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WCG is coming.. are we excited?!

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Nov 7, 2009 15:14



I will be at WCG 2009 which draws very near, are we all as excited as usual?!
I certainly am! Last year was great fun in Cologne. Carmac and I had a rockclimbing race, managed to unearth a huge cock-up by the WC3 admins when they put the wrong player through to the playoffs (Nightwolf was put through instead of the Mexican Raspot) courtesy of a tip from Jos "Zerter" Bueyvoets [credit where its due].

I witnessed a wicked semi-final match between Moon and TeD as well as a gripping final of Grubby vs Moon. This time I'm looking forward to see if Fly can go all the way in the WCG, 3rd at estars, 1st at IEM Chengdu, 1st at WCG China. Also Koreans getting closer to that gold medal, Moon + Lyn + Who all could have a shot!

As for Counter-Strike no SK Gaming :( but at least we have Tyloo for entertainment who could definately push for a spot in the finals given their shape. WCG is always a bit of a hit n miss with a single elimination playoffs,but with Tyloo and WeMadeFox on site, they could certainly kill off a top team if they are on form.

I will be at the event for SK Gaming, spending a few days prior to the event travelling Chengdu with my wife and checking out a few pandas before WCG2009 begins. Our son will be well taken care of by his Chinese grandparents in our absence. I work as a full-time English teacher here in China, so I had to move all my lessons next week to the following week, which means 40 hours of teaching when I get back but its worth it!

However, with so many events in the year is WCG really as prestigious this year as it was the last? If you think about it from a competitive point of view it has less top teams, less matches per team/player and is more luck based especially with the playoff tree. Although it is the tournament that attracts the most media attention, so swings and roundabouts.

What about you, is WCG still the biggest tournament of the year for you? What are you looking forward to?

[photo from WCG2008!]



Maly moves to China - Part III

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Jun 1, 2009 08:05



Roasting at the WC3L tournament, riding a waterrollercoaster and owning Affentod from ESL just some of the highlights this time!
Maly Goes to China Part III - The Warcraft3 entry

Aaaaaaaaaah, the WC3L Season XV in Warcraft3, my first Chinese tournament. I managed to succesfully get on the right train and find my seat, feeling quite proud of myself, I sat down next to a lady and what I assume was her son.

After seeing me, they had a little whisper between each other and then the mother brought out face masks out of her handbag, ah swine flu, apparently only White people have it! I considered mentioning I’d just got back from Mexico, but I decided to just do some fake coughs just to get them worried a bit.

ImageGiven the fact I’d never been to Beijing before, I managed to get Wufan, the Editor-in-Chief of Replays.net (A popular Chinese website) to pick me up. After managing to get to the hotel (extremely high quality) and grabbing some food he offered to take me to the Blizzard College eSports tournament, going down in Beijing University.

What was funny is that many girls were dressed up as if they were going on a date, obviously their boyfriends had tricked them into thinking they were going out to dinner maybe!

Hopefully you’ve already read my article about Sky and perhaps seen some of the videos I uploaded from the event, and of course looked at the gallery! I was treated extremely well, in particular by Candy the PR manager from Chinese Esports Athletics (CEA, they produce a magazine in China called eSports) , the company who also helped organised the event as well as Wufan of course! In comparison to the WC3L where if a problem arose it was normally answered with a “yea, we know, it sucks”, not a “yea I’ll see if I can fix it”, it was nice to be welcomed!

The WC3L

ImageThe interviews I managed to do at WC3L seem reasonably popular, I interviewed Shy and FoCuS right after they won the final but the confusion over my questions made me decide to perhaps not post it. Hopefully you have all seen the “FoV fails to interview TH000” which was my personal favourite. What made it more amusing was the other people watching on the side such as Hasuobs giggling away, and FoV’s face as TH000 keeps talking in answer to the first question.

Quote of the tournament has to be Lucifron though, I chatted to the various players when I had the chance to and when I asked Lucifron, “why do you not play other races?”, his answer was “Because other races don’t have Blademaster”!!! Classic stuff, shame he didnt say it on camera.

The heat in Beijing was unbearable, if you think about it I’m sitting on a wooden bench for 12 hours a day in 30+ degree weather, with very little wind. Luckily one of the rides nearby was a water one (the reason why some of the girls in the gallery are completely wet), so each day I went on it once and it would keep me cool for about 3-4 hours. The last time was probably the best, after finishing the coverage of the WC3L, myself and the other ESL admins including Baschi, went on the water-rollercoaster.

ImageAffentod from the ESL refused to be daring and jump the queue and ended up boarding the boat by himself after we had just finished our run. We then went over to the observation deck, where you can watch your friends go down the main slide and there is a place to put money in to start another water gun to squirt people afterwards!

After some frantic trying to ask people for coins I managed to get some change and then as we saw Affentod completely soaked after the big splash, put the money in to start the water gun. To be fair he took it like a man.

In the evening was the player party, in a popular bar in Beijing, myself and Nik from Mousesports challenged Baschi and Affentod to a game of pool. It was essentially noob warz, as we all have little or no experience at playing pool, but Baschi despite being poor at actually playing the game, seems to know all the rules. I guess that is why he’s an admin not a player ;) I asked Shy if he was any good at playing pool, he answered “No, but I am better than you guys, it is like watching human towers.”

After I went home early to get some rest but ended up wandering the streets of Beijing with Kaltlicht the CEO of WICKED eSports, in an effort to stay awake and find food before the Champions League Final kick off at 3am. One shop had an interesting combination of biscuits, ice creams and condoms, with two young girls behind the counter at 1:30am in the morning. We just settled for the biscuits and headed back to watch the final.

It proved horribly dissapointing and not worth staying awake until 5 am for as my team Manchester United lost 2-0 to Barcelona and Baschi collected 100 yuen (10 euros) off me for winning the bet. It’s a hard life, but it was a good few days.

Maly moves to China

Maly moves to China Part I
Maly moves to China Part II
Part IV coming next!



Maly moves to China - Part II

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
May 22, 2009 11:34



Goldfish in a keyring, a Moon keyboard and why I feel guilty when the Chinese shop assistants always try to help.
Settling in nicely so far, I've actually uploaded an album this time with pictures from the first week in China. Really crazy stuff so far, I finally feel I'm experiencing life as it should be, busy. China is an extremely busy country, for most of my life I've lived in relatively quiet places but finally honking car horns at 7 am is suddenly a great thing to hear. It makes you feel alive!

So much to write about but I think I'll try to group them into some short topics, remember to check out my album!

Service - Excellent in China
Pictures

When you come to China, the first thing you will notice Service in China is excellent, if I'm being honest. You walk into a shop and all you hear is "Guang Lin, Guang Lin" which means welcome. At times it verges on a physical version of the Microsoft paperclip, when they try to assist in telling you which toilet paper or toothpaste is best, but hey at least they are here to help!

Although one thing I've noticed is there are lot of people doing jobs that do not need to exist, for example in Da-Run-Fa, a popular superstore there is someone who literally stands at the end of the moving escalator and her job is to pull your trolley off it and onto the floor.

Now apparently it is to help speed up peoples shopping but she's not putting her heart into it, not even a proper pull! China seems to know how to take initiative, to find a way of making money no matter the background. I've seen old men stop people from throwing their last drop of drink to drink it themselves and then squash the bottle and put it away in their bag in the hope of finding someone to sell it to at a later date. Its all just so different, but in a great way.

The hard thing to get used to is because Chinese are so friendly and pro-active in wanting to help you when you are shopping, I feel horribly guilty when you actually dont want to buy what they are selling. Its apparently normal and they are accustomed to it but I still feel the pain inside for them. I'll have to toughen up otherwise I will be feeling guilty a lot.

IT Market - My Heaven
Pictures

ImageThe IT market was the highlight so far this week, hundreds of little shops selling all the technology you could imagine, RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP. It is such a stupid stereotype that people believe China is behind in the times, I've always not made up my own opinion until I see something for myself and all i can say is EUROPE needs to catch up!!!

Cameras, mp3s, computers, screens, dvds, psps, macbooks, webcams, you could find literally anything. For me the best bit was finding steelseries products, I found the Moon mousemat for only 17 euros and the fnatic one too. Also found Mr Xiaofeng "Sky" Li on a gaming keyboard. To find eSports products just in a regular shop was just a great feeling. Damn I really want that Moon mousemat!

Information and technology is so accessible here, there is always the dispute over piracy, but I think its great. I think if you look at it from the point of view of it is making education and information reachable for the masses, it can only be viewed as a positive thing. 70% of China's population is rural, they would never be able to afford the western prices. I just felt pain for all the times I paid 20 euros for a dvd I only watched once...

When we entered the software area, as we reached the top of the stairs 3 women thrust a list of software written on cardboard, of all the software, games, dvds they had in stock. Of course I had to have a look...

The whole point is you are supposed to bargain in these mini-shops but since I'm a foreigner the prices I think take a very sharp increase when they notice me. My wife and I are going to guerilla style and split up so she can buy the products I like at the Chinese prices, not the foreigner ones!!!

This is probably a book already, more to come soon. Comment if you are enjoying it so far! Also check out the album:

View my China Gallery



Maly moves to China - Part I

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
May 18, 2009 00:23



Massage from a blind man, seeing a turtle guillotined just some of the highlights so far in China.
A 25 hour journey including a 10 hour flight and a 5 hour drive from Beijing to Jinan and we arrived at my and my son's new home, and my wife's hometown. I'll be here for the foreseeable future unless I suddenly can not take the staring and open mouths anymore, and I hope to be bring coverage of Asian events to SK (finally!).

Jinan is quite a big city, boasting 6 million people, its about a 1 hour flight from beijing or a three hour train journey. Jinan is not a very international city which was the reason for me seeing no other foreigners at all practically. Aside from a group of four indians when I went to the hairdressers, who saw me as they passed then walked back to give me a polite wave (YES, THERE ARE MORE LIKE ME!)

The supermarket was the highlight so far, a massive place with several assistants on each aisle to help you choose the products you want. Also when you walk in 6 women bow at the same time to say welcome, which was a bit unnerving! I'm all for a bit of service but they seemed quite robotic and emotionless. The girls on each aisle dont smile or move, they just.. well.. stand there. Even my wife thought it was a bit strange, apparently its only a recent thing!

However, the shock so far was the turtles. Saw them in the fresh food area swimming about and thought they were to be bought as pets. Then I saw a queue of people and the head of a turtle which had just been cut off still moving while its body was being squeezed to get the blood out! Waa! I'm going to have to get used to this kind of stuff.

My wife made a good point that in the West we only eat the good bits of the animal but waste the rest, in other words actually wasting more food. I managed to find some food I recognised, my aim was Weetabix but I settled for Frosties and some Chinese Red bull (which does not taste as good).

People selling food off the pavement, 3 people riding one motorbike, China seems very free despite what people say. Rules seem to be not taken seriously, everyone just does their thing. I love it!! :D

I"m quite used to Chinese food as we eat it at home in UK most days but still nice to have something you're comfortable with as I'm not someone that can eat meat for breakfast like the Germans.

To finish the first day off I watched the finals of the Sudiman Cup in Badminton, China vs Korea in singles, (China always wins basically). It made me think why does eSPorts not have instant replays of pro moves, we still need to work on that.

I then went to have a massage from a blind guy in the area where we live. The sentence no pain no gain never had more significance as I was trying to control myself to not scream when the bloke would suddenly literally stab me with his hands. However, it was very good!!!



Ronaldo strike versus Porto - Godlike

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Apr 16, 2009 00:13



The goal that put Man Utd through to the semi-final of the Champions League, godlike!


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