The past month went by so fast I barely felt it, and suddenly it's gone. I guess between the trips to Seychelles, Beijing, Toronto and L.A., all the flying took enough days away to make it much shorter than the usual 30 I should have.
I kept telling myself that I'd find time to do certain things but there just never seem to be enough hours in a day to finish all the stuff that I want to do anymore. I feel it so much that I push back sleep day after day after day, and now it's somehow became a habit to skip sleep regularly. -_-
My body has really not been agreeable at all, and as much as I keep telling myself I need to sleep every day it's become so hard, especially when I'm in the mode to push myself to work.
Last weekend I found my way to Ontario, California, for the grand finals of the North American Star League. I think it's hard for a lot of people to understand why I'm spending so much time being so serious about StarCraft, minus the few long-time followers who've been with me since my earliest days. I don't really know how to express it very well, but I guess I could say it's just me being me.
Like with go, air rifle, anime, and music, I want to pursue the things I enjoy and love. Through them I am always learning, and they are what brought me to where I am today with photography. This passion for things has kept me going and I'd never want to change or give up who I am because of what others may say. Please bear with me if I blog about things that are not related to photography. ^^;
At some point I will probably write about the shoots in Seoul and Seychelles before I completely forget about them, but since the shots have yet to be released I guess they'll have to wait a bit.
The NASL finals was pretty much the first time I'd ever been to a LAN event. It was a bit like combining the experience of a concert live and competition both into one haha.
My caster friend Wombat gave me lifts to the venue both Friday and Sunday (thank you Wombat!) but we were late on Friday because despite being up nearly all night I was still working in the morning. =_=;
We arrived at the Ontario Convention Center sometime past noon. The matches were supposed to start at 11am but they were delayed due to technical issues with the projectors. I heard they broke like literally 10 minutes before the doors opened. o_o;; So I guess forever was spent on the attempt of fixing them but to no avail. We started Friday with no live video feeds on the big screens, only gameplays with the production tabs cropped out, it was a little bit painful, but everything was fixed and smooth from Saturday on~!
Tasteless as MC
They had this background for conducting interviews backstage with the players after their wins, I think they only did it for the very first match (Ret vs PuMa) but thereafter it was all on the main stage because the live audience couldn't see anything. ;_;
Also backstage, Friday's schedules
I gotta say, the lighting was really too dim for photography throughout the event. I should probably have given my feedback to the NASL guys and hoped for them to do something about it, oh well... ;_;
Morrow setting up in his booth
I'd never been to MLG so I'm not sure how it works there, but at GSL the GOM Studio has four booths. Two players would be playing their match while the next two set up their stuff in the other two booths, so no time is lost in between matches. There were pretty long waiting times in between at NASL and I hope it's something that they'd be able to improve on in the future aside from the lighting.
I saw Moon resting (napping?) backstage before his game and it reminded me so much of my air rifle days~ In between qualifier and finals I'd usually do this as well. It's not just completely about resting but also staying focused on the competition. Some players like to move around but media, fans and other players can sometimes become distracting factors and you really don't want to be thinking about results when it's your turn to go.
oGsZenio making his entrance
oGsMC being ever so confident <3
MC in his booth
I know it's weird but I really admire MC for his super upright sitting posture. Reminds me of school days when I was back in China, except I definitely don't sit like that right now haha.
Moon being interviewed by Rachel Quirico after his win
Moon made a lot of banelings in his game vs HasuObs. When Rachel interviewed him after his game asking about it, he thought for a while, and then said that it was because July made a lot of banelings in the previous match, so he felt like making more than that. Everyone was like LOL wtf, it was quite a moment and I don't think the audience laughed harder than that for the rest of Friday.
SeleCT doing his Sup Son ¯\_( ツ)_/¯ pose for the cameras
Sen's expressions after winning were always super intense, I'm really glad that he did so well.
SlayerS BoxeR and Jessica
It may not feel like it to some others, but the venue was actually a little bit cold.
On Sunday I caught a glimpse of Lindsey. Super gorgeous girl, it was really nice that she was making an effort to understand the game.
At some point one of our teammates was interviewed by her. I heard that after plugging the team channel it went straight to the max 100, pretty cool haha.
Sen cheerful by the CSL girls
In between matches there were allocated times and places for signings, but sometimes people would stop players or casters as they walked around and once it starts it starts a queue in the middle of nowhere and lasts for a long time till the matches start again.
We saw some really exciting matches between MC and PuMa for the grand finals. MC was having such an incredibly sick comeback but PuMa played so amazingly as well. I think most people agree that it's probably one of the most epic set of games in a tournament. My respect for MC definitely went up a notch, he was so good ._.
PuMa in his booth after winning the final game
The players of NASL Season 1 Finals
The winners PuMa, MC and Sen take home $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 respectively. I'm super happy for the players, thank you for giving us such great games~ It really ended the event on a high note, you'd really have to be in the audience to feel how epic it was~
Temp0 and Anna Prosser also performed two SC2 parody songs 'Dan' and 'Overrun This Town', one before and one after the matches on Sunday. Great performances met with a lot of love from the audience. Was definitely a nice touch to end the games~
Temp0 and Anna Prosser
I walked around a bit as things started to wrap, watched people trying to get their last photos with their favourite players and casters.
Bunch of people having a group photo with BoxeR with everyone looking in a different direction
I managed to meet up with Danglars, my team's #1 fan. Helped him take a photo with Tastosis and then they told me I needed to get some photos taken too. So we got a couple together.
Wombat, Danglars, me
Me, Day9 and Danglars
And last but not least... with another girl~!
Megumixbear and Jingna
Megumi and I actually met in the washroom. It just happens that we both like saying hi to strangers we meet in the ladies and ask them how they feel about the event. She got to it first that day, and asked to shake my hand. I was super confused and taken aback cuz that was so completely random but cute and terribly sweet all at the same time haha. But yo, she's a Master league Terran, teaches ikebana, outgoing and friendly, how are there such cool girls around? I totally need to go to these LANs more.
There was an after party later that night but photography wasn't allowed. It was SUPER crowded but really fun. I'm not sure what else I can say about it? I met a lot of people and Rachel was super hot~! :D
I'm so looking forward to MLG Anaheim now, especially with my players attending as well. I think it'd really be quite an experience cuz I haven't travelled with a team since 2007, maybe 2006? Time passes by so fast I can't even keep track anymore. ;_; When people ask about my work these days they're like how long have you been doing photography? And part of me would want to say four years, before I realize that another year has already passed and it is five now. It didn't feel like that long ago at all when I used to say I'd only been doing photography for three months, time really does fly. T___T