IPL Day 2 (aka Vegas Day 3)

Today I woke up with a plan. Despite running on about 5.5 hours of sleep (again), I wanted to go watch a bunch of Starcraft. And I did.

Woke up, putzed around, responded to some threads on various forums, checked email, etc. Had a shower, and got ready. Headed out to the Cosmopolitan for more SC2.

I was first in line for the VIP group again (yay!). So I enjoyed my breakfast muffin while I sat on my ass waiting for it to open. Funnily enough the League of Legends line actually wound around past the corner and started overlapping with the SC2 line. Was pretty amusing.

I saw Painuser, HD, Catspajamas, and Idra walk by while I was in line. At one point the poor security guard almost stopped StarTale Virus from entering the venue because he didn't know what a "player" was. Poor guy :(

Finally the gates opened and I actually walked in the door next to Idra. I wished him luck during the matches today, and he thanked me. He seemed in good spirits even though (as I found out later) he was already down 0-3 in his group. Was cool though.

They were having technical difficulties in the morning, and after the first game Painuser's mic was left on and you could hear him say "Fucking Anything!". The crowd laughed and Painuser made a trollface. It was good times. Despite the huge amount of technical difficulties in the morning, it worked out okay. I would eventually leave after watching NesTea dismantle Ganzi to tie their series at 1-1. NesTea would go on to win that series (duh).

For dinner we went to Binions Steak House. The food was pretty good, but not nearly as good as my dad's BBQ. I dunno. Maybe I'm just spoiled. After dinner Chelsea's boyfriend (Sam) and I headed back to the Cosmo to catch the GSTL finals. That shit was crraaazzzzzy. MKP would go on to take out 4 straight members of StarTale, despite some controversy surrounding having to regame the first match vs Parting.

After it was over some little kid got lost so they had to lock us all in. Since I had VIP seating I had the good fortune to be sitting 4 rows behind the Blizzard contingent (Mike Morhaime, Dustin Browder, etc.). So I was standing there looking at Mike chatting with people and eventually said "fuck it". I hopped 3 rows of chairs and leaned over the 4th to shake Mike's hand and thank him for making such amazing games. He thanked me for the support and I was super happy with myself. In retrospect I probably should've asked him to tell GC to give me a pony, but I digress.

I saw Sir Scoots there as well so I worked up the courage to go say hi to him as well. He was super nice and we had a brief chat about how EG had done at IPL4. I'm hoping I'll be able to repay his kindness with a drink sometime this weekend, but I gotta find him again first. Apparently there's tons of stuff to talk about on this weeks LO3, so it should be fun to watch.

Lastly I caught up with Scarlett and told her that I hope she keeps playing and I thought that her run through the open bracket was super cool. Unfortunately I forgot to ask if she would like to participate in Oestrus' podcast (I fail) but hopefully I'll be able to catch up with her again tomorrow to ask.

The GSTL finals were amazing. Production was a notch above IPL4 for sure. Koreans sure know how to put on a show. Wow.

After the GSTL my friends and I went for minor drinks and some penny slots. I lost $10 :(

Lets see what happens tomorrow!


IPL4 - Day 1 (aka Vegas Day 2)

I almost forgot to write this.

I meant to last night but ended up spending a couple hours watching TV before crashing.

So yesterday was a fucking FANTASTIC day. Roll out of bed and get ready to head off to IPL4. I had originally intended to pick up some breakfast before heading over the Cosmopolitan, but everywhere had a lineup a mile long (figure of speech).

I didn't have that much time to waste on it so I just went straight there, figured I'd pick up some baked goods or something. There's a little basically "on-the-run" shop on the 2nd floor of the Cosmo that I picked some grub up at. The chocolate croissant was delicious, however their "Orange Juice" wasn't orange juice. It was some sort of disgusting tropical fruit thing that I immediately threw out. Blech.

So I get upstairs to the registration desk and pick up my badge. It's a regular spectator pass though. Odd. I start looking for the SC2 entrance. Basically nothing going on in terms of signage (wtf IPL), so it took me about 15-20 minutes to finally figure out the SC2 main stage was in the "Chelsea" hall - hahaha irony.

I ask the nice guy at the door about VIP passes. Turns out the registration desk had given me the wrong pass. /sigh. Go back, get right pass. Much better.

Get back in line and I start to feel at home in nerd-dom. The security guard at the door has never heard of SC2 before, but is interested to know what all the fuss is about. Pretty cool lady. Had a lot of fun chatting with her and the other nerds in line. There was one physically disabled person there that had just gotten back from a trip around the world to talk to other disabled gamers and how they play. I thought that was super awesome, and we chatted about who we thought was going to win. We agreed that MKP was likely to take it.

Doors open, and I get to walk right TO THE FRONT. I was literally 6 feet from the stage. I'm not shitting you. I took a bunch of pictures from where I was sitting and uploaded them to Bookface. It's shared globally so I'm pretty sure everyone can see them.

The games were pretty good overall. Some were obviously better than others. NesTea and MKP looked incredibly dominant. Poor White-Ra :(

The problem though is the casting was kind of lackluster. Other than Painuser and HDStarcraft it was kinda....."meh". I don't think Doa and dApollo are a good match, and I think the tournament suffered from not having Day[J], Tastosis, Wheat, or Rob Simpson casting. Also the lack of "analysis desk" that MLG has kinda hurts. I still get a lot out of it since I know what's going on in SC2, but anyone that might be checking out the stream for the first time, or is new to SC2 would be lost I think. Even with Anna Prosser and Rachel Quirico (SeltzerPlease) there, still not enough.

Regardless I'm looking forward to day 2!


So Vegas.

I've never been before so I had no idea what to expect. I mean I'd seen it on TV and movies a bunch, but I had no idea what it would be like in real life. It's fun sure, but it's a TON more fun if you come with a significant other. Fair warning I'm extremely drunk right now and listening to The Guild songs.

I was convinced to come down here by my roommate Chelsea, who is one of the most awesome people alive. There was this flight/hotel deal at the Ballagio, so we booked for Easter weekend. At first glance it didn't seem like something I'd be terribly interested in. Then I find out IPL4 was going to be held the same weekend. In Vegas.

I was stoked. Even more so after watching the LO3 from yesterday. Apparently the open bracket is going to be sick, and I GET TO WITNESS ALL OF IT.

If you didn't know by now I'm a passionate fan of eSports. Day<9> is my hero. Tasteless is king of the nerds (behind Deadmau5 of course), and DRG is my favourite player. Suffice to say I was extremely stoked once I heard that IPL4 was going to be the same weekend as I was already going to Vegas. Granted I was a little dissapointed that my favourite people (DjWheat, Tasteless, Artosis, EGiNcOntroL) were going to PAX East, but still. Tons of awesome happening here.

Now that I've been here for an entire day I have some thoughts on Vegas itself.
  • It's WAY better if you go with a significant other. WAY better. I'm here with a bunch of my friends (practically all of whom are couples), and yeah. Way better if you come as a pair.
  • OMG THE SMOKING INDOORS. I don't think I could handle coming back here, and I thank god that I'm going to be spending most of my time at IPL4. I don't think I'll come back here unless it's with a group of friends, and I'm attached.
  • The music at the clubs (at least those I experienced) is kinda meh. Sorta dissapointing really. The clubs in Victoria have better music (wtf).
  • Food is largely overpriced. Which again is dissapointing. Coming from someone that makes a habit of staying at 5-star hotels in Vancouver that's saying something.
  • DRINKS ARE FUCKING EXPENSIVE. A Red-Bull-Vodka cost me like $15 in Vegas. Back home (Victoria) it's only like $10. Maybe.
  • I vastly prefer locations where I know all of the people are nerds (ie. Blizzcon). Chilling out with Lissanna, Sunnier, Murmurs, Oestrus, Perculia, and others was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had.
You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to experiencing IPL4. Not to mention Blizzcon next year, when hopefully ALL of Team Waffle will be there /crossfingers. Man that would be some sick shit. Imagine having this list of people in a room together:
  • Me
  • Lissanna
  • Reesi
  • Clay
  • Rona
  • Sunnier
  • Murmurs
  • Allison Roberts
  • Alaron?
  • Fasc?
  • Juvenate
  • Beru?
Talk about epic Druid meetup. Although now I'm just daydreaming. IPL4 day 1 to follow tomorrow