TL, LIVE from Shanghai
Team Liquid writer George "Flamewheel" Zhao is live in Shanghai today to cover the G-League finals. This thread will be continually updated with his words, tweets and pictures from the Mercedes Benz Arena. Flamewheel will be on site leading up to the Dota 2 event at Saturday, Mar 09 10:00am GMT (GMT+00:00), and will also be doing his best to answer any questions you have while he waits for the games to start.
Have something to ask him? Post in this thread!
(All times are local time in Shanghai, China.)
10:51am - Watching WC3
The Mercedes-Benz arena is pretty large--I think it can seat around 18000 people? Apparently, all the tickets have been sold. Though it's just even 11 in the morning here, the seats are already beginning to be filled. The first event of the day is Warcraft III. Those of you who are new to Dota 2 should tune in and check it out, as the original DotA was developed as a WC3 mod.
12:12 pm - Watching StarCraft 2
Pretty funny introduction for SC2: commentator asks the crowd what game has an expansion that's coming out in a few days and... nobody responds. Apparently the Chinese crowd either doesn't know about HotS or is still collectively too sleepy. I'll go with the latter.
The grand finals for G-League feature two iG players, the interestingly-named "Xigua" (which is Chinese for watermelon) and the even-more-interestingly-named "Jim". Jim took the first game relatively quickly, but Xigua punched back in game 2 after lots of back-and-forth skirmishes. Both if these games ended quickly, and the third one (which Jim took) lasted less than 10 minutes. I'm not very familiar with Chinese SC2, but so far every game has been very fast-paced, with both sides playing a very early/mid-centric fashion. Seems like this Bo5 won't be taking that long.
1:09 pm - Cosplay and whatnot
After SC2 ended (Jim won 3-1), two girls dressed as QoP and TA walk into the media room. I was pretty impressed--the QoP even had wings. Other girls dressed as CM, Lina, and Drow came in as well. I think they're all hired to do this. They have q-codes plastered all over their bodies. Shame there's no Wind runner or Luna. I'd pay good money to have a Chinese girl try to imitate that Scottish accent (haest).
During this time in stage, somebody was singing, though I don't think anybody in the press room was paying attention.
Now it's time for League. WE's playing off against iG (it's been in everything so far except for WC3). I can barely understand League when it's cast in English. It's time to go be confused.
Also, LGD.int is supposed to be showing up soon.
4:00 pm - LGD.int arrives, League continues
WE is up 2-1 over iG in LoL. So far, I've learned that one champion has a laser for an ult, and it seems that a League team fight consists of both sides choosing a location on the map and running to that location as everyone hits qwer as quickly as possible.
The games are fun, if confusing to watch. But watching 1437 and Brax play rock-paper-scissors is more fun. 1437 loses everything until "it counts", where he wins 50 yuan off Brax. Five minutes later, a G-league employee comes in to bring int some jackets, and 4/5 are the right size. Brax and 1437 square off again, with 1437 emerging victorious. Brax declares that he's never playing RPS again with 1437.
During this whole time, Pajkatt reads a book. G climbs into a cubby and plays games on his phone. Misery is passed out, and hasn't turned over once.
Before the storm
I sat in LGD.int's prep room for the two hours before the fated showdown. If they are nervous at all, that nervousness is well hidden. Most of the banter centered around poking fun at LoL, adaptation to Chinese life (and cuisine), and God constantly jumping up on chairs.
Of course, it wasn't all fun. I listened (and joined in) when int started discussing possible strategies to shake up iG's lanes. And I'm not sure if I can take the LGD manager seriously, but he said that "Pudge might be a possibility." 'Twould definitely be fun to watch.
Zhou and G-League officials come in for the coin flip. Int wins, and takes first pick (and radiant side). They're quite pleased about this.
Now, it's right before the games. MC Hotdog has finished rapping. The games we've been waiting for are about to start.
9:00 pm - East versus West
No shutout tonight. Despite getting manhandled by iG in games 1 and 2, the international squad managed to take game 3 with a nice split strategy involving Weaver and Lycan. Though iG was the team to claim the aegis twice, LGD.int's teamfights were far better coordinated. The threat of Naix and Syllabear were mitigated by a Primal Roar, two max MS heroes, and quick ghost scepters. There will be no 3-0 tonight, but int isn't out of the hole yet. Game 4 starts now, and I'm hoping we'll be able to watch five games tonight.
Will make the format nicer tomorrow. Just want to post these and go to sleep for now.
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