Tag: event review

Collegiate StarLeague & Teh Pwn Gaming Midwest Meltdown

Date: March 3-4, 2012
Location: St. Paul Student Center, St. Paul, MN

This weekend I had the pleasure of representing The Spawn Room at another Teh Pwn Gaming StarCraft 2 tournament. I had been to their previous 2011 StarCraft 2 Open so I was excited to see another high quality tournament. Along with me were my close friends and fellow SpawnRoomers Mitch “Legacy” Tallman and Joe “Gerba” Ohnstad.

Day 1

The first day was a Collegiate Star League qualifier involving several regional Universities. Registered were the Universities of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Wisconsin-Madison, Case Western Reserve, Cincinnati, West Illinois, Chicago, St. Olaf, Iowa State, University of Iowa, and Mankato State. Needless to say, it was a full-house with a lot of great talent fighting for a spot in the CSL playoffs.

Like many LANs, the day’s matches were delayed due to unforeseeable networking issues. From what I heard, the venue was only supplied with a limited amount of IP addresses. Instead of 12-16 per table, they got 12 overall, which clearly isn’t enough for dozens of players. Fortunately a work-around was implemented and the tournament began a couple hours behind schedule. As usual, LAN mode would probably solve something like this.

“Team TSR” spent the first day of the event meeting the other sponsors and casually talking to various people at our booth. I met Evan from Fancy Pants Gangsters, a local Internet broadcaster, Nick and Dennis from Antec, Elling from Asus, and Robert from Device Unknown. They were all really friendly and great to talk to. I want to give a special shoutout to the Antec for traveling from San Francisco for this tournament and bringing a ridiculous amount of swag to give away! That’s some eSports dedication right there. I also had the pleasure of chatting with Dan, the NOS representative I met last year. His booth was decked out with free give-aways, NOS energy, a console gaming area, and some lovely girls helping gamers choose the right beverage. Overall it was a great setup for the sponsors and definitely an improvement over last year.

The matches were pretty solid from what I saw, although it was a little difficult to follow. Since games displayed individual player names, I had no idea which teams were actually competing. And as for someone who only watches big SC2 pro tournaments, the CSL format was a little confusing at first. Of course after reading the description on the site it made sense, but personally I’d prefer a more standard 1v1 bo3 winners-losers bracket.

The production quality was again very high for a regional tournament and is probably the highest you’re going to find around this neck of the woods. The only two problems that persisted the length of the event was variable sound and stage lighting. From our booth, it was somewhat hard to hear the casters and often times we got lost trying to figure out what was happening. This problem isn’t easy to solve however. If the speakers were too loud, the players may hear the casters narrating their games. Ideally, we could have watched the stream, but unfortunately the University wireless was too slow. The other main problem was the lighting on the projector screen. It was too high and washed out the image. Had that been lowered or removed, the screen would have been much clearer. I’m assuming this was the case because the casters needed light?

Day 2

Day 2 launched the Open tournament. This was what we were really looking forward to since familiar names were competing. Players like redground, Nozick, EroSennin, stips, storm, PsychonautQQ, JaPz, happyhobo, and Ssok were listed among many others. There were also some “known players” registered: puCK from Convergence Gaming and Everize from Team Dynamic, Complexity’s goswser was listed but couldn’t make it (non-cash prize pool?). In total, there were 56 registers players, down from approximately 73 that registered last year. After talking with a few it sounds like many were focusing less on StarCraft and more on school and jobs right now.

Matches began with a round robin that guaranteed at least 6 games for every competing player. This was a really smart idea on part of TPG for two reasons. One, every player got to play their money’s worth of games, and two, the spectators got a chance to see who the top skilled players were. It was fun watching the results and picking out who was likely to make it through.

After the round robin, they proceeded with a tiebreaker series for all 4-2-0 players. This was a little confusing because according to Challonge, the top 8 were already chosen using the “tiebreaker score”. This decision, while offering more exciting games, ultimately resulted in two problems. First, the two 4-2-0 players seeded the highest, now had to compete again for spots they probably should have had automatically. Luckily for them, they ended up both winning that bracket and securing their spots. And the second problem was that it took so long that the top 8 losers bracket had to be dropped to save time (although consolation matches were played off stream). Either way it resulted in good matches, but ideally the top players should have a chance to come back after a loss.

Top 8 ended up consisting of: Everize, Sports, Moa, Moosegills, puCK, Daydream, sTrike, and redground. They each fought a bo3 elimination round leaving Everize vs Moa and puCK vs redground. Everize was probably favored over Moa in terms of skill, but both had a lot of support in the stream. As for puCK and redground it’s hard to say. Redground is like a local hero and clearly a talented player, but puCK is rostered on an official eSports team. The next bo3 went underway and resulted in explosive cheers from redground’s station. He went 2-1 over puCK and would face Everize (2-0 over Moa) in the finals. puCK and Moa would also play a series resulting in a third place win for puCK.

The finals were pretty awesome from a spectators POV. Everize started the series with a relatively quick 2-0 over redground, and it seemed like he was going to walk away with an easy win. It seemed like his drop play and constant harass was just too much for redground to deal with. But he wasn’t ready to give up quite yet and turned the tables taking two games from Everize. As each moment passed by, people began to get more excited as they saw the almost impossible opportunity for redground to take the tournament. The final match was pretty back and forth at the beginning and looked promising for both players. But unfortunately redground’s army couldn’t stop his opponents and the series ended 3-2 in favor of Everize.

Overall this years event was solid and an improvement in almost every way. The mini-MLG setup gave it a very legitimate feel and allowed spectators to mingle amongst the players. The games, especially the top 8, were exciting and well casted (from what I caught). The layout for sponsors and partners was excellent, the staff was friendly and helpful, and the coordinators were constantly at work. In fact, the biggest shoutout I want to give is to Evva and everyone who made this possible. Events like this are invaluable to helping build eSports and introduce new people to the scene. Thanks for all your hard work!


CSL Bracket Swiss Bracket Tiebreaker Bracket Top 8 #1 Top 8 #2

Stream VODs on Twitch

TPG Facebook / Twitter / TSR Facebook / Twitter

Other Tags: TPG, StarCraft II, SC2, CSL

Major League Gaming Winter Arena (2012), Pay-Per-View Experience

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching the MLG Winter Arena, something I hadn’t initially planned on doing. It was Friday morning and I was trying to decide whether to click the big, yellow pay button on Twitch.tv. $20 for a traditionally free event just didn’t seem worth it, especially since there was ASUS ROG and a pile of work in front of me. But as I stared at the MLG logo I realized that I couldn’t miss it. There’s just something about MLG events that’s too appealing to pass up. So here is my experience as an eSports Pay-Per-Viewer.

The Platform

The first thing you noticed after launching the live stream was their new interface. It was sleek and sexy, and intelligently designed. I was actually very surprised because generally these kind of in-house things suck. But this overlay for the Arena was awesome. The designer Kyle Magee (@KyleJMagee) did a fantastic job and you can tell he definitely spent time thinking about how people would use it. So the first shout out I want to give is to him.

The performance throughout the tournament was adequate. There were very few lag spikes (except during the finals), and the 1080p stream was crystal clear. The biggest technical problem was the multiple login requests from Twitch.tv. If the stream you were watching asked for your credentials, it killed the other streams and you’d have to login multiple times. Fortunately the Twitch staff got that fixed up after Friday.

Overall the visual and auditory experience was something I would expect from ESPN or another corporate entity. The graphics, transitions, music, pre-show content, everything was very impressive and a huge leap for eSports. I laughed to myself as I recalled opening multiple tabs, resizing windows, and manually switching audio to watch games for last years events. Not anymore ladies and gentlemen, not anymore!

The Casters

As always the casting team by MLG did an amazing job. The line up was: Nick “Tasteless” Plott, Dan “Artosis” Stemkoski, Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, JP “itmeJP” McDaniel, Rob “robpsimpson” Simpson, Tobias “TumbaSC” Sherman, and Tim “Robintivo” Frazier. Oh and yes, Day[9] wasn’t there, apparently his schedule didn’t work with the event. They also had players like Paulo “CatZ” Vizcarra and Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen casting games as well. It was a great line up and had some hilarious moments all weekend long.

Perhaps the coolest part of the casting setup was the main stream and the “side-table” (is there an official name?). After two main casters covered a game, they would turn to an additional two casters that would talk about their analysis. It was an awesome little back-and-forth that added a lot to the viewing experience.

Overall the Arena was very professional in terms of its casting selection. Everyone looked sharp (although not everyone thought so) and casted great. The only change I would make here, and it was originally stated by iNcontroL, was the “low production” white rooms:

Really don’t like the white room casting thing for MLG. Has a low production feel to it. @MLG @MLGSundance — otherwise great so far!

— Geoff Robinson (@EGiNcontroL) February 25, 2012

The Games and Players

I’m not going to break down individual games since there’s plenty of coverage out there, but I will say that they were awesome! Some of the biggest names in StarCraft were battling it out this weekend, so game after game was a treat to watch. If you couldn’t afford, or refused to pay the $20 PPV charge, you’ll definitely want to check out these games once they’re released.

I tuned into ASUS ROG this weekend as well, but when you compared brackets it was easy to see which tournament was more appealing. Don’t get me wrong, there were some big names at Assembly, and their tournament was great, but MLG’s line-up was just so sick.

Another feature that added interactiveness to the matches was their use of the @Poll service for phones and Twitter. Before and during matches you could send in your vote for who was going to win (or who you wanted to win). It added another level of fun to the tournament but wasn’t explained very well. The first few I sent failed because I didn’t realize you were ONLY supposed to put “@Poll ######” NOT “@Poll PLAYERNAME ######”. So I missed some vital voting sessions but it all worked out in the end. They also had a Twitter account @MLGAllAccess which was giving out prizes for guessing when players would GG and how long matches would run. Another great idea.

Lastly MLG made sure to reduce down-time as much as possible by providing on-screen brackets, match overviews and updates, and interviews with players. It all flowed smoothly and definitely was in improvement over having commercials or graphics and music.

And for those of you who know @G4MR on Twitter, he wrote up a recommended games list on his blog. Check it out. I’ll be sure to add more links if I find some good ones.

So was it worth the $20?

Yes and no. This event was a great idea, it was run amazingly well, and delivered an experience I am happy to pay for. But here’s where we draw the line. On the one side you have people serious about eSports, like myself, the players, die-hard fans, etc. We are the people this event was successful for. On the other side you have the vast majority of StarCraft 2 fans, a group unwilling to pay for this event. For them, PPV may not be worth it.

But I believe this is a great step for legitimizing eSports. Any industry that has depth offers more to those who continually pursue it. We often times see the world at a surface level, thinking that that’s as far as it goes. “eSports is about free content”, “this will ruin eSports”, “no one wants this”, etc. And that’s a perfectly valid reaction to be honest. We have expectations for MLG and they changed them. But I think the problem isn’t that this event cost money, it was that our perspective of the event was never clear. We shouldn’t look at these Arena’s as a traditional tournament. It’s something entirely new, designed for a new audience, and providing a new level of content. I think the outrage that surrounded this Arena was unjust because people weren’t looking at it the right way. These Arena’s are a great idea because they showcase which organizations and individuals are serious about eSports and/or StarCraft. They give serious news sites and blogs a chance to publish “exclusive” content that will help drive viewers to their site. “Who won? What matches were good? How was the experience? Did anything crazy happen?” These questions can only be answered by people who are trying to make headway in this industry. Someone had to do it first, and MLG got plenty of negative press for it, but I think it turned out great and really showed the world that eSports isn’t a joke and it’s not going to die, because there’s serious business behind it (or at least potential).

So, what I’m trying to say, is that PPV did some good this weekend and catered to a more serious audience. It has the potential to help eSports grow tremendously as long as we treat it properly. If all events start going PPV, no one will win and eSports will shrink drastically. If we find a nice balance of free and PPV events the industry will entice new talent through the lure of profitable ventures and become something worth doing for a lot more people.

A list of other random things

Here is a list of other random things that didn’t fit into the main article:

Prior to, and during the event, a philanthropist thread on Reddit was helping poor gamers get PPV passes! What a generous community of awesome people. :)

Minor improvements to the overlay could be: mouse disappears after x-amount of time (mine wasn’t doing this for some reason). Indicate we are logged into Twitch.tv and have a premium pass. Ensure that whoever is playing right now is listed somewhere. Occasionally the “update message” wasn’t displaying who was playing on each stream.

In case you didn’t know: the first game each day was free to watch, then a “pay wall” went up. There were no commercials, only website ads on the info panels (panels you could open and close at will). Every match was available to watch live.

Of the “80 hours of content” or whatever they advertised, I watched around 25 hours myself. I don’t think it was really possible to watch more than that: Friday ~4pm-12am, Saturday ~12pm-9pm, Sunday 12pm-7pm. Does that look right?

Sundance mentioned two important things. One, the event was successful and there will be more. And two, there might be an Arena event for LoL in the works?

MKP didn’t know he won at first. It was a very weird ending to the event and brings up a good point: players need to learn how to win and lose better! Show some emotion guys, it’s kind of awkward otherwise. I know, I know, he was overwhelmed, blah blah blah. Just throw up a fist or something.

“As Video Gaming Goes Pro, Viewers Pay Up” – NPR interview with Husky. Tweeted during the event, haven’t actually listened to it quite yet.

And GameSpot coverage by Slasher. This is a great step for GameSpot, recognizing eSports and helping out.

Other Tags: MLG, StarCraft II, SC2, PPV

Major League Gaming Anaheim 2011 – Wrap Up Coverage

Championship Sunday has ended and MLG Anaheim has come to a close. Now it’s time to sort through the mess and find the best videos, photos, articles, and posts floating around the webs. Check back here for updates! Note: this is primarily Starcraft 2 information. If you’re here for Halo: Reach or Call of Duty: Black Ops, well you’re in the wrong place.

If you’re looking for tournament brackets and results, then you’ll want to check out Team Liquid’s coverage page. If you’re looking for replay packs, MLG announced that they will NOT be providing them! Instead they will be distributed to casters who will broadcast them on their channels. People were extremely happy about this as you would imagine…


I think the first and most obvious link I should provide is to MLG’s official video sources: MLG.TV and YouTube.

Anaheim’s introduction was extra special with day9 and djwheat exchanging an intimate moment.

The Anaheim relay race (DeMusliM got a wee bit injured).

I thought this was funny: Idra turns his back after JP asks him and Cruncher to shake hands.

In case you missed it: Jinro’s nuke against Choya (HD).

And of course day9 and djwheat dancing.

For a mix of videos coming out of Anaheim, you’ll want to check out pro team channels and organizations publishing on YouTube: compLexityINSIDER, myEGnet, Hyper Crew TV, ESFI World

Of course teams and big fancy eSports organizations aren’t the only ones pumping out videos from the event. Individual gamers, fans, and rando’s are putting up stuff on YouTube as well: AskJoshy, rakakase, itmeJP

NEW: Jason Lake interviewed about eSports by ESFI

Top Photos and Galleries

This is a sweet interactive 360 panorama of the venue floor. And another panoramic view.

Obviously the best photos will undoubtedly be from eSports teams and organizations since they have the budgets to afford nice cameras, so check these sources out first: Evil Geniuses, compLexity, HyperCrewTV, WellPlayed.org Twitpic / Flickr, ESFI, MLGSC2Scores, CheckSix, Sixjax

And just as with the videos, individual photographers are uploading as well: Joshtacular, SirScoots, Leah Jackson, Anna Prosser

The Astro Gaming booth always looks so awesome.

You might have heard of QXC and his sign.

miniwheat makes an appearance.

I think they ended up adding some more chairs for the SC2 crowd, but I’m sure it wasn’t remotely enough.

NEW: an epic picture of day9.

NEW: rofl, race change.

Best Articles and Posts

If you’re interested in reading some personal accounts of the MLG Anaheim experience, blogs are probably your best friend. Here are some I ran across: compLexity’s blogs

Can White-Ra do the impossible


I think overall the event went really well and, almost as expected, began breaking previous stream records. MLGLee and Sundance both tweeted something about it (and another from Sundance). The fans and viewers seemed pleased overall with a few complaints here and there about memberships not working. Of course you’ll have some people who do nothing but bitch (like this guy).

I was hoping I’d come across some funny and/or witty tweets as I watched the #MLG hashtag search on Twitter, but most people just reported things. Anyway, I think this ended up being my favorite tweet of the event.

The first comment on this photo is pretty straightforward.

Also be sure to keep an eye on sites like SC2 Ratings which can help you determine which games to watch if you missed some.

The longest match was between Boxer and Rain lasting an epic 1:12:56 (game time).

If there’s anything I missed let me know. And over the week following the event I’ll be keeping an eye on various sources and add anything interesting I come across. Other thanks for reading and see you online!

Other Tags: MLG, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, Pro Circuit

Major League Gaming Anaheim 2011 – Articles and Posts

Authors and fans will be clacking away all weekend publishing an array of articles ranging from total crap to delectably awesome. We’ll do our best to sort through them all and deliver what you need.

NOTE: This article will be updated all weekend, so refer back for changes.

(Source : Article : Author)


Cadred : MLG Anaheim Preview : mYNDIG

ESFI : The top 3 top 5s for MLG Anaheim 2011 : Derek Staley

ESFI : ThisIsJimmy battles MLG Anaheim Open Bracket : Ted Ottey


MLG : MLG Pro Circuit Replays

coL : compLexity Gaming blogs : various

FNATIC : FNATIC blogs : various

TL : No replays released from Anaheim : various

Tweets [sic]

For fun I thought I’d post my favorite tweets from this weekend (in order of when I found them).

“Just ate a lot of crab. Now time to go home, take my pants off and enjoy a night of StarCraft 2.” - mrgibb

“Lol so many fuckin bros here its gross” - diego_armijo

“Glad to see all of the 8 halo fans in California made it out today to spectate” - JeremysCoLd

“looking forward to watching #MLGtonight, and for the first time since i started following (2006) i will not be watching a console game” - sasmacdonald

“Boner atm because im at #mlg anaheim right before it kicks off!” - Spiritombreeder

Other Tags: MLG, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, Pro Circuit

Major League Gaming Anaheim 2011 – Photos and Video

As MLG Anaheim rages on, both eSports organizations and players snap, crackle, and pop out images left and right. We’ll do our best to find and aggregate these sources all in one spot.

NOTE: This article will be updated all weekend, so refer back for changes.

(where applicable – Source : Media : Author)

Photos taken by organizations

Evil Geniuses : photos on yfrog

compLexity : photos on yfrog

Hyper Crew : photos on yfrog

WellPlayed.org : photos on twitpic flickr

ESFI : photos on twitpic

MLGSc2Scores : photos on twitpic

check6 : photos on twitpic

Photos taken by individuals

MLGLee : photos on twitpic

MLGBen : photos on twitpic

MLG_SolidJake : photos on yfrog

SirScoots : photos on yfrog

Leah Jackson : photos on yfrog

Anna Prosser : photos on yfrog

Brent Ruiz : photos on twitpic

David Bentz : photos on twitpic

mlgcassO : photos on twitpic

Vincent Samaco : photos on twitpic

SrPablo : photos on twitpic

WolfEcho : photos on twitpic

Mark Julio : photos on twitpic

Adam Schodde : photos on yfrog

ArKiVe_ : panoramic view of the venue

Videos taken by organizations

coL : videos on youtube

G4TV : eSports Roundup With Major League Gaming: Talkabout : Leah Jackson

Hyper Crew: MLG Anaheim 2011 Entrance Line

Videos taken by individuals

MLGAnTiPRO : MLG Relay Race Anaheim 2011

IBesTMaN : Team Liquid Relay Race – MLG Anaheim Part 1 and Part 2 (longer 2 part version)

Other Tags: MLG, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, Pro Circuit

Major League Gaming: Columbus (2011) – My Live Experience

The weekend has wrapped up and MLG Columbus is officially over. I had the pleasure of attending in person and I wanted to enlighten my readers with my thoughts, insights, and suggestions.

First, if you have the money, DON’T drive. Myself and three others drove 11+ hours to get to MLG, in a small car on horribly bumpy roads (apparently Illinois doesn’t actually use the toll money to improve their highways). If you are going to drive: DON’T drive back hung over on the hottest day EVER with NO air conditioning! Monday’s 11 hour car ride back was disgustingly hot and sticky…

Second, upon arriving in the host city, make sure you actually check out the hotels connected to the convention center. When we arrived we chcked out the Drury, expecting it to be booked or extremely expensive. Instead they had rooms for a reasonable price that included free breakfast and dinner! It was a pretty sweet deal.

Now onto the actual convention. The lines to get in were pretty long. You’ll either want to get a VIP ticket like I did, arrive really early, or arrive after the doors have opened. Otherwise you’ll be standing for quite awhile. The upside to standing around is that you can meet other gamers and if you’re lucky the players.

Which brings me to my next point: meeting the pros, casters, and community “celebrities” for the first time was actually pretty weird. You kind of realize that these are real people and not just mystical figures you see on streams and casts. One thing to note here is that if you’re planning on meeting the casters, guess again. They are even more busy than the pros and constantly behind-the-scenes working. A few rare times you’ll catch them running around, half-awake, frantically trying to figure something out. My recommendation, say hi, but let them be so they can do their job. If you stick around long enough, they’ll more than likely have a moment to pop out, sign autographs or talk with you.

Speaking of casters, I heard the stream was pretty good this time. The only real upset I heard was when that epic storm hit and flooded part of the convention center. But otherwise it was good, right?

Now let’s talk about the matches. First be prepared, after attending a live event like this, to forever be disappointed with watching streams and replays alone. The roar of the crowd added such powerful emotions to each match, it was simply amazing. The first day when we got seats at the main stage I literally almost teared up to see how much passion and intensity was surging through the crowd. eSports at its finest. I would say the best moments were: the opening match between Idra and MC, TLO’s nuke against IncontroL, the Moon vs Slush baneling landmines, MMA destroying his own command center, the Losira Nydus worm network against MC (starts at 1:00:00), the speech Sundance gave us just before the final matches, and the final matches themselves. Obviously there were plenty more, but these ones really stick out in my head as ones where the crowd went absolutely nuts.

Personally the most disappointing thing about MLG was Idra. Here’s why. When you were growing up did you watch Indiana Jones (the 3 originals)? Well I did and I loved them. Harrison Ford is the man, and I had such a great time pretending I was an adventurer like him. Well when I heard they were making a new movie, I was obviously ecstatic. I eagerly awaited the release and when I finally saw it I was crushed. So much build up, so much anticipation, and then BAM! My world crumbled around me (thanks Spielberg, you asshole). Anyways, this is what Idra’s matches were like. I like watching him, I rooted for him all event, and I was so excited for his game against MC. But when it finally happened he early GG’d and just gave them away. I couldn’t believe it. All this hype just to be completely thrown away. That was by far the low part of the weekend for me.

Alright those are the few fleeting thoughts and opinions I wanted to throw down in an article. Now it’s time for what I normally do on Spawn Room and provide you with a long list of resources so you can find everything you need to review this epic event! As usual, if I miss anything that needs to be included, email, Tweet, or Facebook me a message. Thanks for reading!

Brackets and Results

The full championship braket and open bracket on MLG.

The leaderboards on MLG.

Comprehensive team results on Team Liquid.

Matches and Videos

Official MLG Columbus VOD’s on MLG.

MMA Hadoukens Idra (or Kamehameha, whatever).

YouTube channels with coverage: MLG, Team Liquid, WellPlayed, AskJoshy, Team Complexity, Cyber Sports Network, Edward Starcraft, Evil Geniuses, and ESFI World.

HuskyStarcraft also covered a few matches. MrGlobalHD uploaded a bunch (or all) of the matches on YouTube.

Photos and Image Galleries

Official MLG photo albums.

Team photo galleries: Team Dignitas, Team Complexity, Team FNATIC, vVv Gaming

The Calm Before the Storm by Team Sixjax.

WellPlayed on yfrog. AskJoshy on twitpic. StarCrackShow on yfrog.

Raelcun’s two photo threads on Team Liquid: one and two (warning: may take awhile to load).


All you need to get ready for MLG Columbus by MLG.

Sixjax Gaming has a few MLG blog posts that are interesting and full of pictures.

NEW: Milkis, the translator for the Koreans, wrote up a two part article/post on Team Liquid: Part 1 | Part 2

Note: I’ll be adding more to this article as I find useful or interesting things to add.

Other Tags: MLG, Pro Circuit, COD BLOPS, StarCraft II, SC2, LoL

IGN Pro League 2011 – Coverage

The IGN Pro League has been going strong and here at the Spawn Room we like to ensure all the fans and players are well connected to the content flowing out of it. So as customary, we’re going to provide a comprehensive overview of the event and all the resources you need to stay on top.

First, if you’re like me and constantly busy, your time is worth a lot. One of the problems I’ve faced is trying to determine which games to watch. I’ve mostly been relying on word of mouth but I recently found two resources that will aid you in making that decision a little easier: SC2 Tournament Ratings and SC2casts. You can also check out SC2 Casts Finder, SC2rep.net, and SC2rep.com for similar features.

Brackets and Results

Official IPL Tournament Bracket.

IGN Pro League on Liquipedia.

Match ratings on SC2 Tournament Ratings.

Videos and Features

Official IPL VOD page.

IGN Pro League on WellPlayed.org.

IGN Pro League YouTube channel.

IGN Pro League coverage on SC2casts. This resource lists the games with the series rating, very helpful!

IGN Starcraft YouTube channel.

djWHEAT’s YouTube channel has some match coverage.

TotalHalibut’s YouTube channel has some match coverage.

IGN Pro League official trailer.

JP McDaniel’s YouTube and Justin.TV channels feature State of the Game and Starcraft Center which both touch on the IGN Pro League among other things.

Images and Galleries

All the IGN Pro League player portraits.

Other Pro League Resources

IGN Pro League Twitter.

IGN Pro League Facebook.

IGN Pro League post on Team Liquid.

Other Tags: StarCraft II, SC2, IPL

Collegiate StarLeague & Teh Pwn Gaming StarCraft 2 Open

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending another regional Starcraft 2 Open tournament. This time hosted on the beautiful University of Minnesota campus by their own Teh Pwn Gaming club. It was a great time and well worth the 4 hour drive!

The Venue

The tournament was located in the Science Teaching and Student Services building, on the ground floor. There were three rooms, one for diamond players, one for master players, and one for spectators. The spectator room was circled with large HD televisions, each with groups of comfy computer chairs and tables. Two large projectors, situated on either end of the room, gave an even grander display of the games and really made it feel like a top tier event. There was even soft blue mood lighting which looked really cool and gave just enough light to walk around safely, but not enough that it drowned out the vibrant colors of the TVs. As for speakers, they were all over, so no matter where you were you could hear crisp, loud commentary. It really was a perfect setup.

The diamond and master players rooms were also really nice. Similar in design, these rooms were much quieter and darker. The players sat around circular tables and had a comfortable playing space. They also had projectors for displaying the scores and schedule which I thought was really handy. Between these two rooms there were 73 officially registered players, give or take a few that were M.I.A. Of that number, there was an even split between diamond and master skill level with a fairly equal representation of race. I talked to some of the players expecting to hear nothing but protoss match ups, but was surprised to find that quite a few had been playing mostly Zerg. Unfortunately towards the end of the tournament the remaining majority were Toss. Oh well.

There was also a small room for the newbie tournament. I didn’t spend any time here so I’m not really sure what went on; all I can tell you is that there were about 17 players competing for the small prize pool. The finals were then eventually cast during the master/diamond break period. It was fun to watch and I overheard some players saying that it calmed them down and took their minds off things. I’m guessing it probably felt good to watch them make obvious blunders and laugh about it.

Finally the sponsors. In attendance we had a NOS booth, equipped with all the NOS we could drink, some hotties working the counter, and a few friendly staffers. Unaware just how much energy these things packed, I downed my first can quickly and spent the rest of the night with shaky hands. It was awesome. They also had support from Major League Gaming (MLG) who provided some killer prizes (some even for the fans)! Myself and a few others happened to win free spectator passes for MLG Columbus in June! There were also local sponsors like Oak Street Textbooks, the Student Union and Activities organization, the Minnesota Student Association, and MTech. It’s great to see organizations such as these helping out a grassroots Starcraft 2 tournament like this.

Rising Stars

A couple weeks ago I attended the Twin Cities Open (TCO) and met some great Starcraft 2 players. When heading over to this event I was really hoping to see some of them, but only expected a few at best. To my surprise all the best players from TCO were setup and gaming when I arrived. So let’s talk about the top players of this event and why you should keep an eye on them.

Ssok was our champion that night. His wicked fast APM, impressive unit micro, and unique strategies dominated player after player and put him in the spotlight after defeating Nozick for first place. He has a long history, plays vigorously, and has what it takes to be the best. I would definitely keep an eye out for Ssok on the ladders after you GG to his massive Protoss army.

Nozick was another impressive competitor and fellow TCO attendee. I’m not entirely sure what it is about Nozick, but the man is a beast at Protoss. He’s calm and collect when he plays, he knows the game well, and puts up some amazing fights.

EroSennin was a new face for me, but apparently he’s been around for quite some time. I talked to him shortly before his third place match and he said he’s been playing Brood War for years and reached a high enough level that he was occasionally taking on pro caliber players, competing for WCG qualifiers and reached a B- rating in iCCup. He definitely has the confidence to play well and showed it at this tournament. Definitely a top contender for the next SC2 Open.

MGRedground was another player I recognized from TCO. He’s currently playing for Mobility Gaming, a small eSports upstart trying to get a quality team together to compete in large tournaments. Redground is a solid Terran player with excellent theory and a lot of confidence. Every conversation I’ve had with him, he’s been upfront and honest about the matches. He knows when he can win and will make sure it happens.

Ack and FrozenHobo are two others that really stuck out in my mind. They had the room roaring during some of their matches and showcased some really great talent. I believe both were in the top 8 as well.

I also feel compelled to give Hollywood another shout out because it’s always a pleasure watching him do work against his competition. He’s the amazing, 14 year old Zerg player I met at TCO and again at this event. His dad was there as well, helping him out and showing support through the entire event. It always warms my heart to see such passion and support for something like this.

Finally I want to give a shout out to the other TCO competitors that showed up: RebelJHawk, JaPz, Stips, PsychonautQQ, Storm, and Happyhobo. If I missed anyone I’m sorry, let me know and I’ll throw you on the list. Otherwise next time make sure to seek me out and let me know you’re there. I always love hearing from the players!

Shout Outs

Before wrapping this article up I want to give out a few non-player shout outs. These are some people that I met, did an amazing job and deserve credit for their actions. Thanks for providing and/or contributing to an awesome event!

First I want to recognize the casters who did an amazing job all day long. I was really impressed with the quality of conversation, insight, and energy these guys had. Especially since Siraz was the only one who had done this kind of thing before. Scott ‘Obsidian’ McGrath and Cody ‘Courbple’ Swede (I hope that’s right) were new to casting but stepped up magnificently and performed like pros. Definitely take a moment and show these guys some support!

Next we need to acknowledge Evva and Nick who were in charge of the entire events operations. These were the delegates that showed up to the TCO event to scout for players and tirelessly maintained the event on Saturday. And not only did they run the event, but they were nice enough to spend some extra time talking to me and answer a few questions here and there. I really appreciate that and felt very welcomed by them. So thanks Nick and Evva for putting on a great show and making things happen. Before I jump onto the next shout out, I’d also like to tie in one for Teh Pwn Gaming club and the CSL team for contributing as well. I’m sure this was a team effort with plenty of planning and coordination. Thanks to all you guys!

Finally I want to say thanks to Daniel McIntosh and NOS for getting so involved in the eSports community and more specifically Starcraft 2. More sponsors means more money which leads to big and better tournaments. And of course, more NOS. Thanks for keeping us powered up and showing your support!


I haven’t found a link for the brackets, but as soon as I do I’ll provide them here.

NEW: Replay Pack

NEW: Teh Pwn Gaming on Justin.tv

Official event post on CSL (with link to Team Liquid)


Teh Pwn Gaming club website

Teh Pwn Gaming Facebook page

Facebook Event post and relevant discussion

Spawn Room Facebook images

Other Tags: CSL, LAN, NOS, StarCraft II, SC2, TPG, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, UMN

DreamHack: Stockholm Invitational 2011 – Coverage

The Dreamhack Stockholm Invitational is complete and as usual I wanted to bring you a comprehensive resource for getting all the updates, videos, and pictures you need. This seems like it’s getting old now, but as always, I will update with the bolded “NEW:” text as I come across other cool resources. Oh and I wanted to mention that the State of the Game crew spoke very highly of these matches and the production values of Dreamhack, so don’t miss this!

Results and Brackets

Videos and Streams

Pictures and Image Galleries

Other Interesting Links and Articles

A heart warming story about Jinro returning to Sweden for the Invitational and receiving a supportive welcome home. Here’s the Team Liquid English summary.

Other Tags: DH, SotG, StarCraft II, SC2

LAN World Gaming: Twin Cities Open Starcraft 2 Tournament

Last week I saw a listing on Team Liquid for a Starcraft 2 LAN tournament in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fueled by my interest in eSports and the lingering excitement from MLG Dallas, I took this as an opportunity to network with some local and regional gamers. The event was hosted at a collectible card and LAN gaming venue called “LAN World Gaming“, which funny enough has the exact same WordPress theme as me. What are the chances?! :P

Upon arriving, I began touring the tables and watching each player as they competed. The tournament was broken up into two divisions, one for bronze through platinum players (12 participants), and one for diamond and masters (26 participants). There seemed to be a pretty wide range of skill in attendance which made for some interesting games, with a few key players that really stuck out. The final few matches of the diamond-masters division is where we really saw some skill at work. Notably the champion SilentScope aka Redground from Mobility-Gaming who brought his Terran A-game. We also saw the runner-up PsychonautQQ repeatedly stomp the competition to take his second place victory. Third went to a protoss player with incredible Brood War-esque micro under the name of Ssok. There were so many other players that were also showcasing amazing talent, but I don’t have time to list them all off. If you’re interested in seeing more, check out the brackets linked above and below.


The upper division finals ended just before midnight which coincided with the event schedule. I was impressed and very pleased with this because by about that time I hadn’t eaten in roughly 11 hours, I was running on nothing but Amp, and had a 2 hour drive in front of me. So getting to see the finals before I passed out later that night was a great treat! Unfortunately I think I missed the lower bracket finals. I hope everything worked out there.

Having had some time to digest Saturday’s event, I have two suggestions for the event coordinators. The first is to provide a means for spectators to quickly see the updated brackets. I attempted to check them on my phone a few times, but the page didn’t render correctly so I had to rely exclusively on the players. The other suggestion I have is to create a seating chart as people arrive at the venue. There were a few times when I overheard players wondering who was who and where they were sitting. I think a seating chart would be a simple and effective solution. But besides these two minor points, I think everything else went well and I had an excellent time.

Before wrapping this article up, I wanted to give a shout out to Hollywood, the youngest competitor at the event. This 14 year old Starcraft 2 player is ranked Masters and is taking his first steps into the world of competitive gaming. I had the pleasure of talking to his father who was excited to tell me about his sons skills and the history of their lives as gamers. I was extremely happy to see such support because I feel a lot of parents still look down on the gaming habits of their children. It’s a shame because it’s important and Starcraft 2 is redefining how we look at eSports and the opportunities it provides. So a big shout out to Hollywood’s Dad as well!

Hollywood and Me

Finally, I wanted to say thanks to everyone at the event for being so friendly and making me and my cause here at Spawn Room feel welcomed! I had a great time meeting everyone and I hope to see you all in the future! If you want to get in contact with me at any time, you can do so by replying @SpawnRoom on Twitter, posting on Facebook, commenting here on the site, or emailing me directly. Thanks for reading!



Diamond/Masters Brackets

Bronze-Platinum Brackets

Mentions (shout-outs)



Other Resources

TCO Replay Pack Download

LAN World Gaming’s Facebook Page (updated with photos from the event)

TCO’s stream on Own3d.tv

TCO’s thread on Team Liquid

Other Tags: TCO, LAN, Saint Paul, St. Paul

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