|Masta aka P!ng|
|Style||Hybrid (It's complicated...)|
|Affiliation(s)||The Jedi Academy, The Jedi Academy Aurochs|
Masta is a former German competitive Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy player specializing on combat with a single saber. He was one of the few competitively successful players that did not rely on poke. Masta is currently holding the title of Master Aurochs of the Jedi Academy Aurochs, Jedi Academy Trainer of the Jedi Academy and was a former staff member of the ESL. His clan affiliations range from (in chronological order) SoE, Seraph, Master and CJO, but he remained clanless for the vast majority of the time. He is known under a variety of nicknames, most notably P!ng or Master P!ng, and also went by nicknames like Mastz00r, TheTruth and Cyrax at various points in time. Masta is most widely known for his JKA fragmovies, especially the last one in the series: Revelation 4.
Masta had barely any exposure to the multiplayer of Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast when it was first released. He greatly enjoyed the sabering mechanics of the game, but the clearly broken pre-patch katas, DFAs and backstabs served to discourage Masta from actively playing JK2. Even after the patches fixed some of the imbalances, he would find the kick mechanic and prevalence of full-force duel servers to be ridiculous at best and therefore focused on playing downloadable custom maps in single player. Masta had a good time in JK2 and was therefore thrilled when Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy was announced; even more so when he found out that many of the gameplay mechanics would carry over from JK2, with exception of the kicks and the broken katas.
Having bought JK3, Masta was initially unconcerned with the multiplayer part of the game, playing the single player first and foremost. His first ventures into the multiplayer came around the end of 2003 and early 2004 when he joined a BWN duel server to play 1v1s against a few friends, picking up his favourite lightsaber type from the single player - the staff. Shortly after, a random single saberist would join the server and completely destroy both Masta and his friends. Masta would find himself unable to do much damage to the random single saberist at all, and in frustration he himself would switch to a single saber, emulating the steps and attacks his opponent was making. Masta suddenly found himself to be far more effective wielding one single saber instead of a staff. He even received a compliment from the random saberist on the server. And thus Masta developed a taste for sabering and would from that point on visit the BWN servers almost on a daily basis.
The BWN Period
Early in 2004, during one of his duels on the BWN servers, Masta would stumble upon an especially skilled player by the name of Cornugon. Being impressed by Cornugon's skill and the fact that nobody on the server could beat him, Masta asked for advice and tips. Cornugon began teaching him the basic saber and movement mechanics and they quickly became friends. He also introduced Masta to the Jedi Academy, recommending some of the classes there as well as using the servers to provide a good training environment. Thus Masta joined the Academy in May 2004 on the recommendation of Cornugon. At the same time, he was invited to partake in the practice sessions of Cornugon's own clan SoE, which
he ultimately joined shortly after. The clan itself, however, was on the verge of disintegration, mostly because Cornugon was about to apply for clan Master amongst other things, yet despite that, Masta continued to attend every practice session he could and began taking classes at the Academy. There he met many people who would eventually become very influential in his career, mostly notably Kain, with whom he quicky became good friends.
Thanks to Cornugon's mentorship, the constant practice with Kain, the classes at the JA and the practice sessions with SoE, Masta quickly surpassed every member in his clan and on recommendation of Cornugon he applied for one of the top BWN clans back in 2004 - clan Seraph. Cornugon used his connections to help Masta's application get through and in September 2004 Masta became a full member of Seraph. This clan, albeit hosting a field of top players for its day, was only seen as a means to an end: Cornugon, being trialed for clan Master at that time, intended to sponsor Masta's application for clan Master once he were to become a full member himself, but in the meantime Masta was supposed to join Seraph in order to gain experience and increase in overall skill.
Seraph treated Masta very well, despite being aware of his intentions. He continued to be very active on BWN
and was constantly on the lookout for better and better opponents, dueling as many Master and WoV players as he could find. In October 2004, Masta had quickly risen through the ranks of the BWN league, eventually reaching rank #7 on clan Master's BWN server with an impressive record of 170 wins and 76 losses. He would briefly ascend to the first rank in the general BWN ladder with just a few points over the second placed Master Ugly shortly thereafter.
Around December 2004, Cornugon was awarded full membership at clan Master and a few weeks later Masta (under the nickname Cyrax) would be officially sponsored by Cornugon for said clan. To his dismay, clan Master would disband shortly thereafter, mostly due to the inactivity of Master DarkStar and some of its other core members. Despite that, Masta would continue to actively play on BWN as well as the Academy servers, where he studied under such preeminent players like WoV//Leif, WoV//Sauce, WoV//Flash, Wolfwood, Tido and Janus. The classes featured at the JA were his first exposure to the team-oriented gametypes, most notably 4v4.
The JA's "football team" called the Jedi Academy Aurochs were actively looking for recruits early in 2005 and both Masta as well as Kain would tryout for the Aurochs in February, passing their trials quickly and becoming full-fledged Aurochs shortly after. At around the same time, clan Master would reappear under the new name [Ki] and Masta would be finally given a chance to play against the legendary and for its time seemingly unbeatable Master DarkStar on a public server, winning a duel against him. This victory, albeit completely meaningless, would have great symbolic significance for him ever since.
In late February 2005, Masta would gradually begin expanding his horizon after hearing rumours on the Academy servers about the extravagance of the European competitive scene and the unparalleled success of team aXiom and their star player aXiom][Ðureal. He would also start experimenting with recording clips of ingame footage and putting them together, ultimately becoming inspired enough to make his first ever fragmovie: He named it "Revelation".
Revelation 1: The Irony
Masta's first fragmovie was more of a spontaneous product of his experimentation with ingame footage than the realization of a cohesive and well thought out plan. He worked with extremely primitive tools during the production of the video, giving no thought to special effects or audio synchronization. Adjusting the cl_avidemo command gave him the ability to create slow-motion scenes right from the start, which he used extensively in his first video.
Just as frivolous as the execution of the video was its setting, aiming mostly for an unserious and comedic presentation rather than a proper depiction of frag highlights. Indeed, Masta's intention was mostly one of parody: He tried to show the absurdity of the BWN league system and make fun of the obsession that most of its players had with ranks and names. He did, however, try to merge the
comedy of obsessing with ranks with the aesthetic of defeating opponents in impressive ways.
Despite the unserious nature of the movie, he realized very well that it could easily be misunderstood and taken for something that it was not. Consequently, he decided early in the production stage of Revelation to withhold it from the public, sharing it only with his close circle of friends and trusted acquaintances.
Midway through the production of Revelation, he had once again briefly managed to climb to the top of the BWN ladder, but was quickly losing interest in the American scene as a whole. Tales of zedi, aXiom and *aiming made him restless, and in mid March 2005, when his fragmovie was close to completion, he learned about the ESL - the Electronic Sports League.
The ESL Period
In March 2005, Masta signed up for the ESL 1v1 ladder and would be the only Aurochs to do so for a very long time. Shortly thereafter he and his friend Kain formed the infamous team "Hacker" and decided to sign it up for the ESL 2v2 ladder. They would go on to win many significant victories, mostly notably against the very best french team on the ladder (XiO), consisting of Shyne and Pyth, and against a
less significant zedi team consisting of Mace and Dimension.
At the same time, Masta would be actively competing in the 1v1 ladder, playing against some of the greatest players in the world and scoring his first major victory in mid March 2005 against eSe][blitzfrag with a score of 6-4 and 10-6. He would play a draw against the then emerging player S3chT, lose by a few points to eviLwindu (aka zentur1o) and defeat Wovian Ransom in the ESL with a score of 3-3 and 8-5.
Team Hacker would go on to play its greatest and most significant match shortly thereafter - a match
against the then first placed and seemingly unbeatable 2v2 team aXiom, consisting of aXiom][Sadrior and aXiom][Ðureal. This match would remain Kain's favourite moment in his entire JK3 career and a major highpoint for both Masta as well as Team Hacker. Both of them played their very best game and despite all odds
, they managed to win the first round of the match with a ridiculously close score of 16-15. They went on to barely lose the second round 7-10, losing to the very best 2v2 team for its time by just two points. After that, Masta would schedule a practice match against Wovian, which Team Hacker would once again only just barely lose, drawing the first game and losing the second one by two points.
More laddering would follow and Kain would convince Masta to join the practice sessions of Kain's clan CJO, which Masta would ultimately join in May 2005. He would participate in a lot of fun games and play a few insignificant matches for his new clan against teams like NJO and therelike. However, some serious games followed, including 2v2 scrims with Kain against o3 teams like o³Fox and o³Feader, all of which they managed to win.
In June 2005, Team Hacker challenged the second best 2v2 team in the ESL ladder, consisting of the two top players *aiming.dev and *aiming.syLezz. In two incredibly difficult games, Team Hacker would once again only just barely lose by two points, winning the first round 20-15 and losing the second one 12-19. However, like with the game against aXiom's 2v2 team, this was more of a moral victory for Masta and Kain than anything else, considering that they have come this far without relying on poke.
A few important matches would follow after that, including a 2v2 victory against DoX in late June 2005, a close ESL 1v1 defeat against eviLwindu, a victory against the famous team [JK] under CJO in early August, an ESL 1v1 victory against zedi´nichos with a score of 4-4 and 10-5, and finally a 7-2 1v1 victory against o³Khyzath in the same month.
Following that, Masta would be fielded and do very well in the first round of the famous DoX vs JAA match in late August 2005, despite the game taking place on an American server. He would get the chance to contribute to the next significant JAA victory later on that month against clan KoP and would be one of the players included in the Aurochs 3v3 ESL Team that made its successful debut against clan sF in early September 2005.
Masta reached another personal highpoint during the first JKA Worldcup tournament in October 2005, a 64 players international tournament consisting of some of the very best players from around the world,
including players like eviLwindu, zedi`Twilight, sh0, Intrepid, Viper and many many more. In the first round, he would play one of his toughest and most important games thus far, namely against the excellent and in the ESL #2 ranked player *aiming.zEnocYber. Masta showed his best game during that day and managed to defeat *aiming.zEnocYber with a sudden death kill after the 10 minute mark with a final score of 3-2. His second opponent was equally as tough, however: It was Bimon from the top German clan "LeiSure". In another ridiculously close game, Masta managed to once again emerge victorious against a top ESL player with a close score of 4-3. Finally, his fortune would run out in the ro16 when Masta was placed against the legendary staffer #nL.cube, yet despite that, he managed to play a close game, losing barely with a score of 10-8 against the player that would ultimately go on to win the tournament.1 Another tournament followed, this time organized by the ESL, within which Masta scored another one of
his greatest 1v1 victories: this time against the top player *aiming.Seph (back then still in clan 'hac'), who had advanced to the fourth round of the tournament
by defeating the legendary players #nL.cube and #nL.S3chT. But Masta, at the highpoint of his competitive career, managed to beat him despite all odds, winning an incredibly close game 3-2. He went on to take the third place in the tournament due to a no-show on the part of the British player HellRaiser, against who he was supposed to play for the third place. At around the same time, Masta had finally managed to breach the top10 of the ESL 1v1 ladder, landing on rank #9 and being only 6 points shy of rank #6.
With so many great games under his belt, Masta decided in early November 2005 to start working on a sequel to his first fragmovie, giving it the apt name Revelation 2. A few weeks later, he would remove Team Hacker from the ESL 2v2 ladder for a variety of reasons, but would continue to play 1v1 for a while longer. In December 2005, Masta participated in the fourth JA Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament, losing the finals in an upsetting game against aValon. 2
Revelation 2: The Monument
Masta's second fragmovie saw the light of day before the end of 2005. This time, a clear focus on displaying frag highlights and double/triple-kills was evident. More sophisticated special effects were used, including, for the first time ever, a proper intro and outro, and some effort was put on synchronizing the action with the audio. Despite the more mature setting, a short skit was added to smoothen the transition between the two parts of the video, within which Masta was depicted as delaying a swing for almost half a minute by utilizing the environment on the mp/duel1 map over a short audio clip taken from the web series "purepwnage".
All of the frags included in the video came from various 1v1, 2v2 and TDM matches between March and December 2005, most notably from his games against Ðureal, eviLwindu, cube, blitzfrag, his 2v2 games against *aiming, aXiom, JK and many others. Whether Masta intended Revelation 2 to be a summary and monument of what he had achieved during the ESL Period in 2005 is debatable, but in retrospect, the video would serve exactly that purpose. Because as the year 2005 was coming to a close, Masta would ultimately leave the ESL 1v1 and 2v2 ladders behind and begin focusing on the Jedi Academy Aurochs.
The Aurochs Period
Towards the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006, Masta would become, now more than ever, fascinated by the TDM 3v3/4v4 format, which would take up all of his attention. All of the members of the Jedi Academy Aurochs were in high spirits following their successes in the North American JKA scene and were very much looking forward to playing games in the ESL. Masta was fielded in almost
every game that the Aurochs would play since their sign-up for the ESL in early 2006, most notably against the then emerging North American clan SITH, later known as "Insane", which the JAA convincingly defeated multiple times.
Next to the ladder games, frequent practice matches and scrims against all sorts of clans were scheduled between December 2005 and March 2006, which helped the entire team improve and adapt to the European JKA scene. This period also gave Masta all the necessary tools and inspirations to make a third fragmovie: Revelation 3.
Revelation 3: The Initiation
Masta's third fragmovie was his first "serious" work and it was in part inspired by his passion for the TFFA gametype, in part by the fact that he enjoyed making Revelation 2 but was ultimately dissatisfied with the finished product, and also in part by the fact that he had acquired a lot of great material to work with in the few months after the completion of his second fragmovie.
Revelation 3 was still rather primitive in its composition and editing, but it was evident that Masta was slowly developing a sense for timing and audio synchronization, and that he had put a lot of effort into special effects and transitional sequences. However, in comparison to the previous installments of the Revelation series, the vast majority of the depicted frags were either recorded during in-house practice sessions or scrims against other teams - barely any of them were taken from official high-stakes ESL games.
Despite that, the content was for the most part of rather good quality, especially considering that all of it was collected over a time-span of roughly three months, so Masta would end up rather satisfied with the end result.
The Golden Age of TFFA
Unlike it was the case with the completion of previous installments of the Revelation series, Masta would not shift his focus onto a new aspect of the competitive JKA scene this time, but would deepen and intensify his interest in actively competing together with the Aurochs on the TDM ladder. This would result in him being fielded in a lot of matches. He would most notably
get to play in both rounds of the famous SITH vs JAA rematch in April 2005, where clan SITH pitched their best lineup, including former Master Viper and Wovian Ransom, against the Aurochs and still failed to achieve victory.
For the next couple of months, Masta would continue to actively contribute to the great success the Aurochs were having on the ladder. He would play in ever major encounter ever since, and spectate the rest. In June 2006, Masta played in the famous games against the top clan roYality alongside Kain, Dark and sneezilla; he played an especially impressive game against fiDelity and participated in the victories against Jedi Sentinels and the SITH rematch in late June as well.
However, some of his greatest TFFA experiences were made in July 2006 during the two p3g games that followed - p3g being a clan that consisted almost entirely of aXiom players. Both Masta as well as Kain played in all of the four rounds of both matches against pseudo-aXiom, contributing significantly to the scores. Despite the Aurochs incurring losses in both games, the matches would give Masta the necessary inspiration to start his fourth and most famous fragmovie in the Revelation series. However, the next few months would see the Aurochs become more and more inactive for a variety of reasons. Masta, being mostly interested in TFFA and not wanting to switch teams, was consequently becoming more inactive himself, engrossed in his newest fragmovie project. He still participated in some minor practice matches, but his last major TFFA game would take place on September 2006 against clan NSE. The format for this match was to be a 2v2 and it saw the brief return of the duo formerly known as "Team Hacker": Masta and Kain. For one last time Masta would reunite with his friend Kain
to play a match for the Aurochs. They would go on to convincingly defeat NSE in both rounds, winning the first round 17-4 and the second round 11-9, despite the fact that the second round took place on an American server where both of them had a ping of roughly 200.
Towards the end of September 2006, the Aurochs had become fully inactive and the team decided to retire together. The Academy's administrators prevented this from happening by saying that only individual members could retire, not the team as a whole. In October 2006, the Aurochs members, including Masta, would one by one retire from the team, and some of them would retire from JKA altogether. There was one last thing for Masta to do, however.
Revelation 4: The Legacy
The timing of the completion and public release of Masta's fragmovie "Revelation 4" could not have been more appropriate. It just so happened that when the Aurochs were becoming more inactive and decided to retire in October 2006, Masta had finalized the project. He debated with a few friends whether he should release the video to the public or, sticking with the tradition of the previous installments of the series, should keep the release restricted to the Aurochs and the Academy. Fortunately, Masta did not decide to hold this particular fragmovie back and posted it on the ESL, own-age.com and the Academy forums. In the end, Masta was very glad to have done so, for the public reception was overwhelmingly positive, far exceeding his expectations.
Over the course of just a week Masta became one of the most widely spoken about and appreciated players in the competitive community. His fragmovie was featured on the ESL News, and for months he would be receiving messages from various players asking for tips, training, apprenticeship and inquiries about the technical details of various parts of the video. Revelation 4 would be disseminated farther than Masta had ever anticipated, reaching a bigger audience than any other JKA sabering fragmovie had before, even reaching some of the most remote corners of the JKA community, including various JA+ clans where the nickname "Master P!ng" would become known and looked up to.
His work would set a new standard of excellence for JKA sabering fragmovies and would for years remain the second most favourited own-age.com JKA fragmovie of all time, just short before the legendary CTF fragmovie Avalon. Revelation 4 would end up the fifth most downloaded video in the JKA section of own-age.com with over 1200 downloads, and it would eventually reach over 40k unique clicks on Youtube (second link) and DCNTV combined.
Revelation 4 became Masta's legacy, and with it the legacy of the Aurochs.
The Post-Competitive Period
After the retirement of the Aurochs in October 2006, Masta was rarely seen on the servers anymore. He was preoccupied with a lot of other things and had barely time for JKA. He did not rejoin the team during the Aurochs revival under R2D2 and Jade Jedi in late 2006, but stayed active on the forums and took on administrative roles. Games and practice sessions in JKA were sporadic at best and Masta never really considered making a return as he watched the new generation of Aurochs struggle in the ESL once more. His function would remain advisory and supportive at best.
Masta would, however, participate in the Academy's fifth Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament in November 2006, where he would proceed to win the regional brackets with a final score of 24 wins and 2 losses, playing Sauce in the grand finals. Masta would gain a great lead against Sauce, scoring a few points on the American server and being just one point away from winning the tournament, but his fortune would reverse and Sauce would gain three fast instant-kills in a row, beating Masta in an extremely close game with a score of 5-4. 3
Masta never failed to take part in the Academy's local tournaments, despite his inactivity, and when he heard about the Fifth Anniversary JK2 Tournament in June 2007, he decided to sign up. Many of the oldbies at the Academy were heavily biased towards JK2, claiming how much more difficult JK2 was, how much better the game was and how someone from JK3 would never have a good chance of defeating seasoned JK2 players - the latter of which Masta set out to disprove once and for all. He would go on to defeat various players up to the ro4, where he had to fight his friend and rival Kain. Seeing as the tournament included both No-Force and Full-Force duels and Masta was completely unpracticed and inexperienced when it came to Full-Force games, he lost the match convincingly with a score of 5-2. Kain would ultimately go on to win the tournament against the oldbie and JK2 player Jedi_Prodigy in a rather close game, defeating him 5-4 in the finals. 4
TIT(6) for tat
It would be very long until the next time that Masta were to pick up the saber again. In November 2008, the local sixth Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament (TIT6) was announced at the Academy alongside another tournament: The Red Only Tournament. Masta consequently signed up for both, as did most of the active Aurochs back then. In comparison to some of the members of the Aurochs at that time, who remained competitive and played frequent practice matches against top European clans, Masta had last played JK3 in November 2006. He did, however, decide to take the challenge seriously and practice rigorously for both tournaments.
The TIT6 brackets placed Masta in a very unfortunate position, though. He was to play his friend and rival Kain in the second round, which he did after defeating Solitude 5-0. At that time, Masta was still very rusty and no match for the seasoned and practiced Aurochs player Kain, who easily dispatched of Masta without losing a game - final score: 3-0 (5-0). Masta realized that his skill was lacking and, despite the loss, he decided to increase the intensity of his practice sessions so he could once again successfully compete against the top Aurochs participating in the two tournaments. He defeated all of the opponents in the TIT6 loser's bracket, winning 6-1 against Laziana, 6-1 against SaZ, 7-0 against Johauna and 7-1 against Setementor before being pitched once more against Kain in the grand finals.
In the meantime, the Red Only Tournament was going strong. Masta defeated Johauna 6-1 and SaZ 6-1 and advanced to the quarter finals. In the third round, he would get to play another seasoned Aurochs player, namely Piccolo. The game was his hardest match in the tournament so far, and Masta ended up losing once again with a score of 6-4, being placed in the loser's bracket of the second tournament as well. He did not give up though, despite having to play his next few matches against a lot of excellent Aurochs players. In what Masta himself would later call his "greatest tournament experience ever", he managed to defeat the Aurochs player Wicek 7-3, Setementor 8-2, the core JAA player Vision in an absolutely excellent game with a score of 6-4, Comma 9-1 and would go on to play Piccolo once again in the loser's bracket finals. Despite his preparation, the game did not start well for Masta, who ended up with a 6-4 deficit in a best-of-13 match against Piccolo, and yet the tides turned and he managed to pull an amazing comeback and still win the match after killing Piccolo three times in a row for a final score of 7-6.
Thus it came to be that Masta was to face the great Aurochs player Kain in a best-of-15 each in the finals of two tournaments at roughly the same time. They decided to play the Red Only Tournament finals first and in an incredibly close and exhausting game, Masta managed to emerge victorious with a score of 8-6, winning the tournament. The TIT6 finals were to be played right after, though. This time, Masta decided to pick up the staff, which used to be very powerful against Kain's single saber style. But Kain's pure determination and power of will completely negated any advantages that Masta might have had, especially after winning the previous finals, and he suddenly began to outplay him aggressively. In retrospect, Masta did regret the fact that he picked up the staff, not having practiced with it for so long, and so he went on to lose to Kain in a one-sided match with a final score of 8-1. 5,6
And so it was that by early 2009, Masta and Kain had both won a championship playing against one another in the finals of two tournaments.
Knighthood and the ESL
Around December 2008, Masta was accepted as a staff member for the international ESL JKA Division. He was mostly hired to write articles, news reports, tournament roundups and therelike, which he did for a few months. He would not, however, be picking up the saber ever again after the conclusion of the two tournaments in early 2009, despite upholding an advisory and administrative role in the Jedi Academy Aurochs.
At around the same time, the administrative branch of the Jedi Academy deemed Masta worthy enough to offer him a trial for knighthood, which he humbly accepted. He finished his trial a few months later and was officially knighted in March 2009. Just a month later, the then leading Master Aurochs R2D2 resigned his spot as the leader of the JAA and Masta, alongside Fullmetal, was elected as the new (co-)Master Aurochs and de facto owner of the Aurochs TFFA team.
Such honours motivated Masta to once again perform great deeds, and so it was that he shortly after removed the JAA ESL practice team from the TDM ladder and signed up the main team once more. Thanks to the flurry of practice sessions that Team Captain Vision had provided in the last couple of weeks and the fact that a few retired core players were becoming active again, the Aurochs were once more in great shape and ready to achieve victory in the ESL.
Thus it came about that under the leadership of Masta, the Aurochs went on to win their first major victory since June 2008: They defeated team Solum, mostly consisting of ex-TuA members, in an incredibly close game on the ladder. They would go on to win three more games in a row,
losing once and playing a draw against a polish team. Their biggest achievement at that time was, however, the fact that they had now managed to reach rank #2 in the ESL, surpassing the rank achievement of the previous generation of Aurochs from mid 2006.
Masta could not, however, prevent the team from spiraling back into inactivity in July and August 2009. He could not prevent the same from happening to the Jedi Academy neither, despite the enactment of various counter-measures to combat the inactivity by the Jedi Academy.
It was around that time that Masta began actively playing multiplayer games other than JK3. He would play a lot of Left4Dead with a few of the Aurochs that remained in touch, then Left4Dead2 in 2010 and finally in late 2010 Stacraft 2, which he plays very actively up to this day, looking to become competitive enough to once again participate in tournaments and win glory.
Play Style and Innovations
Masta remains to this day a strict advocate of playing without poke. He disliked the technique right from the start as he began playing the game in early 2004. Indeed, the main reason why Masta, as a European, played so very often on the American BWN servers early in his career was just that: He had a profound dislike for poke. He saw it as a shortcut for inexperienced players to win games effortlessly and a compensation for poor movement and accuracy, although he did respect the playstyles of the elite, which combine the efficiency of poke with tactical sophistication and the mastery of JKA mechanics. Nevertheless, Masta would very rarely poke on purpose.
His play style is based on a great amount of diagonal swings, mostly right-forward ones in the red and yellow stances. Before the TFFA Period, Masta was notorious for using unusual combinations in both stances to catch his opponents off guard, exploit their openings and counter a set of common red swing combinations (this can be especially seen in the fragmovies Revelation 1 and 2). Swings like the backwards-left diagonal in red or the right-forward diagonal into right-left combos in yellow were amongst his favourites.
He would use diagonals, both in red and yellow, as very effective counters to the particularly common "red right+short jump" aerial swing. He would either bait the aerial by keeping his distance and use a right swing in red, delaying the right diagonal for when his opponent was jumping at him, or he would use a very fast yellow diagonal, hitting his opponent in midair with a long jump during the actual aerial. This won him many games and he rarely saw it performed by others on the public servers or in official matches.
Masta was most famous, however, for his kills in midair. He was amongst the few single saber users that popularized a style focused on hitting players in midair. This would be a style later on perfected by players like Dark and Minneyar, and after 2007 it would be adopted by the vast majority of players in the ESL. Before that, midairs were seen as very rare and particularly impressive to look at, which explains one of the reasons why Revelation 4 is mostly filled with frags done in midair.
Another trademark of Masta's play style is his emphasis on aesthetics. This was partially influenced by Kain, who would oftentimes see a lost game as a moral victory if he had managed to show great kills and inspire respect. The emphasis on aesthetics serves as the basis for Masta's entire view on sabering and is the primary reason for his dislike of poke, which he views as sloppy and dizziness-incurring, as well as his passion for midairs and unusual swing combinations.
All of those aspects are best embodied by the play style of the legendary Austrian staffer zentur1o aka eviLwindu, whose very aggressive, very fluid, air-heavy sabering style Masta admires greatly. He considers zentur1o to be the very best player in the history of JKA, far surpassing such greats like Dureal and cube in terms of style and sheer genius.
- Reached #7 on clan Master's BWN server with record of 170 wins and 76 losses on 14.10.2004.
- Joined Clan Master on 12.2004.
- Defeated Master DarkStar in a duel on 05.02.2005.
- Reached #1 on BWN twice, once on 24.10.2004 and once on 03.2005.
- Reached #3 on the international ESL 2v2 ladder with Kain on 08.2005.
- Reached #9 on the international ESL 1v1 ladder on 23.10.2005.
- Became a Jedi Knight at the Jedi Academy on 22.03.2009.
- Was promoted to the position of Master Aurochs at the Jedi Academy Aurochs on 25.04.2009.
|1st||2004.10||Bladework Networks JKA League Division||+300|
|1st||2005.03||Bladework Networks JKA League Division||+300|
|ro16||2005.10||Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy 1on1 Worldcup 2005||64|
|3rd||2005.09||JKA ESL 1on1 Saber Bantha Cup||64|
|1st||2005.11||Aurochs One Day Saber Tournament||11|
|2nd||2005.12||Thanksgiving Invitiational Tournament #4||24|
|ro8||2006.05||Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy 1on1 Worldcup 2006||64|
|3rd||2006.06||ESL Team Deathmatch Ladder||32|
|1st||2006.06||Aurochs 2on2 Saber Tournament||10|
|2nd||2006.11||Thanksgiving Invitiational Tournament #5||39|
|3rd||2007.06||Jedi Academy Fifth Anniversary JK2 Tournament||26|
|2nd||2009.05||ESL Team Deathmatch Ladder||18|
|2nd||2009.11||Thanksgiving Invitiational Tournament #6||15|
|1st||2009.11||Red Stance Only Tournament||26|
- 19.12.2004 1v1 - Masta vs Master Sword (BWN Duel) - demo
- 05.02.2005 1v1 - Masta vs [Ki]DarkStar (BWN Duel) - demo
- 10.03.2005 1v1 - Masta vs [Ki]Lotusfire (BWN Duel) - demo
- 22.03.2005 2v2 - Team Hacker vs Team aXiom Round 1 - screenshot
- 27.03.2005 2v2 - Team Hacker vs *aiming Round 1 - screenshot
- 26.07.2005 2v2 - CJO vs JK - demo
- 17.09.2005 2v2 - Team Hacker vs Team CosmoS - demo
- 23.11.2005 1v1 - Masta vs o³Toaster - demo
- 15.06.2006 4v4 - Jedi Academy Aurochs vs Team fiDelity Round 2 - demo
- 05.09.2006 2v2 - Jedi Academy Aurochs vs NSE Round 1 - demo
Masta first met Kain in late May 2004 when Cornugon introduced him to the Academy. They became great friends and practice partners over the course of the next few years. At the beginning, Kain was for Masta incredibly influential when it came to sabering skills, seeing as he was the superior player of the two, but thanks to Masta's practice with clan Seraph and the many hours he spent playing on BWN, he quickly grew to be a match for Kain. This state of affairs would go on for a very long time with noone being able to tell which one of the two was the better player at any given moment.
Masta turned out to be the more successful of the two, ranking very high in both the BWN as well as the ESL 1v1 ladders and winning significant victories against top players in various tournaments. But despite his success, and despite Kain's relative lack of success on the ladder, Masta always considered himself inferior to Kain as a player.
There is merit to this claim, for whenever they would engage in serious duels and Masta would come out ahead, the games would be very close, but whenenver Kain would come out ahead, Masta would get completely obliterated. An example of the former are the two ESL 1v1 games from late 2005 that they had played against one another, both of which ended with only a one to two points deficit for Kain. However, when Masta played Kain in the Fifth Anniversary Tournament from 2007 or the Thanksgiving Invitiational #6 from 2008/2009, he lost three times with scores of 5-2, 3-0 and 5-1 respectively. And again in the Red Stance Only Tournament from 2008/2009, when Masta managed to defeat Kain in a straight-up duel, he came back from a 2-4 deficit and scored four points in a row for a close final score of 6-4.
Whatever the case may be, both of them stopped competing after the 2008/2009 Academy tournaments and neither of which seriously considered picking up the saber again. Masta tried to transfer this unique relationship that they had from JKA to Starcraft 2 in late 2010, and with it the elements of rivalry, but Kain never became interested enough in Starcraft 2 to be able to actively compete. Indeed, for the next few years, Kain would not be competitive in any game at all anymore, despite Masta's great efforts to get him into Starcraft 2.