Chinese player makes history with surprise Starcraft II victory
Li Peinan, a 23-year-old gaming player, made history at the 2023 IEM Katowice Starcraft II tournament on Monday by becoming the first Chinese player to win a world championship.
Li, who had never won a top-tier event before, beat South Korean player Maru 4-1 in the finals for the triumph in Katowice, Poland.
Li, with Oliveira as his game ID, also defeated herO and Reynor, both considered the best in the world, to reach the finals.
Despite being considered an underdog, with only a 0.37 percent chance of winning, Li trained for more than 10 hours per day leading up to the tournament.
Back in 2021, Li said in an interview that his dream was to make the finals of a top-tier championship.
His victory comes at a significant moment for the Chinese Starcraft II community, as Blizzard, an industry-leading developer, recently exited the Chinese market, leaving domestic players without a server to play on.
"Everyone told me to retire. Everyone told me to give up. But...look at me now," an excited Li said while addressing the cheering audience.
"Everyday when I would be thinking of quitting, I'd remind myself that if you can't take the little pain from training, there's zero chance of winning," Li said in an interview after winning.
Li's win has drawn worldwide attention and is seen as a testament to his dedication and hard work. His victory shows that Chinese Starcraft II players can compete at the highest level, even without access to a dedicated server.
Congratulatory comments flooded on Weibo.com following Li's gaming heroics.
"We have been waiting for this moment for two decades;" "We may not have a server to play Starcraft II on, but we have a world champion;" were some of the kudos.