Perhaps no player enters the Battle.net Invitational tournament with as much international experience as Australia's Andrew Pender. Known to the Blizzard RTS gaming community as mOOnGLaDe, Pender began his pro-gaming career with Warcraft III, where he played the Night Elf race and represented his home country in some of the most prestigious eSports events in the world, including the World Cyber Games (WCG) and the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC). Pender's gaming handle actually derives from his WC3 days. “It was a nick I made in Warcraft III, actually the name of a map there, I think,” says Pender. “At first it was a smurf name but I grew to like it with its capitals, mOOnGLaDe.”
Name: Andrew Pender
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Season 2 Rank: 1st (184 - 45)
Preferred In-Game Color: Purple
Favorite Unit to Kill: Marines
Back to the Future
When he heard that StarCraft II was set to debut in the not too distant future, mOOnGLaDe looked to the past for inspiration. “Before StarCraft II came out, I decided to play a fair amount of Brood War to get into the more mechanical side of RTS play,” says mOOnGLaDe. “I was waiting very anxiously for SC2 to come out. I played many, many games through the beta and tried to become as good as I could before the game was released.”
When SC2 finally came out, mOOnGLaDe's hard work and dedication paid immediate dividends -- he was placed in Platinum, which at that time was the highest placement a player could receive. He has been climbing the ranks ever since.
Learning from the Best
Representing the zerg swarm, mOOnGlaDe plays an average of 15 - 30 games a day while seeking out the very best competition the SC2 scene has to offer. mOOnGLaDe is one of only a handful of foreigners to compete in SC2's most competitive pro-gaming circuit, Korea's GSL, living and practicing in the GOM house alongside SC2 stalwarts HuK, White-Ra, Dimaga, and Jinro.
“I remember listening to Dimaga swear as he lost to protoss while we trained in the GOM house for the World Invite,” he laughs. mOOnGLaDe also likes to study the gameplay of his Korean zerg kin. “I've had a lot of inspirational players affect me throughout the first year of SC2, including Fruitdealer, LosirA and NesTea, mOOnGlaDe says.“LosirA and NesTea are really above anyone else playing zerg right now.”
One of mOOnGlaDe's most memorable achievements came at the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) IV in Hanover, Germany, where he placed fourth, the highest of any non-Korean.
According to mOOnGLaDe, his experience at the IEM wasn't just about competing against the best, nor about the financial rewards of succeeding at the highest level (he won $4,000 for his IEM finish), but about camaraderie and friendship. Asked what he remembers most about his IEM run--“Drinking games,” he muses. “We played a lot of drinking games. Me, Squirtle, Ace, Moon, and SjoW.”
As he gears up for the SEA Blizz Invitational, mOOnGlaDe looks forward to similar moments -- both on and off the stage.
Best Known for:
Massing large flocks of mutalisks against terrans
Zerg/baneling all-ins against terrans
Fourth place -- IEM Seaon V World Championship
Top 16 -- GSL World Invite
First place -- Dox Cup
First place -- Mwave Invitational
First place -- WD Psi Storm 2010
First place -- Cybergamer Live Ladder