Master of His Virtual Domain
It was around this time that the name Jorge Yao became a part of our household. To Ichi and to Lord knows how many other gamers, the mysterious player who called himself Jorge Yao was a hero among mortals. For a time, he dominated the game, leaving everyone else on the planet gasping to catch up. He was the first player to break the 4,000-trophy mark and, for a solid six months beginning last January, held the No. 1 ranking in the world, which had previously changed hands almost daily.
In the process, the 25-year-old who called himself Jorge Yao joined a new breed of virtual celebrity. The first of his seven audio-only interviews with a blogger named Flammy racked up almost 400,000 YouTube views. He has attracted more than 79,000 Twitter followers and almost 30,000 “likes” on Facebook. Videos of his rampages on other villages, or of his troops repelling other people’s invaders, went viral. Sometimes Jorge Yao would make surprise visits to other clans, just to reward the fans who were sending him daily tweets.
Then, at the end of May, the great Jorge Yao abruptly announced his retirement. In a “speech” posted on Facebook, he thanked his fans and clanmates and said he was “going out on top Like Mike,” as in Michael Jordan.