Disclaimer : As you can see it’s been about a year since the last entry. There is no guarantee I will keep writing with any sort of regularity. Life keeps me somewhat busy! Anyway, here we go.
Let’s talk a bit about the events back then. To many, these events (especially the king of kings ogn tournament) are just prehistory of pro gaming. This is a very wrong idea in my opinion. Pro gaming already “existed” back then, it wasn’t something new. It was already big, but big in a different way than it is now. Far less money was involved of course, but the media exposure of the events and the players, surely different than what it is today, was at that time somewhat wider. People would enjoy starcraft as something “strange” but fun to watch and hear about. It hadn’t yet its niche settled like it is today. It was trying to reach everyone it could.
This first king of kings was just as big as an OSL. The finals would be held in the biggest place they ever rented before, with fireworks etc. The players in that tournament, (ones I remember), were true starcraft heroes. Everybody knew them. There wasn’t any unknown underdog (maybe one or two washed up player tho). What’s more, Grrrr… didn’t win the last Starleague and the first rise of Korean pro gamer’s generation that would surpass him was already here. The atmosphere before the tournament was a bit loosy on Guillaume’s side. He actually didn’t expect to make it pass the groups and was even considering retirement after this one last tournament ( he had issues finding a stable sponsorship willing to pay the money he was asking for).
While I didn’t see him practice much, he practiced more this time than he used to. He would stay up late the times I hang around, as usual getting his practice against the cream of the crop, winning some, losing some. On a side note, Guillaume, eventho he was a tournament beast, was excellent at online practice. It was always quite impressive to watch him destroy the most recent Korean rising stars that he would already claim to be better than he ever was. His PVZ especially always amazed me.
The opposition he was faced with was truly a fierce one with players such as Garimto, The boy, H.OT. I wont get into the details of the tournament as TLPD can provide you with such information, but just to state that Grrrr… was an underdog there and it was quite a surprise to see him going on a killing spree in the group stage. The other surprise came from The boy, kook ki bong also raping right and left, going up pvp against garimto at his peak and kicking his ass.
It was really awesome to see Grrrr… shining with confidence again and displaying some good old starcraft, aka overpowering your opponent like some sort of heavy machinery designed for that sole purpose.
Finals were getting close. Somehow, I was even more excited than Grrrr… about it. Night before we went out eating with Guillaume and his girlfriend. After being done eating they went back home. I was left alone without any will to go back to my sponsorship HQ. I started to wander around near Kang nam gu, a place that I had roamed with Grrrr… or Jaeyong or Everlast alot before getting sponsored and that was now looking like some old familiar area. I ended up in 4X’s, a bar located in the basement of a building where you could dance, drink and hook up with many girls and meet quite a bunch of foreign people. I don’t know if the place still exists today, but it was a very good spot for pre-clubbing meetings, or just for random lonely encounters, like it happened quite often to me.
I vaguely remember hitting on some NZ chick that sooner or later completely vanished, only leaving me a cell number. I had drank quite my share of tequila with that girl and only began looking around when she left, trying to find a new girl to hit on and drag back with me, for some more drinking in another place. After half an hour I finally noticed a chick silently checking me up while talking with a group of friends. This was all I need to promptly show up at their table with a new tequila bottle. Since I’m quite friendly and very used to random encounter, it went pretty well and about an hour and another bottle later, I went up to pay and left alone with the girl.
I know that upon exiting the building and breathing the fresh air, my senses of reality started to wrap up and soon, I was only able to follow the girl to the taxi without saying a single word (that was too much to ask from me at that time). As I sat in the cab, feeling relieved and numbing down into a comfortable coma, I realized my wallet was of course missing (I lost my wallet and my ids about 5 times while I was in Korea. Btw, if you plan on travelling and drinking at the same time, I suggest you don’t carry your wallet around. You’ll lose it. Just bring cash and card. ). We rushed the cab back to 4 X’s but they didn’t have my wallet. I wasn’t so much concerned about the wallet, but rather about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to pay anything! No hotel, no restaurant nothing. I glanced at the girl that was feeling bad for me, about to try to explain her we couldn’t go back to hotel, when she just told me to not worry about anything. That’s something I always loved about Korean people. No matter how a situation turns out, they will always try to make it work, no matter what.
We ended up in a hotel in a very far location. I had no idea where we were. She said she’d skip work tomorrow. We had some fun.
Finals came really quick. Garimto elimination surprised everyone, while Grrrr… and Theboy were left for the finals, promising for some sweet PVZs as it was Grrrr…’s secretly favorite match up and The boy wasn’t too gay actually playing a macro zerg style in ZVP.
Final’s atmosphere was sick. So many people came that day at the theatre/stadium. I got there with Guillaume and his girlfriend and we planned to go eating all together after the games (I think Daniel Lee was there as well).
Now Guillaume showed some really fine starcraft for the finals. I remember especially two games, the first one on neo jungle story, where he was getting leveled by The boy pretty bad early in the game with a violent 3 hatch hydra that got him contained. Guillaume was on one base and looked pretty dead but… he had build a gateway outside his main and pumped 3 dt’s out of it. 1 went straight for theboy’s main, while the two others started to chunk reinforcements on their way. It doesn’t sound anything exceptional, but this game was maybe the very very first DT harass game ever played in a PVZ. Commentators went wild on this one, it was something protoss never ever had done before and since it won him the game, everybody was astound, Grrrr… the first, because he never thought his DT’s would be that effective.
The other very memorable game was the final one, as both players were up to 2-2, map was Deep Purple, a revamped version of The Hunters with added islands. That game was fucking epic. Both players opened very standard, but, after the first zealot / zergling skirmishes, they both began expanding, and, 3 minutes later, a sick macro war started with both players holding half of the map. Theboy went for endless doom drops of cracklings and defilers, pumping zergling out 20 hatcheries or so, while Grrrr… was barely holding even pumping units out of dozens of gateways. But suddenly, Guillaume again went for something totally new and perfectly random from his part. Something again he never had tried before, even in practice. He made a small fleet of corsairs, picked up 2 shuttles, and started to drop DT’s at every expansion. Now theboy was pumping only lings and got his overs raped in a blink while Grrrr… was microing his dts, sneaking them in between the zerg hatcheries sim city, so that they would fight 1 zergling at a time. In the matter of a few minutes, Grrrr…’s dts had delivered a fatal blow to the zerg economy and soon, Guillaume trampled Theboy with a maxed army. Again the commentators went wild on the DT drop thing, as that was the first time ever, a protoss would DT drop a zerg on TV.
Grrrr… won with his usual class and dedicated his victory to his Mom and his girl friend who was hiding beneath her seat when the camera tried to show her. (As I remember I think she was the daughter of a famous Korean TV producer and she didn’t want to appear anywhere on TV.).
I think Guillaume somewhat knew this was the last league he’d win and I saw him appreciate this victory maybe more than the previous ones.
We then went to eat outside in a small restaurant with both our girl friends, Daniel Lee and his wife, maybe everlast was there too, but I’m so sure. We truly had an awesome evening. Once the dinner was over, I left my newly found girlfriend (still penniless on my side T_T) to a new hotel, a much more expensive one, where I had to tell her again I didn’t sort my wallet loss yet and hadn’t any money. She didn’t give a crap about it. She paid.
We spent the late night in a jazz bar around the student area, she loved jazz and practiced saxophone (weird, I always found weird girls that loved saxophone -_-; for some reason), then we went back to the hotel again.
The day after she took me out shopping and first thing, bought me an awesome wallet (the prettiest I ever had T_T) and offered it to me, with the Korean custom of putting money papers in it (that seems like what you do in korea, when you offer a wallet to someone you don’t give it to him empty, that’s badluck -_- heh I love that.). So I had a brand new wallet with about 100 bucks in it. God that was awesome.
We spent an extra 3 days at the hotel, every morning she was calling work saying she wouldn’t come ( she had pretty high position in this company ).. We would stay all day in the room ordering food and at night we’d get awfully drunk in very nice places. Then one morning she woke me up, saying she had to go to work, that she was married too and that we would meet again only if she called me. I think she never did (tho I’m not totally sure -_- ).
I went back to my old routine, going to TGI, hanging around with MR. HAN and overall sucking in KGL, the only league I was participating in - - V.
Well here we are, was short I know. Next entry (yes!) should be about how I got eliminated out of ZERG.CO.KR tournament. How my sponsorship crumbled down and me dumping my first ever Korean love, So jee.
Thanks for the read !