Hello Oakland

November 21 was a tough day. If you missed it, I posted two blog posts that day, one private one about something absurd that happened at work regarding international flights, and another one later that day after I discovered that Tesla’s pickup truck is a meme.

To recover from the absolute terror of that day, I made an impulse decision to join a bunch of my co-workers on a trip to Oakland, California to attend the 2019 PUBG National Championship.


I headed out of Las Vegas via JetSuiteX and took a quick flight over to Oakland International Airport in the San Francisco Bay Area.


The following day, Jordan King, Glen Tokola, William Lucas, and I headed out to Oakland Arena to watch the games. Here is Jordan King with his big camera looking like a tourist.


Edit (December 7, 2019): I didn’t mention this originally because it was still considered sensitive internal information, but it is no longer sensitive—another big reason I went to this event was because I knew that it would be Jordan King’s last esports event as a member of Tempo Storm. Jordan King’s final day at AVY Entertainment was December 6, so I wanted to spend time together with him at his last event.


The event was actually pretty impressive. The presentation was awesome, the opening ceremony was exciting, and the extra screens with additional gameplay information was very useful.


Overall, Tempo Storm didn’t do too well, but we ended up getting one Chicken Dinner.


I also have a random photograph of a burger and some chili that I ordered. It was actually an extraordinarily good burger (the chili was passable at best), and my experience was made even better because this was an outdoor restaurant that let dogs in, and there were a ton of dogs sitting around and woofing while I ate.


I was completely indifferent about the esports part of the trip because I’ve been to so many events at this point and they all just feel the same now, but meeting back up with Jordan King was pleasant. We also explored Oakland and Alameda a bit, which was an interesting experience.


Now I depart to Chicago to watch the family business for a week and a half while my parents go to Korea. I am going to freeze to death.




Hello Atlanta

I feel like I travel all the time. I traveled a massive amount back in 2016-2017 when I first went full-time with Tempo Storm, because I was heavily in­volved in esports back then. But even now, I feel like I’m going all over the place to all different kinds of conventions and events.

When I went to actually map out my travel to see how many states I’ve been to… I realized that I don’t actually really travel that much. That is, I definitely do travel frequently, but I generally just go back and forth to the same locations over and over again. One of the most noticeable things that my travel map told me was that I had never been to the southeastern corner of the United States.

So when DreamHack Atlanta came up and our PUBG Mobile team was going to compete there, I seized the opportunity.


DreamHack and ESL only provided lodging for our players, so our PUBG Mobile manager needed to get a hotel room anyway. This functionally meant that I could share a room with our manager, and our only effective cost for me to attend would be my airfare. With most things aligning well enough for me to be able to experience the southeast for the first time, I hopped on a plane and made my way over to Atlanta.

I like taking very-early-morning flights out of Las Vegas, so I booked my flight to Atlanta to depart at 6 AM. When I went outside and called an Uber though, apparently nobody was around, so I ended up having to wait longer than anticipated, then also had to pay surge pricing. This cut into my time quite a bit, and I wasn’t able to stop by the lounge to grab some breakfast before I leave like I usually do. That, along with the fact that the cabin was unusually cold and my seat recline was broken, made for one of the most uncomfortable and sickening travel experiences I’ve had in a while.

Things got marginally better when I arrived in Atlanta, but like clockwork, I tend to feel ill for the first ~20 hours after arriving at a new location for travel. It wasn’t incapacitating, though, so I spent the first night taking the PUBG Mobile players out to dinner.


The next day was the actual event. This was my second DreamHack; my first was DreamHack Austin 2016 when we had a Heroes of the Storm and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team competing.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the convention center early on in the day because I had a string of pretty important meetings lined up, but when I managed to finally wrap those up, I headed over to the Georgia World Congress Center. I made it just barely in time to catch the tail end of the PUBG Mobile team competing.


After tournament day was over (PUBG Mobile only played for a single day), I went with the players for a second team dinner, this time to all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, which has effectively become a tradition at Tempo Storm at this point. I used to take the players out for a big, satisfying meal on the day that they arrived, but after a few teams got sick from overeating, I stopped doing AYCE KBBQ until after everyone was done competing.


The AYCE KBBQ restaurant we went to was a bit different and strange compared to what I was used to, but the meat quality was surprisingly good.


… I was busy cooking and had no time to pose for photos.


The city of Atlanta itself was a bit uninviting because it rained for a majority of the time I was there, but it was an interesting experience. I feel like esports events and conventions are relatively sheltered from the outside world, so I didn’t really get to experience the true Atlanta… except for when we were in our Uber on our way to get KBBQ and literally four cars operated by some of the worst drivers I’ve ever seen proceeded to attempt to commit suicide by driving straight into us.

The view from my hotel—the AC Hotel Atlanta Downtown—was surprisingly good, as it had a nice mix between open and city views, and I was lucky enough to get a room on the eighth floor. The gloomy weather also made for some interesting photo opportunities of the tops of tall buildings com­plete­ly obscured by fog, which isn’t something that I’m able to see on a regular basis in Las Vegas.


The return flight was much better—the cabin air temperature was much more reasonable, and my seat’s recline worked—and although I was only able to stay in Atlanta for three days (two of which were travel days coming in and going out), it was still a pretty good experience.

I’ve become completely jaded towards conventions and esports tournaments now, but going back to another DreamHack-branded event for the first time since 2016 brought back some traces of pleasant memories from when I was still new to esports and every event was a new experience.




Another trip to SoCal

As the hunt for another property continues, I made my way back to SoCal—this time by driving—and met up with reynad to do some more property tours. Last month, I hit 8888 miles on my odometer, and on my way from Las Vegas to SoCal for this travel session, I dinged 10,000:


I bought my truck new on July 30, 2018, so it took right around 14 and a half months to hit 10,000 miles. Most people hit 10,000 right around the one-year mark because they commute back and forth from work. I have the luxury of working remote and not needing to commute daily, but I also do quite a bit of road travel with my truck for business purposes going back and forth between Las Vegas and SoCal and driving all over SoCal, so I guess that’s comparable to most people’s daily commute.

We’ve more-or-less secured the new property in the Hills for Tempo Storm, so I don’t want to give too many additional details in order to maintain confidentiality, but I do have a few photos that I took from the Hills when we were on the way back down to Beach Cities after our tours:



I’m pretty excited for this new property (to be clear, it’s not the white house pictured above), as I feel like the one we picked is a unicorn house, in that it’s particularly stellar for its price point. It has a huge “wow” factor, the architecture is amazing, and it has a lot of innate features that make it extremely convenient for our purposes.

After wrapping everything up, I headed back east and visited my aunt and uncle’s home up in the Santa Ana Mountains on my way back to Las Vegas. Of course, a visit to the mountains wouldn’t be complete without yet again another small photo shoot with my truck.

GMC Canyon in Santa Ana Mountains

GMC Canyon in Santa Ana Mountains

I have family visiting this coming weekend, then I’ll have about a week and a half of time to myself before even more travel—I’ll be headed to the Anaheim Convention Center for BlizzCon 2019 as my next trip.




My one-day trip to Beverly Hills

Sunrise at Los Angeles International Airport

The photograph above is a picture of the sunrise at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), taken from the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse. This is the last photo I took during my one-day trip, but I decided to lead with it because it’s the one and only photo I took on my real camera. Unfortunately, eve­ry­thing else I have is of potato quality from my ~6-year-old phone.

I feel like I should just go and get a real estate license at this point, because Tempo Storm is in the process of exploring other real estate options… which I am coordinating, of course. Back in November 2016, one of the first team houses that Tempo Storm set up was a group effort between me and the administrative assistant at the time. Since then, I’ve set up three more team houses, and this new property we’re looking at now will end up being the fourth that I lead myself (sixth total for the company). Each team house we’ve gotten has been an upgrade from the previous, and that trend isn’t ending anytime soon.

For this trip, I wasn’t able to spend 10 hours on the road round-trip because I was a bit too busy with other work, so I decided to fly this time. I flew out yesterday morning, making it into the airport by 5 AM, grabbing some free breakfast at the airport lounge, boarding the plane shortly after 6, and making it to Los Angeles before 8.

McCarran International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport

After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, I realized that all the car rental companies were off-site, so I had to stand at a curb waiting for a shuttle to stop by and bring me just under three miles to Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which was where my car rental reservation was. After entering the lobby of the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise to pick up an SUV, they queued me up to receive one of their Cadillac Escalade ESVs… except they couldn’t find the keys to any of them.

The first one that was most easily accessible in their garage was locked and just had the keys missing entirely. The second one that was behind another vehicle was unlocked and started up with its push-button start, except they couldn’t actually find the keys to this vehicle. Seeing as it started up, the key fob was definitely inside… they just couldn’t figure out where. Here is a photo of two customer service representatives flipping the interior upside-down trying to find out where the key fob was.

Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise trying to find the lost keys of a Cadillac Escalade ESV inside the vehicle

Eventually, they gave up and found a third Cadillac Escalade ESV that had its keys conveniently in the cup holder, and they gave me that one. It was a 2020 model, but I was able to see first-hand why Cadillac Escalades are often rated as one of the worst luxury full-size SUVs on the market today—they feel a bit dated compared to competitors. Enterprise comped me a half tank of fuel for the wait, which was nice, but I was only in town for a day and there was no way I would use 13 gallons of free fuel.

After I actually got on the road, picked up our CEO, and started going on tours, I forgot to take as many photos as I would’ve hoped, but I did take two from the Hills overlooking Los Angeles.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills

After wrapping up the day, I spent the night at my cousin’s house, and the following morning, I was up by 4 AM, out the door by 5, and at the airport lounge having breakfast by 6—which is where we can loop back to the first photo above. I was on my plane by 7 and back home in Las Vegas before 9, thus concluding a hectic one-day trip to Beverly Hills.




X Games Minneapolis 2019

This is probably pretty obvious from my blog posts from the past few days, but in case you’re reading this standalone—I traveled with Tempo Storm to X Games Minneapolis 2019 because our Apex Legends team was competing in the EXP Invitational.

Unfortunately, I can’t actually watch first-person perspective gameplay, as I get severe motion sickness. But, I decided to attend anyway for two main reasons: (1) Jordan King was attending and I don’t get to see him in person too often, and (2) I got excited about the greater X Games event, broadcasted on ESPN.

I’m sure this goes without saying, but I enjoyed checking out the other X Games events better than the EXP Invitational, because I was able to actually watch and experience them, instead of just looking away from the big screen during Apex Legends gameplay and taking quick naps in hopes of not vomiting from getting too dizzy.

Tempo Storm’s Apex Legends team fell short of earning a medal, as we placed 5th, two positions shy of bronze. However, there were 20 total teams competing, so I guess I can’t be too upset, as things could’ve ended up being a whole lot worse. This fifth-place placement was with a substitute player as well—our regular in-game leader lives in Mexico and could not get his visa sorted out in time—so with all things considered, I actually probably shouldn’t be upset at all.

US Bank Stadium

X Games Minneapolis 2019

X Games Minneapolis 2019

X Games Minneapolis 2019

X Games Minneapolis 2019

EXP Invitational - Apex Legends at X Games Minneapolis 2019

Victory huddle after EXP Invitational - Apex Legends at X Games Minneapolis 2019

Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157710145589612