ACL Sydney Blog with ARze
Hey everyone, just thought I’ll post a blog on my recent experiences in attending ACL Sydney. Being a new comer to the scene, I haven’t attended many events and this being is my first inter-state event I was really pumped! As I’m in my final semester of my Engineering degree I was really swamped with work prior to the event. I only managed to get in 1 day of practice the day before the event so I had to manage my expectations and just try to play to the best of my ability. Overall it was loads of fun with the Silicon boys and the experience that far exceeded my expectations.
Shoutouts to Silicon Sports, rezyn and our sponsors for sending us up to ACL Sydney and I really appreciate everything they have done for me. I’ll try to keep this blog it short and succinct, but as with most blogs it ends up pretty long! Anyway I’ll get right into it…
Day 1 – Friday
The Silicon team consisting of Pezz, Kez, StoicWilly met up early in the day and made our way to Sydney. We arrived at our accommodation, the Randwick Lodge, at about 4pm. The rooms were modernly furnished and surprisingly really nice. This place I believe was recommended on the ACL thread and I’d give it the thumbs up! We went down to a local pub and had a nice pub meal together, and of course Kez started the trip off with some beers. Kez went off to meet some of his friends while Pezz, Stoic and myself walked to UNSW where ACL was held to check it out and lend in a hand where possible.
We met Runamok and Baldie there amongst others, and helped out hanging banners, testing PC’s and other small chores. They looked pretty swamped and it was unfortunate hardly anyone from the SC2 scene showed up to help it. The venue itself was really nice and much bigger than ACL Melbourne. The atmosphere and setup was really impressive doing justice to the final phase of the ACL circuit. We ended up leaving the venue at about 9pm to go home, relax a bit and prepare for the big day!
Day 2 – Saturday
The day started off really early, and we ended up at the venue at about 10am. Kez had left earlier to smash that open bracket and Pezz supported him. I didn’t manage to get much sleep and was feeling uncomfortably tired. Had to hit a few of those energy drinks to get the groove going. My group consisted of x5.PiG, x5.MegaFonzie and fray`HuT. The pro bracket games took a while to get going but I was told my first game was against hut.
In the past I had been completely rolled by HuT’s SCV-pulling ways, with the games not being even remotely close. I had never taken a map off him in any online qualifiers or tournaments before. I had spent all of the little preparation time I had practising my PvT to avoid the embarrassment that has plagued me in the past. I had a old friend of mine who had a similar style SCV pull me for about 15 games the day before and by the end of it I felt a lot more confident.
Game 1 was on whirlwind and the game started off completely standard. I anticipated HuT to go CC first as he favours that style, particularly on a 4 player map. I went nexus after gate to get a better economy and was lucky to the first scout and confirmed he was going CC first. My game plan was to play completely standard, defend drops and survive the impending SCV pull. In the mid game hut did some multi prong drop-harass style and I managed to kill 2 medivac drops without losing much. I felt really comfortable in that game after that as it is quite a big loss for him. The SCV train came but I had not taken much damage and my economy was very healthy. I had storm, 3 colossi, charge and blink stalkers. I pulled of several good storms and had backup high templar spread around to finish the job. He fell back and tried for a secondary attack but it was not enough. Game 1 went my way and I felt really happy!
Game 2 started on Bel Shir and I kept trying to focus on my game plan. Unfortunately I somehow got stuck in my whirlwind build, where I would skip the core and build a nexus early. Hut didn’t go CC first and opened reaper, I was thrown off by this huge mess up by me, but somehow I managed to surround his reaper and only lost a couple of probes! However hut played it smart and did a huge stim timing where my colossus was way too late and I got crushed in the mid game. GG. We went on to game 3 and I don’t remember this game very well but it opened fairly standard and hut proceeded to drop me. I think I killed a sizable drop on my main, but hut had managed to snipe off my 3rd so I felt a little behind. I decided to rebuild my 3rd and counter attacked. To my surprise he didn’t have a lot of army and landed some big storms! I win game 3 and felt really happy!
I didn’t feel confident against Pig at all, I decided to proxy 2 gate him on Derelict and he went the expected Hatch first pool. I decided to poke in with the first few zealots, and retreat them when he pulls drones. I had proxied the gates in the 3rd so it wasn’t as strong as it could be. The lag was really, really bad and I couldn’t micro my zealots at all. Pig responded perfectly and I lose game 1. This is the first time I had lost to a hatch first proxy gating but I guess the best players know how to win. Game 2 was on Belshir, I played my standard macro style and we had a relatively long game. Pig went for swarm host viper and I went for the usual death ball. He turtled on 4 bases for a really long and and eventually out muscled me and I lost. He played really well but I wasn’t unhappy with how I played that game.
We got the news that Deth and Alopex had joined our group. Our of all the open bracket players Deth is the strongest player and therefore I wasn’t feeling to good about that. I had beaten him 2-0 in the first qualifier for sydney but he was out of prac. I watched him play Megafonzie (where he won 2-1) and he had a very different style to Hut. I anticipated this in both games but couldn’t adapt well enough. He did heavy pressure less focused on upgrades and I fell 2-0. He out played me and I wasn’t upset with the loss and it was a deserved win for him.
Day 3 – Sunday
Hut had taken out Megafonzie the day before so if Hut won his series against Deth neither of us would advance. However if hut lost then the victor here would go through had I also won against Alopex. Game 1 started off on BSV and Fonzie had opted for a fast expand. I went for 3 gate stargate, did a reasonable amount damage to him. I expanded and followed up with a strong timing and won game 1. Game 2 went really similarly however Fonzie adapted and went for DTs as I attacked. He played well and won the game. Game 3 didn’t go well at all as I decided to go for a DT opener and did not expect Fonzie to do the same build 3 games in a row. The DT’s did nothing and was more or less a build order win, pvp style! He was the better played however and so he took out the series! Unfortunately for him Hut took Deth out 2-1 and neither of us qualified.
This was more or less a consolation match. Nothing particularly eventful in these games. I watched his games vs Fonzie and noticed he favoured speedling into muta transitions. I opened up standard phoenix PvZ and took him out 2-0. His ZvZ is really strong however so look out for more strong performances from him!
The day ended watching the rest of the games. They were really good and in particular PiG vs Iaguz was a nail biting series! Congrats to KingKong taking the trophy and that eSports money.
Finally we all wound up at a Korean BBQ with Kez, Pezz, Stoic, Hut, Sam (and her friend), Ninja, Pig, Megafonzie and Runamok. The food was really good and hut’s barbecuing skills are second to none. It was nice to get to know the players behind the screens more as we had some Soju and beer at the place. Pig, Ninja, Hut and Megafonzie are good blokes and I had a good time hanging out with them there. That pretty much marked the conclusion of this trip and we headed back to Melbourne the next day. I have some photos and will probably upload them soon.
Shout outs to Silicon Sports for sending us up to this remarkable event. It was a lot of fun and I hope to attend another ACL in the future. Unfortunately as I will be graduating from my Engineering degree end of this year, I’m not sure what my schedule would be like next year. I’ll be interning at an engineering consultancy firm for 3 months early next year. I will however have a ton of free time in about 3 weeks after exams, so we will see what happens after!