- Now That's a LAN
If we disregard, for a moment - the Formula 1 next to Tyler, the catering, the massage therapists in the screening room - this event encapsulated the roots of esports: a few nerds under one roof, enjoying the games and the company of friends. The venue is a tad bigger, but the air there was not unlike those grade-school lan parties I used to frequent. Sure, these are all the top professionals and gaming pays their bills, but when it gets down to it, they're just here for the love of the game.
- Training for StarCraft is serious business
Despite attending as White-Ra's guest, my only interaction with Mr Special Tactic was a gift from Europe and a quick trip to the training table. Unlike what many assumed in the TL thread, the Pros did took every advantage of the training opportunity from 1 till 11. Besides dinner and snacks, the Pros spent almost all their time either at their training station or crowded around another's practice. Despite being surrounded by pros, other guests and I rarely had a chance to chat with them. That's a good thing.
- Halo Pros are different folksPhoto: Red Bull
Even for an uninitiated like me, I could tell that the Halo pros were playing with the same intensity as if it was the MLG finals. On the other hand, the StarCraft pros were there to learn. They crowd around Bomber to watch how his games unfold; qxc would tell Minigun to cheese him left, right, and center so his macro game can be tested properly; White-Ra would refuse to play on stream unless Day9 gives him a specific match-up. I am not too sure which method is better or worse, for the pros and for the audience, but it certainly points to differences in mentality behind these two eSports.
Oh, another cultural difference - I was there for most of Sunday, but I never seen a StarCraft Pro that utilized the massage table, yet the Halo Pros would line up for "the Russian one." Go figures~
- Working for Red Bull is awesome
Every employee I met there reiterated this, and I don't think it's forced. While it was Sunday, quite a few employees were lounging around the offices, and they weren't there to work. If my office resembles a skate park, or my cubicle sits next to a Formula 1, or I can walk a few steps and watch White-Ra play, I'd hang around too. Lucky bastards.
- Red Bull is serious about eSports
Sam, Red Bull's gaming guy, is high Masters and talks about StarCraft with the same intensity and enthusiasm as any TeamLiquid veteran. Red Bull didn't just haphazardly added StarCraft to their boot camp line-up - they wanted to get involved and planned for a long time. Probably the best news of all, Red Bull will get more involved in StarCraft very soon. Sam was quite excited, but all he was willing to say was,Big things are coming!
It was fun and I look forward to what Sam has planned for us.