Arrived in China on the 3rd, going from MLG to Korea, spending 11 hours in the airport (thank GOD for the Korean Air transit hotel, never have I slept better) and then straight to China. As I was way earlier than anyone else (first player to arrive aside from myself was SaSe late on the 4th), I had the.... pleasure of having to solicit a Chinese cab on my own.
Now, in any other airport Ive ever visisted, you just step outside and you are greeted by a dozen cabs to pick from. Not so much here - instead Im met by a smiling old man miming a steering wheel motion. Cautiously, I follow, all the while wondering if Im gonna get robbed :D
Anyway, as the cab looks kinda legit and actually has a drivers license visible and all I relax. I obviously pay 2x the fare price but dont care much cause its still insanely cheap compared to Korea or the US (30$).
Since Im early I had a ton of time to kill... Met up with the CPL staff and they helped me find a nearby PC cafe... but it turns out that a recent change in chinese law means only residents can use PC cafes in china, which was somewhat disappointing =[
Finished reading A Dance with Dragons instead, and now Im just dying for someone else I know to do the same so I can discuss it! Anyhow, had some nice chinese food (honestly, on average Im pretty sure chinese food is the best there is, very few duds), and went to bed pretty early.
Spent the next day watching a LOT of CCTV (only english station thank god its pretty decent), playing solitaire and walking around a little. As the translator was at the airport waiting for SaSe, getting food was a little tricky but thanks to the CPL staff I didnt starve!
SaSe's chinese is pretty damn good (to me anyway!), so once he arrived he guided me around a 'lil to do some eating/shopping. When they arrived from the airport I was asleep, and for the first 20 seconds after waking up I was extremely convinced the TV (which was off) was talking to me, until I realized there was someone at the door. Pretty sure I tried talking to my reflection. Another high point includes asking SaSe to plz speak swedish as I had just woken up, only to have him reply "...... I am speaking Swedish".
We had to get to the event extremely early the next day, only to find out that due to some schedule changes we wouldnt be playing until waaaay later in the day (the CPL is hosted at the Shenyang Games and Animation fair, which means they cant control the schedule completely), which kinda sucked. The event is pretty nice tho, lots of people in the audience, lots of cute cosplayers, lots of anime and MTG stuff. Only downside is its HOT, just like everywhere in China. Still, toasty is way better than too cold.
Had some dinner at a place called something something Hotpot last night together with QXC, SloG, SaSe, ReminD and two Koreans related to Prime (I think!). Found out that Koreans take some getting used to Chinese food, something to do with "hyang", which they all tried and failed to explain wtf it was :D Obviously ReminD having lived in China for 4 months has no problems with chinese food.
Had something interesting happen in the middle of the night, although for once I was actually awake. Woke up in the early hours, scooted across the bed to reach for my phone to see what time it is... only to have the bed collapse under me. Turns out in my sleep I had somehow moved the mattress so that half of it was located in mid-air.... Landed pretty hard on my thumb which is atm only good for playing and not much else TT.
The way the event works is that the players are split into two groups of 5 (well, 4 and 5 - one player had visa problems), and then you play a round robin, with top 2 advancing to semis.
Im currently 1-1 after playing SaSe and SloG. The games werent that interesting; game 1 SaSe defends my MMA 1-1-1 build on Xelnaga, game 2 I should have won after doing MKPs ghost timing and getting a LOT of free sentry kills, but I didnt realize he had a 3rd during all this so I ended up not killing it when I could have done so for free - was too eager after getting the sentries). Lost a mid-length game despite having an accidental reaper kill 22 probes during an engagement :D
Vs SloG was really just build orders playing out - cloak banshee vs 3 gate nex->attack with late robo, and close spawn metalopolis.
Daisy has had 2 really close PvP losses against the chinese players LoveCD and JIM, funnily enough both games he won (he went 1-2, 1-2), were on Shakuras and ended with an elimination race vs dark templars
The groups are:
LoveCD (Sky's brother, really good P), JIM (16 year old chinese protoss, I think he qualified for IEM from China), MarineKing, DaisyPrime
SaSe, Me, SloG, QXC, Mickey (chinese Zerg)
I d guess MairneKing and LoveCD advance from group 1 (duno JIM well enough to say), and probably SaSe and QXC from the second. I think I could advance, but Im really playing this event without any real expectations, which is actually an extremely nice feeling from a stress standpoint and I wish I could feel like this always
Anyway, enjoying China but I have this feeling that Id rather wait 5-10 years before Id ever consider living here - the contrast between brand new high rises and buildings about to fall down is a bit jarring Once the country catches up to itself tho....
I might make a bigger update once Im home in Korea, to talk about MLG as well... This trip really brought home the need for me to get a smartphone tho, having easy access to both twitter and a camera is pretty handy!
Btw, wtf is up with my GSL code A maps - Bel'shir, Dual Sight and Crossfire? Thats like the top 3 worst TVZ maps possible !