By Conan “Suppy” Liu of Evil Geniuses
Several weeks ago, I attended Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit. It was an awesome event with tons of players and really great fans, and it was very exhilarating to see the enthusiasm they had for the game and for the event. Taking eSports events to places that normally don’t have them seems to bring out the best in the crowds. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to visit a place I hadn’t been before and learn a little bit about it. Although Detroit doesn’t appear to be exactly the most attractive place to visit, it actually had a charm to it that belied the commonly held belief that it is a crime-ridden and deserted city of old.
The event in itself was a blast because of how many players attended as well – it was the definition of a stacked tournament (although perhaps not quite as stacked as IEM Toronto was the following weekend) – so I got to see many of my friends. There was a casino in downtown Detroit that I really was dying to go to try my hand at some blackjack or poker, but because many of the people I hung out with were under 21 I didn’t get a chance since I didn’t want to ditch them. Regardless, it was always fun asking people the following day how much they had won or how much they had lost at the casino (the Koreans didn’t seem to fare too well, particularly Jaedong, HyuN, and San!). Jaedong told me a funny story of how HyuN was up to $1,000 after starting with $250, then just as they were about to leave he decided to make two $500 bets at the roulette table and lost everything after grinding seven hours. Other than that, Detroit had very friendly people and the midtown area was, as I said, a bit charming – I distinctly recall someone in our group complimenting its “retro” feel, and it was a great time.
Originally the plan was for me, Sasquatch, Scarlett, Hendralisk, and Kane to stay an extra day to hang out – normally at events we leave in the early morning after the tournament ends, so it really leaves little time to have quality hang out time (everything is generally so rushed otherwise). Everyone agreed to the plan beforehand, but when we got there Scarlett said she couldn’t make Detroit because she’d have to travel too much, and Hendralisk and Kane apparently both forgot to book a flight a day later. Sasquatch and I were basically the only two staying an extra day. However, it ended up still being an awesome extra day in Detroit, as Snute, Bunny, and the rest of the Koreans were staying until their 10pm flight to Toronto, meaning we could still spend almost the whole day having fun.
Unfortunately, the Koreans decided to go to the airport at 11am to wait like 12 hours for their flight, which made no sense to me, especially because later in the day we ended up about 3 miles away from the airport in an arcade. We invited them to come to the arcade, but they decided to just stayed at the airport instead. Thankfully, earlier that weekend we made plans to hang out with Snute and Bunny, and so we met up with them. The main goal was to find a DDR machine so Snute and I could both play. I had found some potential arcade locations the days prior and so we traveled to one of them.
The second part of my blog about my experiences in Detroit will be posted soon.
Follow Conan on twitter @EGSuppy