This past weekend marked the closure of the League of Legends Championship Series spring split, and the first half of Season 3, and it wasn’t without casualties. Part of the mid-season break was a promotion and relegation tournament, which was implemented in order to motivate players to place highly in the standings and potentially introduce new blood.
Four LCS teams played against four “Challenger” teams in a best-of-five series, where the winners would earn a spot in the second half of the season; the benefits of a professional gaming salary and regular exposure to audiences of 100,000+ were also on the line. The benefits to being in the LCS are huge for a League of Legends player, as it’s the pinnacle of competition in North America and Europe.
What made this weekend worse was that two North American teams that were previously in the LCS were relegated, losing that salary and exposure. One of these teams, compLexity Gaming, featured several people that I had come to know in brief moments away from the game over the course of the season, and seeing them not make it back in was a bit disappointing. While signs point to the team staying together despite not being in the premiere league for the game, I feel there needs to be a little bit of a memorial in order.
compLexity’s LCS journey began with a lot of enthusiasm. Then called The Brunch Club, the team was made up of many players with cult fanbases that rarely had the chance to claim the top spotlight. In North American League, there is a definite hierarchy of popularity, with older teams having a firmly entrenched position at the top. This is not their fault; they have had a longer time to establish their fan bases, and often have a higher budget to market themselves.
I’ve been on a bit of a futurism kick lately, and now that my Pebble is here, I’m kind of a step closer to that. I contributed to their KickStarter back in last March, and after a year of waiting (and some delays, as it was supposed to be shipped in September) it’s finally in my hands. I’ve only really kicked to things that I can get digitally; to have something that went into production and is now a real product is kind of cool.
New one by me for C&G Monthly; I write about Brian Wood’s The Massive, a comic book that’s new and dear to my heart. You should check it out! Here’s a bit of an excerpt:
To start this off, I’d like to say I’m a big fan of Brian Wood’s work.
As a journalist, DMZ was a great look into the possibilities of a profession-based character, and it taught me a lot about what the potential of comics were when it comes to evoking emotion.
As that series wrapped up last year, I looked to his new series, The Massive, that’s currently being published by Dark Horse; if you’re looking for something bereft of capes that still manages to have a fantastical setting, this could be for you.
I first heard of Nujabes by seeing the above image on my Tumblr about a year and a half ago. Besides enjoying the art style, I found the overall depiction of the dude as a little interesting: there’s a prevailing image of hip-hop DJs as “hard”, or at least focusing on intensity. This “rest in peace” image (which I still can’t find the source for) shows the picture of a man who’s ultimately calm, reserved and doing what he loves.
Seba Jun (reversed in order to spell “Nujabes”) was a Japanese hip hop producer that was famous for contributing to the soundtracks for Samurai Champloo, and for combining jazz and hip hop into something unique. I’ve always found that his music has a strange calming effect on me, and it’s done well to expand my musical horizon. He passed away in 2010 after a car accident.
When I started working for myself in November, I started taking the concept of self-motivation a lot more seriously. While I’ve finally grasped the brass ring of stable money, I started out with 100% of my income correlating with the amount of effort I put in; if I didn’t write, I didn’t make cash, period.
This led to stressful days where I was burned out on writing, but still had to produce in order to keep my rent paid and food on the table. It was frustrating, because I ended up beating myself up about it; if I wasn’t working, I always felt like there was more I should do, even if I had just finished good stuff. It became hard to enjoy time off because I was always thinking “why aren’t you making more money?”
A movie that kept me a little grounded was 2011′s Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which is a documentary about Sukiyabashi Jiro, the only three-star Michelin Guide sushi chef in the world. He’s been doing the same job for over fifty years, views it as his life’s calling, and treats it as art; obviously, this is something that speaks to me because the dude’s doing something he loves for a living, but it goes a little farther than that. From what I can tell, there’s no question that Jiro would be doing anything else, because it hasn’t crossed his mind. He’s so focused on success that he’s not going to let anything stand in his way.
I wrote a blog post about Solanin for another site yesterday, but I think I enjoyed it so much that I needed to give it some proper love on my own site, as well. Of course, writing here allows me to get a little more…. personal, and I think this book was kind of aimed at my age group.
In short, Solanin is a manga about twenty-somethings that have graduated from post-secondary and are now stuck in jobs they hate. Its characters go through a bit of an upheaval, realizing that sometimes you have to sacrifice to chase the dreams you want to achieve, and there’s always a chance life is going to throw you a big “fuck you” along the way.
I think part of the fun of the Internet is that we can trace back certain friends to communities that we no longer go to any more. Kelly Turnbull (alias Coelasquid) and I were both denizens of 4chan’s /co/ (Comics and Cartoons) board, and its offshoot Plus4Chan. While I wasn’t much of an artist/writer, I really do like comics; Kelly, however, took a little bit more of an active role. She’s done animated work for shows like Ugly Americans, and you’ve probably seen some of her stuff on the Internet.
We both don’t really go on each site any more due to being busy with our own stuff, and to be honest, I think it’s for the better. I can’t speak for her, but imageboards in general were a massive timesink, and I’m honestly really happy that I’ve left them for good.