Also, sorry if Day 2/3 is a little bit less detailed since it's a bit less clear in my mind now how the events went on. But hopefully it'll be what you guys had expected
Anyway, Part 1 is here: http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?topic_id=230893
MC was at the venue early as we were meeting at 1:10 ish for lunch so we could do the fanmeeting after. I find out who they were playing and I tell MC that he's playing Thorzain in his group and he's like "Augh", and then later in the interview went "When i lost to him I havne't practiced my PvT... but now that I have practiced my PvT I'm pretty confident. He's just another Terran". He later told me he went to the breakfast place we went yesterday and ate before coming and I was like "good job". He seems to like the continental breakfast style though (I remember him the day before eating cereal and a large piled up plate of eggs bacon and such with orange juice)
We eat lunch (it was taco and I had to tell them how to eat it although it was apparently intuititive enough. LosirA later said that it was very greasy and then Daniel was like "that's cause you put too much meat in" and it turns out he was right :O
They find out who joined their groups (July would join MMA's group) and they start the big fan meeting at 2:00. Afterwards they sign a few MLG swag and then after that I tell them what time their games are and I tell them to come back at a certain time. July had to play many consecutive games and CSN people (who were really cool people btw) and Torch alerted me that July hasn't eaten and they were worried... but it looks like July was a bit annoyed that they kept asking him to eat when he said he was okay.
A bit about July. July is EXTREMELY focused. He'll sign and take pictures and such when he doesn't have an upcoming game but if he has an upcoming game he will refuse every fan because he has a game to play. This is quite different from like MMA or LosirA who signed quite a bit even while waiting for the game. I think it has to do with knowing how to deal with large amounts of fans as it comes from experience. Anyway, I talk with July for a bit and ask him when he wants to eat and he tells me he'll eat after the games. He said that MMA told him about the pho they ate yesterday and he said he wanted to try it and I was like of course. I asked him if he wanted me to go and pick it up so he can eat after the game but he said that he wanted to wait and eat there himself during a break time.
Sadly this didn't happen until about 5:30 or so and when we went there North Market was closed (Lemonwalrus and LDK was with me at this point), and we actually tried to go out to another street to find another restaurant... except we ran into a dead end in a parking lot ~_~ so we go back in and I take July to the staff bbq and he didnt like the food there so we went to the food court so he can get a hotdog and we find out that the hotdog place was closed too... so we settled with chinese food and he asks what kind of chinese food America had and I told him it's similar to Ttang Soo Yook and he was interested. He had sesame chicken (which seemed to be the dish that saved the day since all the Korean players loved it !_!) and he was satisfied and Hot_Bid joined me in the conversation cause he was around and we talked about BW. Hot_Bid introduced himself as a CJ fan who stopped following BW after the match fixing scandal... (and July was like "please tell him i didn't match fix" ). Hot_Bid brought up the game 5 against Goodfriend and July remembered the game. I then brought up the game against Rock (the eye of sauron game) and I told July how it was a well cited match in the foreign community about how "this is how macro should be" or "this is how zerg is" and he was amused haha. On the way back Hot_Bid asks him "do you like american girls better or korean girls better" and he laughed a bit and answered "I like them both" and Hot_Bid and July both laughed.
Anyway July ate now and he went back to the games. LosirA now shows up after a nap and he tells me about how he almost collapsed and so Alyssa and I take him back int the backstage and Lee talks to him for a bit and we find out he was dehydrated... he only had iced tea that day to drink (although the night before we bought the players two bottles of water each), and he probably got dehydrated when he took the nap. So we got him water a fruit smoothie and later on a sandwich and water and he slowly got better enough to destroy everyone the rest of the night. LosirA had a feature station game soon after and Incontrol was watching so I got to thank him for being a great sport, and then Incontrol asks me to ask LosirA if he would dance his zerglings during the match. LosirA responds that he's really sorry but he promised to himself not to do a ceremony like that again after an incident so he refused.
I'm a little hazy at this part so I'm going to skip a bit, but anyway the players were back in the hotel and everyone knew what place they were except for Moon and I keep texting back and forth about Moon's placement so we know what time Moon needs to show up tomorrow. I even got a phone call due to a misunderstanding where Moonan was confused for Moon so Moon actually almost ended up going back but the mistaken was caught fast enough so that it didn't matter. Whew. But anyway we find out what place Moon was at in the morning or something. MC calls me later around midnight asking how he could watch VODs but sadly I have no idea and I didnt have accessible internet in the hotel so I wasn't able to help him. Turns out it was MMA who wanted to watch some VODs, but that didn't end up mattering since the players ended up thinking they were facing the wrong person.
Thankfully MMA and LosirA was there early and they were practicing/watching VODs and such and they find out about their opponents and they were surprised for a bit but it was okay since they got there early. I get there with Moon and Daniel since MC said he would wait for July and we all grabbed lunch (but July and MC said they wanted something else). MMA and LosirA go back to practice and I go with MC and July to get them the sesame chicken. A fan was actually there and paid for the food before I could pay for it. Heyoka was at the conversation this time and July mentioned how he faced TeamLiquid's CEO in the opening match in the MSL in 2003 or something like that and Heyoka mentioned how he remembered inputting that game in. Some more conversation here and there and then we head back.
MMA wins his game against Idra and does a ceremony where he takes a swig of Nos and does a Kamehameha at Idra... sadly he seems to think the reaction didn't go too well since the crowd reaction wasn't stellar but the online people seemed to have taken it nicely :O Mr Chae actually asked Idra why Idra GG'd and apparently the answer was that Idra thought MMA's 3rd Gold was his 4th since obviously no one expects a player to take down their own Orbital by mistake. It was literally the first time the Koreans played on Testbug too. MMA said that he thought he couldn't have won from that position so he was quite shocked idra gg'd.
I do an interview with Wellplayed I believe with MMA sometime around here. I'm going to whine a little bit about interview requests I think since I received so many of them and a lot of them required that I be there... and then I get stuck in like 20 minute long interviews translating although I'm busy and such. I think I got really stressed out about them around the end of day 2 about them since there were quite a few and near the end we just started refusing them since I had no time and the players started getting tired.... I hope next time we can do arranged press interviews instead of getting requests about them which would organize this a lot better since it did feel like people were scooping around for "exclusive" coverage and such D: (I also wish Wellplayed treated me a bit better but w/e I guess it's my TL shirt ;_;)
So at this point MC and Naniwa are on stage around 4 o clock and at this point I noticed that MMA and LosirA's match is supposed to be at 4:30 but because they would be at the main stage and there was still Idra vs winner left I thought it'd be a nice time to get food for the winner bracket finalists... I ask if it's okay and they confirmed that their next match would be on the main stage after Idra vs winner so I took them to eat Sesame Chicken. Except the issue was that I get a call at 4:25 saying that MMA and LosirA are needed on the feature station asap and they could get DQ'd if they're not there in time... so I was like "crap" and then stalled for time a bit (sorry Alyssa!) and then told the players we needed to go back to the stadium. Except I think MMA and LosirA noticed that we were going back and it looks like MMA ate a bit too fast....so he was feeling quite unwell.
They end up at the feature station and MMA asks for a Hoodie and I give him my MLG hoodie and we head backstage after that since they would be playing in the main stage... we get MMA some tums and hoped that he felt a little better and thankfully he did. At this point the MC vs Idra games were going on and I was there for the opening statements and headed backstage where I would be camped for the remainder of the matches. Lee's energy here was quite intense as we saw MC beat Idra twice in a row and he was going "He's going to do it! He's going to fucking do it!". And MC did it and it was amazing especially when he asked Idra "are you angry" hahaha.
At this point I run to do a quick interview for Moon for CSN (I do apologize to the CSN staff, Daniel, and Moon cause I think i had them waiting for over an hour...) and then Moon and Daniel grab dinner with them and I told them to be back at 8-ish for the final ceremony.
This was the first time this entire weekend where I were actually able to sit down and watch the games. I watched the LosirA vs MMA games and then a bit of LosirA vs MC games (missed a part because I translated some questions for CSN and had to return it to them). And then MMA vs LosirA happened. And then I made the infamous english-english slip up T_T. Hot_bid then interviewed MMA and I think by that point my brain was only half working @_@;;;
The players and Day were escorted by security back to the hotel through some roundabout way. Everyone at MLG staff looked so exhausted at this point because they all so worked really really hard (Alyssa in particular looked really really tired and she went to go to sleep instead of participating in the after party). I head to the TL admins room in before the after party and hang out there for a while and I head to the MLG after party with the players.
MC was so hungry that he wanted to buy stuff at the convenience store and microwave it and eat it (he did eat dinner since I do remember him eating a burger since I ran around all the vending machines to find a working pop machine and at that point the Dr. Pepper booth was disassembled). The MLG staff got them a whole bunch of food and we talked in the patio. One of the Korean players played Michael Jackson on the phone and later Kpop (to which Andrew (CSN's owner) told me to tell them that this is what we are forced to listen to when they watch starcraft . I also introduce R1CH to koreans as the "Wizard" and such
July asked me if I was going to NASL and I told him no and he said he wanted me there @_@;;;
After a given point Idra's girlfriend is drunk and ends up at the patio and she starts trash talking MC and MC was quite the gentleman One of the Korean players remarked that "I thought she was pretty but I was quite mistaken" lol. She kept pointing at MMA and calling him gosu and pointed to MC and Idra "they shit, you gosu" over and over again. MMA jokingly responded "I broke the orbital command as a handicap for Idra" Eventually Idra's gf went and we were like "Welcome to America" Eventually the players headed back. Sooo eventually the players headed back and I met with the MLG staff and thanked them for making everything go smoothly and then I headed back. Whew.
So that's an overall somewhat linear view of what happened. I do have some more general comments though.
- - The MLG staff are *amazing*. Daniel actually commented that the MLG staff welcomed them so warmly and had so much passion that he was very very impressed and he's been in the Korean eSports scene for years.... and honestly the MLG staff is the biggest reason why I had such an amazing time at the event. Since they worked so hard I wanted to work just as hard as them and try to make the event work as smoothly as possible so I think I literally was operating on their energy and enthusiasm. Many many thanks to Lee, Alyssa, and Josh... and all the people at the floor including Brendan and all the refs, Sean and all the tech staff, and everyone who worked hard in the event (sorry I don't remember all of your names T_T). You guys are amazing!
- Something I learned from this is that people call things "bubbles" most of the time but Bubbles are really just unmet expectation. I used to worry a lot that the SC2 scene might be a bubble, but there's an easy solution to that -- to meet all the expectation and put together spectacular events that ignire the fans all over the world. It's almost impossible not to give enough credit to the fans. Fans are the biggest reason why the Koreans players were so impressed and the biggest reason why I global e-sports now I think is a huge possibility. MLG Columbus almost felt like a tipping point and it opened the eyes of the Korean players of the Global scene. And it's all thanks to the fans and the staff that worked so hard in the event.
- If you noticed there was a lot of lag in the last few games... this was because the players got constantly invited to chat rooms by people who somehow figured out their number ID code. LosirA actually got a new ID for his game against MC but people found out what name he was using very very quickly. The final match was pretty bad because of that... It was pretty bad. Please make "Busy" mode actually block all messages, or set a "Friends only" mode where only friends can message/invite you to chats/parties please Blizzard?
- The interesting thing was how there was so many things inbetween the events I describe above was happening. Basically although it may look rather casual and straightforward I was often needed constanlty (I would be at feature station and then in the middle of it I would be running to the main stage and then looking for a player. I kept saying how I wish I had a clone throughout the entire event. I wasn't just translating for the main stage interviews but I was constantly here and there. I know it's "cheap" to blame my slip ups on that but I was really really tired and exhausted usually by the evenings.
- I did make a few mistakes in the interviews and I do apologize for that. Part of it had to do with the microphone reverberating and me not being able to catch everything so at times I just conveyed the general idea. I also actually made one big mistranslation in MMA's interview against Idra -- MMA said Idra should have more perseverance, not "be more positive". I didn't know what the word meant so I took the general idea and presented it. I promise I will work on my stamina and my Korean so that it's even better if I get to go to Anaheim!
- Also LosirA wasn't watching his own replays. He was browsing PlayXP haha. All the korean players were browsing PlayXP constantly throughout the event.
- MC lost a watch during the event. But apparently it was found! Yay!
- Oh and MC beat MMA in the offrace match.
Overall Player Impressions
- - MMA was extremely well mannered and a really nice guy. Disciplined and focused (he used to be a MMA fighter until 10th grade when he injured his finger and could no longer compete. WP actually asked him "If you and Incontrol got in a fight do you think you can win since you trained for MMA" and MMA was like "I learned sports to compete, not to harm other people") and honestly he's super trustworthy. There was a incident on Day 3 where LosirA and MMA had some spare time so they could have gotten back to their hotel room and LosirA was trying to convince MMA to go back to his hotel and MMA was like "Sorry I have to stay and I have to watch your replays" and LosirA tried his best to get MMA back to the hotel and MMA said he wouldn't watch the VODs and replays and he eventually just remained and he didn't watch the replays or VODs as far as I could tell. LosirA later mentioned that if MMA says something he 100% trusts it because he is that trustworthy.
- MC knows how to please the fans very well. While he may put on a show on the stage but in reality he respects the players thoroughly and makes an effort to talk to all the foreign players. In esports and in everything there's often more than what you see and I hope everyone realizes that when they see MC crowdpleasing.
- LosirA is very smiley. He smiles a lot and really feels like a nice younger brother.
- Moon is silent and shy but he knows what he's doing and he's very well focused. He is also very good at giving interviews.
- July is very outgoing and very personable, but at the same time he's able to detach himself quite easily if needed. Amazing focus, determination, and at the same time he knows how to have fun and enjoy himself. I hope he and Torch had fun on Monday before flying out on Tuesday!
Feel free to ask me questions and I'll try and answer what I can. Thanks for reading everything and I hope I did justice to what an amazing event MLG Columbus was by telling you guys the story of the Korean players. But just remember throughout this entire story was the support of the entire MLG staff who helped the players and helped me with passion and eagerness that made the Korean players feel at home. Thank you MLG staff!