I arrived for the morning of WCG day 3 to find a mostly empty pavilion with the only exception being an inexplicably large crowd gathered around the League of Legends booth. The first exciting sighting for me of the day came in the morning, during the counterstrike round of 16. 6 years ago, cs 1.6 was my first introduction to the world of competitive gaming. During this time I became engrossed with the CAL league, hopping from clan to clan and staying up until 3am on school nights goofing around on ventrilo and finding new wallspam spots or stack points with my e-friends. This was also my first exposure to professional players, and I spent many hours idolizing players through their highlight videos and hltv matches.
Swedes and Poles duking it out on the greatest fps map of all time
Watching sk.walle on dust2 after a 6 year haitus from cs...talk about nostalgia.
Side note: hamburgers were a cool $9 at the convention center. CellaWeRRa would have been upset.
Next on the agenda was the Kal vs. Yayba semi-final matchup. I don't think anyone expected this to be a game - Kal shredded yayba in two quick games.
Robokal shows no remorse in dispatching foreigners
Though he quickly disappeared behind the curtains for his post game interview, we soon saw Kal wandering with his two man entourage, so we quickly approached him for pictures.
kal is the shit
I was surprised to find that Kal isn't in fact a giant; it seems that instead, STX is a team of midgets.
Kal's quick dismantling of yayba left a bit of down time until Flash and Jaedong would take the stage. Although these two really should have met in the finals, I'm really glad that the brackets worked out the way that they did because it meant that they would play each other on the one day that I would be in attendance.
The games themselves were fun - the crowd was electric and reacting to every play. Though I would have preferred Jaedong to win, I'm just glad I was there to witness game 2, which was probably one of the most unbelievable games I've ever seen.
Immediately following the games, a small crowd formed outside of the of the press area, anxious for a chance to meet the two superstars. One of the funnier scenes of the afternoon ensued as Kal, who had enjoyed constant fan attention following his game. Now he stood in the middle of the floor, alone, while watching people streaming past him on either side in attempt to see Jaedong and Flash. It must be easy for any brood war player to feel marginalized by these two titans in this era.
peeking behind the scenes to see them doing their press interviews
However as time went on the crowd dwindled, as it didn't seem that either would be making an appearance that night. Though I had an amazing day, I was starting to feel a little disappointed that I wouldn't have the chance to meet my favorite starcraft player. Suddenly the started approaching the curtains and it seemed that we would finally have a chance to meet these players. However, they were accompanied by a few referees who quickly began ushering them to the players' bus.
Jaedong with a balloon zergling from FuDDx
As we watched them board the bus, I thought my chances of meeting my sc hero were officially crushed. However, the bus continued to sit idling next to the sidewalk for the next 5 minutes, and some enterprising korean fans walked up to the bus and held some sign up to the window. Whatever it said, it worked like a charm and a few seconds afterwards, Jaedong appeared at the door to greet them. Luckily I was close to the bus as he came out and managed to beat the rush and get him to sign my hwaesung jersey.
impromptu signing session
I left WCG feeling extremely satisfied. A full day of games, a photo with Kal, and a meeting with the Dong; what more could a nerd ask for?
Finally, a big shout out/thanks to anch, guided me to all the free swag in the house, and helped me avoid the LA public transit system.