Spanish boy wins EUR 12,000 at online game contest
A 16-year-old Spanish teenager took home EUR 12,000 after coming in second at online world championships computer game Warcraft III.MADRID - No longer will Pedro Moreno's parents be able to say that computer games are a waste of time. The 16-year-old took home almost EUR 12,000 in prize money after coming second in the world championships of online computer game Warcraft III, held in Los Angeles in October 2008.
Moreno, known in Warcraft circles as LucifroN, is not only the first Spaniard to make it to the finals of one of the world's most popular real-time PC games, but is also among the youngest.
Moreno is precocious even by the standards of an activity where few continue once they are over the age of 20.
In 2007, he won the Spanish championships, but was unable to play in the European finals because he was still too young.
The Los Angeles competition was Moreno's first international event, and marked the birth of a star.
"I was already part of the x6tence.AMD team: they had seen me playing on the internet, and offered me a place. Generally if you are good online, then you perform well live," said Moreno speaking on the phone from his home in Barcelona.
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released by Blizzard Entertainment in July 2002, and proved to be one of the most anticipated and popular computer game releases ever, with 4.5 million units shipped to retail stores and more than one million units sold within a month.
It has won many awards, including Game of the Year from more than six different publications.
The game contains four playable races, Humans and Orcs - which had previously appeared in Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness - and the Night Elves and Undead, which are new to the Warcraft mythos.
Warcraft III's single-player campaign is laid out similarly to that of StarCraft, being told through all four of the game's races in a progressive manner. Multiplayer mode allows for play against other people, via the internet, instead of playing against computer-controlled characters as is done in the single-player custom game mode. "I like the balance between strategy and the control the player has over the units," said Moreno.
LucifroN looked set to take the title, but at the last moment lost to a South Korean player known as LYN, whom he had already beaten in a previous round. "He's a well-known player, and I had studied his tactics and was able to take him out. But then he changed tactics and had also picked up on my approach," said Moreno.
The 16-year-old says that his parents were surprised when what had started out as a pastime began to take on larger dimensions. Having accepted their son's abilities, they are happy for him to continue fighting demons and monsters in cyberspace, as long as he keeps up with his school work.
"For the moment, I am getting an average of an A- in my exams, so there is no problem. I would like to study computer engineering at university," he says.
18 February 2009
text: El Pais / Julian Diez / Expatica