AMD PG Challenge
was a big LAN party with a lot of tournaments held in various computer
games. It took place in the Czech Republic, near Prague in a huge aircraft
hangar. Even though I was there just to spectate I found it very enjoyable
and I'm going to try to remember what was happening day by day :). Note
that I was there with my friends from Bulgaria and I'm going to tell the
story from our perspective, this is more a report of our trip rather than
a report of the whole event.
On Wednesday the whole Bulgarian
group of 4 gamers and 2 spectators arrived in Prague, after a 24 hour
bus ride. That day we just had a walk around the city and enjoyed the
nice sights. In the evening the 3 broodwar players and me went to our
small hotel or more appropriate "hostel" as they call it. We
had two rooms, one for [OS]KurMur and nL8)DIDI8[BG] and one for me and
[o]Mr.X. Czech people seem to have a weird understanding about a 2 person
room, so me and Mr.X had to sleep together in a huge bed T_T. We were
a bit hungry, but luckily DIDI8 had brought some nice food from Bulgaria
and he shared it with us :).
We weren't sure about the
time the tourney starts, that's why after a breakfast at McDonalds we
took a taxi quite early and went to the Airport Logistic Park, where the
lan party was taking place. Unfortunately it turned out we have to wait
4 hours there before they let us get in :(. The guards at the entrance
just told us to go to a nearby village to eat something, but some very
cold rain and strong cold wind forced us to run back as fast as we could...
The next few hours we waited in a small room where our only entertainment
was the camera I had brought and a coffee machine.
At 3-4 o'clock in the afternoon
we finally got into the huge hall with all the comps and all the freaky
gamers :). It was crazy, ~600 comps in that enormous room.
Mr.X and DIDI8 wasted no
time and started warming up as soon as the network was working. They played
many games random vs random just to get used to the PCs and prepare for
the tourney. Soon Nazgul and some other guy from the Netherlands, Smurf,
arrived. Indeed I was curious to see how people outside my country play.
The first interesting thing about Nazgul I noticed was that he is left
handed :). Surprisingly he was significantly slower than DIDI8 and Mr.X,
but nevertheless he was casting well aimed storms and macroing well with
hotkeys. Later the Yugoslavian group arrived - Fenki(BH), Hico(BH) and
Ins(BH). They happened to be the coolest guys we met at the lan party,
and the next few days we had some nice moments together at the tourney,
in a nearby restaurant and in Prague.
Later in the evening [OS]KurMur
had three PvZ games with Nazgul, winning the first one and losing the
next two. Then Mr.X took his place (without telling Nazgul it's not KurMur
anymore, so bm ^^) and played TvP against Nazgul, but just as it got really
complicated all over the map Nazgul left saying "gg" and not
explaining why exactly he left. The next games Mr.X had with Nazgul again
were under another person's nick - this time Hico(BH) wanted him to play
from his comp. After losing the first game Nazgul sent some scouts and
knew it was Mr.X, so the next game he played more seriously and managed
to win :).
Mr.X was very tired already,
very much like the rest of us, so we wondered where we were going to sleep.
Paying for the hotel was a mistake as there was no good transport to Prague
in the evening. Most people had brought their sleeping bags, and luckily
the Serbs at least gave us two blankets. Somehow Mr.X, KurMur and DIDI8
had to find a way to sleep on those 2 blankets, and I slept on some chairs
as I wasn't participating in the tourney and supposedly didn't need to
sleep that much. Nazgul had his sleeping bag, and poor Smurf was sleeping
right on the floor :O.
In the morning I took over
the two blankets when my friends got up and slept better a few hours.
Meanwhile the tourney started, and when I woke up the first few rounds
were over already. It was double elimination, and every match was 2 out
of 3. I saw some faces I hadn't seen the previous day, as the [pG] guys
had arrived from Sweden and Germany. Mr.X knew a few rounds later he had
to play Nazgul on Jungle Story. That's why he was very interested when
DIDI8 played some practice games against Naz on that map. Both DIDI8 and
Nazgul seemed to be trying to fool each other, not playing at their best
abilities and not showing their best strats... The last game they played
Mr.X commanded DIDI8 to test a 3 factory pure vulture rush and it worked
quite well, but maybe Nazgul was not trying hard. Anyway after seeing
how Nazgul plays we all thought his main weakness is unit control and
not being as fast as the Bulgarians.
Talking about speed, the
biggest crowd was always behind Mr.X and DIDI8 because they were really
fast, especially DIDI8 was probably the fastest player at the tournament.
I'll include a small video of him playing, real fun to see ^^.
Most players were using
very fast mouse settings, and mostly Logitech MouseMan mice. Almost everyone
thought that optical mice aren't suitable for gaming yet, that's why most
used ball mice. It's interesting to mention that the fastest player was
using the slowest mouse settings by far - on DIDI8's comp I could hardly
scroll from one end of the screen to the other without having to lift
the mouse, real weird how he plays.
first serious opponent was MadFrog-pG. We hadn't really heard anything
about him until then, but even though DIDI8 won he was impressed of his
opponent's skill and complimented him after the games. Now I know Madfrog
is one of Sweden's wcg players, and I think he really deserves it :).
Mr.X had a relatively easy
bracket until he had to play against Fanatik[pG] on Legacy of Char. Fanatik
won the first game TvZ (Mr.X as zerg) and the second game they had the
same races... Fanatik was doing very well, expanding early and always
keeping his army at the right spot, so Mr.X had a really hard time beating
him after a long exhausting game. Then the third game was TvP and after
Fanatik's reaver tech didn't work out well Mr.X continued to the next
round where he had to play Nazgul. At that point Mr.X was only awake because
of drinking energy drinks, and Nazgul agreed to play him the next day...
so manner :).
[OS]KurMur was sadly out
of the tournament at this point but as you will see on the pics he was
having a lot of fun anyway :). DIDI8 and Mr.X found someone to drive them
to Prague in order to sleep at the hotel this evening, me and KurMur stayed.
The next day Nazgul and
Mr.X finally played their games, and it was the first BroodWar match shown
on the big screen. Mr.X won it 2:1, but I was watching DIDI8 vs Saft at
that point. Mr.X lost TvP but won ZvP and PvZ and went through, sending
Nazgul to the losers bracket.
Meanwhile DIDI8 was fighting
Saft on Valhalla - the Swede won the first game as Terran against DIDI8's
toss, but the Bulgarian came back winning PvP and PvZ. The last game,
the PvZ, was very interesting and had DIDI8 finishing off Saft with carriers
and corsairs with D-web...
Then Mr.X beat I think Janis[pG]
on Valhalla and had to play DIDI8 in the semi finals of the winners bracket.
In the other half of the bracket there were so many empty slots that Jesse[pG]
reached the final of the winners bracket after playing just 3-4 matches
or less. DIDI8 vs Mr.X on Dire Straits was the second match we saw on
the big screen, and the spectators really enjoyed it. Mr.X won the first
game very fast, but then he lost the second game even faster T_T. The
final game was classic - long and exciting PvP. DIDI8 won in the end with
a sexy mass reaver/scout combination, and the crowd applauded.
Meanwhile in losers bracket
Nazgul had a funny game against someone, again PvP @ Dire. After some
nasty reaver action both players were out of minerals, but Nazgul's opponent
at least had probes, shuttles and a Nexus at his main. Theoretically he
could shuttle his probes to other islands and mine until he had money
to start an expansion, but for some reason he just left the game and let
Nazgul win. Later he explained he was nervous and didn't realize he was
you can see on the pic to the left, [OS]KurMur wasn't wasting his time
meanwhile ^^. That evening we all went to the hotel and I finally took
a so needed bath. DIDI8 and Mr.X were both concerned about their next
matches as the map for the next round was Jim Raynor's Memory - they didn't
know it at all as it is a non-wcg map.
That day was the disaster
for my friends. When we arrived at the tournament location, Mr.X and DIDI8
played two fast warm up games on JR's memory as Mr.X didn't even know
the shape of the map. Mr.X expected that he would have to play against
Nazgul but it turned out Saft had eliminated him. I watched a replay of
Saft vs. Nazgul, it was a great display by Saft on the same map he was
going to play against Mr.X.
Actually Saft lost the first
game PvZ, but the next two games he used the map's characteristics very
well as terran and won them both after some long battles.
This way Mr.X was out of
the tournament, finishing in 5th place. We both went to check out how
DIDI8 is doing against Jesse[pG] in the winners bracket final, but he
was already losing a second game in a row. DIDI8 tried to use a weird
trick he had seen in a replay on that map, but it failed pathetically
and actually screwed him up pretty bad. Me and Mr.X went to the nearby
village to eat something, and on the way we discussed how close it is
nowadays in those tourneys, with everyone being good and how important
map experience is.
While going back to see
what's happening at the tourney, we both suspected that DIDI8 has lost
against Saft in the losers bracket final, as our friend always plays bad
after losing in winners bracket. Sadly (not for the Swedish fans though,
heh) we were right and all of us just watched a bit of the actual final
that was Jesse vs Saft ZvP. Jesse won that, and the award of 1200 USD
belonged to him :). I wish I knew in advance that he was so good, I saw
just his last few games in the tourney.
Congrats to the Swedes,
they were really strong and took 1st and 2nd and also MadFrog took 4th
So, the final result:
|| 250 USD
There was a cool ceremony
at the end of the LAN party, with top 3 finishers from every game getting
to a winners podium, getting interviewed, kissed by Czech girls etc ^^.
6 of the players in top 7 (Radu is the exception) are in Korea for WCG
right now, I wish luck to all of them :).
small AVI files (no sound). You might need DivX
Sorry for not
adding any replays yet - I haven't asked Mr.X and DIDI8 for permission.
B O N U S
! ! !