Monday, August 04, 2008

What It's Like To Be A Pro Gamer - Part II

This is Part II of a continuing series that chronicles the whole 'Pro Gaming' experience that I went through this year. I guess I just want to have a memento of this week; I've never been part of any big competition like this; I think it counts for a lot for me to write this down as this week passes.

I've been writing these chronicles during the time near the actual dates for the Asian Championship. By the time of this writing, I haven't posted Part I yet on my blog, because I practically give away my training regimen in that post, and I think it wouldn't be smart to give away that information before the actual competition. Whether or not my practice sessions worked would probably be known by the time that I actually post this...Did I win? Did I lose? It will be fun to look back at these writings once the competitions are all over.

I will say that this chronicle has little in the way of actual information on my training...it's more of an interesting anecdote of something that happened that I don't want to forget.

For the past few days I've been reading messages on the forum from a detractor who thinks that I don't deserve to represent the country for Virtua Fighter 5. I will admit that, unlike my competition I haven't really devoted several years to this game. If I really count, I've devoted only about 6-8 months to practice, and really learning the game's ins-and-outs. I guess there are a few groups out there who are really hardcore fighting fanatics who feel that they're the ones who really deserve to get sent to these kinds of international gaming competitions.

For several weeks before the actual WCG preliminaries, me and my wife have been making a lot of noise on pinoyxbox.com, encouraging players who are into Guitar Hero III and Virtua Fighter 5 to join the World Cyber Games preliminaries here in the Philippines. We posted on the front page of pinoyxbox.com and even informed Alex from http://hackenslash.inquirer.net/ (from the Philippine Daily Inquirer) to highlight the date and time of the WCG preliminaries. Despite all these efforts, we still received some complaints (after the competitions have already been finished) from those in the hardcore-fighting game crowd that they didn't know about the tournament. I even read comments that were complaining about the fact that the tournament is on the Xbox 360 platform---something that none of us can really do anything about, considering that WCG is sponsored heavily by Microsoft, and I don't see the console platform for WCG changing anytime soon.

My point being, if these hardcore fighting game enthusiasts were really serious about taking part in WCG, they should have been at the preliminaries. Enough information was available online about these events, and given how net-savvy these gamers seemed to be, it would have been quite easy for them to find out the details of the competition. If they really wanted to take part, they could have easily bought themselves the console and game that was needed to prepare for the competition. I don't buy the excuse that the Xbox gamepad isn't well suited for fighting games. A hardcore fighting fan could easily buy the Hori EX2 fighting stick, which can easily be bought online. During the weeks before the WCG Prelims, these players could have ordered the stick, which was very much well stocked at the time, in play-asia.com.

Anyway, I just posted this to chronicle the fact that that happened. Kantoboy on Pinoyxbox said it best---it's crab mentality. It's a negative Filipino cultural trait that just emerged to the surface; maybe out of envy, maybe for some other reason; I'm not really too sure.

I acknowledge that perhaps, somewhere out there, there's likely a Filipino player that's way better than me at Virtua Fighter 5. I just wish that he showed up during the preliminaries; but even then, I can imagine he could also have detractors, too. Crab mentality is a horrible Filipino trait that has to disappear one day. It isn't constructive, and it's detrimental to any endeavor (not just gaming). I can imagine others who are successful in one way or another in other fields encounter the same thing.

Anyway, again, this serves as a chronicle of a few things that happened during the course of my short 'Pro Gaming' stint. I promised myself that I'd RETIRE from 'Pro Gaming' the moment this is all over (no matter what happens!). I will still continue to contribute in some way towards helping the Philippines send great players for any Xbox 360 related competitive events. I would love for the country to win in these types of tournaments, if only to show the world:

There are gamers HERE.

***

On Sunday, August 3, 2008, the priest in my church said something that was surprising to me:

"Hindi pa tapos ang laban..." (Translation: The battle is not yet over...)

He said that several times, and made the entire audience present repeat the phrase over and over again.

It's just interesting to hear that phrase being said over and over, considering what I've been through, practicing endlessly for this WCG competition.

Maybe God is trying to tell me something :)