By now the vast majority of you will have seen all the press releases, such as the new D3 class and the SC2 single player being released in parts. So at this point in time there's no real reason to delve deep into these matters. But this is Blizzcon, and at Blizzcon there are far more things than just press releases and artificial statements. That's where TL comes in. Aside from play testing SC2 more than any other fansite, we also spent a lot of time around the progamers and chatting with some of them, including finding out something rather disturbing about fOrGG. There are blogs up already, and this is essentially Blizzcon from the eyes of Plexa.
First off the line for this event was simply ridiculous. It spiraled all the way around the convention center and into a parking lot. The sheer volume of people was impressive, but the number of WoW'ers vastly exceeded all other franchises. Fortunately, well at least for myself, press were allowed to get straight in and avoid the very long wait. Once upstairs we were invited into the press room, which was pretty unspectacular, aside from the dedicated computers in the room to test each game exclusively for the press. It was here I managed to get through a lot of the questions asked in the SC2 questions thread.
As time elapsed it was time to go find the other members of TL, it took a while but eventually I ran into the main party consisting of Chill, Zatic, Intruige, LR etc. We took some photos (obviously) shared some feelings about SC2 and arranged to meet later when the SC games were being broadcast. In the mean time I returned back to the press room and worked on some of the other questions. From the playtesting I got done I'm really enjoying the Protoss right now. Particularly the Warp-In mechanic. It's something which really makes Protoss that much more interesting than the other races, and indeed I've had the most fun using the warp-in mechanic to build units. Perhaps because it requires two actions to make a unit (click and key) as opposed to one (just a key) or perhaps that its a great mechanic which really opens up a number of strategy for the Protoss.
Gas has really taken on a new meaning in SC2. In case you haven't heard, the gas mechanic is similar to WWI but slightly different. What happens now is that you are only allow to get so many vespene gas crates (?) (in this build 300 gas is the amount) before the geyser shuts down for some period of time. The general consensus is that this mechanic is more annoying than natural and feels forced. Basically, you want to get as much gas as you can. A difference of 500minerals doesn't usually amount to too much as most mineral only units suck compared to the gas heavy units. SC2 will be about who can make the most of their gas, or at least if this was the final build.
After trialling SC2 a bit more (don't worry there will be plenty of SC2 threads at a later date) I headed downstairs to meet up with the TLers. We met up just outside the stage and then we crashed the floor right in front of the stage. By this point the other TLers had delivered their cheerfuls to the progamers and this year all of them seemed to like them. Nada especially. The first game was between Nada and Jangbi - and you probably heard us on the stream when he did out cheering. LosingID8 lead us through the cheers for the gamers and overall it went pretty well! Jangbi cleaned up Nada without too much worry and immediately we swamped Nada for photos and whatnot after he left his booth. We have a group photos somewhere, which hopefully gets uploaded by whoever has it.
Myself and semioldguy
From this point on, we mostly hung around the progamer area getting any tidbit of information off the gamers. We managed to talk to Idra and fOrGG before we were hustled out by some crazy Blizzard staff guy.
From left to right: LosingID8, Idra, Plexa, Tasteless
Today was obviously a really big day for Idra, being the first ever foreigner to take down a Korean at a Blizzard event. And we got his thoughts on a few things.
What is the definitive moment of your career?
Probably beating YellOw today.
What does it mean to defeat YellOw?
Well obviously it's pretty big taking down a progamer, but he hasn't been living in the KTF house for some time now as he is about to go to ACE. So he's isn't at his prime, or even close to it - but it still a real highlight.
So what happened in the YellOw games?
Well I was able to get a scout in and see the 2 hatch play in both games, from there I just played defensively and kept denying his attacks.
Where are you currently staying in CJ Entus?
Currently I'm living in the B team house
What's the training schedule like
CJ have a reputation for a tough training regime and it certainly lives up to expectations. Training is rigid, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's a really good atmosphere amongst the team as well.
When do you think we'll see you in the A team?
Well, typically your average progamer takes about a year to make the A team. The really gifted ones take about 6 months. It's also not about who is the best from the B team, but also who the coaches think will do well in the A team.
How has CJ reacted to the Proleague changes?
Most people see it as a change for the better. CJ didn't really have any dedicated 2v2 players so we weren't affected that bad in that respect. The one standout 2v2 player from CJ, nbs, has made a smooth transition into playing 1v1 again. Personally I like the changes and think they are more entertaining, bu then again I don't like 2v2. I can definitely see why some people think it was a bad move.
What are your plans for Starcraft II?
There are so many variables involved that its hard to say. For instance if all the pros switch over to SC2 switch over then I probably will too, if I'm in the A team and am enjoying myself then I'll probably stay in SC. It's just impossible to say at this stage.
Thanks for your time Idra
Plexa and fOrGG
We also got a chance to catch up with fOrGG in between his matches and get a brief interview with him.
So fOrGG, you have exploded onto the scene recently - what would you say is the definitive moment of your career to date?
Definitely my MSL win
Ah yes that was a very impressive victory
One thing that surprised some of the fans was your rapid growth in skill recently, what's been the main drive behind that?
There hasn't been any real secret to it, I just increased the number of games I was playing each day so I could better prepare myself for my upcoming matches.
So what do you plan to do once SC2 comes out?
I'm dedicated to Starcraft and will continue to play and practice SC1 until it dies.
We represent a large number of fan from outside of Korea on the website teamliquid, were you aware that there was such a large following outside of korea?
No I was not aware. I have never heard of teamliquid before.
There are a large number of fans at Teamliquid who cheer for you every game! Is there anything that you would like to say to them?
I simply ask that you continue to support me, and I will try my hardest to reach the top again.
Unfortunately at this point our interview was cut short by the Blizzcon staff... Perhaps we'll be able to finish it off tomorrow for you guys, I'm not sure. After our interviews with the progamers we sat around and watched the next round of games.
Nada warming up PvP against XellOs
Watching the progamers was pretty awesome. Not many of us get to experience such things in our lifetimes, and well it was surreal. Nada is so fast its mind blowing, just watching his hands are mesmerizing. The games themselves were pretty good. YellOw took a game off NaDa using the exact same builds he used vs Idra (2hatch -> fast guards) which was pretty impressive. As well as watching Cloud get dismantled by XellOs, which looked to be pretty close from Clouds screen (until 20 tanks came rolling by). All the matchups were at least mildly entertaining so you should definitely check out the reps.
After the 2nd round we tried to get back in and grab some interviews but the pros were ushered away pretty quickly and we were unable to. Nevertheless the rest of us just chilled for the next hour in preparation of the upcoming Savior/Jangbi winner bracket final which was to be broadcast live.
Zatic and Plexa
Once we were all split off into small groups to eat/play sc2 etc, Me, nemY and LosingID8 were just sitting around when the guys from Ygosu came up to us and asked if we were from Teamliquid. We had a nice chat with the guys, who actually were interested in interviewing us (so keep an eye out for that next week). We exchanged contact details and went out separate ways for the time being.
It was no time at all before the next round of SC started so we all headed over to the floor of the stage to resume out spot. With Savior playing expectations were high - and the games did not fail to deliver. The series was amazing as well as our Ma Jae Yoon hwaiting! Jangbi played strong, and made a game out of dire situations (like being down after a 5 pool). Once the series finished Savior was swarmed by fans, fansites and press. We tried to get some information out of him, but unfortunately we had to go to our yg interview. Everyone that we knew from TL was included into the TL photo and after everyone flocked back to Savior, Myself, Chill, semioldguy and LosingID8 were interviewed by the good folks over at ygosu.
XellOs warming up vs NaDa in a ZvZ
By this time there was only one round left to play - the loser bracket semifinal between XellOs and NaDa, I have some videos of this game exhibiting the brilliance of NaDa and the perfect precision of his control which hopefully will be uploaded some time in the near future. Just make sure you watch the Wuthering game, it was exceptional. Nada's defensive micro was simply out of this world. And watching him organise everything from the FP view was just the icing on the cake.
Plexa with NaDa
With the final Starcraft games out of the way, all that was left to do in the day (other than play SC2) was to head over to BJ's and have a good time. The 2nd Annual TL Meetup was bigger than last year, and still a really great event to be at. Here's some pics from the evening. I'll try to name who I can, but don't get angry if I can't remember or I forget!
Left to Right: Chill, Zatic, Last Romantic, Neo, Intrigue, Tuna
LR and Haji having a little too much fun
One of the major tables
The other end of the table
Xeris, Quesadilla, and InReach
The entire group
I'll upload the rest another day. A few of us decided to keep going long into the night, so we all headed back to Anaheim Marriot and stayed up to watch the MSL and got completely trashed in doing so.
And that brings us to this morning and the promise of another Blizzcon-rific day. Here's hoping we're more organized today and we'll try get more interviews and whatnot for you guys as well. Please keep leaving specific SC2 questions in the thread so I can abuse my press rights and get it tested and get you a definitive answer. For the time being, here's hoping you enjoyed the coverage from my point of view of Blizzcon Day 1. Feel free to leave any questions in the thread here and I'll try get them answered