Last weekend I went to Romania to play the first so called world championship where the StarCraft 2 tournament was for girls only. And I won!!! I also wrote history, being the first e-sports player to get doping tested at a tournament!
The tournamentIn total 13 girls were playing in the tournament.
On the first day of the event we played the group stage. I didn’t know a lot about the players but from what I could see Akane was my biggest threat in the whole tournament and we played the first match so it felt a bit sad. I managed to win all my matches in my group and I was very happy about that. I felt a lot better going in to day 2. Tournament experience is really important to me since I never seem to be able to play my best when I’m playing at offline events. It’s good that I get opportunities to practice that.
I think a lot of people where surprised that Aphrodite didn’t do better and here is the reason. Aphrodite might be top 8 master on Kr. I doubt she has ever been close to GM tho. But doing ok on ladder is very different from doing well in tournaments. On ladder you can play one playstyle only and it will work because your opponent doesn’t know your style. But Aphrodite came to the tournament with one single build in ZvT, a mech build. She did well at the start but then when everyone knew what she was doing it didn’t work anymore. I hope she learns from this and starts to mix it up in the future because I think she is an important role model in the female scene. She was one of the female players I looked up to when I started playing. I got warned about her playing mech before the tournament and had some time to practice vs it and wasn’t too nervous about it after seeing her play. One thing about Aphrodite was really impressive tho. You should have seen her nails!!! I could never play with nails like that. For me it’s actually quite important to keep them short. Hers were long and had a lot of stuff on them! I say stuff because I am quite lost in the manicure world *n00b*.
The second day we played out the rest of the matches and the match I was most scared of was the finals. The reason being that I usually play bad when I play on stage and in front of people. In the first game I wanted to get an early advantage with a 9 pool since I expected Akane to go for hatch first. But that didn’t happen and I did some mistakes and got behind in the game. I continued doing mistakes but I still managed to win. After that I felt very confident that I would win the whole thing and I could relax and play better. At this point I felt better than I have ever done playing in front of people. It felt as if I could finally breathe :) The crowd was really amazing!
On the downside I felt that I didn’t really get to show my skill. ZvZs can be quite short and I would have loved to play some more vs terran since I practiced ZvT so much before the tournament! But I’m sure I will get my ass kicked soon by the boys :). In total (including the Swedish qualifiers) my score for the tournament was 20-0. It feels a bit sick to think of it and I can tell you that this gave me a lot of motivation to continue practicing and try to compete more. I would really like to be able to do well in mixed tournaments but I know it is very hard to compete with fulltime players when you can’t play as much. I will do my best!
The prize was a nice medal and about $1400 (the information is very unclear).
When I play I always get really cold hands. So what I do now is that I bring a USB heating blanket (it just so happens to be pink) to tournaments and it helps a lot. I also bring the nutella at all times (ofc). The crowd had a lot of fun about that… Everytime I ate my nutella the production decided to put me on the big screen… Well, at least I made some people laugh, that’s good right?
The doping testThe first thing that happened after the winners interview was that some guys came to me and wanted to make a doping test. And of course there was a guy with a camera in my face asking how it felt to make e-sports history since apparently this was the first time an e-sports player got tested at an e-sports event. So what I had to do was to pee when some girl was looking (ye, this didn’t feel strange at all…). Then I thought I was done. But NO. Then I had to play with my urine, but it in boxes and measure stuff, like really? And I had to do a lot of paper work, and this at a time when I wanted to celebrate and be with my friends. Oh well, I think the hope of this is that e-sports will be taken more serious and seen as a sport. I do however not think that doping is that big of a problem within esports but what do I know?
Romania and the after partyBefore I went to Romania I got a lot of warnings from other players who played at DreamHack over there. It seemed a bit scary to be honest. When we got there we got the warning that girls should not take a cab themselves. But I didn’t have to since IeSF organized transfer between the hotel and the venue so it didn’t worry me too much. On Saturday there was an unfortunate incident. Long story short, one of the players got kidnapped and mugged. I’m really happy he is ok. But that made me even more skeptic…
After the prize ceremony they sent us with a bus to “the after party”. We got dropped off at a scary lane (in my eyes) where we saw a lot of broken windows and graffiti everywhere. Then we were told to go down in this basement where everyone was smoking inside. As you might know I really can’t stand smoke and so I didn’t want to go in. Then I basically had no choice but to stand outside waiting for the bus for four hours. It’s not like I could take a cab myself in Romania. I mean, I might be strong but I'm not very big :D Oh well, at that point I was a bit shaken up because of everything that happened and I was lucky that the others didn’t like the party either and I left with a big group of people. Oh, and we were supposed to have a nice dinner at the after party but as every lunch and dinner before they got us pizza from Jerrys pizza. Talk about bad advertising. I will never eat from Jerrys pizza again :D
In general we were treated very well and were taken care of tho :) But the so called after party was a big fail imo.