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Diary of a newswriter - Saturday

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Feb 28, 2008 00:50



The blog continues post-NGL with stories of Saturday, day 2 of the NGL-One Finals.
Another day has been and gone and today proved even more enjoyable than yesterday.

Phil from MYM showed me had written a blog which included a photo of me (which btw is extremely ugly, my left side is definately the best ;). Was generally pissed off as I look like a ghost in it. Cassandra said I looked "very fair" in a poor attempt to make me feel better.

The MYM guys are quite cool to be with, I've made an attempt to make sure I chat a little to all the people in the press area. So far I discovered that Readmore.de has a head-in-chief called Beeemit who was asking "who is maly?" as he wanted someone to proofread his cArn interview, in exchange he said we could use his readmore photos, a fair deal.

ImageReadmore.de is clearly the top dog in the German E-Sports news scene and its easy to see why, in particular their photography which is top notch. Beeemit (pictured left) is a happy chappy and seems someone who wants to push E-Sports news further and seems to be a jack of all trades.

It is not until you go to events you realise how wide the E-Sports scene really is for specific communities such as Readmore.De for German viewers and fragbite.se for Swedish ones. I need to work on my Counter-Strike knowledge of players, going to IFNG I did not even know who ins was and was unable to recognise f0rest here at the NGL!

The mTw guys are really cool and despite coming from all over the world seem pretty close, Rukie said it was thanks to the 3 day bootcamp with Protois, Rainbow and later Kikikawi. Rainbow is keen to make effort to make friends with the Europeans and is probably the most outgoing of the Koreans, Rukie said in interviews most of the time he will just answer "good" or "not good" since most of the time he does not understand the questions but he's obviously keen to meet new people wherever they are from.

Kiwikaki as I mentioned before despite looking like he should still be in school, is actually 18 and seems pretty known by the Koreans of MYM who just yell "KIIIWIKAKKKIIII" whenever they see him, that is the end of the conversation and they walk off but recognition is always nice.

Image Generally the conversations between Koreans and other players revolves around the words "you all-kill yes?", I think European players sometimes assume the Koreans are more stupid than they actually are, most have a wider vocabulary but are happy to play along just to not complicate matters.

Lucifer is the complete opposite, he's changed a lot from pictures I saw of him and has become a proper little "Westerner" smoking like a chimney wearing his Prada coat and is very confident in his spoken English and not afraid to speak about something more substantial than "you kill yes? good.".

Of the Warcraft3 teams there the Mouseports camp seems like the team with the least team unity, they seem to be a group of individuals rather than a team. They rarely socialise with other people and seem generally happy to play custom games although they are a relatively new team and would perhaps benefit from more opportunities for “team bonding”.

ImageI tried to collect some videos of atmosphere as Mr SK.Immo suggested, and had a little look into the Counter-Strike tournament. Team Alternate had a good crowd of fans (admins/writers) behind them whilst roccat had just their coach Bob Marley watching them over their shoulders. I’m unsure of how much of a role a coach plays in a team but I guess as long as the players benefit it is useful.

Aside from posting stuff I also walked around and chatted to various staff of the NGL, I met mr Kekko (left) who is also Head Admin of the ZOTAC Cup, I asked for a photo but he told me “admins don’t smile”, but he did not think twice before flaming NGL-Perdita (left) for his ability to eat 4 cheeseburgers by himself.

I also met vash another NGL-admin, vash looks like a “wigga from the hood” with his baggy trousers, white shoes and hooder. Although Soe claimed he is like a “teddybear you just want to hug” so he’s not very dangerous.

ImageIt was not until I went down to each lunch and was watching the big screen I realised how well tournaments created the appearance of a state of the art studio. Take for example the shoutcasters they are shown on the stream with a nice desk, computers, NGL-t-shirts, headset & a professional looking backdrop.

In reality they are sitting in a corridor, the viewers will never know that however and to be honest it really does not matter but just shows how you don’t need a state of the art studio to create a good “image” of your tournament.

In the evening the SK.wc3 + reis decided to go back to the hotel, I decided to stay at the event and watch the Counter-Strike and sort out some videos. My aim was to wait for the “free bus” which would follow the roccat vs fnatic match. However as anyone who followed the tournament knew the match went onto the last map with roccat coming from the lower bracket and thus lasted about 3 hours.

ImageIt was not that bad for me as I found some time to relax a little and enjoy myself as I played 2on2 with mtw. I played with Nightwolf versus Protois and their team manager Rukie. There is a good atmosphere in the mTw team and even though they came to the event knowing they’d probably lose they don’t flame or moan.

Finally the Counter-Strike match ended, I managed to get a few good videos of Counter-Strike and photo the teams as they were claiming their prizes. $20,000 for Counter-Strike 1st place but only $10,000 for Warcraft3, bit unfair isn’t it?

roccat took 2nd place which is a shame really after their huge effort in the final. As I was watching I saw Plandu tear fnatic apart and roccat went from 9-0 on dust 2 to 9-8 I think it was, really great play.

ImageBy the end of the night Toad was very moany at having to wait so long for the end of Counter-Strike and continued to announce he was going to get a McFlurry from MacDonalds, I nodded unsure as to what I was supposed to say.

“NO WAY? A MCFlurry? You CRAZY BOY!!!” Toad was a dedicated fan he sat from dusk until dawn watching his favourite players and team, I’ll make sure I interview him post-NGL!

When we got back we hung out with miou and reis in their hotel room before going off to bed, I was just about to nod off to sleep when Toad started the loudest snore I have ever heard.

It was horrific, I know I snore a little but this was unbelievable, debating whether to “punk” him or not, I finally decided not to as he was quite tired, instead I had a text wars with my girlfriend waiting for the beast to settle so I could sleep.




Diary of a newswriter - Friday

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Feb 23, 2008 11:29



A blog of Day 2 of the NGL-One Finals in Berlin.
We got up and met Miou for breakfast as reis had to go out to buy Remind some new shoes as Remind had arrived in Nike shoes!

THe NGL-One had organised a bus for everyone to take them from the hotel to the event, we were a bit late getting down but as reis said "they won't leave without me", and sure enough the bus was waiting for him to appear as everyone else was waiting outside.

The event itself like the hotel is impressive on the outside but not very practical on the inside. One the first floor is the Bistro where we are given coupons to eat and where spectators can enjoy the matches however they are far away from the players, admins and coverage people are all on the fourth floor! It does not make a huge difference as when I went down there were only about 15 spectators...

For the players however its a dream come true, no hassle of people wanting autographs or wanting to talk to them. THe event has no stage, just 8 lines of 5 computers so there is no "centre point" and is generally just similar to an internet cafe. There are no presenters shouting out the scores, but players of each game have their own way of expressing their emotions.

ImageThe Counter-Strike players like the Mousesports guys were screaming their heads off and it was only the warm-up.

I've tried to capture the atmosphere in some videos I will try again tomorrow, it is just crazy animal screaming and if I was the opponent I would be slightly disturbed. Warcraft3 is more gentlemanly, dead silence followed by a small clap.

The tournament area is quite calm & the press area is quite good and has representatives from various E-Sports websites and despite really poor internet connection at the start of the day the guys at NGL fixed it so it was quite fun to do coverage.

Luckily thanks to Mr Forever_Manutd I don't deal with entering the scores of the matches, instead my aim is to add content which you could not get if I was at home! I've uploaded some videos of the players playing after the matches and a gallery and will do some interviews over the next few days.

ImageTGenerally doing the news and videos was quite enjoyable as I get to chat with the news writers of MYM despite their ridiculously late arrival, even the fact they were wearing suits did not cover up for that!

The first I met was a Polish graphix artist who's name is similar to Sweetie so I just call him that who was from MYM, he was then joined by Army, The1crow, Phil and Alisha. Despite them having a huge numerical advantage and a superior camera I think I'm doing ok with keeping up with them although tomorrow they will have reinforcements!

I find it more interesting to meet people who work in the community than the players, so I try to chat to anyone there and see where they work or what they do to get a wider scope of the scene as well as obviously make a few contacts.

Image I met Lancia who it turns out is not just a random girl who writes on my guestbook but a writer for fragbite.se! I also met Soe, someone I had added to my msn for my reis interview to get a statement from and who i've chatted to ever since. She is the "pretty face" of NGL and is used for the camera shots but very very friendly, although she's dating the boss of NGL so don't get your hopes up guys!

Although the E-SPorts news scene does have its battles I try to not get into website rivalry and chat to everyone to same, we're all in it for the same purpose to provide for the viewers, but don't worry of course I want SK to win! :D

So the afternoon was more enjoyable as I had Phil from MYM to talk to as well as THe1Crow & "Sweetie" + Soe of course! Army was too busy marking his territory to chat keeping extremely close to Alisha :D
SK Gaming 's match versus MYM did not go as planned, watching Moon you can see why this guy is called the 5th race. He just makes it looks so natural, bashing that keyboard so hard he could get done for assault. Moon defeated both Soju and Lyn leaving only Reign left who rose to the challenge and played a perfect game, the only way to beat mr mym.moon.

However he then faced FoCuS on Lost Temple and Remind was right as he said "it is almost impossible for undead to beat orc on Lost Temple." all the SK guys sat behind Reign for his match versus Moon, and even though we thought it was over when he kept losing his Death KNight he did enough damage and once the wyrm came out it was all over for Moon.

The loss comes as quite a surprise but Moon is just a beast on LAN with his fluffy girly coat he knows how to get down to business when he wants to! After the match we went to a Korean restaurant, the sk.wc3 players, reis, toad, myself and Mr Yoan "ToD" Merlo.

The food was actually quite good, I was sat next to Soju who went between stuffing his face and playing on his PSP, he seemed quite content to have some Korean food instead of MacDonalds.

Sharing food is culture as I've learnt from my girlfriend, when Asian people share their cuisine it is important to not reject if they try to share their customs with you. Knowing this I joined Soju in stuffing my face full of Korean food while the other guys talked about AWL, Extreme Masters and some other tournaments.

ImageReign and Soju are the quiet ones of SK Gaming, Lyn and ReMinD lead the show and the conversations perhaps due to a higher level of English or a higher motivation to practise it. None of them seemed too annoyed about losing to MYM, perhaps they were drowning their sorrows in Korean food secretly.

Reis is the big daddy of the group making sure everyone is ok and happily organises everything without expecting thanks which obviously sits very well with the players.

ToD had joined us as the only non-SKer there, from what I've seen he does not seem too close with his team-mates although he watches every match his team play. He opts for a more direct "you lost because of reason x,y and Z" instead of going for the "oh better luck next time".

Every player will watch the replay the moment they lose and as SaSe did so ToD was commenting how his tp could have better placed, I guess ToD has a role to play in heightening the skill level of the team.

After we were all well stuffed we went off home to the hotel, to sleep and prepare for the next day.

P.s. By the way "Sweetie" is getting a bit touchy that I did not include his real nickname which of course is NieSwiety!



Diary of a newswriter - Thursday

By Lawrence Benedict 'Malystryx' Phillips
Feb 23, 2008 09:59



Finding myself with a bit of spare time I decided to write a little blog about the NGL-One Finals in Berlin.
Thursday

I arrived in Berlin Thursday afternoon to a moody reis moaning because himself, Losemann and SK fanboy Toad had had to wait 2 hours for me. We travelled to our "Senator Hotel" apparently a 4 star hotel, from the outside it seemed so but once you got inside it seemed they'd run out of money!

The first confusion was over the rooms as reis had specifically asked for two single beds but the fnatic.cs guys for some reason had claimed they were SK Gaming by confusion or deliberately, leaving reis to share a double bed with Miou.

The guy behind the desk was obviously pissed off we had inconvenienced him so much despite his obvious initial cock up which then led to the problem in the first place. Luckily the problem was rectified and we avoided a Mr X rumour of reis and miou sleep together in a 4 star hotel.

The rooms were normal I guess, I was a bit dissapointed as it said 4 stars and I had done my best to mention it whenever I said to my friends I was going to Germany. The television was small enough to fit in my pocket, the internet was not free and cost 17 euros for a day (which considering we are away for most of the day seemed pointless) and the beds are quite small, so no rolling over in the night or you'd find yourself flat on your face!!

ImageAfter a quick meal we hopped in a taxi to go pick up the Korean players together, so we picked up SK.Wc3, MYM.WC3 and bald-headed organiser Nordahl.

First impressions of the Koreans were they seem to move as a unit but even after a few hours it was clear which ones are the leaders of the pack. Lyn, Remind, Lucifer & Susiria seemed the most comfortable around Europeans and seem to be the leaders of their respective roster.

The koreans politely shook our hands and said hello, Toad who's favourite player is Lyn almost had an orgasm when as Lyn shook his hand he said " I know you, you are T-O-A-D", Toad went bright red and obviously did not expect his favourite player to even say anything more than a polite hello.

I asked Losemann whether at times like this he regrets not being able to speak Korean but he said he preferred it that way, easier to keep a little bit of distance to maintain a certain level of professionalism, it is his job after all.

Knowing Korean however is not a necessity as most have an understanding of the language and in the case of Lucifer, Susiria, Lyn and Remind have a high level of English. Soju is the quiet one of the group, choosing to speak only when necessary even to Koreans, his favourite partner is his trusted PSP which he takes out at any opportunity.

ImageWe then took taxis back to the hotel, I was in a taxi with Lyn, Soju, Reign and reis and they were busy discussing the line-up.

Even from my 0 knowledge of Korean I knew when "Turtle Rock", Undead, WC3L and other Warcraft3 related words were mentioned what the topic of conversation was.

My girlfriend is Chinese so I'm used to her sometimes conversing with Chinese and being unable to comprehend but you get used to it, like a switch you can press on and off making you able to ignore it but still smile politely.

I gaze into the distance only to suddenly hear reis say "Malystryx" and then turn to see 4 koreans staring at me, I replied "hello" politely and let them continue their chat. I did not really want to pressure them too much to speak English unless they really wanted to.

ImageOn our return we walked to Burger King, SK & MYM gaining relations as it were. Nordahl is a very happy chappy much like Losemann, although E-Sports is always told it should be more "professional", I hate meeting stiff/serious people, luckily the MYM duo do not fit in this category.

Although Losemann loves to repeat stories! Remind sat and chatted to me saying I was the first British person he's ever met, I felt reasonably proud considering how much he travelled but then realised the huge lack of good British gamers!

But generally it is what I try to do now I'm going to more events, I'm not fanboy so I won't give attention to every famous player I see, they get enough attention as it is and probably it has already feeded their ego.

ImageSome gamers are more down to earth like Remind who is just a "legend" much like Lyn, they are probably the "coolest" looking guys of the bunch and break the geek stereotype into pieces.

The MYM crew dissapeared off into the night while we waited for the arrival of the 5th member of sk.wc3, Mr SK.miou. He arrived from the darkness with his long blonde hair with a beer bottle in his hand and shook everyone's hand with a big smile on his face.

Considering some abuse miou gets from the public miou is obviously very comfortable in his own skin and fun to talk to, although the topic of beer seems to re-appear quite often.

We then returned to the hotel room, where reis invited over Kiwikaka and Rukie from Mtw. I accidentally asked if Kiwikaki had to take days off school to come here, assuming he was 15 years old but he then told me he was 18 and quit school 3 years ago! He gets by by playing poker apparently making $2000 a month! TOad and I then watched some freestlye Ski DVDs and went to bed ready for the beginning of the NGL-One.

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