I've had a lot of conflicting thoughts regarding this years MLG so I figured I'd write them out. I don't even know if I'll post this while typing it, I just want to see if its something that makes sense for me to post....
I was in California for about a week prior to MLG doing both NASL Sunday showdown vs MC (I lost 1-4), and being at e3 for MLG/Gamespot. I went to MLG looking to have a good time, compete well in WCS and in the tournament overall. We stayed at the RedLion Hotel, which sadly didn't have great internet for practicing. We ate at a Korean BBQ place on Thursday night (we is me and tyler, as he was sharing a room with me) with a lot of TL guys (Hot_bid, Kennigit, Tofucake Hazely etc etc...) and it was a great time. So I had a great time leading up to MLG weekend.
MLG weekend was crazy. It was insanely difficult for everyone at the start. They had scheduled WCS to be playing Friday night and for WCS matches to take precedence over MLG matches. WCS started at 1:30PM. So, I started out, and played someone named SnixSnipe (turns out he is Trimasters younger brother) and I lost the first game. I went down 0-1 to someone I'd never heard of. It was kind of a jolt to my system and kind of woke me up. I went on to win 2-1, but they were still very VERY close games. He played very well and is a great player. I played KawaiiRice after that and found out that I was not his "friend" but simply a "zerg". Ah Kawaii is so cute.. anyway we played and I won 2-0 so I got to keep going. Then I ran into Quantic.Illusion who took me out with some very solid games 2-0.
At this point I get put into the losers bracket. This was the first start of trouble. The tournament hadn't ran as smoothly as whoever came up with the idea of running both WCS + MLG at the same time thought it would. So I was told to play my match at 6:30, so I waited had a water + hotdog outside and came in to warm up at 6ish, and got ready for my match. I waited at 6:30 and asked an admin what was going on? He informed me that my match was at 7:30 now. So I waited an hour for nothing, but hey its hectic I understand. I waited until 7:30 without a computer as everything was full up for the MLG and WCS that was playing. 7:30 came and went and I asked a ref to find out what was the deal. It turns out it got pushed back to 8:30 again without anyone telling me. Without sounding like a broken record or someone exagerating 8:30 came and went and I was told it would be played "soon".
I waited until my name was called at 9:10 and so I got ready to play against QuanticState. I set up and wait with the ref, who at 9:20 (a 5 minute time period past 9:15; our start time) told me I had a 1-0 lead. So eventually state comes at around 9:25 and says he was told 9:30. So my referee goes and talks to a head admin and they remove my 1-0 advantage.
Something I forgot to add in there was that one reason my games got pushed back from 8:30 to 9:30 was because State was playing an MLG game. (so he got to warm up, while I didn't have an MLG game until winners round 4, didn't get to warm up). Anyway... he goes on to take me out 2-0 with some quick 2 base timings. Bleh this was REALLY frustrating. I felt like I had a semi valid excuse to at least give myself for why I lost, but still I played really poorly in those games. Losing some overlords at my 3rd at the second game, and making a few strategical errors in the first. However I think MLG did the best they could with trying to run two separate tournaments.
Wow this blog is getting kind of long, much longer then I initially assumed it would be. For those of you who don't want to read anymore and are feeling like this is too long already know that I'm not trying to suggest me losing was MLG's fault. I simply don't want two tournaments ran at the same time, and both with crazy time changes and I think its wise to make sure other tournaments don't start thinking they can do this too. Or maybe you can, but bleh, realize its going to be insanely tough. Anyway on to another interesting topic : A recent post on Reddit talking about how the MLG Admins are jerks.
I think I can be completely blunt + honest here in saying that 90% of the admins are FREAKING AMAZING. The names that come to my mind are both Ryans, Mark, and Wiggins who do an amazing job. There are a few who I've seen that are a bit bad. There is no nice way to put it. But I think when trying out new admins you're going to have bad admins, and well I hope I won't see them at the next event, or they will have grown and learned some things.
To give some concrete examples about elitism that was brought up in that post (here is the post : MLG Officials Reddit Post ) I don't think they were elitist to pro players. Ironically Catz made a post saying
"if you wanted to sit behind sheth and you want team liquid to be removed from behind him cause you payed the same amount of money as Ret, I believe that's silly and unreasonable."
Ironically while I was playing QuanticIllusion for MLG (yep I played him twice and I won the second time!) Ret was sitting behind me and wanted to help me inbetween games. Ret was removed from sitting behind me!!! However I geuss something that me and Ret did that a "average" person might not feel comfortable doing was ask to talk to whoever told the ref that. Many times refs will be given something to do and they will do it. Thats how it works at MLG, if you are a ref you HAVE to listen to those above you. And as a player you can't really argue with a referee and expect him to change it. Anyway me and Ret went to that person above the ref. It turns out it was John Nelson. Yes the infamous John Nelson of the Extended series....
He gave two reasons. The first reason Ret was to be removed is that apparently it is illegal for players to talk to players in between MLG games. For instance if I win game 1 of a bo3, no1 is allowed to talk to me in between games except for a referee before I've won the set or lost it. (Here are the rules for Arena #2 and I couldn't find that rule specified, but maybe I didn't read it closely enough) Rules
So we both said HA we've never heard of that rule before and we both knew that literally every player ever has ignored that rule if they knew of it. At least as far as I know, most if not all pros will talk to their friends in between games. However I confirmed with MLG Lee that this is in fact a rule that they have upheld for a long time. (Upheld strongly on stage, and he was assured it was upheld in the pit as well) I can understand completely how he could think this was the case, as if you're not really right in the pit constantly you might not see it. Or if you saw them talking you might simply think the game is over.
Anyway after we both thought that rule was a bit weird he gave us the second reason; there wasn't enough space. And that if every player had 1 spectator behind them then it would be too crowded. I can understand this rule. I'm not going to argue against it. I think there should be times its followed strictly (120+ ppl playing) and times it shouldn't be (20 people still in the tournament). Tyler thought up a cool idea of putting a few TV screens outside of the game area so that spectators can watch from there and not take up room. Putting 5 TV's of 5 of the best stations played inside the ropes so that people can watch from afar I think is a pretty amazing idea.
Anyway so Ret had to leave as did Ver my training partner and friend. However if you had a circle badge (Team manager or so) you could stay. So victor got to stay and help me out. So as for everyone who was kicked out of the event I just want you to know that sorry it was a tough situation. I think when they had the Kespa players arrive in that area they wanted to clear it from anyone who wanted to talk with them. This is completely understandable as well, I just wish they had simply said that.
I talked with MLG Lee after this sort of thing happened. (He verified that rule I cited) And he said that he told them to remove everyone who wasn't Kespa or still playing in the tournament. (I believe I was top 32 or so; made it to championship bracket so I was still playing then) Yes that was a subtle brag... Anyway I feel like the referees were simply doing their jobs. I think they do amazing work. I also think the higher ups made some hard decisions that kept the tournament running quickly and efficiently. I can understand this very well.
I think I need a paragraph to sum up all of this. Referees had to make tough "annoying" decisions to keep the tournament running and finishing on time. Sometimes Ref's made mistakes. Sometimes they used a rule I'd never heard of (no talking to any player while he is in a bo3), but regardless they were following rules. And while I think that rule should be removed (as every tournament ever hasn't had or enforced that rule until now) I'm ok with them following the rules. And I think MLG tries extremely hard to always be fair to players regardless of if they are "pro" or not.
P.S. Afterwards I played mafia despite being horribly exhausted from this whole ordeal. I lost my voice but had a great time. If you haven't played mafia at an event you are missing out. Also Everize is terrible at mafia.
Also 2 Pictures that I took while flying. And a scarf that I was given that I used as an awesome pillow on the flight home!
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