The biggest part of MLG Orlando of course is MKP, something I decided to do after seeing the suggestion on Reddit, and a promise I made back in August. I promised I would get back to them around September, and so it happened.
To be honest the entire thing didn't require that much work per say, it's mostly the amount of attention I'd have to put into it. Managing money really sucks, especially when it's not yours and you have to make sure you're using it correctly. Trying to read all the comments and balancing it out was probably the most difficult task about it (that and calculating how much was left in the end), and of course, the fact that I had to miss two more days of work to stay in Orlando (this was probably the biggest deal since missing days of work really sucks since I feel responsible and I have a lot of work to catch up on now). The amount of time and attention, especially during MLG, probably made my experience a bit more difficult than it was.
Anyway, so leading up to it.
Day 0 + Day 1
So my sister and brother-in-law visited the day before (and dropped me off some ridiculous computer), and so they ended up giving me a ride to the airport. During the ride amongst their stuff I find a cute stuffed tiger and they ended up giving it to me. Whoo.
It's the same tiger you guys saw on the stream btw.
Anyway, we arrive at the airport, and I get dropped off. A million things are going through my mind of course, including the ridiculous paranoia that MKP doesn't show up (imagine the rage that occurs if MKP didn't show up after that entire donation drive thing T_T) but in the end I calm myself down by the thought that if he didn't get on the airplane I'd have known about it by now. So I relax and arrive at Orlando.
I split a cab with Tommy (an MLG Employee) to the hotel and holy shit it was the most ridiculous hotel I've seen in my life. It looked like a castle from far off and then on the inside it was even more ridiculous. I ran into TLO and after him and I both check in we eat dinner, and I tell him he's not as good looking without his beard. He says he got it just to scare Boxer.
The next day I get up and after wandering around a bit I head to the grocery store to get the Tomato Juice I promised Hongun. If you didn't know apparently Hongun drinks a lot of liquid when he plays and he normally just drinks like Pocari and when he has money, Tomato Juice. I walk a mile or so to get to the grocery store, find tomato juice and head back, and then head to the airport with Alyssa.
Turns out that their flight was delayed. For like, 3 hours
We run into Inori who was waiting for Polt and Alive, and eventually Polt and Alive make their way out. Alive of course fashioning his fabulous suit case (which belongs to his sister)
Compared to that Polt's is almost nondescript.
I take them to the Taxi and they get off, and then we continue to wait. MC and stc were actually supposed to arrive after the LXP Koreans, but because of the delay they arrived first. We see them off and then we wait for the LXP Koreans.
And then eventually they arrive -- MKP, Bomber, HongUn, and July. The first thing I notice is Hongun's Hair (apparently, later on the MLG photography team goes crazy because they thought they didn't have any pictures of Hongun cause they just went off by the liquipedia pictures... turns out they had a ton of pictures of him). MKP had chibi proportions.
We head to the van and Alyssa sits in the front and then July and I take the first row as July tells everyone else to go in the back as he tells them "Sorry, we're fat. I hope you understand". Anyway we talk, the general impression is that foreigners have gotten a lot better. Talk about Idra for a bit (about how he's gotten quite a bit better) with one of the Koreans nailing a comment saying "Idra? He just doesn't expend energy on pointless things" on why Idra gg's early. Of course, the general atmosphere is that he has been doing quite a bit better.
July is just as blunt and hilarious as he was in Columbus, of course. When he found out I got HongUn Tomato Juice, he asks me "Oh in that case if I make a request for Providence can you make it come true? I'd like a blonde white girl". Later on in the event he comments on this girl he saw who was the prettiest blonde girl he has seen, haha. Meanwhile Bomber was a bit worried since he traveled quite a bit and said he couldn't practice as much as he should have. Apparently, he had to play some of his Code S games with no practice due to his schedule.
Anyway, we get everyone checked in, and then we meet up for Dinner.
We go to the buffet (and we went there quite often apparently). On the way there we see alligators and July talks about how he could take them on, and if that if anyone fell in he'd go in and rescue them. He then sees the actual size of the alligators and he's like "yeah i can take them on with one arm". I was tempted to arrange a show match before the finals.
They all end up with some sort of Pasta which they find too salty (and I tell them to go ask for more pasta so it's less salty but like a typical Korean they just suck it up and eat it). MKP and July go all out though, although MKP gets a lot of food but doesn't finish :p
Anyway, after they eat dinner they go to sleep and we head to the airport again to pick up Jessica and Boxer. The driver we had was a complete chobo and we were actually quite uncomfortable through the drive since it looked like it was her first time driving in her life or something -_- anyway they arrive without any trouble, although we had some trouble meeting up with the driver.
Anyway, next morning, we meet up for breakfast and then Jessica wanted to go shopping so she could buy groceries to make Korean food. (She ends up feeding quite a number of progamers throughout this event). Meanwhile the rest of us meet up to head to the venue
At the venue, BoxeR was also the first one to set up and practice, since he says he hasn't played in quite a bit of time so that affects his game play. Polt and Alive shared similar sentiments. We take some candid pictures while they set up and practice or just browse PlayXP
Of course, it turns out that MKP brought a ps/2 keyboard, which is banned by MLG. This was another "oh shit" moment for me and I looked around to try and get him a good keyboard, and thank goodness one of the refs (@MLG_Wiggin) had a blackwidow that was usable for MKP. We removed the macro keys and taped it (thank you to the person on twitter that mentioned this!) and he was pretty ok with the keyboard the entire time.
MKP is actually one of the most cheerful progamers I've seen. He took it pretty well that he couldn't use his keyboard, accepting his situation pretty well. He was okay with the black widow overall. Luckily he was able to use his keyboard for ESWC since they allow PS/2/USB adapters.
Anyway after they practice they do a fansigning (to everyone who says "why dont' they have a fansigning", well, all the Koreans always have fansignings on Friday when the doors open). After which MKP begins laddering under MarineKing, and then he places into Platinum and starts playing high masters players by the end of it. And of course, there was a million Reddit threads about it
After meeting up with Kristine, a reddit Admin, MKP finally gets permission to put on the patch. Major thanks goes to ravenwebb on reddit for helping me out with this and making the entire patch process happen, and even shipping it to me, since I think the patch meant a lot for quite a number of people
Anyway Day 1's games start. MKP and Polt's first game end up being at like 10 PM, so they had a lot of time to kill (which they find difficult, waiting is always the most difficult part about the open bracket). The rest of them start playing.
The night ends in a surprise of course. I wait for MKP's games to finish before going back, and we found out that Polt lost to Gowser (Polt said he lost because he hasn't played in a week before this match) and stc was 1-1 against Ver before I had to leave. I gave Ver a nod and wished him luck, and then left.
Day 2 + 3
MKP gets his revenge for Polt on the main stage against Gowser. Bomber and I were watching and when the roaches came game 1 we were like "oh shit" until MKP held it off and won that game. And the second game was the infamous 31 barracks game, which was quite impressive. MKP continues his run and makes it out of the open bracket, and then gets placed into Boxer's Pool and everyone rejoiced because they avoided MKP. It's always the topic of conversation at lunch time on who gets into what pool!
MKP turns out that he's pretty popular with the ladies, even getting flowers from one of them. He was pretty happy about that, and I remember on Day 3 after his consolation matches with Bomber he just started signing while I went backstage for a bit (which ended up being like 40 minutes). I came back after that and he was still signing and he's pretty exhausted at that point and asks to stop :p
At one point Thundertoss comes up to me and tells me that I should teach MKP how to do the reddit upvote sign. he teaches me how to do it and I teach him how to do it and I told him he should do it on stage for a ceremony. It's kind of a shame cause he did that instead of dancing on stage (which he said he'd do) so I guess he lucked out and we all missed out
Oh, the match against Drewbie. Turns out he actually nuked his own army on purpose as a ceremony cause he thought he was much further ahead than he was. He got completely flustered after that match and told me he lost game 3 cause he couldn't concentrate after that. He said it was the worst game in his life and he wishes to forget about it. I guess he didn't forget about it enough to do those strats against Haypro though.
Dear Haypro: As the person who organized MKP to come to MLG, I apologize
Anyway, one more thing i remember from Saturday was that Inori and Polt were MIA for their loser's bracket match (they apparently went to go eat dinner). They were aobut to forfeit their matches so I had to run out, find them, and bring them back. turns out Inori was a bit late so he had to forfeit his first match, but White-Ra being the amazing person he is wanted to play on a clean slate. I had to immediately run back to the main stage to do an interview.
At one point I looked in a mirror at the bathroom and I looked at myself and I looked pretty dead. I could almost see why everyone keeps saying I look nervous on stage, cause I looked like I was about to die in front of the mirror. I wonder if I look like that every MLG.
The matches on Sunday, well, most of the Koreans got knocked out quite early. HongUn said he went Mothership against Idra for fun and after the match he was like "Augh why did I go mothership". Bomber then lost to Idra and he ended up being like "man all we did was just give Idra some boost".
Boxer vs idra was quite epic, it was so sad that it didn't happen though. I had nerd chills after Boxer won the third match in a row and I was so so sad that Boxer didn't make it through
Anyway, as Huk won all the Koreans were in the tournament area watching and nodding in approval. Too bad all the Koreans pretty much consider Huk Korean though, so it didn't seem like they minded too much.
And then that was Sunday.
To be quite frank I think in terms of content and story, MLG Orlando was the best MLG yet. It had everything, the crowds (Bomber made comments about how he wished he had that kinds of crowd in Raleigh), the energy, the passion. I went into MLG Orlando without much expectations and in terms of content it really did blow me away.
I told a few people before that if MLG Orlando didn't have the "magical moment" that it did on MLG Columbus, I don't think i could handle being at live events anymore. Perhaps the magical moment only existed because it was my first MLG, and MLG Orlando really did prove that -- MLG Orlando was far better and yet I was so stressed out by the end of it that I decided I couldn't do it anymore. I told Lee that I won't be at MLG Providence and I don't see myself changing my mind about that anytime soon. If I do go to MLG Providence, I would like to go as a fan to see how it is like on the other side.
So that was my last MLG. I was tired, exhausted, and a bit edgy, I think. But in the end, I guess, a lot of relief that I knew that this would be the last time for me.
Monday - Wednesday
So after MLG, we went to Universal Islands of Adventure. But before we start talking about it I have another person to thank. There's a user named Cfood (@FreshCfood) who was a runner for MKP the entire MLG. Basically, he got MKP all the food he had wanted throughout the event, and as an added bonus he even got all of us nine universal tickets, so we could all go to universal.
Universal was fun. The most amusing part was the transformation of Puma, who went from someone completely afraid of roller coasters to someone loving it by the end. For the first roller coaster he was literally dragged by Hongun to get on the incredible
We got Ice cream after we went on the doom drop. Actually Puma got called out by the operators cause he had his head completely down which is a nono for the ride. I kept yelling at him to open his eyes cause after the initial burst the ride isn't so bad and you just see a nice view but he didn't listen After that on our way to the harry potter land we ran into a water ride, which everyone wanted to ride. Me Rachel and Puma didn't ride cause Rachel and I wanted to get pictures and cause Puma was scared.
Look, a tomato!
Anyway this ride ended up being much better in terms of pictures, but everyone is always calmer after the drop.
We finally end up at Harry Potter Land and we immediately go into a gift shop. I buy MKP a Hedwig Owl and MKP chooses for himself the Voldemort Wand. We get butterbeer after (Torch's treat) and then we head to Dueling Dragons.
Puma swallowed this ride better, and I told him to just open his eyes and watch everything since it'll make the ride a lot more fun. After the ride started I hear some weird yelling and I turn to my side and I see puma with his eyes open and yelling. It was pretty hilarious and by the end of it he told me how he really enjoyed it and it's less scary. We then rode the Red one immediately after 8)
On the way out we ride Spider Man, and holy shit, MKP had the best reactions to it. His reaction was as if everything was real, going like "NO DON'T DO THIS TO ME! NOOO!" and then screaming during the "falls" and everything. It was adorable to see his reaction and tbh I wish I had it recorded since it was absolutely hilarious.
Anyway, we leave, and then head back to the hotel. The LXP Koreans who leave that day were sad they couldn't shower before they had to go, and then they headed to their flight, while Puma, Rain, and MKP and I headed to the hotel Rachel and Torch were staying at.
After we arrive we rest up, go grocery shopping (Puma paid for it all!) and then after we get back we do the AMA which turns into the live stream which I hope many of you caught (the VODs are on my twitch.tv page I think). They were all supposed to dance together if we got 2K viewers but food arrived before then so we had to stop
Next day Puma and Rain leave, and I kept watching the weather (bad idea) since we were supposed to go to Disney World. The weather forecast kept saying it would rain but it didn't rain until like 5 which kind of made me irked cause that meant we could have went to Disney World. Oh well. We went to Downtown Disney and shopped though, walked around and met uncle disney.
And then for Dinner, after hearing a suggestion on Reddit, I take MKP to Kobe Steakhouse (with Rachel and Torch). We eat and then we grab coffee, and then we almost watch a movie but MKP and I ended up falling asleep and everyone was tired so we all went to bed.
Next day we wake up say our good byes to Rachel and Trevor and we head to the airport. This was one of the moments were I would have been screwed without my smartphone since apparently MKP needed his flight back from France to KR or else he'd need a visa. Thanks to technology I was able to reach Prime's manager and get what I needed. MKP also scared the hell out of me cause he couldn't find his passport @___@
We get off and we grab chinese food at the airport for lunch and then I ask MKP where his glasses were and it turns out he lost them at the airplane. I run back and the stewardess checks but there was no luck
Anyway I wait with MKP to get on his flight to france and I ask him if he wants to come back to providence and he says he'll do his best to come back and asks me to start booking him a cheap flight, haha. Hopefully everything will work out and we'll see him there.
That was my trip, and it was pretty long, a bit longer than what I needed. I feel a bit burned out, so I'm just planning on taking a break for a while, and probably limit my contributions for a while (maybe the odd odds and ends). Sorry everyone, but I think I finally burned out for now
Thanks everyone for all your support. I hope that I can use this time to recharge ^^;;;