Literally three days after moving from Southern California to Las Vegas, I got on a plane and went straight back to California to visit Hollywood and Burbank for Tempo Storm’s Fortnite team’s onboarding. (Yes, I could’ve just chosen to move after the onboarding, but then I would’ve had to miss the Esports Arena Las Vegas grand opening, so that posed another problem. On top of that, we ended up postponing this Fortnite event by a week, so I was actually originally under the impression that it would happen before I moved.) I was hoping to turn this entire trip into a vlog, but unfortunately, I committed an idiot and literally forgot to bring my camera battery charger. I explain it in greater detail in this video segment, but long story short, this is the only video footage that I have from the event: That video above were from travel day, as well as the early morning before the first day of onboarding. Yes, we ended up just eating at Denny’s, and our players all successfully made it from the hotel by crossing the street without any fatalities. The first day was mostly composed of video interviews and photo shoots – we wanted to get as much media footage of the players as possible so we had some stuff to work with when creating features and segments. Our executive producer Doug was the one who primarily ran most of the interviews, while our photographer Bills captured head shots: Later on in the day, Greg Grunberg stopped by to direct a pilot episode of a talk show with one of our players. To conclude the day, we went up to the Observatory to enjoy the view of Los Angeles. The second day was show day. We had the players participate in a 10-in-5 challenge, where our team had to get 10 wins in 5 hours. We didn’t realize how easy it would end up being for them – they blasted through with 10 wins in a row in right around 3 hours, then spent the remainder of the time doing silly stuff to entertain the audience, like queuing up for 4-man squads the splitting up half-and-half to wipe out everyone else on the map and meet in the middle. The evening concluded with some group photos, followed by a trip to all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and an escape room.
(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157689199589840)
When I signed my contract with my new apartment in Las Vegas, I had a decent range of dates during which I could decide to move in – a range of one month, to be exact. Being a part of the esports industry, I was pretty excited about the grand opening of the new Esports Arena in Las Vegas, so I made sure to pick a move-in date that would allow me to already be in Las Vegas by grand opening day. If you weren’t already aware, the grand opening date was yesterday, the 22nd. I personally wasn’t too much of a fan of the party that was going on, or of any of the gaming events that were taking place, but I was still curious about the Arena and wanted to be there in person for this historic moment, so I made my way over to the Luxor Hotel & Casino. I ended up leaving early after snapping some photos, but I did get a good feel for what the Arena was like. My favorite part was the fact that, because it was in a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, there were a lot of people, especially those of older generations, who ended up wandering in. Although they looked like they had no idea what was going on, I’m glad that it looked like they were at least enjoying themselves; the fact that the back of the Arena has classic box arcade games helped a bit as well.
A few days ago, I explained that a big day would be coming up soon on the 20th, but like tradition, I tend not to really tell people what’s going on until it’s either already happening, or the event has passed. I do this mainly because I don’t really want to announce things before I am 100% certain they will happen, because I don’t like announcing things then having to announce that the particular thing is no longer happening, but I also do it with security in mind, as I don’t really want people to be able to keep track of what I’m up to. Well, now that it’s the 21st, I can gladly share what I’ve been up to lately – for the fifth time in the past year and a half, I moved once again. Back in late November of 2016, I moved from my hometown in the Chicagoland suburbs to Tempo Storm’s first team house in Southern California. From there, I moved to Tempo Storm’s second team house (all while setting them up and preparing them for move-in for our players). Afterwards, I moved out of the team house and into my own one-bedroom apartment. After my lease ended, I moved back into one of Tempo Storm’s team houses, upon which I did mention on my blog that I would be moving to Las Vegas (after I had signed my lease electronically). Of course, for security purposes, I didn’t want to announce exactly when I was moving, but that day came and passed – it was on the 20th. I am now settled into my Las Vegas apartment (which was pretty easy because I didn’t really have that many belongings). Because I get motion sickness if I drive for too long, I made a few stops along the way, one of which was in Baker, CA. While I was eating some Subway, I looked up and literally saw a billboard for Esports Arena Las Vegas: I knew that Esports Arena was gonna be huge, but the fact that they literally have a billboard advertising in Baker (and I actually saw a few more on the way to Las Vegas too) made me pretty happy that the esports industry was growing to be this large. After unloading all my belongings out of my rented minivan into my new apartment, I climbed up to one of my favorite amenities of my new apartment building, the rooftop lounge. This is the view of the Las Vegas Strip from out in the suburbs:
I don’t even remember where this was because I went with my cousin, aunt, and uncle, and they picked out the location, but in terms of sushi quality vs. price, this is actually probably one of the best all-you-can-eat sushi buffets that I’ve ever been to. All I know about it as of right now is that it’s in Los Angeles County… which is probably one of the least helpful things I could’ve said, considering the size of Los Angeles County.
I have a big day coming up on the 20th which requires a substantial amount of preparation. So how am I spending my time leading up to the event? … Going to a meet-and-greet, apparently. During my final days of availability in this area, Rentaro convinced me to attend the meet-and-greet she was holding with her fans at the Yard House in Pasadena. I obviously hate going to events and just driving in general, but I figured I may as well go at least to take photos and video. The vlog ended up not working out too well because the lighting was catastrophically bad and there was a lot of background noise, but at least the photos weren’t completely terrible. I’m particularly bad at photographing people (though I guess I’m getting better at it, since I technically have to photograph people at events because a big reason of esports photography is to capture players and influencers’ moments), so most of the photos I ended up taking were of food, but I do have one group shot: In my opinion, the food photos ended up a lot better – I personally had the poke nachos and black truffle cheeseburger, but I started taking pictures of the meals of people sitting around me too: And of course, a photo album would not be complete without a shot of Mango the Yorkshire Terrier, who was also in attendance:
(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157693847676894)