Anyways so after Zephyr, which was at the beginning of January, I flew back to America, we sold off our PC's and shit. Purge and I had to clean an entire house (which those fucks kept messy) in the span of like 4 days. Truly I've never felt more like a mom and dad combo then I did in that moment. Our neighbor bought us this meat which she proceeded to grill for us which was around 100 dollars. Shit was insanely good, and it sorta showed me to the difference between America and Korea. Some old Korean lady walks into our place, cooks us food, thanks us for being neighbors, then leaves lol. I miss Korea a lot to be honest, I miss the shop owners that all knew who me and my team were, and that supported us a ton. Eosin and Corey got the food worker ladies a mug before they left, it was really sweet of them, and Purge is sending them back a postcard with all of us in it, what a sweetheart. Enough about that, because now were in America!
Its early January and I have nothing to do, NAdota doesn't seem like it wants a washed up mid player, so I get bored and grind to 7k .It all feels a little pointless though, because I don't really have any goals in mind. Around that time, I decided my next move, I'll try being a caster. To be honest, I've been in dota so long I didn't really know what the next move was. It's scary thinking about it, I have a college education from a good school, and I still felt like brooks from shawshank redemption. I think I'd miss it too much, the friendships I've made, the attention I get. It sorta feels shit to say, but it does make me feel good when a random person tells me to lose weight in a joking manner. People think they flame me but trust me my moms got that game on lock. Anyways I decided I'd be a caster so I make a tweet saying 'I wanna cast contact me' and Maelk from joinDota messages me about 35 seconds later shti you not and goes okay you're hired. We were in contact for about 3 weeks, then DAC qualifiers happened and BTS started to approach me, but due to circumstance I decided to go with joinDota. I thought that being away from home was just a good thing for me, I miss my grandparents and my family a lot, but I think it's a natural part of my configuration as a person to run away to make my own place in this world.
So now I'm in Germany, I'm really fucking lost, but credit to everyone at joinDota for making me feel comfortable as hell. I immediately have to fly out though for MLG Columbus, my first lan event ever! It was great, I got to see my roommate from college Peter, and meet his family again. They were all super lovely and warm to me, I asked them if I had changed and they said I seemed more on edge but thats about it. At Columbus I met a lot of the pro players, and its going to sound dumb but they were all great. I thought W33haa was going to be a dickbag but he was really nice and humble, I even made a joke remark about reddit being stupid, but he immediately just said they had a reason to be mad at him and that it was legit, and that he liked what the site did for DotA. Good guy. Funniest thing at MLG might've been me, Exist and Aui taking shots and Aui passing out in the middle of my hotel lobby. Whenever Aui drinks at LAN events two things are bound to happen, one he will poke my belly button and laugh like Im the pillsbury doughboy, and two he will always take someones phone and fuck with their tinder to try and get them dates..
I felt really good about this event, so I'll fast forward to other events where I felt weird.
ESL in Frankfurt was such a step up for me, holy shit I was so nervous. I kept tapping my legs before a cast, which led to the private ritual where Capitalist hugs me real close and tells me you're the best, lets go out and fucking kill it. Tobi kept patting my back and telling me I'd be fine, and Synderen kept telling me I sucked dick, so everything was normal. I remember the feeling of just smiling a lot and being happy to be there, but my speech tripped up a lot. It's different casting from the comfort of your home or even a small studio space where you can't see anyone. I kept shaking a lot and Cap kept hugging me in between games.
Side note, everyone from joinDota made the transition so easy for me. Soe and Jacob invited me to their home to eat often and made me feel at ease. Tobi who I thought going into this would be a dick, was incredibly nice and caring, you can tell the guy above all else just cares about casting and doesn't really care what people think about him. He might not be the most PC, but he will always give shit his 100%. He always messages me after LAN events and writes me really thoughtful messages, and is always the first to ask everyone in the office how they are or what they need. and Cap. My boy. I really want us to be the premier casting duo in dota one day, I love him like a brother, and you don't understand the hours this guy puts in. He asks me for drafting knowledge, advice on rotations, how to get better as a player to further his understanding as a caster. Nobody understands the effort he puts himself through.
Anyways ESL happens, I met some random fan from South Africa who didn't have any signatures so I grabbed his poster and said WAIT HERE, and ran through the fucking stadium collecting signatures. Shoutout to C9 and the talent for doing it even though I was sweaty as fuck. So ESL's after party. I wanna start a segment that Jalen and Jacoby have on their podcast called champaigning and campaigning, where they rate parties. ESL's after party owned. I got so drunk I ran into a glass door and bent the shit out of my glasses, and I think I reenacted the titanic love scene with some dude against a glass door. It wasn't too crowded, the dance floor was empty ( the dance floor at esports after parties are always so fucking empty ) and I danced for like 8 hours nonstop. There was a private area for players and personalities which some people stayed in, but most mingled it was great.
Fast forward a month and I'm worried to shit about TI. I agree with LD's point about how it sucks for a lot of casters who are on the fringe who don't know how their futures are secure or not.
Anyways somehow I got to TI, and I was so happy. I arrived saw the schedule and saw I had the most games to cast. My sister was so proud, she called my mom and they were both celebrating like I won KDL again (ayy lmao) It was fairly surreal, but I felt weird. I didn't get the finals, and I didn't expect to, but I guess its human nature to want more. That's so fucking strange, I went from not casting 5 months ago to this and I was still ungrateful. I guess I still have to mature and get better. TI was such a surreal experience for me. You could hear the crowd react to things you said, to the plays that were happening on screen, this one truly felt like the best one of all. I had a random cough that was fairly persistent and accidentally used the mute button and heard everything go super quiet, oh god that was a disastahhh. I was really nervous throughout the entire event, but LD kept telling me ride or die and me and Cap had our ritual. I still get nervous for pretty much every event I do and I don't think that will ever change. I've had social anxiety my entire life, I never went to a party in college or high school unless I knew everyone their, and thats like 8 people total lolz. It still feels odd to me, I don't have a lot of friends still, and I don't go out ever, but I chose a career path that forces me to talk in front of a ton of people, when public speaking has always been my weak point. I stumbled a lot during the event as a result, but I had a lot of good feelings about the event.
Some highlights about TI:
Some 13 year old kid that came up to me and started asking me about high level mechanics shit. He knew about my right click timings, creep wave movement, everything. I asked him what his MMR was he said nearly 5k, which I believe based on that shit. Next suma1l holy fuck.
In the beginning of the LGD EG series, its my final day, and the draft is about to complete and I have to poop. 1-10 I'm talking like a 9. I'm real fucking nervous because I think one of two things will happen, a) I will poo myself in front of 15k people live on air, or b) I will rush to the bathroom in the middle of the cast which will alert 15k+ people and people on air that I had to poop. If you carefully watch theres a break where Sylar disconnects and I'm standing awkwardly at an angle because I have to stand in fear that if I sit I will poop. LD actually radios into the control station to ask if I can use the restroom during the pause and they said no.. Weirdly enough this was the cast I did the best in, because I was not nervous at all about casting whatsoever. It's an incredibly intense feeling knowing that you can't go poop because 15k people are behind you, it really makes your head pound. Anyways I survived, and the game had to last fucking 1 hour 10 minutes, but we made it fam. Advice for upcoming casters that work LAN events, poop before the game..
Champagining and Campaigning part 2: TI after party
If ESL's afterparty gets a 10, TI's gets a soft 8. The food was good, the DJ was deadmau5 and I got to see people cut loose, but it was a bit too crowded and the line for drinks was always super full. Luckily fans kept doing shots with me, so I got drunk fairly quickly early in the night, but still. It would've been nice to have a private section where I didn't have to sign autographs or do selfies. I don't mind those, but when I'm super buzzed it gets a bit awkward, and It'd be nice to just have a break from it.
TI was a bit bittersweet for me, I felt amazing being able to work it, and I don't know where dota's peak is, but that might've been my own personal dota peak! I don't know if I'll get the chance to work another major but I'll relish this one the best that I can. It was different from other TI's though because there was almost no chance to enjoy the event, since it was only me or Synderen doing analysis. I'd have to just be ready to cast, so I just watched the games from a suite then rushed down every time. But I'm still real satisfied with getting a chance so don't think I'm ungrateful or some shit. Just listing a con!
We are now all caught up in the timeline. I do not know what I'll do next, or what the play is, maybe I'll start streaming again. It's weird whenever I need to make a huge life decision I just tell myself I'll do it and it happens. I said I wanted to move to Korea and booked my ticket that day, and in regards to casting I did the same. I think having confidence in yourself and not asking people for permission is the way to go, at least for me. I didn't go to law school and pursued being a streamer as a result. I like the decisions that I've made and how they've shaped me. Even Zephyr was a net positive, it's become a bit of a joke but for me the competition felt real, and I got to experience a part of the world that was unique to me and my family. Anyways the point is if you wanna do something in dota just go fucking do it, don't ask for permission, or advice from someone who is in the scene. Just figure out what you wanna do and commit your all to it.If it makes you nervous or if you are unsure what your shits going to be, then don't do it. The scene isn't that great still, and it looks fun from the outside but all it really is is a group of people that'll play mafia with you at 2 in the morning.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY NEXT POINT: THE BLITZDOTA MAFIA LAN RANKINGS LIST
3) CHARLIE THE FUCKING YANG
4) PURGEGAMERS / PANDAEGO
5) CAPITALIST / PYRIONFLAX
Here comes the part of the blog most of you will skip over. the shoutouts.
Shoutout to Ken Chen, aka Hotbid, for being the realest guy in the scene. I was a dipshit for a longtime and he held me accountable and turned me into a decent person. Whenever a fuckup happens, he's there to call me out for it, and help me improve as a person. I appreciate you a lot, good luck with whatevers next, I meant what I said at that ESL after party, only love for you.
Shoutout to PyrionFlax for being my lan groping buddy and the person I can have the best conversations with and will always laugh at my idiotic jokes.
Shoutout to 7ckingmad for being one of the nicest pros in the scene. I hear hes a dirtbag in pubs but who isnt' lolz. He always listens to anyones opinions about dota and is incredibly kind and caring as a person.
Shoutout to the fans who make me feel like I am somebody that matters. I know that sounds ego inflated and shit, but all my life I just wanted to mean something to someone, and I'm glad I mean something to some people in this community.
Shoutout to LD and Cap for casting with me and bearing my insecurities. LD gave me my start in the scene, and I'll read comments saying he's in it for the money and it makes my fucking blood boil. This guy gives and gives, and doesn't get 1/10 of the respect he deserves. He pushed me when I didn't know I could do it, and I love him for it. When it comes to Cap all I can say is cut your fucking hair dear god.
THANKS TO HAN, RANDOM GUY IN THE STANDS, REDEYE, ANDREW FROM VALVE, FOR DOING MY TIE UP EVERYDAY. MAELK FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME.
I'm an okay person, I think I've got a lot of flaws that people don't like, including being egotistical about my dota ability, and being condescending and insecure, but I'm working on it people. It doesn't happen overnight.
I don't know what the point of this blog was. Just read it and shit post lolz. I'm going to go watch a shit ton of adventure time now.
End of blog.