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SK XMAS party at Sansibar

By alice 'ali' lew
Dec 20, 2010 00:27

Four days, four flights, a very jetlagged and tired Alice...
Hey guys! I know it's been awhile since I've written a blog, but I'm definitely going to try to get back into it. I'm currently on my flight back home from Dusseldorf and am able to enjoy free wifi on this Delta flight! How amazing would travelling be if there was free wifi on every flight... honestly! WHAT A TREAT!! :D

Anyway, I was approached by Alex and Tim a couple weeks about joining them for the SK Xmas party they wanted to have. Throughout the years, we have always talked about doing something during the holidays to celebrate that year's success. This year in particular, we were planning to spend the night at the famous Sansibar restaurant on the island Sylt. Eat, drink, and party until the place kicked us out.

I spent most of my paid days off on tournaments and other PR conventions. This trip kind of came out of no where and I didn't have many days off that I was able to take from work. Work is super busy and stressful for me right now, so I decided to suck it up and leave my home for 4 days for this so-called "vacation," in which two days were going to be for flying and two would actually be on the ground.... or so I thought.

I get to LAX and the airport is insane. Yes, I know we are in the holiday season and such, but the amount of people that were just at the gate check-in and security checkpoint was overwhelming. I found myself amongst the crowd feeling like a herd of cattle, being directed and pushed around, shoulder to shoulder.

My first flight was 9 hours straight to Amsterdam. I would have a five hour layover, which I didn't mind much, as I was able to walk around and buy some gifts for my friends. The weather was absolutely terrible and I think if I wasn't so much of a pansy, I would have taken the train to the city center and went to go sightsee. I've always wanted to go out and explore in Amsterdam-- I guess moreso the smokeshops-- and be able to tell my friends back home that I've done it. It was dumping snow and cold as hell, so I opted out of it and stayed warm in the airport.

5 hours later, my flight had become delayed. I felt bad for Min as I knew he was probably going to be at the airport waiting for me. At the time, my phone wasn't able to make international calls so I wasn't able to reach anyone. The central station/airport offered free wifi for an hour, but was unreliable and pretty much worthless. Eventually, my flight got cancelled and after waiting 4 hours in numerous lines, I got a hotel for the night, and exchanged my boarding pass for a train out to Dusseldorf the next morning.

I stayed at a Radisson near the hotel. I arrived there a little past midnight and went up to take a shower. The day had been long, exhausting, and annoying, so a drink was much needed. I go downstairs only to find that the hotel bar was closed for the night. What hotel bar closes at 1am? ESPECIALLY in Europe where alcohol is served 24 hours a day... or am I wrong about this? Anyway, I went back upstairs and resorted to my minibar, where I paid 6euro for a can of Heineken. Tired and jetlagged, I tried to get the best rest I was able to before my long journey to Dusseldorf in the morning. I was only able to close my eyes for two hours.

The next morning, I arrive back at central station to find that my train had been cancelled due to the weather. Upon finding other alternatives, it looked like all trains going that direction were getting delayed, and eventually getting cancelled as well. I had another flight to catch from Dusseldorf to Sylt at 3pm that day, so it was crucial I was in Dusseldorf in the afternoon.

The train station was hectic and crazy. I eventually was able to get on a train, but only for one stop. There was something wrong with the train's engine and I resorted going back to central station. My good spirits were fading fast and I was losing hope. I wondered if I should just stay in Amsterdam and fly back home to LA. I didn't think I'd be able to make it to Dusseldorf to meet the rest of the SK staff.

FINALLY, I find some random guy next to me who happened to be needing to travel to Dusseldorf as well. I went up to him and just asked if I could follow him. He gave me a weird look, but eventually said yes, and made some calls to his office. We both needed the fastest and most likely train to get there. We took our chances with ICE 123, service to Frankfurt with a stop in Dusseldorf. At last, after an hour or two, I had made it to Dusseldorf at 1pm, just in time to meet Min and go straight to the airport to meet the rest of the crew.

The emotions of joy and happiness when I saw everyone!!! I could have cried! We were due to fly to some mysterious island named Sylt where this famous Sansibar restaurant was. The dinner was that night and I felt like I was going to topple over from exhaustion. The experience of being there though was just spectacular.

Upon entering the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by friendly staff who apparently already knew we were coming. We sat at a long table where millions of appetizers were being placed on our table. Delicious white wine was constantly poured in our glasses. Alex made some great speeches (I guess since Tobi was translating haha) and I got to try some of the local beer. I ordered a Filet for my main entree and it was absolutely magnificent. The owner, Herbert, was a super down-to-earth guy and came to greet us. I talked to him for a bit and immediately noticed his passion for WOW. He plays with his son and likes PVPing more than PVEing. I hear that he once brought the entire guild to Sansibar just to have a meeting. In case I want to start playing my mage again, I will be sure to join his guild.

The night itself was so magical. Great food, great drinks, great company, all due to SK having a great year. Great job to everyone for all their hard work this year and thanks for the great time. :]

We went to some local bar after where we took mystery shots and some waiter poured a bucket of peanuts in my purse. RANDOM? I guess I can save that for another blog though lol.

We flew home that next day after having brunch at Sansibar. Again, amazing food and again I was on a flight. At this point, I almost felt like I was in a trance. I went back to Min's hotel where I got to rest a bit. We went to have some Korean food for dinner and then back to the hotel we went as my flight home would be the next morning. Now here we are.... 4 hours til I'm back in LA and I have work at 8:45am tomorrow morning. FML.

BTW, I've never seen snow on a beach before. That was weird.

Wishing the community a Merry Christmas and great holiday! On with the next year!!! It will be even greater than this one...

ESWC 2010 Disneyland and AFTERPARTY!

By alice 'ali' lew
Jul 15, 2010 19:01

Who wants to battle JSO 1v1 downing beers? HONESTLY?!
I had such a great time at the afterparty that I am a little bit torn between what was better: winning ESWC for the 4th time or being live at the afterparty with Bob Sinclair with great company and entertainment?

The tournament itself was great. I guess I may say different if we ended up not winning, actually... I shouldn't guess. I KNOW my team probably would have broken up if we didn't win this tournament. Somehow winning ESWC has jumpstarted everyone's passion for counterstrike and we seem more into the game than ever. A month before the event, I strived to attempt to be at the top of my game again (I feel like I'm so far from it still), averaging 40 hours a week of CS, but it could just be that I'm out of my prime and I'll never be at that level again. But it also reminds me of my teammates who have helped pick my slack when it was most needed to still come out with the victory. There is just something about this team that is so unique and I guarentee that if you have ever hung out with us, you would agree (RIGHT COL???)

I always seem to get sidetracked so let's get back to the afterparty....

So the grand finals for the ladies was set for 10:30am and it was sometime around 2pm when we finished with the matches, pictures, interviews, and all. We decided to go back to the hotel to chill for a bit before the male finals which was due to take place at 6pm. We were extremely exhausted since we hardly slept during the tournament (way too anxious I guess) so we all took naps and chilled out. We got back to the venue to watch the SK boys play around 7pm. They won pretty convincingly on the first map whcih was Train but ended up falling short losing both maps afterwards. It was still a nice 2nd place prize, but you can only be dissapointed making it to the finals and losing. Nonetheless, it was a very impressive showing by the SK boys and we were proud of them anyway!

After the final, all the SK members and staff decided to go to the party together. Some of the SK boys decided they wanted to chill out and not attend and it was understandable. We went to Disneyland and were told there were about 5 rides we could ride for free. I beileve they had closed off a part of the park just for ESWC employees and players. That was really cool. I'd like to let everyone know that I am a complete pansy when it comes to riding any type of ride unless it's the most kiddy ride ever so me getting on Hollywood Hotel: Tower of Terror was a big accomplishment. We also went on this Aerosmith rollercoaster that was really fun! You only live once right???

It's about 10pm or so and the party was due to get started. More people are starting to show up and there is already a random DJ playing some music. I was happy to hear some Deadmau5 and David Guetta... Benita and I had missed one of the biggest music festivals while being away from LA during the time we were in TX, so we were glad to hear that the DJ was playing some jams. Bob Sinclair was due to come on at midnight so we stopped by the bar to get some drinks. I went to the bar first to purchase 10 beers for the first round, making sure all the girls were double fisting. I haven't had a drink this entire bootcamp or ESWC and it was so needed and much deserved!!! Believe me, the HEINEKENS WERE AMAZING!!! ^_^

For some reason, JAX challenged Jso to a beer race and told her that if she won, he would buy her an additional beer. He has obviously not heard of Jso and her beer races so I was happy enough to catch this on video!!! The whole ordeal is the only video I've uploaded so far from the event so check my profile out if you want to see Jso destroy JAX from COL!!!!

Alex marketed Jso and got her next battle vs GUX, which she destroyed as well, and 12 races later, she was 12-1 for the night. WHO DID YOU LOSE TO JSO???

At midnight, Bob Sinclair came on and Benita and I danced our way to the front, right at the center. I hardly saw the other girls for the rest of the night as I spent the next two hours dancing with Benita. BOB SINCLAIR was awesome!!! He blew us kisses like twice and kept smiling at us. I think he knew we were champions... what do you guys think? :)

Overall, ESWC was fun as usual and I am sad that I will have to wait another year until it's back again. Although the venue and crowd was smaller than previous years, I am glad that it is attempting to make a comeback and know that it will only strive if they pay out the prizes by the end of the month as they promised. :]

Steph, Benita, and I have uploaded some vids and pictures for your enjoyment. At the end of the tournament, Steph realized she had 60 videos and 1000 pictures to sort through, so give us some time.


3 PEAT CHAMPIONS.... making history baby!! ^^


By alice 'ali' lew
Jul 8, 2010 13:00

3 peat CHAMPIONS!!!
It's just so surreal to me everything that has gone on in the last 4 years while being apart of SK. Our first year joining was 2006 and it was the first time we ever met Alex and the rest of the SK staff in Paris. They weren't even there to greet us on the first day of ESWC because Germany was in the semi finals or something for the FIFA world cup and they stayed home to watch the game. 4 years ago, we became apart of something that would change our lives forever.

ESWC 2006 was bad. We made it to the finals relatively with ease and straight kicked ourselves in the ass the final day. Steph and I had a dumb argument about something idiotic and it literally cost us the tournament. We have used that tournament as an example even til this day and vouched it would never happen again. Most of the time, we lose matches because we end up beating ourselves. It has been something we have tried to continually work on these last 4 years. We've gotten better at pinpointing the problem and doing our best to find a fix.

We really had something to prove to ourselves going to ESWC 2007. The previous year was a damn fluke and disappointment. We went in there so damn confident!! Steam rolled the entire tournament with ease and came out a winner.

ESWC 2008 was a little bit more of a challenge. I had a completely different roster and there was a little tension between the girls. Steph was gone to the French team since she was studying abroad and we picked up Lidy and Jso. There was so much bickering that went on in this team, it was known someone was quitting after this tournament, win or lose. That person happened to be Jane and til this day, I miss her dearly. She is one of my favorite female CS players of all time! We somehow pulled a win out of our asses for this tournament. HEHE. If you can recall, this was the afterparty where Jso and I got hella drunk and passed out in the streets of San Jose. Oh wait, that was just Jso. I got carried back to the hotel. FML. ^_^

So now we all current and back to ESWC 2010. We didn't know what to expect from this tournament since it had died over a year ago and come back with a vengence, promising a well run tournament with many participants and definite payout. During our first day at the venue to register, we were glad to see a lot of familiar faces, including Gregorio, who had been our main contact for ESWC all these years. He greeted us as champions right when we walked in the door and we couldn't help but be happy to feel the love we were receiving from the ESWC staff.

Upon going to the hotel, we meet up Steph and check out our cool ass 2 story room. Bedroom and bathroom on the 2nd floor, living room, small kitchen, and another small room with a bunk bed on the main floor. The fact that the entire team was able to stay together in one room was awesome to me. Team unity is super important during a tournament so this room was perfect for us. If only this hotel had air conditioner, we would have loved it. Paris was hot as hell during our stay (a million times worse than LA) and we DIED staying in our room. Since Jso and I shared the bunk beds, we decided to leave the window open throughout the night to get some fresh air in. The first night we slept, I randomly woke up in the middle of the night to find some guy HALFWAY through our window!!!! I opened up my eyes and asked him WTF he was doing. He acted cool and simply asked for a lighter. I was like WTF... I didn't know what time it was, but everything felt fishy to me and I felt so awkward at that moment. He stood there talking to me for like 5 minutes, asking me questions about my team and where we were from, etc. After a few minutes, I told him I didn't have a lighter and to leave us alone, but he wouldn't. I guess raising my voice woke Jso up and she firmly asked him to leave as well. The 3 guys wouldn't budge so Jso ended up just slamming the window in his face and locking it. Believe us, we didn't leave the window open for the rest of the trip.

The complexity guys were staying at the same hotel and we found out those guys were bugging their team as well. Thomz woke up randomly in the middle of the night and one of the guys was literally IN THEIR ROOM looking through their shit. He was convinced they were looking for money or valuables!!!! Once Thomz asked WTF HE WAS DOING, he ran out the window and that was the end of that. I WAS SO shocked after hearing that.... those guys could have totally stole our shit or raped us. Lesson learned... :[

The first 2 days we arrived in Paris, we didn't have to play so we got the chance to sightsee and stuff. It was so freaking hot walking around that we only went to two tourist stops. We all literally felt like we were going to pass out from the heat! I uploaded an album so you guys can check out the pictures from there. :]

The tournament itself went awesome obviously. Every girl had their moment to shine and it was great to feel the unity from this team. I think this lineup has been the most close compared to every other lineup I've been apart. We hung out and talked alot together... it was nice to see that we were all getting along and truly loved each other. Especially after all these years, it can be seen that we wouldn't want to play with anyone else but the 5 we had right now.

I'm going to save a blog strictly for the afterparty. That party was so damn fun.. I can't wait to blog about it soon.


Final day of Arbalet filled with beer and confetti!

By alice 'ali' lew
Jun 15, 2010 21:38

I am truly sorry it took me forever to write the last blog about the finals at Arbalet. GEEZ have I been busy with finals for school and practice with the girls. But here we go... hopefully my memory is still as fresh as it was a couple weeks ago!

Sat, May 1 was the day that the semi-finals and finals would be played. We were matched against Alternative from Germany for the semi-finals match and they proved to be a strong team against their opponents in the group stage. After getting some decent rest the night before, we all felt energized and ready to start the day.

Sat, May 1, 11AM --> We walk into the lan center to see that there was some local male tournament going on. There were at least 10 male teams playing... it was crazy to know that this lan center in Ukraine was straight up hosting two tournaments at the same time. We set up and get down and dirty to start it off on inferno. It felt like we had played inferno a million times during the first day so we felt very comfortable on it. Jso played very well this match and we ended the score 16-13 in favor for us. It was a little nervewrecking actually, with a close score as our first match of the day.

Sat, May 1, 12:30pm --> Since semi-finals was bo3 maps, we played dust2 next. We hadn't actually played dust2 at all during the tournament until this moment. We started off T side first and literally DOMINATED. The girls were getting picks, our strats were working, our communication was dead on, and we ended the half winning 13-2. We had built so much momentum going into the 2nd half that we KNEW we were heading to the finals... but low and behold, what was going on for CT? We couldn't get 3 rounds to win! Alternative kept fighting back... round after round after round... until it came down to the last round of the half. The score was currently 15-14 and we needed this round BADLY or else it would go to the 3rd and final map. Eventually, we did indeed win the last round to secure a spot in the finals, but we did not feel good about our performance at all. It was a real eye-opener as well as a confidence killer. We knew we would have to pick it up for the finals vs Fnatic.

May 1, 5pm --> We set up on stage and await the time to play the finals match vs Fnatic. What an epic final... and it has definitely not been the first time that both our teams have been in this position. I wanted my redemption for losing to these girls at ESWC 2008 Masters and have been YEARNING for the day that it would come. :]

They played the American and Swedish national anthems while introducing us to the crowd. It was almost unreal to me how far professional gaming has come. Just the whole setup of the stage, the lights, announcers, projectors, the spectators, the chanting, the uniting of all gamers around the world anticipating this match... just the whole feeling of embracing that moment while on that stage was an amazing feeling I can't even describe with words. And shit, obviously this is not my first time in that type of situation... I've been on a big stage numerous times... but everytime I just get so EMOTIONAL knowing that hard work pays off you know? To know the relationship I have with these girls: how I know them and they know me better than anyone because of the mutual understanding that we all have a common goal that we can only achieve together...

Sorry guys, if you're reading this RIGHT NOW, I am getting off work and will continue this blog when I get home. FINALS VS FNATIC COMING UP!!!!!!

Group stage! The tourney begins!!!

By alice 'ali' lew
May 26, 2010 01:31

And the games begin!!!
Fri, May 1, 10AM --> Upon arriving, we ask an admin where we were sitting and start setting up. I have never had an easier time at a lan center setting up my comp and settings on the computer. This place had EVERYTHING covered... from drivers for every mouse, to mouse fix, and if you had any doubts, every admin would be super knowledgable and know what they were doing. It was super impressive to know that we would be taken care of at every point during this tournament. I was instantly impressed at the professionalism of this tournament and how it was put together and I was super proud I could be apart of it.

Fri, May 1, 10:30AM --> Our first match of group stage was versus Unfinished from Sweden. We have played them in the past at ESWC in a bo3 and they proved to be a strong team at the time, but we heard there have been alot of roster swaps in the European female team so I had no clue who would be on the roster. As usual, I lost the coin toss and they ended up being to pick the final map which was inferno. At the time, I figured inferno to be one of our stronger maps. We practiced it the most online and felt we were pretty solid on both T and CT. We figured Unfinished and Mouz would be the harder teams in the group so we were not really sure what to expect. Benita ends up going off the first map to really put the team in a good place. We were super proud of her, being that it was her first international tournament and knowing that she had been waiting for this moment for like 3 years, I was glad that she finally got the chance to showcase her skill to the world. We won versus Unfinished pretty convincingly and went on to play the rest of the group stage matches throughout the day. I figured SK ladies and Mouz would be tied in the group stage and I was right. The last match was between us two for the fight for 1st in the group and a guarenteed spot in the semi-finals.

Fri, May 1, 5pm --> I am fucking tired. The fact of not sleeping the night before is really getting to me. I have already drank 5 cups of coffee, a couple red bulls, and have not eaten anything since the fruit from the morning. My eyes are heavy and my body is dead, but the most important match of the day is NOW. We have been hearing from other teams that Mouz was a pretty solid team. They had won the qualifier 2 weeks ago (when Arbalet was supposed to happen, but didn't due to the volcano) and that they won pretty convincingly versus the other teams.

*Flashback* --> I have been friends with Pachella for quite some time and was glad to see her at the tournament. During the time that her and Venema played, we always hung out during tournaments and had smoke sessions. :) Russians have a weird way of smoking (with a plastic bottle... damn I wish I remembered what it was called) and it was always amusing to me... but greens always bring people together so regardless, I was glad to be able to give her a huge hug and kiss.

The tournament is running a little late and the 2nd group have already arrived to play their matches. They must wait until our matches are finished so alot of them are sitting around and just watching. Our team and Mouz end up playing the final match on the stage with the big screen. Of course, we play Inferno (for the 3rd time today) and we knew it was going to be a good match. Steph had a couple good rounds, holding the B bombsite, and I believe we won a save round as well. We had ALOT of good rounds in this match, which consisted of numerous retakes of bombsites while we were down numbers. I just remember busting a lot of random headshots this match. I wish the demo wasn't messed up on HLTV!! We won 16-10 and got to go back to the hotel to rest. THANK GOD.

Fri, May 1, 9pm --> I was delirious at this point. We hadn't eaten all day and we haven't slept. We went back to the hotel, ate dinner at a restaurant in the hotel (my dish was super nasty), had a couple HEINEKENS, and went to bed, excited to play the semi-finals and finals after this long ass day.

First 12 hours with SK Ladies @ Arbalet Ukraine continued!

By alice 'ali' lew
May 18, 2010 01:22

Would you like to try a Chinese burger with Korean buns? :}
This blog is a continuation of events that happened during Arbalet, Ukraine, so read my first blog, "OH SK LADIES!!! our journey continues" before you read this one...

Fri, May 1, 2AM --> Jso, Potter, and I get situated in the room and put the two twin beds together to somehow make room for all of us. To our surprise, Steph gets there earlier than expected and comes to say hello to us before going back to her own room with Benita. We decide that since we have all had long ass flights and will have an even longer day tomorrow, we turn off the lights and try to go to sleep. I slept between two Koreans so we nicknamed ourselves a Chinese burger with two Korean sweet buns. I felt like it was my first sleepover with all the giggling that was going on in our hotel room. There had just been so much going on with the team these last two years...

Flashback, Jan 2009 --> Even though we won ESWC 2008, the team seemed to be falling apart and some of the girls decided to go their separate ways. Potter and Steph ended up leaving to make their own team with PMS. Jso stayed with me (I love you!!) and Benita was finally coming of age to compete at international tournaments. Once Potter and Steph left, the team consisted of Jso, Benita, Lidy, Mel, and me and it must have been the most mute team I've ever had to lead. Jso would have to die midround to direct the team on where to go. We were definitely struggling, but we were up for the challenge and realized that we just had to make the best out of what we had. Even though Potter and Steph left the team to create their own, we were all still friends and pugged together after our team practices. We were primarily united together again because of the struggles we all felt with being on a new team. Since the four of us are all veteran players, there was an understanding of what we all have to go through with building a new championship team. The time, dedication, and hardwork was obvious, but did we all have 1-2 years to spend on rebuilding teamwork and confidence? After half of year of trying with our own teams, we decided to merge together to ensure a championship THAT year. ESWC went bankrupt that year, but we did end up going to Gamegune Mexico to compete at a "co-ed" tournament. We went to Mexico with no intention of winning, but of just trying our best. We exceeded our expectations, eliminating a couple male teams and placing 5th-6th. Throughout my counterstrike career, having played for 10 years, winning ESWC 3 times, being featured on MTV.... Gamegune Mexico is definitely one of my memorable moments. We were so proud of ourselves!!!! Anyway... back to Arbalet...

Fri, May 1, 3:30AM --> The three of us reiminisced about the past. We hadn't seen each other in almost 9 months and during that time, there was a lot of inactivity and doubt of what was going to happen with the team. We had our share of arguments and with this team full of big personalities, there was never a dull moment during practice. But when I really think about it, maybe that's why we're a championship team. Is there any other girl team out there like us? When gametime comes, we tie our hair up and get ready to get our hands dirty. We're not PR girls, booth babes, and we don't play the game to get attention from boys. We play to win baby! Anyway.... so we basically talk about everything that had happened between our team in the last two years. Christine and I have had our share of arguments and sure, at the time when we were both heated, we would be yelling at the top of our lungs and I would be punching my monitor and throwing my headsets, but at the end of the day, I love this stupid hoe. It's like sometimes I want to punch her yet I want to spoon with her at the same time. It's so weird...

Fri, May 1, 5AM --> We're yelling, screaming, laughing, and probably waking up the rooms next to us (Sorry Unfinished and Alex) and realize that we need to be up in like 2 hours to get ready and go downstairs for breakfast. We close our eyes to try to sleep, but someone kept giggling and it just wasn't happening. The three of us decided to stay up for another couple hours and not sleep at all. There would be no point in sleeping for two hours and being dead tired and groggy the whole day during our matches. We talk more randomness and before we knew it, it was time for me to take a shower and go downstairs to finally get some coffee.

Fri, May 1, 8AM --> We meet downstairs for breakfast and it was someone's great idea to not eat heavy. I had four cups of coffee and some fruit. My body was tired, but my mind wasn't, partially due to adrenaline, but definitely due to jetlag. Arbalet took really good care of the players and there was a bus waiting outside to transport us to the venue. During the bus ride there, we got the chance to really see how the city looked. I didn't know what to expect from Ukraine even before I left the states, but the stores and restaurants looked interesting. The streets were kind of dirty though... reminded me of when we were in Mexico.

Fri, May 1, 9:30AM --> We knew we arrived at the venue when we see a huge counter-terrorist painted on the wall outside the lan center. Upon walking in, on the left hand side, there was a huge store selling all types of equipment for casual and professional gamers alike. They even sold SK caps! Down the walkway, a ticking bomb was seen through plexiglass on the floor. This lan center was SO COOL!!!! At least 200 top-of-the-line computers!!! The walls were covered with sponsor advertisements and pictures of terrorists and CT's!!! To go to the restrooms, you had to enter a hut (like on Nuke)!! Everything was so super detailed, it was simply amazing. Towards the back of the venue, there was a huge stage with a big screen and comfortable chairs for spectators. Besides, any lan center that sells beer on tap is awesome.

***Did I seriously write an entire novel and not even get to the tournament part of it yet? LOL FML... sorry guys... you're going to have to wait til next week. :P

OH SK ladies!!! our journey continues...

By alice 'ali' lew
May 11, 2010 02:44

It's all about the memories and the people you share them with...
There have been a couple Arbalet blogs already and picture albums posted, and I have yet to write or post anything. To be completely honest, I have really been letting this victory sink in and wanted to let my mind re-evaluate every single thing that happened in our journey to get there. It was just such an insane weekend trip... let me give you guys a quick timeline.

Thurs, April 22 --> Team is supposed to leave to Kiev. My dad texts me about this insane volcano erupting in Iceland. Everyone's flight is getting cancelled and I am getting calls from all my teammates expressing their concerns. I have no idea what to do, but to hope that everyone can get another flight to make the tournament. Jso gets on a plane with no problem and arrives in Germany thinking she will be meeting Christine and Alex at the airport. She doesn't. Steph, Potter, Benita, Alex, and I are all on the SK female forum typing FML (fuck my life) and FMA (fuck my asshole). We're stuck at home wanting to be in Kiev and Jso is stuck in Germany wanting to be back home.

Jso gets stuck in Germany for an entire week due to the volcano. The ashes are insane, making flights too dangerous to fly. She comes back Monday, and that weekend, we're due to fly out again to Ukraine for the actual tournament. So much drama due to us requesting more days off... shit is all chaotic in terms of plane tickets and work and school and practice... We played quite a bit before the scheduled tournament date but because of the postponement, we all had a lot of plans and didn't get to play as much as we all wanted. So fast forward 2 weeks....

Thurs, April 29th --> The team is scheduled to fly out again and we're all scared that some of us will make it and some of our flights would get cancelled. Fortunately, we were all able to make our initial flight out of our home destination, but some of the girls had some complications. 1 hour before I was supposed to leave for the airport, Jso calls me and tells me that her ticket was not purchased. While at the check-in counter, the attendent at the check-in tells her she will have to pay $2500 to get on the plane. WTF right? I try calling the SK managers and Tafa from Arbalet, but the time difference tells me it's like 3am their time, and nobody is picking up their phone. OMG FML --- is it that this time everyone else on the team will make it to Ukraine and Jso is going to be stuck at home?

After sweating balls and ripping my hair out for 15min, I finally get ahold of Tafa and he says he will try his best to take care of this problem. Afraid that Jso won't make her flight, I don't even get to finish packing (couldn't do it the night before because we were practicing late) and I end up just throwing a bunch of crap in my suitcase. Tafa ends up buying a whole new ticket for Jso and after confirming that Jso makes it on her new flight, I rush to the airport to meet Benita.

Fast forward 15 hours later, Benita and I arrive in the German airport to a surprise. While at our connecting gate, we see this giant ass asian girl taking up like 4 seats. We both looked at each other with the same confused face and asked each other, "Dood wth... is that Potter?" All the other girls were due to arrive in Ukraine much much earlier than Benita and I, so we weren't sure if that was her. After taking a closer look, Bean and I both agreed it had to be her and it was!!!! WTH was potter doing there? Of course, she missed her connecting flight and had been sleeping in this airport for like 10 hours. She ended up getting on the same flight to Kiev with us and off we went....

Fri, April 30 --> We arrive together in Kiev at about midnight, local time, to be greeted by Arbalet staff members and smiling faces. With Jso's flight screw up, I knew she would be landing around the same time as us so I was anxious to see her since I was worried the whole time during my long flight that she somehow not get to Ukraine. We wait around the airport for other girls from other teams to arrive so we can all go together to the hotel. After waiting a bit, we leave to the hotel on 3 packed buses.

Estimated time of arrival to President Hotel: 1:30AM
Estimated time of first group matches: 10AM

We learn that Steph's flight also had some complications and she wouldn't be arriving to Kiev until about 230AM. There were some mixups with the hotel room situations and we find out that Steph would get coupled up with someone she didn't know in the same room. In order for all of us to sleep together, Jso, Potter, and I share two twin beds in the same room and Benita and Steph share a room. The first night, we were jetlagged and ended up staying up the entire night talking and gossiping about random shit. Although I was so freakin tired and exhausted the next day when we had to play 5 matches, the first night we arrived was my favorite and most memorable. I'm about to get off work soon so I guess I'll write about what we talked about in my next blog. :]

(((Sorry for the longest blog ever, but cmon-- I'm known for this!))))

Recap of 2009 and a glimspe of what's to come in 2010...

By alice 'ali' lew
Dec 26, 2009 19:39

I know I haven't written a blog in months, but geez, there aren't enough hours in the day and enough days in the year. Sorry for depriving you guys of blogs, but I had to reassure everyone that me and the girls are as lively as ever and have just been taking a break since this year has been jam packed with CS action.

I have been receiving SO many messages asking about the team and wondering if we were still active and playing. Trust me, the community would be the first to know if we were even thinking of disbanding or relocating to another organization. The fact that we have been with SK since 2006 baffles the shit out of me. Has the time really passed by that fast? And now 2010 is quickly approaching... I just wonder where is this year going to take us?

Sometimes I wish we would have went to more tournaments throughout the year. We started the year having a bootcamp in Chicago at the new Steel office. I am so grateful the tour I made on video was a definite hit on the website! It is always nice to be able to provide something new on the website so the community can get a glimpse of the opportunties that are presented to us.

What the hell else did we do throughout the year? It is such a blur to me now... I just remember being in a million online leagues and having matches every day of the week. I just recall being so mixed up on what matches were which days. We are not going to make the same mistake in 2010 and will have to stay focused in just one league at a time if possible.

Christine and I were fortunate to go to Leipzig, Germany to help out at Games Convention. Playing around with the crowds and helping them become aware of the best sponsors on Earth was super fun. Who knew we would be such great MC's??? Actually, let's not lie to ourselves, we knew we would be fking awesome... ^_^

Going to Mexico was definitely the highlight of the year. Not only is it always exciting to go somewhere you've never been, but the food there was so AMAZING and even today, I can't stop thinking of the tacos and the damn green hot sauce. Aside from the great company and food, doing well throughout the tournament was such a confidence booster. We had been working hard throughout the year to place well at a male tournament and I think we really were able to prove to ourselves that our goals are possible.

I can't wait for the new year to start and to be able to see my girls again. We were only able to see each other a couple times this year, so obviously everytime I see them, it's a treat. I'm sure 2010 will be as exciting as ever and I'm ready to rock for another year!!!!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!! Take care and drink a nice cold brew for me.. Cheers! :)

SK Ladies out of the tournament....

By alice 'ali' lew
Sep 12, 2009 08:41

Though I'm sure we will never receive the entire community's support, I am SO proud of my ladies! :)
I've always been bitched at for having my blogs be long and boring so lets keep this straight to the point.

The girls and I arrived in Mexico City Wednesday night and had to go to the venue the next morning to play in the tournament. The event was mainly planned by me and though I know nothing about Mexico, I tried my best to find the cheapest and safest place to stay and the best way to get to the venue and back. We're staying at a Holiday Inn and overall, I think it's a really decent hotel! (pictures will come tomorrow)

I really don't think anyone in the entire community thought we would make it this far. Though I can admit I shed a few tears when I came back to my room, it was only because I could still feel the intensity of our past matches. Not only were the matches close, but they were definitely winnable.. (if that's even a word..) If we won our last bo3, we would have placed top 4 and that would have felt SO fucking amazing!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, usually I don't cuss that often in my blogs, but my emotions are going crazy right now and I can't help but think of how we would have felt if we moved on. We played decent versus EG, the "best team in America," and did SO well during the tournament. I really hope we get the chance to go to more tournaments and truly prove ourselves to the community. Me and the rest of the girls have been ranting for the last year about how we want to compete with the guys... gosh, do you guys believe me now?

We're out of the tournament, but we're definitely going back tomorrow morning to give you guys coverage on the remaining 4 teams left: WEMADEFOX, TURMOIL, EG, AND VLR. Pictures and more videos will be coming soon!

Sorry again for not having the pictures/vids up sooner.... the internet at the venue sucks and the hotel wireless keeps going out. Besides, I have been SOOOOO stressed out that it has been hard to think about doing coverage on the site and winning matches at the same time. Oh, and special Thanks go out to the guys over at DOCKERS, for sending over a tray of their energy drink to Mexico for the tournament.

The girls say hi by the way. :)

SK LADIES arrive safely in Mexico City

By alice 'ali' lew
Sep 10, 2009 18:52

Hey guys,

Just wanted to write a quick blog before we leave to the event. We arrived safely last night to our hotel, but not without having a scare. Yesterday, a plane in Mexico City was hijacked and that scared the shit out of us. We know Mexico City is one of the more dangerous cities in the world, but to have a plane hijacked?! Trust me, we were soooo nervous coming here...

We're about to taxi to the venue which is only about 5 minutes away. We're staying at a Holiday Inn a few blocks away and the hotel is amazing. The staff is nice and the rooms are big. I expected worse, but Mexico City has lived up to my expectations so far.

I will be bringing the laptop to the venue so hopefully there is internet there. Be sure to check out the ACER twitter and the SK website for coverage on the event. The girls and I LOVEEEE doing coverage so look forward to pictures, videos, and blogs.

Wish us luck and thanks for reading!


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