Professional gamers aren’t always known for their way with words, but David “Moonmeander” Tan is a glorious exception. The 24-year old Canadian-Malaysian Dota 2 player began his career in Calgary’s Heroes of Newerth scene, but rose to international prominence not only as a result of his prodigious talent, but also his infectious, on-stream braggadocio. And if there’s a single thing that defines Moonmeander-the-entertainer, it’s his inspirational speeches, delivered at moments both significant and utterly trivial.
Speechmeander is a breathtaking orator. His mature work is characterized by a sprawling array of cultural references (in one speech, we hear about European modernist painting, the invention of electricity, and unorthodox defensive builds on Ember Spirit), punctuated by outbursts of “get on my level ho,” a well-known and highly regarded leitmotif in Moonmeander’s oeuvre. Many of his best speeches are delivered with a rousing, self-assured swagger reminiscent of Alec Baldwin’s famous “Always Be Closing” monologue from Glengarry Glen Ross. And always—always—Moonmeander pairs the rising emotional tide of his rarified wisdom with Hans Zimmer’s “Time” from Inception, the churning, opening chords of which, summoned from the low strings, are the telltale heraldry of Speechmeander’s imminent arrival.
So, in no particular order, I present five of Moonmeander’s most significant speeches, chosen to highlight the width and breadth of his rhetorical virtuosity. And, look, I’ll come out and say that some of what Moonmeander discourses upon reaches well beyond the boundaries of good taste. Some of his earlier orations, in particular, are pockmarked by all manner of slurs. But dilige et quod vis fac; let the man speak already.
1. “It was me” (March 1st, 2012)
“There’s many people in the world that influence other people, that prove they have skill. There was Thomas Edison, the guy who revolutionized electricity. There was Einstein, the guy who revolutionized science and physics and [the] nuclear bomb. There was Jesus, who revolutionized Jerusalem. And then there’s Rocky, who revolutionized the boxing scene. And then … and then … and then … there’s Moonmeander. 2012. Year of the Dragon. Year of the Moonmeander.”
2. “I am the tenderloin steak!” (April 16, 2014)
“You guys question me … but I am just a cut above the rest. There’s sirloin steak, there’s round eye steak, and then there’s the 0.1 percent cut from the cow steak … the tenderloin steak! I am the tenderloin steak! What kind of steak do you want to be in life, guys? Do you want to be a tenderloin steak, or a shitty round-eyed beef steak, that little three dollar steak from Safeway or whatever super store you bought it at. Fuck that!”
3. “I’m not the first innovator.” (September 7, 2014)
“I’m not the first innovator. That was Benjamin Franklin. Martin Luther King. Thomas Edison. Albert Einstein. And now there’s Moonmeander’s Ember Spirit build. People used to laugh at Picasso. They used to laugh at Vincent van Gogh, and say what is this, what is this insane art? Did they quit. Oh, no no no no. This is my art. My style. So don’t come and cramp on my style, don’t come to my stream, my Twitch.TV chat, to cramp on my style. I’m styling all over bitches with this Ember Spirit build. Innovation, it’s some Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin shit. And you hate on me?”
4. “I’m one step ahead? I’m … Walmart!” (June 17, 2014)
“Do you see me picking overpowered heroes? I was one step ahead the metagame. You get Tinker? I pick Skywrath Mage. I pick the counter to the metagame because I’m one step ahead? I’m … Walmart! You go straight to the distributor. Frank Lucas. Straight to the distributor! You skip the middle man and go straight to the distributor, one step ahead of everyone else. That’s where champions are made … this is why I am where I am today. We achieved together what I thought I would never achieve: 5K viewers, two days in a row.”
5. “The less I sleep, the more you see” (January 5, 2012)
“People are like, ‘this guy has been streaming for 25 hours. Does he ever sleep?’ I’m also human, but I’m not an ordinary human. I’m what they say is a superhuman. A human that is super. A supernatural human being. Something like Jesus. Jesus is a super human. He’s a super human. Supernatural human being. We are like … that’s why I can stream for so long. I’m not an ordinary human. I’m a super human. I’m not a hero. I’m a father figure of Heroes of Newerth … I will carry you in spirit and in health. Amen.”
Bless up, Moon.