Any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of compLexity Gaming or its parent company.
Traveling is exhausting. Vacations can be enjoyable or adventurous, but the actually to and from part of getting away is not. The trip to somewhere can be filled with anticipation, but the trip home is always a drag.
This is especially true when traveling for work. Progamers and others working in the esports industry travel to and from tournaments for work. The events can be a blast, but the traveling involved is not fun. Waking up early to throw pieces of clothing into a bag, praying that your passport is in the third suitcase pocket as you travel to the airport, going through security and waiting for your flight, sitting on a plane for hours with cramped legs… It’s not fun. Imagine going through that order to travel to a different venue on a different continent each week. It couldn’t be a fun time.
Chris “HuK” Loranger traveled something ridiculous like over 40 hours in October. I’ve only met HuK briefly once, but from what I know about him, I think that he loves what he does for a living. He seems genuinely in love with what he does. Forty hours of travel in one month, though, cannot be pleasant. While the jet lag and travel is a drag, it has to take a serious toll on gaming. Not only do progamers have to deal with jet lag when competing after traveling half way across the world, I can only imagine what it does for their practice schedule. A full day of travel to and from an event is two full days of lost practice. Progamers know how to adjust to travel and jet lag, but it would be nice if they didn’t have to travel from Europe to Korea to North America to Europe in less than a month.
On State of the Game last night, the crew was talking about the upcoming NASL Grand Finals. When discussing who has a chance at making it out of round one, the discussion of Sen took an interesting turn. Did Sen return to Korea after Dreamhack, or did Sen go to North America straight from Sweden? Since he returned to Taiwan instead of heading straight to the US, he’ll have to deal with the uphill battle against jet lag this weekend. Jet lag has become a factor in competition. It isn’t just his micro, his macro, his mindset… it’s about his travel schedule, too. Traveling has become a real factor in tournament results over the past two months. With esports being a being mental games, jet lag does factor into mindset side of preparation, but id does seem like something the community could avoid with better scheduling and planning.
I’ve loved the variety and regularity of recent esports events. It’s been nice the past two months to have fresh content every week. From Canada Cup to the ASUS RoG Invitational to MLG Providence, there has been a great variety of tournaments, formats and stories. There is always something to watch live, a recent VOD, content on Reddit or a good article on ESFI. I like coming home from work to something exciting within the community and a reason to check Twitter as often as possible.
The esports community needs a break, though. With major esports events winding down in the middle of December for eight weeks or so, we’ll be going through a dry spell. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I’ll be doing in my spare time until IPL4, which is rumored to be scheduled for the late winter. What am I supposed to watch on the weekends? Will /r/starcraft be reduced to stream screen caps and last resort strategy discussion? The next two months will be a great opportunity for everyone to regroup and refocus before a thrilling 2012. We’re in for a hectic upcoming year, and the time to breathe is much needed.
Players, I hope you have the best break after WCG in December. Everyone else, rest up! We’ve got a tonne of events, content and excitement coming in 2012.
After years of playing World of Warcraft, a friend introduced Jacqueline to Starcraft early last year. Jacqueline’s relationship with Starcraft started out slowly: a handful of casual dates, a little bit of flirting but nothing serious. She took her relationship with the game to the next level after BlizzCon 2010 where she experienced eSports magic first-hand and realized that Starcraft was the one. Despite being a mediocre player, she has been clambering the ladder at a glacial pace and has spent more time watching Starcraft online than she’d like to admit. In March, Jacqueline made the leap from eSports fan to eSports professional when she was hired by the Handsome Nerd as their Art Director, combining her design skills with her love of Starcraft. Since its start in April, Jacqueline has been a contributing writer for the North American Star League, writing coverage for Division 1. Offline, Jacqueline is a bookworm, a runner, a freeride snowboarder and has a Human Ecology degree with a Clothing and Textiles major.