WCG US Invitational Review
INSIDER ESPORTS - Alex Gardner recaps his time in New York for the WCG StarCraft Invitational.
So I went to the WCG US Invitational this weekend for the SC tournament. It was awesome, even with the 3 broken fingers I have...
I got to the venue at around 10:45-ish after my train ride. I met Cholera and Rise (Youtube commentators whom I know from my work at SC2GG) first, as we shadowed Louder. Both were pretty cool guys and I ended up hanging out with them from then on for the most part. Eventually Peanut found her way to the rest of us, and that was the SC2GG crew for the day.
After a bit of shooting the shit and watching the EG guys warm up (even though Louder wasn't EG at that point in time technically, lets just go with he was), I decided to wander around a bit while Peanut did her thing networking and Cholera and Rise went to get some food. I finally met up with Colbi, the manager for EG, whom I'd been talking with for a couple weeks lately regarding the CW between them and eXpertise I set up. Since this was my first real offline SC event, it was weird meeting all of these people that I talk to online regularly. We continued watching warmups for a while, then the actual games began.
In the first set I mainly focused on Machine vs. iNcontroL, as I wanted to see the ZvZ more than PvP. ZvZ is a much more micro-intensive matchup and quickly decided, but also can be very exciting. PvP can get boring at times because it's a lot of mind games. Bouncing back and forth between each players station, I got to see both aspects fully. Machine's hands are damn fast. He definitely had upwards of 200-250 APM I'm betting. After their series ended, we moved over to watching Louder vs. G5 which was already underway. Louder was definitely playing a great game against G5 and Cholera and Rise joined us shortly after the second game got underway. After the set wrapped up, the WCG guys came over and told us that Cholera and Rise, along with Colbi, would be broadcasting very soon.
While the cast was going on, I followed the second round of games. I started off with Louder and iNcontroL, a good choice I would say. Funny note about this match, in the first set, Louder accidentally went random (got Protoss lol), but he thought iNcontroL had. In the ingame chat I read over his shoulder he asked "U mean 2 go random?" and Geoff was like "No. I'm Zerg. That was you" lol. That was a laughable moment. The match was back and forth the entire time and when iNcontroL finally won, you could tell both players were glad to be able to rest. I went on to watch the ending of G5 vs. Machine, while Louder and iNcontroL watched along with me. At this point the cast was still going on, but we weren't paying much attention. It was really cool to be standing there with Geoff and David, because let's face it, they know what's going on way better than me. They called each game perfectly and when G5 won, we were ready for a break. I don't know what the 4 players did, but the cast finished up, and Peanut, Cholera, Rise and myself went for lunch.
Lunch was interesting. I had to seriously budget to afford my ticket back to New Haven (I didn't prepare well for this lol), so I was eating a small tiny sandwich with pretty much nothing on it. We talked mostly about Korea and SC, given that that is all of our common thread.
When we returned, the final round of group play was under way. Louder had taken game 1 off of Machine while we were gone, and iNcontroL had started off 1-0 against G5, I think. Anyways, both games went to the 3rd set, with iNcontroL and Machine coming out on top.
This is where it got a bit tricky. Geoff was 3-0. He was moving on to the Grand Final no matter what. However, Louder, G5 and Machine were all 1-2. All had losses to Geoff (obv) then we had the wonderful rock-paper-scissors situation. However, somehow WCG had decided beforehand that individual games would settle the score, and since Machine and G5 had both been swept once and Louder hadn't, Louder moved on to the Grand Final.
In the GF, you could see some definite things. For one, Louder had complained earlier that his chair was low and his hands were getting cold, and it seemed to finally be taking it's toll. Also, iNcontroL was on FIRE. And the results showed. 2-0 victory for Geoff.
After the games were finally wrapped up I got to introduce myself to Machine and iNcontroL formally, as I hadn't gotten to do so before hand. All of the guys that were there are pretty cool guys, also met Django and Det sometime in the midst of the event.
I'm already looking forward to National Finals, which start on September 25th I heard. I'll definitely be there, and definitely be looking forward to seeing everyone again.