Jul 052013 Tagged with , ,

MLG Anahiem 2013 Advetures

Hey Now,

Who’s excited for another event recap blog?!? Here is my stories from MLG Spring 2013 in Anaheim California. If you don’t want to read the words and instead just look at the pictures, you can find them by clicking on this big ol’ link.

MLG is arguably the largest eSports organization in America. For the last three years the crown jewel of the MLG circuit has been MLG Anaheim. Located in southern California, and stones throw from Disneyland, Anaheim draws an unparalleled crows in the USA. All of those nice things were true again this year, but only for 66.666666666% of the featured games at the event.

Upon entering the doors of MLG this year it was obvious that they changed up the venue floor format. Here is a very not to scale, yet artistic masterpiece, map of the show floor.

The League of Legends and Call of Duty stages sat next to each other and drew some big crowds. In the middle of them was a steel loft that featured each games casting desk elevated over the audience. This side of the convention center was sick and well planned out.

Whoever said that all of the stages were of equal size is a liar. If you read carefully up to this point you might have got some clues to tip you off about the state of Starcraft at this event. Lackluster, dull, dim, drab and uninspiring are some good words to describe Starcraft at MLG. It was as if the event was literately pushed into the corner and poorly laid out. With no featured stage and only one side of the player pit viewable the fans there was not too much to do aside from watching the main stage. There were other minor things that were bothersome such as only having one screen per stage.

I don’t really know how much of these problems are directly correlated to not being able to finalize Starcraft as a game until only a month before the event started. Maybe I am just being necessarily rough.

The saving grace for MLG was the work that was put on by the casters, crew, and players. It is very hard to stay angry when the actually show was so good. I was more excited for this player pool than any MLG in recent history. I would much rather see Incontrol cheese on the main stage, Nani bm, Bubbles, Illusion, Tyler, LZ, 11 root players, State, and Xeno play than 20 kespa players.

Saturday was my first full day at the event. Friday I arrived late and spent a lot of time bitching. I decided that I should do something more productive than that so I broke the camera out. All be it there was not too much work to be done. Between Carlton Beener, GHOSTCLAW, Tank, and the MLG photographers, I did feel a little inadequate lacking a real press badge. Since the Starcraft section of the floor was rather small and players were only ever playing on stage or in the pit most pictures turned out to just be “liquipedia-esque” head shots. Boring? Maybe. But some of these nerd ballers are sexy. Are you ready for a little photo dump?

In an effort to get some main stream attention thrown at MLG; Dez Bryant, Dwight Howard, Ty Lawson, and Dejuan Blair all showed up to play some Call of Duty on stage. It was a fun little gimmick but holy shit was it hard to capture the moment with all of the people and security around the players. Dwight went over well with the local basketball fans. Some even chanted “Stay D12″ longing for him to remain a Laker. Love him or hate him, the guy is a bundle of charisma.

Normally when one attends a MLG they live off of a Doctor Pepper diet. This year Flipz pretzels was added to the list of sponsors. Now attendees can compliment their diet of Dr. P with some chocolate pretzels. Yummy. The Flipz girls spent the day showing off a lot of skin while literally throwing hundreds of bag of pretzels at nerds. It was almost as if they were trying to fend them off with carbohydrates. They really did give out a lot of pretzels.

I was refusing to eat the free crap in the venue and such was starving. [Blitz_Dota] offered me to come grab a bite to eat with himself, Purge, and MOTHER FUCKING 2GD. James was the one person in eSports who I have yet to meet and was still a fanboy over. He flew out to SoCal with Statman Bruno to go do some DOTA 2 stuff at the Beyond the Summit studio. I was pretty hype to go mingle with him over some burgers. He really is a dick, and I appreciated it.

As the day was coming to a close I spent more time snapping some player pictures with fingers crossed that some of them would be good.


Championship Sunday:
Wanna play a fun game? Next MLG count how many times djWheat says “Championship Sunday.”

Did you guys hear the juicy drama that happened Sunday? Naniwa called Polt……..a “bitch.” gasp The drama didn’t even end there! After Naniwa lost, Polt went to Naniwa’s booth to shake his hand. Nani refused and laughed. Funny how this was one of the high points of the event. I like that Nani can be the heal. I still am not that big of a fan of him in general.

Very few games played out Sunday. MLG had something super secret going on in the player pit. The main stage went along at a breakneck pace. The grand finals took place relatively early. Former TSL teammates Polt and Hyun took to the stage. The crowd was playing up Polt as an American hero since he is currently residing in Texas. They went fucking nuts when he ended up winning over Hyun and his crazy pants. I wonder if he liked the “USA! USA! USA!” chants.

Starcraft fans packed up early after the finals to head home. While exiting the roar of the League crowd was deafening. I was a bit envious. I made it back to the Hilton hotel bar after taking a shower. Everyone was getting ready for the Twitch after party that has become a staple of attending MLG. Instead of a club they rented out a sports bar. By 10pm that place was packed with everyone who was anyone. It was hard to walk from one side of the restaurant to the other. I attempted to play some billiards and 2GD thought he would be my coach. His pool advice is sub par. Some of the best networking happens at these after parties. I got to hang out with TB, djWheat, Deamon, Purge, MLG employees, Twitch folk, Alex Garfield, and even sit down for a long chat with Jaedong. Jaedong was sad that so many people were shy around him so we talked about being a celebrity and his fans in America. His English is damn good for never taking formal classes. I think if he worked at he he could become even more beloved in the west. I wish I took a damn picture with him.

After the Twitch party the cool kids went over to IHOP for some late late breakfast. By “cool kids” I mean I just went with Suppy, FireZerg, Sasquatch, 8mmspikes, Blitz, and Purge. It was a very nice way to end a crazy fun weekend.

Heading back to the hotel super tired I could not help myself but to join in on at least one Mafia game. If you dont know what eSports Mafia is, you can watch it on twitch every Wednesday night! [Stream Link]

At the end of the day/event the most unsettling thing for me is wondering what is next for MLG. Sure they announced MLG Columbus, Ohio, November 22 – 24. With all of the rumors about no Starcraft on the pro circuit, and only 3 live events in 2013, the future is disconcerting.


Thank you for reading. The next event I will be at will be TI3. It will be my first DOTA event and I am excited. I know the majority of people who read these things are just Starcraft fans, so it will be exciting to see if there is any interest in reporting DOTA.

I want to be putting regular content up here that is not just event recaps and pictures. I will be putting together some “eSports Journalism” pieces that are a little fun and different in the time between events. If there is anything you would like to see me write about drop me a line on twitter [@leafeator]. Hell even if you don’t have any suggestions maybe you could follow me anyways. We can be BFF’s

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