February 27th, 2012
OMG, I have a FEELING.
(I can usually contain those, but not this time.)
For the people who know me, this might come as a surprise because I’m mostly pretty dry. I try to see the good in everything, yet I’m certainly not a hippie. I do have strong opinions, but mostly keep them to myself. I’m the dork who laughs at her own jokes, and though I DO think yours are funny, I just have to be in the right mental mode to laugh out loud. If I need to go cry about something, I’d prefer to do it in a corner out of sight of anyone, as to not upset the balance of others’ lives – I can talk myself into looking on the bright side, and I mostly do. I know the proverbial grass is truly greenest right where I stand, and only I can make it greener.
Anyhow, this is centered around MLG - the only live event series I’ve been able to attend thus far. I’m normally pretty good with text, but I’m having a hard time restricting this feeling to mere words, so here’s a quick and dirty thought-stream. Enjoy.
This year, I will be heading to my fourth MLG event. I’ll be there to watch StarCraft, and hang out with my, otherwise far away (online), friends. These people are AMAZING. I can only compare this feeling to being in love, and then having to separate – again and again. I don’t think I knew what “tears of joy” were until I became a part of this community. When we meet up, we don’t merely hug, we embrace. I cherish every moment I am with these fine people, and I try to hold onto every little memory, every little detail of the event.
Three days of pure excitement – where there are great victories and crushing losses – winning celebrations and loss rage – up-all-night parties – camaraderie. Major camaraderie. And then,*pouf* back to ‘the real world’.
(Note: Unlike the commissioned people who are ever-so-popular, I don’t have a paid job in the esports industry, so I’m responsible for getting to these events on my own dime. It’s a passion of mine. I love being there, but I do have to make a living as well. Hence, my term “the real world”.)
Because of this community, songs which were once entertaining, now have grand meaning. Excitement about community happenings is often so intense, I want to squeal like a school girl who just caught the gorgeously bright eye of her crush. When a friend gets a league promotion, casting gig, recognition, etc… I want to dance for her/him. When I do have the opportunity to attend an event, there’s this three-day peak of elation, followed by a period of mourning and wonder of when I will see these friends again.
Though I was in Raleigh and Orlando, MLG Providence was really the beginning of this emotional sine.
~Raleigh was new. My girls’ community was in its very beginnings. I was there to observe.
~Orlando was a growth period. I was THERE to promote. Two of the girls, and I made signs for our community. We spammed the heck out of them on the stream cam with shoutouts, love, and cheers. We attracted positive attention, and united with other females who happen to also enjoy gaming, and thought they were ‘the only one’. It was a great success. The most epic game I’ve ever seen was there as well – intense sky-Terran battle between TLO and Boxer.
~Providence was established. It was the first time I traveled alone for the grandest meet-up so far. I helped bring people together, hung out with friends, pros, cool people from the twitternets – (This might get long.) When I first arrived, I was very early, so I sat at the airport to people-watch for about 30 minutes, then finally ambled over to the shuttle station to catch a ride to the venue. I shared a cab fare with a friendly stranger who was also attending, but for a different game. It was freezing and rainy in the city that day, and so I headed immediately to my hotel, checked in, and turned up the heat. No one I knew had arrived yet, and there wasn’t exactly good walking-around weather, so I took some notes about my plane-trip, and shot some photos of the room, which appeared very old
with its oval brass doorknobs throughout, a small toilet and sink, and a 1950’s style radiator at the window which looked out over an unused ice-skating rink, and a part of the city park. Soaking in the atmosphere made time appear to lapse without realize. I felt hungry, and had the notion to go for a walk to locate food. It was still dreary outside though, and beginning to get dark, so I turned on some music, and reviewed twitter, as I do frequently throughout the day. I suddenly realized I was painfully hungry because I had eaten a feast of literal nothing for the entire day, so I did something I’d never done in my life: I ordered room-service food. Dinner consisted of a delightful spinach salad, and a bowl of seafood-bisque soup which was a bit on the salty side. I ate, and checked twitter once again, only to learn that one of my friends who was supposed to arrive about the same time as me, and I was very excited about meeting in person, had a flight cancel, and wasn’t arriving until very late – The moment I though about waiting up, I had already begun to nod off to dream land.
When I awoke, I did the usual morning shower and put-on-some-clothes routine, then went downstairs to meet my friend for breakfast. I felt a little awkward meeting him for the first time, because he was there to cast the beta streams, and was with the other casters. I was merely from the internet, and had not gone to meet up with anyone I knew since I’d arrived, so it was all a tad overwhelming. It was, however, delightful sitting with Clutch and the community casters. Everyone is darling. They all had to run off to a meeting, and so breakfast was short. I ended up ordering a poke-fun-at-me-healthy, fruit granola yogurt thing, ate pretty quickly, and then we all parted ways.
I took a walk over to the venue, in the still cold, but sunny weather, and talked to a few people who were in a long line to the admission table, while waiting to go in. I got my passes, and shot some pictures, and then went on to play Internet Friend Pokemon, trying to catch all the girls I knew who were there. One of my closer friends, Gen, finally arrived, and we went to put our stuff back in the hotel. By the end of the evening, there were several people I knew present. For the whole weekend, I watched games, shot photos, and hung out with many of the girls, a few pros, and some other friends whom I’d finally met in person. We all had meals together, and attended after-parties. Everyone was incredibly nice. These are people I would absolutely invite to live in my mansion if I ever had one~hah.
This trip was, very much, the time of my life, and of course I did NOT want it to end. At the final after-party, the ladies were VIP, thanks to a few of the coolest staff-members from one of the coolest broadcast companies ever. We danced, met even more amazing people, hugged Leenock, but refrained from pinching his cheeks, and had an absolute blast.
The next morning rolled around, and it was time to depart. I checked out of the hotel and walked over to the restaurant with the most delicious eggplant, spinach, sun-dried tomato pizza, and had lunch. I grabbed the shuttle back to the airport, and continued to my gate. On the way home, I kept tearing up, wondering when I’d see these people again (since the next year’s format had not yet been announced). Some people just leave a lasting impression. I talk to a few of them every day – I think about them all the time. I love these people (No, I’m not saying I want to go to bed with them, geez) – They’ve become like family to me.
I miss everyone SO much, and now that the next MLG events are scheduled, I know that I will be seeing them again soon, along with meeting a few new people whom I talk to on a regular basis. I do wish I could have been in New York at the Winter Arena, but Columbus is coming soon, and I will be meeting up with even more people whom I’ve met since Providence, and now I have an entire agenda planned out. I will be, again, arriving the Thursday prior to the competition, but this time, have great plans to meet up with a few of the Playhem team - Gen, and my other roomies will be arriving Friday, and I will have a little surprise waiting for them. Saturday is going to be sensational all day long, and into the night, Sunday will be the same, and I’m completely ecstatic all over again!!!
One last note. I had the pleasure of hanging out with viOLet in Providence a few times, and I’d like to say: That guy is one of the nicest, most mannered, sincere, and hard-working people I’ve ever met. Big congrats to him on winning IEM this year, and now that he will be going to the winter MLG championship, I wish him all the best there as well.