There will be a lot of photos in this blog, many of which can already be found on TL, so there's some recycling going on here, but I didnt feel like posting worse alternative pix so whatever.
Also despite the pics I would appreciate people actually reading the text that goes along with it :p
Theres also a thanks list at the end of this post just to address some of the awesome people I've met these last two years.
After I had some of the best days evar during IEM cologne 2010 ( http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?id=147587 )it was pretty clear that I would attend some SC-related events again, which ended up with me going to
IEM cologne 2011, Battle in Berlin, the Heat tournament a few weeks ago and of course Dreamhack Winter.
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IEM Cologne 2011 felt quite different compared to the year before. In 2010 everything was new, I didnt know anyone, I just dived in not knowing what to expect. This time was definitely not as exciting as the first time, and it felt a lot like work (the good kind though), going around shooting photos and doing interviews for TeamLiquid. But hey, I'm most certainly not gonna complain, I get a lot of things in return, I once again got to meet a lot of new people, I got to know Zatic better, I got to meet Huk (which I somehow failed to do the year before ^^), saw awesome people from last year again, like Nazgul, Dimaga and White-Ra ( I was really happy when I saw him again and he immediately recognized me from last year :p) and maybe most importantly got to meet my clanmates from 9k (9knights.de ), since our best player Deloader was trying to qualify for WCG Germany and others came to support.
My clanmates Deloader and Sky with possibly the two most charismatic starcraft 2 players
The TL meetup was once again very nice, I met drooL, cool guy, and hung out with BeWat3r and my clanmates, the day after I had a nice meal with Huk, TLO, Zatic and Sase, (Huk devoured a good amount of kangaroo meat there, to take revenge on Moonglade who had knocked him out that day :p) and the players party afterwards was pretty fun as well, although this time there was no epic dancing, just a lot of talking with dimaga and of course the infamous dimaga fans.
TLO was nice enough to take a picture of huk, me and my clanmates
Dimaga is boss
Other than that the Justin.TV party at the last IEM day was nice, a pretty gorgeous location with the EA Sports bar right in front of the Rhein, free drinks, pizza, I met Mr.Bitter's incredibly friendly girlfriend Connie (I hope I spelled that right), had a good talk with Socke about the old Starcraft1 days and watched dignitasKiller convince Mr.Bitter that he could be a GM player within a week if only he got coached by the Chilean Zerg. (Thanks to Gunrun for the invitation! =))
So yeah, overall I had a very good time, it wasn't as amazing as the first time, but I dont think any event will ever be and I'm cool with that :p
Battle In Berlin & Heat Tournament
Battle in Berlin and Heat Tournament were short events so there's not a whole lot to talk about, but I really hope that Aurel aka TBO will keep on working on tournaments like this, despite the technical efforts they were nice tournaments and Germany really needs sth more than just ESL to run things..
Other than that I got to meet Ret and Stephano @ Battle in berlin, so that was nice (technically i had met both before but I didnt really talk to them until then)
Noow, lets get to the biggest event of the last year
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I was really looking forward to this one, not only because I had high hopes for the tournament itself but because this time I would not only get to meet Sheth, Haypro and Hero, but also I would get to hang out with my fellow Teamliquid community members.
Grnp did a nice amount of organizing for me and the rest of the crew:
Lipthepencilboy, Tree.hugger, Waxangel, jac, and of course the infamous SirJolt.
Sirjolt also brought two friends with him, UltimateHurl and OldManRogers.
The first I already "knew" from google+ and I knew that his name was spelled Eoin so I just assumed it was pronounced sth like Eeeee-oiiiiin, turns it its just a funny way of writing Owen.
With the latter there was a funny moment where he shamefully registered on Teamliquid.net, admitting that he wasnt a member of the forums yet :p
Why u so handsome, TL?
We got to Sweden a few days before the event started and hung out a lot in the PC bang, I got to watch HerO play some practice games, among them the sickest comeback I have ever seen in an insane game against ret, where he just killed infinity roach infestor with just a handful of blink stalkers and his mothership, sniping overseer after overseer after overseer.
I was already a fan of his from watching his stream which to me was more impressive than any other protoss stream I had watched, including MC's, but this was something else still, and I knew there were big things to come for this man.
Don't be shy, you're actually pretty good...
When the event started there was always a lot to do, I think we were pretty industrious, shooting photos, doing interviews (except for that interview video still not being released... lawl..), and just covering this event in general. It was exhausting with the dozens of thousands sweating teenagers around but it was fun nonetheless.
I tried to make Huk look big by shooting from below... didnt work out so well
Here's a big man though, when he's not busy slaying evil geniuses he's busy looking badass
However, by far the best moment was without a doubt the finals of the Dreamhack Winter.
As you probably know it was in a bigass ice hockey stadium, there were like 4000 people in there and the atmosphere was awesome. We got to sit at the press area which had power sockets which made it easy to cover everything with our laptops live.
And then those games...
Such a rollercoaster of emotions, when puma tied up the series I just had this terrible, awful feeling in my stomach.
Before the last game started I left the press area to go down close to the stage, to shoot some photos and to be able to rush the stage in case HerO does win after all.
But I wasnt really thinking about that, instead I was just thinking how sad I'm gonna be and how disappointing it's gonna be to have such a nice event end with such a massive disappointment.
But then amazing things happened, as you know, and during the last moments of the game I just kept shouting „YES, YES“ by myself like a maniac, before Puma finally typed GG. My neuroreceptors were overflooded by a shitload of hormones and only a few seconds later when everyone was already on the stage I realized it was time to join them!
I ran / jumped towards the stage and hugged everyone in reach, these were moments I will never forget
Photo by OldManRogers, I'm the one with the fist pump =)
while busy just being ridiculously happy I then hastily also tried to shoot some photos so that TL would have some nice winner photos, but I was a bit overcharged with the situation and didnt end up with too many satisfactory photos
I like this one though, Emotions overwhelming!
Afterwards we went to the TL hotel room to let TLO do an interview of HerO
Yeah he was a little exhausted...
cutest interview ever?
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The only bad thing to say about that day was that since we arrived late to the afterparty I didnt even get to drink anything, they had just closed the bar and were about to throw everyone out, so after a bit of talking we headed home to our hotel. The short time we were there was nice though.
Wife-Ra actually looks prettier than in this photo but i like it nonetheless
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DRG as usual with a big smile on his face. Is this a sign of whats gonna happen in the GSL finals?
Naama might have had a little sth to drink
One last thing I wanna mention about how badass HerO is.
When I was with him at the airport I asked him what he thinks about how tough it will be once the really good BW pros switch over, particularly Flash and Jaedong.
He responds "oh it'll be ok, I beat them in BW too"
So yeah that was my dreamhack experience.. I could talk a lot more about it, but I'll just leave it with the wish that we're gonna see each other again at more awesome Dreamhacks in the future.
Leipzig / local starcraft community
Now there's one last thing I wanna mention:
Last year when TLO was home in Leipzig for a few days he organized a TLO Meet&Greet, which about a dozen people attended. This was awesome not just cause its always fun to hang out with TLO, but also because this way local starcraft fans got to meet each other. The day after I started a Leipzig facebook group and by now we have over 50 members its not huge but its nice and we've had some barcrafts and "homecrafts", travelled to Battle in Berlin and the Heat Tournament and started small SC2 practice camps, and were gonna go to IEM Hannover together as well. So shoutout to my local Starcraft community and to Paul aka gXxshock for putting a lot of effort into it.
So here we are ...sort of... at the end of this blog and arrive at my little list of shoutouts, I hope I'm not forgetting anyone (order is completely random)
grnp - you're awesome, thanks for everything
zatic - thx for dragging me along in cologne I hope we'll do some more epic interviews in the future
Nazgul - when I met you in 2010 you left the impression of being everything that a leader should be - intelligent, strong, calm, yet with a strong passion for his players and community. Also listening to you argue for hours with Artosis was a lot of fun :p
I was just a little bit mad at you when you didnt respond to a pm for a long time but then I realized I just PMed the wrong Nazgul hahaha
Lip - shoutout to my favourite Austrian. When I heard I was gonna travel with you i just imagined some timid little dark skinned italian dude, haha. It was a fun time, I hope you do make that chinatown story into a short movie some time hahaha
Cause I like you so much I'm gonna do some advertisement for you, everyone check out http://www.facebook.com/pages/Salon-Alpin/244648262272519 and http://www.salonalpin.net/ , there's some TL / Starcraft related stuff there too.
Oh one more thing
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STFU I'M NOT MEXICAN!!$"$%"
Cloud - You're a crazy guy, but it's always interesting and/or fun to talk to you. I really respect you for having the balls to always speak your mind, to never be afraid of any shitstorms you might cause and just being so brutally honest, I can't think of any pro gamer for which that is the case as much as for you. Keep being who you are, just win some fucking tournaments already (and try to be less negative about the game ^^), I'm always rooting for you.
disciple - we havent talked in a long time, maybe we should do that some time :p Either way I'm happy people finally realize how much you contribute to this site.
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Also, I facebook stalked your gf... good job haha
UltimateHurl jesus, how are you so nice?
Bumblebee - Esports is still a rather new phenomenon, and what comes along with new, growing businesses like this is that there's often people getting paid despite actually being imbeciles and not having a clue what an actual professional would do. In regards to this it was nice for me to see that Liquid is in very good hands when it comes to managing the team. In sweden I quickly learned that when someone had a request, it might sometimes seem like you're barely listening, but you would always reliably take care of it.
I really felt bad after the little discussion we had after Dreamhack, I really didnt mean to be disrespectful and I wanted to clearly state that I think you do a great job and youre just a good person to be around.
TLO See you change as a person makes me think of some cheesy hollywood movie. The likeable but inexperienced nice guy from next door gets drawn into a dark adventure, a lot of bad things happen, but he grows as a person and comes out of it stronger than before. Haha.. honestly though, I only know of tiny fractions that happened in your life the last year, but I'm glad youre on an upswing now and that at the core youre still the nice guy that let a more or less stranger sleep in his hotel room cause he was too stupid to get a proper place to sleep himself :p
Have a great, successful 2012, and gl in Korea.
Huk and Rotterdam - these two might not even properly remember who I am but I just felt like mentioning them cause they both just seem like awesome people.
I hope that one day Huk shall have a glorious return to Liquid :p
HerO - You winning the DH finals was one of the best experiences ever, so thank you just for being such an awesome player, you're just so much more entertaining than any other Protoss player and if you just keep working in your mental state I'm sure this can lead to you being the most successful as well.
fishyjoes thx for letting me stay at your place =) I hope you get back into the scene some day
The rest of the DH crew,
tree.hugger - One of very few people who probably top me both in CJ and in TL fanboyism
Waxangel - I'm glad you realized Europe is superior to America
OldManRogers, Jac, Sirjolt, was fun to meet all of you (I'll try to improve my english to communicate with you better, I think you were just a bit too much awesome for me to handle sirjolt)
Everyone from my clan 9k, I hope we can get together again in the future
Also while it might be a little unrelated I might as well give big thanks to my lovely girlfriend, who keeps up with me ignoring her for chatting with people on the internet,
it's been a good year
Additionally to just giving me new experiences, letting me meet awesome new people TL also taught me all kinds of things, it taught me to have more self esteem, it gave me confidence to write / record songs, it taught me to respect my parents more (stupid as that may sound haha). It influenced my life quite a bit so I just wanna say
Thank you Teamliquid ♥
Bonus: Some moar photos
IEM Cologne 2011:
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Take comforting Huk after a loss
Zatic and TLO.. holy shit he looked different without the beard, haha
TLO lost two of the most heartbreaking series I've seen against Socke and AiHonor in the WCG qualifiers that day... not long after he switched to Zerg ^^
This photo was taken before his last game against Socke
Carmac teaching SangHo some important English phrases like "Koreans own white dudes" and "You're my bitch"
SC2 needs more Mondragon
A TL knight
drooL and Dimaga watching Stephano choke as he drinks Absinthe for the first time in his life
Dreamhack Winter 2011
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Huk giving HerO advice about how his next protoss opponent plays. HerO always so touchy :p
Buy these shirts if you wanna be as sexy as Mr.Bitter and Lipthepencilboy
At the airport with Mana and HerO
Pics from the Heat tournament, a charity tournament that TLO won, I'm too lazy to post these pics onto this blog so here's the link:
And lastly a bunch of pics I took that have absolutely nothing to do with pro gaming:
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my gf being super excited during a Barcraft for HSCIV ;p
Babies are awesome models
Big shoes to fill...
And a secret video of Rotterdam's actual ESL Job:
So yeah that was it, thanks for reading my blog, Nada and 7mk say goodbye !