The Sydney Gamers League: Talkin' Trash And Winning Flash

Last weekend was a big one for competitive gaming in Australia - we had the World Cyber Games kicking off in Parramatta, and the Sydney Gamers League going through its fifth run since 2009. We managed to get out to the World Cyber Games, but Kotaku regular Zorine Te headed over to the SGL. This is her story!

Sydney Gamers League 5.0 Last weekend saw the Sydney Gamers League (SGL) go through its fifth run since its overhaul in 2009. Self-dubbed as Australia's "longest running" bring-your-own-PC LAN, the event was hosted at Macquarie University. With over fifty competitions offered within twenty eight hours (yes, you read that right), it was going to be one hell of a weekend.

Despite the fact that it had been raining non-stop that morning, I was excited. If anything, the rain reassured me that spending what was essentially 24 hours straight in competitive gaming was the best way to make the most of my weekend. So I got up early with plenty of time to spare in order to pack up my PC and patch my games. Everything was going to go according to plan.

It appeared that fate had some other ideas.

The first blow was my internet. It went down without warning and I immediately received a text message from a teammate saying how his internet died, asking if I could register him for the event at the last minute. The second incident was unexpected - I was suddenly informed that everybody was suddenly available to enter the first tournament that we had intended to skip out on. To make it in time, we needed to move fast.

I won't lie; my team was in panic mode go-go. We exchanged several text messages, phone calls and curses, all in the name of getting to our first competition on time. With a grand total of one practice session between us, we gleefully rushed off to SGL with a song in our hearts and a Logitech G5 Laser professional gaming mouse in our hands.

Fortunately, we managed to make it without any PCs getting harmed, and that's what's important.

The weather continued to be dismal, providing a sharp contrast to what SGL offered upon our dramatic arrival at the venue. We were ninety minutes late. As I stood in the registration queue with my tower clutched safely in my arms, I could see that the hall was already three quarters full. It was fortunate that we had reserved our seats in advance.

"What's your name?" The guy at the registration table asked me, "I mean, what's your gamer tag?" "I… uh…" I struggled under the weight of my tower, arms beginning to strain, "Harli".

I was given a slip of paper to hand to the network registration guy, enabling me to connect to the network. Everything was back to smooth sailing.

I scanned the crowd for any familiar faces. People were bustling about, setting up their rigs. Cables were being pulled everywhere, creating a rainbow-coloured wire network around the venue. The sponsors had evidently pulled their weight, leaving no space wasted with their products on shiny display. On the stage, VIP setups were backed with various prizes that lay, waiting to be claimed.

The atmosphere was electric - quite literally, as there were approximately 300 computers plugged in and running in the hall. What better way to keep warm on a chilly winter's night?

We had made our first competition on time - Counterstrike: Source. The matches were streamed live with hilarious commentary from experienced shoutcasters at Gamestah. Some of us also competed in Starcraft 2 and Warcraft 3.

Our second team tournament - Defence of the Ancients (DOTA) - was not so enjoyable. Due to a number of technical difficulties we had to replay our opponents not just once but twice, drawing out what should have been a single game to a three hour battle of epic proportions. I cannot begin to express how happy I was that we won each of those matches.

Despite our victories, we were all suffering from the 3 hour straight game. My gamer shoulder was in pain. One teammate had carpal tunnel. Everybody looked like zombies. I can't even begin to imagine what the event organisers felt like the next day.

It was at this time I made the decision to forfeit the rest of our matches. Nobody was in the right condition to compete in anything. We came, we saw, we had fun. Now it was time for us to go home.

The best part about competitions like SGL (well, besides winning) is meeting like-minded people who are just as passionate about games as you are. Of course, it is unavoidable that there are always a few spoilsports who will show up to these events.

The realm of competitive gaming tends to draw an interesting crowd. Although I usually let insults of the sexist variety slide, there were some rage-inducing moments during competition. My teammates and I are not exactly innocent of trash-talking either, so exchanging banter during tournaments is nothing new. Fortunately the majority of participants are great people to hang out with post-match.

Nothing beats the feeling that tournaments bring. The pumping music on stage served up just the right amount of ambience. Announcers were energetic and enthusiastic. Competitions were being streamed live with commentary. People were yelling and screaming as they participated in their own battles. The shot of excitement that hits you every time your clan name is called out. It's all priceless.

It's why I keep on going back.

You can follow Zorine Te on Twitter here, and find more of her writing at eSports Daily


Comments

    Sounds like a fantastic and fun event to attend.
    And it's awesome that such a league can run and seem completely viable.

    The problems that Zorine Te pointed out seemed to be unfortunate but just a sometimes unforeseeable part of such things.

    Congrats to Zorine Te and her team for their wins, and her specifically, for writing a very interesting article.

    Always happy when I get some news of the local gaming scene.

    Wow, that place looks packed. You can just tell that WCG was going for a totally different crowd.

    Ok.. this may be completely besides the point.. but am i the only one that thinks "Zorine Te" is a bad ass name??
    Like what a super hero's real name might be....

      Needs some sort of reference to "Eats-a-lots" in it though.

      Zorine Te, knighted eater of lots!

        LOL, thanks guys. I actually find my real name to be a bit awkward at times but its nice to know other people like it!

          You forget that we're on the internet, where people don't have to bother with pronunciation and can instead just marvel at the magnificent combination of letters and ponder their meaning.

            LIKE Q-BO'S NAME!!!

            I still can't work out if i say it right! :D

              I've always imagined that it was pronounce kew-mew-luss.

        Zorine Te - Soul Consumer

        Holy shit.. we so need to make that a comic. haha

          so tempted to write a story in TAY... lol

      Her silly parents... it's a name, not scrabble! No double word multiplier will be granted!

        At least they couldn't squeeze in the "Qu"

      That's the first thing I thought before even reading the story. It's definitely a name worthy of a knight.
      Oh, and in light of Zerrelz' comment I'm thinking of changing my name to Ztrange. ;-)

      I'm on this bandwagon. I was thinking 'Wow, if my name was that awesome, I wouldn't need a handle'

    I'm too afraid to game competitively (holy crap competitively just took me like 30sec to write) I tried it once in the form of a friendly Haloz tournament.

    It ended with my friend accusing me of camping and then that his system must be lagging because he never saw me or my team when we killed him. The best part was this conversation.

    Me - I don't understand what the problem is?
    Him - IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM, THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM! -swears-*

    So yeah, guess you could say I'm too afraid of getting yelled at...

    ...
    ...
    ...

    Also I'm shit.

    *The names in this conversation, while not influencing the outcome, may have been reversed.

    Congrats on winning your Epic Battle, I bet that felt gooooood.

    Nice write up. Sounds like fun. Saw your 'casual vs hardcore' vid. Hilarious!!!! :)

    Glad you guys liked it, nice write up :D

    :) Yet another great read! Well done! I read through your blog entry the other day outlining the hell you went through just to get to the venue! Whata terrible morning! Glad you all made it in one piece and on time though :)

    Remember SGL back in my Uni days .. man it was awesome. Leech-fest at its best...
    I remember those days when I had to bust out like 20 DVD's cos portable hard-drives were too expensive.

    People there were awesome as well, a lot of ppl didn't mind chatting about their specs and gave you tips if you were a complete n00b like myself.

    Definitely worth the trip and you got as much sausage sizzles as you could stomach...

    I loved the guys who built towers with the amount of soft drinks they consumed!

    Good times

      agreed, loved it in the early days when only a select few had broadband at home, so a LAN was basically a "fill up all your hdd's" day for me and my mates!

      You'd then spend the next week going through your new collection

    Oh yeah and beggin for 'slots' was great fun...
    Good old E-mule

    Hey Guys

    The SGL Photos are up @ https://picasaweb.google.com/114718878592994381810

    Nice write up.

    Yet again I wish that I lived in a real city.

    "Self-dubbed as Australia’s “longest running” bring-your-own-PC LAN"

    Are people still doing this kind of thing? Australia's longest running malicious code transfer program.

      Wouldn't that be every australian business that uses Windows? =/

    I get nerd-bumps when I see that many (custom made) computers in one place!

    Nice article, looks like a fun event. I would love to go if I was any good at them vidya games.

    Well done Zorine! Gratz on all the comments you got and your epic name! haha I'll have to join you guys next time :)

    Are they doing it again this year ?

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