|Date of birth||March 20, 1985|
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. 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.
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, in which he has achieved moderate success, winning some small tournaments and qualifying for World Cyber Games 2011.
As of April 2012, Merlo's winnings from tournaments exceed $85,000 USD.
Rise in France (2002-2003)
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. 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 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)
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 the team consisting of Manuel Schenkhuizen, Dae Hui Cho, Sebastian "FuRy" Pesic and Ivica "Zeus" 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.
His reputation grew strongly during his time in the country, Merlo took third place at the 2004 World Cyber Games 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)
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)
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.
He was recognized as the player of the year 2007.
- 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
- 1st Atomic RESO, France 2011
- 1st WCG Qualifier FR, France 2011
- 1st Samsung European Championship, Poland 2011
- "Yoan Merlo departs". four-kings.com. November 7, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- ToD joins up with Mousesports Gosu Gamers
- "ToD joins mousesports". Mousesports. January 12, 2007. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009.
- "Yoan Merlo Interview".
- "ToD's achievements list on Liquipedia".
- "ToD on e-Sports Earnings".
- Interview with Yoan Merlo on WCReplays.com http://www.wcreplays.com/interviews.php?get=2
- SK Gaming newspost about Yoan Merlo's departure http://www.sk-gaming.com/news/4445/
- [WCReplays article about Four Kings trip prior to Merlo joining http://www.wcreplays.com/articles.php?get=105]
- "Global Gaming League article about Four Kings' Korea trip".[dead link]
- "World gaming triumph for UK team". BBC News Online. October 11, 2004. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- "Global Gaming League newspost about Yoan Merlo's e-Stars participation".[dead link]