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Silicon Sports | 29/04/2017

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WCS Qualifiers: Interview with BarCraft Melbourne!

WCS Qualifiers: Interview with BarCraft Melbourne!

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I took a few minutes the other day to have a chat with Brad Baldwin (Baldie), from ACL Pro, about the upcoming WCS America Season 2 Qualifiers for Oceania/SEA and BarCraft Melbourne.

For more details on WCS America: Season 2 Oceania/SEA Qualifiers go to www.wcs2014.aclpro.com.au.

Here is the interview as posted on SC2SEA.com:

Brad: Lalor (aka rezyn8) thanks for taking the time to speak with me today! First off can you tell me a little bit more about yourself, what you do and how you make your mark on the StarCraft II community.

Lalor: Thanks Brad, it’s a pleasure! I am one of the older generation of gamers, am married and have a 9 month old daughter. I cut my teeth on the likes of Quake & Quake 3 where I was an admin for various Q3 tournaments and leagues for Promode and Rocket Arena. However, I got back into the StarCraft scene when Wings went into beta and haven’t been able to get past platinum since, haha.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to make eSports more recognised in Australia and founded Silicon Sports. I was inspired by what was happening overseas and interstate with the BarCraft scene and decided it was time to just do it in Melbourne. We are now running our 19th event this Sunday for the SEA/Oceania qualifiers!

Besides BarCraft, we have our own pro SC2 team, Team Silicon Sports, and an academy programme as well to help local talent achieve their goals in competitive gaming. We also run tournaments from time to time and cast tournaments where we can.

Brad: Wow so much activity! Sounds like too much for one person to handle? Do you have an extended Silicon Sports management team to support you or do you prefer to solicit ninjas?

Lalor: Haha, definitely a lot of work, something I couldn’t do by myself! Glenn Jones (Synthetic) joined me early in the piece after the very first BarCraft and has been my right hand man since. Mark Fittipaldi (Petrify) helps manage the team aspect along with Aaron Chung (CautioN). We also have Samuel Tonders who runs the Dota 2 side of things as well.

Brad: A nice group of people you have going there! You mentioned owning your own pro SC2 team. Team Silicon Sports has been circulating the SEA region for some time now, growing in strength as the months pass. How have you personally felt the team has gone since conception and more specifically, how they performed in WCS America: Season 1 Oceania/SEA Qualifiers?

Lalor: It has almost been a year since Team SLCN came into the scene and we have picked up some very good players.

The Team has certainly dominated the local LAN scene with regular top three places; we are still working towards a top online tournament scalp, but I am sure that is not too far away. Individually the players can take it to any player in our local scene and even internationally as proven when Jack Perry (Pezz) defeated HuK 2-1 in the SYF Invitational.

WCS Season 1 Quals was a huge success for us with Pezz and Petrify advancing to the Ro16. It will be a lot tougher this time around now that there is a WCS Season 3 invite up for grabs in the open bracket. I still believe Petrify was robbed after topping the open bracket in Season 1, haha.

Brad: Some say robbed, others say early to the party. Congratulations on the success of the team so far! You mentioned BarCraft earlier. As somebody who used to run the Adelaide BarCraft before moving to Sydney I understand a lot of the challenges and also rewards in running them. Was it as difficult to find a suitable location for BarCraft Melbourne as it was for Adelaide?

Lalor: Finding a suitable venue was a hard slog. It probably took about 5-6 months of phone calls, discussions, leg work and testing before I could announce the very first BarCraft Melbourne event. A lot of places were interested but it was like none of the venues knew what the internet was as most were running on 56k dial-up!

The first event was a crazy. Something like 350 people crammed into the back room of the Exchange Hotel on a hot March evening for GSL. It was scary, specially because it was just me at the time, and exhilarating at the same time. I’ll never forget that night.

Brad: Sounds very similar to Adelaide’s first BarCraft. Although a lot smaller, understandably being Adelaide, we had over 100 people crammed in a very small space for GSL finals. So what can people expect to see at the BarCraft this weekend? What makes being at a BarCraft more rewarding than watching from home?

Lalor: Synthetic will tell you it’s the rez hugs, “rez hugs are the best hugs!”. But, I think one of the most appealing things has to be the social aspect. You get to actually “know” your community. Sure, you can watch the same thing at home. But at BarCraft you can meet up with your mates, enjoy a beer or your favourite spirit, make some new friends, all while enjoying top class StarCraft in a BAR with other nerdballers!

We will also hopefully have some prizes to give away as well, which of course means unit impersonations and our famous Rock, Paper, Scissors competition!

Brad: Sounds like a lot of fun! Can you share a little bit more about the specific details of the BarCraft? When and where will it be held?

Lalor: Sure, we will be kicking off festivities on Sunday March 30th from 1pm at Paloma Bar, 480 Collins Street in the CBD. The bar itself is hidden behind the foyer of the Oaks on Collins hotel.

Brad: And if people want to find out more details and/or confirm their attendance where should they go?

Lalor: You can check out the BarCraft Melbourne landing page or sign up to the event on Facebook and as always like and follow us on Facebook or Twitter both at /SiliconSports for all the latest details.

Brad: I definitely suggest everybody in the Melbourne area make an effort to head down and experience a BarCraft first hand. Thanks for your time Lalor and thank you for everything you do for the StarCraft II community! Do you have any final words or shoutouts?

Lalor: Thanks Brad! Hope we see some new faces at BarCraft this weekend. Special thanks to Synthetic for all his help and the rest of the Silicon Sports team; thanks also to ACL for producing the WCS Oceania/SEA qualifiers and of course, PJ and the rest of the crew at Blizzard ANZ for supporting us and the SEA scene as well. You can follow me on Twitter @rezyn8!

For more details on WCS America: Season 2 Oceania/SEA Qualifiers go to www.wcs2014.aclpro.com.au and we will see you at BarCraft Melbourne this Sunday!

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