Championship, China 2013

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Yoan Merlo departs". four-kings.com. November 7, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  2. ^ ToD joins up with Mousesports Gosu Gamers
  3. ^ "ToD joins mousesports". Mousesports. January 12, 2007. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Yoan Merlo Interview". 
  5. ^ "ToD's achievements list on Liquipedia". 
  6. ^ "Yoan "ToD" Merlo - Summary". e-Sports Earnings. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ Interview with Yoan Merlo on WCReplays.com http://www.wcreplays.com/interviews.php?get=2
  8. ^ SK Gaming newspost about Yoan Merlo's departure http://www.sk-gaming.com/news/4445/
  9. ^ [WCReplays article about Four Kings trip prior to Merlo joining http://www.wcreplays.com/articles.php?get=105]
  10. ^ "Global Gaming League article about Four Kings' Korea trip". [dead link]
  11. ^ "World gaming triumph for UK team". BBC News Online. October 11, 2004. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Global Gaming League newspost about Yoan Merlo's e-Stars participation". [dead link]
  13. ^ Template:Flag/fr "ToD joins Millenium". Millenium.org. January 9th 2011. Translated version
  14. ^ Template:Flag/fr "ToD leaves Team Millenium". Millenium.org. May 1st 2011. Translated version
  15. ^ Template:Flag/fr "ToD rejoins Millenium". Millenium.org. July 9th 2011. Translated version
  16. ^ Template:Flag/fr "Tod and Millenium are done". Millenium.org. September 8th 2011. Translated version
  17. ^ "ToD is going to Korea". TeamLiquid.net. September 9th 2011.
  18. ^ "ToD to FnaticMSI". Fnatic.com. September 10th 2011. TeamLiquid.net Forum thread
  19. ^ VOD of one of his stream in the new gaming house
  20. ^ Fnatic and ToD part ways
  21. ^ ToD joins ROOT Gaming
  22. ^ Deezl (2012-12-06). root-gaming.com http://www.root-gaming.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5999&p=11114#p11114.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]