Adventures with Ed

There isn’t much more time left until Ed leaves to get started on his Master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, so we’re getting the most out of his final days in our home town before he moves out for a while.

We’ve been regularly going out to get lunch, but today, we decided to go on an extra adventure after our meal. After going to Chick fil’ A, using a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free chicken sandwich, and seating ourselves in a convenient corner of the restaurant such that we were able to access the Pokémon Go PokéStop in the building across the street, we stopped by a few stores on the way back home.

It’s the middle of August right now, so it’s burning hot. I have air conditioning in my house, but I also don’t really want to spend hundreds of dollars extra on my electricity bill for running it to a low temperature. So, I end up sort of just getting used to being warm during the summer. This wasn’t a problem back when I was an undergraduate university student, because my electricity was included in the base rent payment – now that I’m actually paying a separate electricity bill, I’m more conscious of it.

We decided to wander into an electronics and appliance store called hhgregg. I quickly realized that, whenever I’m warm at home, I should just pack up my laptop and come over to hhgregg. Not only do they have it cooled to a very comfortable temperature, they have plush couches on display for sale, that we can just use to relax.

The best part (for us, not for hhgregg) is that it’s not very busy there, so it’s peaceful and quiet.

After relaxing for a bit, we decided to go next door to PetSmart. Ed and I both absolutely adore animals, so we went straight to the pet display. We started off with the cats – here’s a photo of Ed observing and smiling at a cat, and a photo of a different orange cat who was one of the only active ones.

Next up were the birds. They were pretty loud.

We made our way to the back of the store, where the dogs were kept. I don’t think there were any dogs available for sale or adoption (unless all of them were literally out for a walk all at the same time). But, we got to see the dogs inside the “dog hotel,” that offers babysitting and training for dogs.

And finally, before we left the store, we stopped by the fish. There were a ton of fish, including one that apparently need to be kept in solitary confinement, or else they will eat each other (according to Ed). I decided to take a picture of more peaceful fish – neon ones, kept inside a brightly-lit tank.

 

New infographic on HotS Power League, Season 2 grand final: T/S vs. L5

In celebration of our new signing, we made a new infographic focusing in on the grand final series between Tempo Storm and Team L5 in the second season of Power League, a Korean Heroes of the Storm league. This was the tournament they premiered the signing – meaning, this was the first time they appeared on stage branded as Tempo Storm.

Luckily, for the sake of the infographic, the series happened to go on to all five games in the best-of-five series, and all the games ended up pretty close and epic. Even if it ended up being a 3-0 sweep, and even if Tempo Storm lost, we were planning on doing the infographic anyway, but considering the way the games turned out, there wasn’t much more I could’ve asked for.

This was a collaborative project, with Moonprayer doing statistics and analysis, hareclam doing graphic design, and me doing project direction and outlining.

Here’s the final product:

https://tempostorm.com/articles/infographic-power-league-season-2-grand-final-tempo-storm-vs-team-l5

In case you need more coaxing to click on the link and check it out, here’s a preview of what the infographic looks like – it contains an excerpt of the bracket, summary, and a breakdown of the first game of the series:

 

Regarding AA’s disqualification, through the eyes of a social psychologist

After explosive controversy regarding Astral Authority’s Heroes of the Storm team’s disqualification from ESL’s tournament, I decided to seize this opportunity to write a piece about the event, through the eyes of a social psychologist.

Because I take a much more broad and general role at Tempo Storm, I don’t really dig deep into Heroes of the Storm news, even though I’ve been with Tempo Storm’s HotS team multiple times to different events. However, something as big as this definitely catches my eye, and I took some extra time to actually read through what people were saying.

My main motivation for writing this piece was how much people were complaining about how “the right thing” didn’t happen, as if life is supposed to be perfect. It seemed a little strange to me, but then I figured that it was simply because a lot of the commenters were young people who just didn’t have much life experience.

To help them out a bit, I applied some psychological theories and explained both why stuff like this happened, and why it’s just how life is.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece, the introduction:

 

Last night, one of my good friends Mellina Kong, manager of Astral Authority’s professional Heroes of the Storm roster, posted an update on Twitter about how her players had their dreams crushed. Curious as to what was happening, I looked into it.

Apparently, Astral Authority had qualified for the HGC Fall 2016 NA Regional, happening in early August. The winner of this regional will qualify for BlizzCon 2016 to take their shot at proving themselves to be the best team in the world, on the grandest stage of them all. Not long after, Astral Authority was notified that their qualification had been revoked and their team was disqualified due to bug abuse.

Tyrael has a bug with his trait where selecting a particular sequence of talents and inputting a series of key presses with the right timing will cause his Archangel’s Wrath to deal an unintentionally high amount of damage. According to investigations conducted by ESL and Blizzard, a player on Astral Authority was abusing this exploit to gain an unfair advantage in their games, and consequently, the team was disqualified.

Drama began to explode, with some members of the community and other professional players directing the hatred of 10,000 years at ESL, Blizzard, and Astral Authority’s opponents. People attempted to justify Astral Authority’s behavior by bringing up evidence of other teams using the exploit, claiming ignorance, and just spewing hatred to get the frustration out of their bodies.

What’s done is done. ESL disqualified Astral Authority from the tournament and are scheduling a match to determine their replacement. No matter how vocal Astral Authority fans get, I highly doubt that ESL will reverse their decision by reinstating Astral Authority or revoking the match offer they gave to the runner-up teams.

Having an educational and professional background in sociology and psychology, with a speciali­zation in criminal psychology, I decided to write this piece to help explain this whole fiasco, and nudge the community in the right direction – away from drama, and towards a thirst for learning.

There are some valuable lessons we can learn from this situation about how life works.

  1. Just because you work hard for something doesn’t mean you get it.
  2. People will break rules.
  3. Not everyone gets punished for wrongdoing.
  4. Don’t get caught off guard by Schadenfreude.

 

Want to finish reading the whole piece? Check it out, available exclusively on Tempo Storm’s website:

https://tempostorm.com/articles/stop-the-drama-and-start-the-learning-lessons-from-astral-authoritys-disqualification

 

We just signed the Heroes of the Storm world champions



After a series of really poorly executed teasers that looked something like this:

We finally got around to revealing that we signed a new Heroes of the Storm team – Team Tempest, the current reigning world champions.

We also got around to revealing that I’m really bad at making non-obvious teasers.

Check out the official announcement linked in the tweet above – I wrote the announcement, and our new communications specialist wrote/translated the player bios.

 

I went on my first Pokémon GO gym run today

As long as you haven’t just been completely disconnected from the Internet for the past few weeks, you probably know of Pokémon GO, the new augmented reality game that uses GPS to inject Pokémon into the real world and encourage you to get out and hunt for Pokémon.

Although I’ve been a fan of Pokémon since I was a little kid, I never really got into Pokémon GO because of how busy I am. During work days, I watch our family business and do a lot of other work, so I end up having no time to go outside and look for Pokémon or battle at gyms. During weekends and off days, I usually still do even more work online, and use all remaining time to rest and relax.

On top of all this, it doesn’t help that it’s been pretty hot outside.

Nevertheless, I got persuaded to go outside and go on a Pokémon GO gym run today by Mike. If you’ve been reading my blog posts lately, you probably remember him – he’s one of the masters and co-owners of Keumgang Martial Arts Academy, and he’s in quite a few of the photos I’ve posted recently of the albums and videos I filmed at demonstrations and events.

The nearest Pokémon GO gym to the martial arts academy is a water tower nearby, so Mike and I walked over there.

Mundelein Water Tower

This gym was occupied by Team Mystic (which is our team), and was guarded by Pokémon with combat power of over 1,000. Unfortunately for me, I don’t actually play that much, so I only had Pokémon with combat power of 100 or less. Meaning, this trip was almost entirely useless for me. Apparently battling Pokémon of your own gym is supposed to help train you, but that was obviously not happening, because I wasn’t able to defeat anything.

Mike, however, plays this game a substantial amount more than I do, and so does Chris, the other co-owner of the martial arts academy. When we came here, Mike brought Chris’ phone as well, and he was playing on both phones at the same time.

This is Mike battling the gym two times at once:

But, as we were battling the gym and trying to raise our prestige, we noticed that it was falling faster than it was rising. I walked over around the corner of the fence surrounding the water tower, and noticed that there were other Pokémon GO players sitting on the ground against the fence, presumably trying to take over our gym.

Tragically, they succeeded.

But, Mike wouldn’t have any of that. Once the gym got neutralized, he reacted quickly by putting in one of his own Pokémon into the gym again, stealing the “claim” away from the other team that had just defeated us.

Moments later, I notice the other guys rage quit, get up, and walk away.

gg

 

KMAA’s TKD Demo at Mundelein Community Days Festival 2016

Like last year, I went along with Keumgang Martial Arts Academy to the Mundelein Community Days Festival, in celebration of the United States’ Independence Day.

I whipped out my trusty phone to record the full demonstration, then went through and took stillframes of action moments and compiled them into a photo album.

Luckily, not only was this later on in the evening (instead of right in the afternoon when the sun is strong­est), but it was in a much shadier region, so I didn’t end up getting my skin slightly burned, like I did during the Lambs Farm demonstration.

Here’s the video and the photo album:

And finally, here’s a bonus photo not included in the album above – this is Mike, one of the masters of the academy, holding a sword with an apple wedge onto the tip, for one of the acts:

Mike holding a sword with an apple

 

I delivered the well-traveled pretzels

Earlier this month, I went on a trip to Los Angeles, California for the Heroes of the Storm North American regional, as part of the global championship circuit. On my flight back, I was messaging Ed Lam (better known online as Grainyrice) via the wifi on the plane.

He let me know that he wanted me to save the airline pretzels for him, because enjoys the taste of a well-traveled pretzel. I posted a screenshot of our conversation on Twitter:


 

Ed and I met up a few times since then, but I forgot to hand off the “product.”

Earlier today, Ed came to visit me again, and this time, I remembered to give him the pretzels.

Ed Lam (Grainyrice) holding a bag of well-traveled pretzels

That is Ed excitedly holding his well-traveled pretzels.