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Ali's CS history -- part 4!

By alice 'ali' lew
May 23, 2009 21:12

I am going to have like 20 parts to my history before I can get up to 2009...

So where did I leave off? I know I haven't written a history blog in over a month, so instead of depriving you guys of these awesome memories of mine, I decided to share them today since I'm stuck at work for the next 7 hours. :)

My last blog left us off at ESWC 2004, which was our first competitive lan tournament together. We had just formed this competitive team and been successful with finding a sponsor, but our 5th place finish at our first international tournament was not up to our standards. We were definitely dissapointed with our performance, but being that it was our first time, we knew we had time to improve our game.

For the following 6 months, we were well aware of the effort and time we had to dedicate to the team. We played actively in online leagues and looked for local tournaments where we would be able to test out our teamwork. The first tournament after ESWC 2004 that we attended was at web2zone in New York during January of 2005. This tournament was a big deal to us because it would be the first (and only) female tournament held in North America. Though only 6 female teams attended, we took this tournament seriously and wanted to be considered the top female team in North America.

When the tournament was first announced, we had to make sure we had financial support to even get there. Me and the girls were located all over the states and we knew we would need help to get there. After contacting Nvidia, they were not only impressed at our first shot at an international tournament, but they were impressed with our dedication and professionalism and told us they would support us financially to this tournament in New York. YAY! :D

So come January, we fly out to New York. Upon arriving in New York, I go to baggage claim and my luggage never comes out. GREAT... I'm going to have to wear the same clothes for the entire weekend. Pissed as hell, I take an hour taxi ride to my hotel to meet the other girls. It was snowing and without my luggage, I didn't have any of my sweaters or jackets and I was cold as hell the whole time. That sucked....

I arrived late that night and tried looking around for a store so I could buy a toothbrush and some underwear, but they were all closed!! I was so pissed.... just thinking about that trip makes me mad. Luckily though, the airport located my bag and personally delivered it to my hotel the next morning. I was able to change clothes and not be smelly!! WOOHOO!!! ^_^

So the next morning, we go to the lan center and set up to play. Web2zone has like a little coffee/boba shop inside so we were able to get our coffee and boba fix in throughout the day. My favorite part of the lan center was downstairs, where it was all stone walls and looked like a bomb shelter. This is where most of the spectators hung out since there were LCD's on the walls showing live HLTV from the matches being played.

The event itself was pretty cool. This is the first time the girls from the North American community were able to meet and greet each other. This was the first time I met Steph (MissHarvey) but I don't remember us really talking. Or did we Steph??? I don't know... it was so long ago and I'm not sure of what we did. The only thing I remember was being in the heart of the city with the snow falling on my face. This was the first time I've actually seen real snow fall. It was pretty. :)

The weekend was pretty busy, so we didn't even get to go out and sightsee the city. Totally regret that because I haven't been to New York since. :(

We won the tournament with ease probably because we had previous experience playing on LAN from ESWC 2004. I forgot how much the prize money was, but it wasn't that much or else I'd remember. :P I was named MVP of the event and won a new CPU from Intel. For some reason I never used it though and it's still sitting new in box at home. Should have sold it back then because it probably isn't worth beans today.

Any takers?


By alice 'ali' lew
May 18, 2009 00:57

Thoughts about our new roster... :)

So the new roster has finally been announced and I can't tell you guys how excited I am to be official with this news. We have been playing with this new lineup for the last month or so and our teamwork has really been improving day after day. Communication is literally ALWAYS there (its hard to get a moment of silence with these girls) and it is always a lot of fun watching old teammates build up that chemistry we knew we always had. Though this revamping of the team may come as a surprise to most, it really was inevitable to me a couple months ago. I must say that while playing with Benita, Mel, and Lidy, we truly did try our best to be the best team we could be. We practiced hard together, but the lack of passion for the team and the game was so obvious with some of the members. There would be times where some girls would show up to practice and some wouldn't. Sometimes girls would be 2-3 hours late and not give anyone notice that they would be tardy. Some girls stopped playing on their own time and relied mainly on team practices to improve their game. Some days, some girls wouldn't get along with others... ugh, it was just a down spiral since the beginning.

Sometimes though, changes are good. It keeps things fresh and new and more exciting. Having all members of a team on the same page trying to achieve the same goals really keeps the motivation going within each of us. When the dedication and passion is present and apparent within all members of the team, it makes team unity so much easier. I think after all this time, throughout all the roster changes throughout the last 7 years, the most important thing I learned as a captain was that I am not able to force people to do things they don't want to do. I can't force a player to play on their own time. I can't force a player to WANT to strive to improve. I can't force a player to want to come online for practice. It's all about dedication. It's all about what that person wants internally, within themselves....

And it makes me think about why I even play this game... starting in year 2000 and 9 years later, what the hell? I'm still here, playing every day to be at the top of my game, still trying to be the best I can be with my team. But u know what? I think it's because I'm a true nerd ass gamer. I truly LOVE this game. And even if SK ladies ceased to exist, I know in my heart I would still play this game regardless. Having Jso to play with just makes me want to play a LITTTTTTTTTTTTTLE bit more. S2

Lurppis to America!

By alice 'ali' lew
Apr 24, 2009 22:10

Hanes down, Lurppis in!

So I guess the rumor I heard down the grapevine turned out to be true because a couple days ago, it was announced that EG have acquired Lurppis to be EG's new 5th. I'm assuming that they were hoping this recruitment would revamp the team and hopefully jump-start the EG team since they were not performing that well in the last couple months. Lurppis actually took the spot of Hanes, who I have seen prove his worth time and time again.

I have actually known Hanes for most of the counterstrike career. I have always respected him as a player, but more than that, we have always had this close connection as friends. I believe I owe alot to him because he really helped me strive to be the best. 5 years ago when I would struggle, he helped me with my game, motivated me to stay strong and keep doing my best, and trained me so that I would improve and be at the top of my game always. There are actually a handful of awesome players that have helped me become the gamer I am today and Hanes is definitely one of the gamers that are on the top of the list. I just wanted to point that out to make sure he is appreciated. :)

To have Lurppis take his spot... well, I personally know it will not be an easy spot to fill. Though I'm not sure how Hanes has transitioned from Source back to 1.6, he couldn't possibly have been THAT bad where they would need to make a roster adjustment for him. He has always been one of the top gamers in the world at any game that he plays, so it would be my guess that the roster adjustment has more to do than just with Corey's ingame skills.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Lurppis is in anyway a baddie. Just because I dropped 40 on him and his team during a CPL scrim a couple years back doesn't mean he's not good. I think it's just one of those things where I'll never forget and I'm sure he won't either. That CPL has to be one of the most memorable CS experiences yet. I actually miss CPLs nowadays even though they haven't paid out...

Besides the point, I wish Lurppis the best of luck in his new team and welcome to America!!! :) I'm sure he will fit well into our community since he already has alot of American friends. If all goes well, maybe we'll be hitting up Vegas in a couple months! So don't blow it Lurppis! We'll all be watching you!

EG to Russia and team Gravitas lose their chance.

By alice 'ali' lew
Apr 18, 2009 02:09

Derrick is an idiot.

This past week it was announced that EG will be taking the Gravitas spot at the Kode5 Global Finals in Russia. Apparently, Gravitas was unable to provide the neccessary information before the deadline and therefore lost their spot in the tournament. Being that I live with both Derrick (Impulsive) and Ben, I found out that while Derrick was cleaning his room the other week, he threw out his passport and was unable to provide Kode5 with his passport number. He spent $500 just recently to get his passport expedited to our home, but I guess the passport didn't arrive in time, and therefore that is why they lost their spot at the Kode5 finals. I believe the Gravitas organization tried to work with Kode5 to come up with a solution, but I don't think they were going to accept any exceptions as an answer and basically booted Gravitas from the team list.

In regards to the fact on why EG was picked to replace Gravitas, I don't know too much about. As we know, EG placed like 5th or 6th place at the USA qualifiers and there were other teams that deserved the spot way more than EG. A lot of controversy has been circulating lately about the EG team and their "big name stardom" begin used to convince tournament/league organizers. Who knows though. They all might be rumors and being that I'm blogging about it, I might be spreading the rumor even more, but ohhhhhh well. EG is probably not going to do too well at the Kode5 finals anyways so we'll just stop talking about them.

EG just came out with an announcement yesterday saying that they picked up Grubby and a couple others. I think they will be having another announcement soon in regards to their CS team. I heard down the grapevine that one of their members will be getting replaced with a huge international superstar... I wonder who it is. :)

10 OVERTIMES... are you serious??

By alice 'ali' lew
Apr 13, 2009 12:14

never played a match that lasted 2.5 hours before ROFL.

ROFL I don't even know how to start this blog. SK Ladies played their first match in ESEA playoffs today and we won after playing TEN OVERTIMES!?!?!?*#%R*#U% The match lasted 2.5 hours. It was freaking intense LOL.......

Stats for the match can be found at:

We ended the match with a final score of 41-36. LOL. For people that are asking for hltv: click on the link above and you can download the HLTV at the top right corner. Beware though, the match is literally 2.5 hours long!!!

I need to get some sleep. I'll write more later..


By alice 'ali' lew
Apr 10, 2009 03:20

I guess I won't be heading to Paris anytime soon. :(

With all the news about organizations folding and tournaments failing, I think it is safe to say that it has been a rough past couple months for the entire community as a whole. It isn't just the players that are feeling the impact, but tournament organizers, owners of gaming organizations, and the sponsors that believe in us all. It is without a doubt that since ESWC/MYM have come to a close, players have been expressing their concerns on what they thought could have been done better to smooth out the flaws in the road. Of course after hearing the news about ESWC, I was not only devastated, but deeply saddened, having attended 6 ESWC events in the last 5 years. Though the fact that $18000 is still owed to my team for the last 2 ESWC events we attended, the money is just one factor that makes me sad. The bigger picture is the fact that there is no longer a big event for me to look forward to this summer.

For the last 5 years, I have always been so freaking excited this time of the year. During this time of the year, my team and I would be initiating the "tournament practice schedule," which consists of non-stop stratting, scrimming, and practice sessions for the next couple months. With us playing at least 20 hours a week, improvement would not only be expected, but definitely guarenteed, but since ESWC announced their downfall, plans have changed within the team.

Since I have attended every ESWC event since 2004, I guess you can say I've definitely taken advantage of the fact that I thought I could "always do that next year" when it came to visiting different sites and eating at different restaurants. While being in Paris for the first time during 2004, I didn't even see the Eiffel Tower or anything because I was jetlagged and asleep the days the other girls went sightseeing. Luckily enough though, I had 4 other years to tour the city and experience the life of Paris. Too bad I wont be able to buy those sex toys I found in Paris. I can't wait to get home from work so I could get on my personal computer and upload those photos I took........ (I'm being sarcastic about the sex toys, but I really do have photos taken from a sex shop...)

I'm off work soon so I'll just try to wrap this up as fast as possible. Words can't explain my feelings towards the downfall of ESWC and generally speaking, ESPORTS. Any time an organization fails or tournament organizers file bankrupcy, its a HUGE deal for not only the players that "might" not get paid, but the for the community as a whole. For people like me who have been active in the community for the last 10 years, I was blessed with the opportunity to actually see the community and e-sports GROW. Back in 1999, we were thrilled with the chance to compete at local lans for a $1000 grand prize. 3 years after, we start seeing more mainstream sponsors try to get a piece of the pie: Samsung, Tylenol, etc. and 5 years later, we start to see esports gain more mainstream support (in the United States at least) as networks such as MTV provided us with TV coverage on big name gamers such as Fatality and ME!!! ^_^

You might be asking: what the hell is Alice talking about and why is she saying this? Honestly, I don't know what I'm trying to get at or if this blog is going to mean anything at all, but I just want to clarify to the community that ESPORTS IS NOT DEAD. As long as the community is well alive and active, esports will live on. We might not want to go back to the roots and be content with pubbing against each other for 10 hours a day, but remembering where we came from and how far we've come (and gone), we should all just take a second to appreciate the opportunity.

ali's CS history -- part 4

By alice 'ali' lew
Mar 27, 2009 20:04

Memories of ESWC 2004.
If you’ve followed my team in the past, you know that bootcamp is absolutely essential to our success as a team. I have always stressed the fact that bootcamp can completely revive a team. Even if the team is in shambles while practicing online, come bootcamp, things can change 360 degrees and impact the team in every way possible. Bootcamps make it possible for everyone to practice on lan, clear out miscommunication ingame and out, and figure out our strengths and weaknesses. Before our first ESWC tournament in 2004, we planned a bootcamp to take place in Los Angeles at a local lan center. I can’t remember if this was the first time me and the girls got together in person, (I think the first time was during the CXG scam in Vegas… don’t know if you guys remember this tournament) but this bootcamp was the first time we set the standard on what our bootcamps should consist of: (at least) 12 hour days, effective dry-running and strat sessions, and non-stop intense scrimming.

After 5 days of bootcamping in LA, we left together from LAX airport to fly to CDG airport in Paris. We decided to arrive in Paris 2 days prior to the event so we could check out the city. We did the normal tourist stuff and did all our sightseeing in the first day. I remember getting so freaking lost in Paris with my girls. We would try to read the tourist map and find our way around the city, but nobody would help us on the street and none of us spoke French. When locals and restaurant employees would ask where we were from, we would tell them that we were from America, and they would eventually give us the evil eye and stop servicing us. From that day on, we decided that whenever we go to another country, we would pretend to be Canadians.

Since we got to Paris early, we had to get our own hotel for 2 nights before traveling via subway to the venue where ESWC was going to be held. We were pretty dumb and didn’t book rooms prior to flying, so when we arrived in Paris, we walked around the city trying to find a random hotel that wasn’t too expensive. Uhh… just kidding, everything is expensive in Europe period, primarily because the American dollar is shit compared to the rest of the world. We found some random hotel in the heart of the city and stayed there for 2 nights. Because we had 5 girls, we were required to get 2 rooms, which were small, dirty, and definitely not up to our standards. We were disgusted, but tired and jetlagged, so we made the best of it and slept as much as we possible were able to. This flight wasn’t my first international one, but it was the first one without my parents, and I had the worse time. I’ve always had the worse time during long flights, primarily because I absolutely hate airplane food and can never sleep. While all the other girls were snoring, I would shift around in my seat, trying to keep myself entertained for the 16 hour flight. By the time we reached Paris and got into our hotel room, I passed out immediately and missed out on a day of sightseeing. While all the other girls ran around Paris, I snored like a baby in the hotel.

Fast forward a couple days later, we take the subway to another part of Paris for the ESWC event. To our knowledge, the tournament was going to be held in some type of amusement park. We were thinking “was it like Disneyland!??!,” but it ended up being some kiddy park that was kind of lame. There weren’t any roller coasters or anything and all they sold at all the food stands were plain baguettes. I can’t tell you guys how much I craved a cheeseburger and fries. That statement is SOOOO American huh? I know I’m going to get made fun of, but whatever!!!! Americans love their burgers!!

The tournament itself was awesome. Because it was in an amusement park type setting, all the tournaments were really spread apart throughout the park. So if you wanted to watch another game other than counterstrike, you’d have to walk through the park to another area. Being our first international tournament, GX3 went not knowing what to expect from the other teams. We played well, but there were significant mistakes that definitely lead to our downfall. In our group, there was a 3 way tie between Ladies from Brazil and ?????? (can’t remember who) and we ended up not advancing by 2 rounds. Though that sucked, I know that if we had a day or two extra for preparation, we could have definitely won ESWC our first time around instead of settling for 5th place. Ironically, SK Ladies won that year.

After we lost, we went to watch TSG from America and NoA play in the tournament. Both teams were knocked out on the same day as us, so you can imagine how much we drank that night. The reason why ESWC is so special to the players is because I believe they truly care about their gamers. They accommodated all the gamers with hotel rooms at two different hotels that were actually right next to each other. Going through the lobby and elevator at the hotels, you would be surrounded by recognizable gamers, usually drunk because they had been knocked out of the tournament. Everyone would know the gamers that got knocked out because they would be outside or going through the halls at late hours of the night, screaming, yelling, and drunk.

In all, it was a super cool experience. Though I slept through the day the girls went sightseeing through Paris, I had a really good time regardless. Being in a different country, experiencing a new environment, eating different foods, riding SUBWAYS (I wish we had those in LA), and being somewhere where I didn’t know what the hell everyone was saying was…… cool. I was damn broke afterwards, but I must say it was worth being in credit card debt.

Thank God we won the following year… but I’ll save that for another blog.

Oh!!!! And just kidding, the first time me and the girls got together was at the first American female lan in New York earlier that year. Web2Zone in New York hosted the first ever American female lan and we were able to win with ease. Luckily, Nvidia sponsored us and booked us at a really nice hotel too. There were only like 6 female teams that attended, but it was a start for the American female scene, and we were all happy that it happened. We won the first place prize and I got MVP of the event. They gave me a new Intel processor as a prize so that was absolutely awesome. I might have some pictures of that event at home so I’ll upload them when I’m home. I’m a bank teller and my manager gave me internet access so work now is just 100x more fun! (Okay I lied... this tournament was held after ESWC 2004, but I'll just leave it in my blog since I already wrote it)

Make sure you check out the videos of Gravitas that I uploaded! More blogs to come soon...

I'm always home alone...

By alice 'ali' lew
Mar 13, 2009 23:21

After a disapointing performance in Hannover for Extreme Masters, Gravitas leaves for Texas tonight for a chance to redeem themselves. The American Kode5 event takes place this weekend at Lethal Gamers and it will be the first time the best American teams will compete against each other this year. With many old school players coming back to the scene due to the fall of CGS, this tournament will showcase if those players still possess what it takes to be at the top of the food chain. I must admit that my favorite to win the tournament definitely has to be Ben and company at Gravitas, but I am most definitely interested in watching the new EG team (n0thing and old COL) and the new COL team (method, da_bears, zid) on lan.

I actually was trying to plan to fly over to Texas this weekend to support Ben and do some coverage for you guys on this site, but after researching on plane tickets, it was just too expensive for me to pay for my own ticket. I figured it might be cool to bring you guys actual live footage, videos, and pictures from the bigger American events... maybe next time though. :(

Unfortunately we lost our dust2 match this week and we caused a lot of you guys (including my entire team) to lose our match credits!! Damn it.. I swear we are cursed on that map. Hopefully we will do better in our next upcoming matches. Our next match is on nuke and I would like to think its one of our better maps. Just to make sure we put in 110%, I will personally bet 50% of all my bet credits on our next match!


By alice 'ali' lew
Mar 9, 2009 21:04

ROFL. I didn't know I pressed enter. I was going to write a blog, but decided to do something else instead first and when I came back, there were 9 comments already.

But yea... HAPPY BIRTHDAY JSO! Old fart! Have u guys seen her mean comments to me??? She makes fun of me at least once a week for being an old fart. I think she has yet to realize that having Benita on this team makes everyone else on the team look old. Having a 16 year old on the team makes all of us look old... period.

Me and the team have been practicing dust2 for our match coming up on Wednesday. Dust2 has always been such a random map for us, but I think we have been spending a sufficient amount of time practicing. Things are slowly starting to come together and we are all starting to feel really comfortable with each other. I'm pretty sure all the members on the team are starting to see the improvement after each day of practice.

Gravitas has been gone for 5 days and are due to arrive home 9pm tonight. I read all the articles about Shaun (hostile) and hope that he is okay. Getting mugged at gunpoint in a foriegn country is a pretty scary thing! It might be a tradition for guests to be privately housed, but I still think its a little sketchy to have a team split up and be miles apart from each other. I remember during one ESWC, we were in the middle of a pretty bad neighborhood too and gangs were threatening people outside. Maybe I can get some inside details regarding the full story from Ben when he comes home tonight.

I've had the house to myself while the boys have been in Germany. My best friend Clar have been just spending the night here. We've been cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, and I think I've gained 5 pounds just eating today. We just made funnel cakes with powered sugar and put ice cream on top. OMG... best dessert ever made. :)

I'd better clean the house before everyone gets home. :/

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