Hello everyone, it's been quite a while since I've written a post here! Sorry about that, but I appreciate everyone for still checking out my blog and reading my posts when I make one, thanks guys.
In this post, I want to talk about the past 4~ish years of my life!
Let's start with 2011, I am in my Freshman/Sophomore year of college! During the spring semester of 2011 I was dealing with a breakup, this was with my first ever girlfriend and I was struggling with classes and I wasn't quite sure how to deal with the emotional toll of my first breakup. Needless to say, it was a very... interesting semester, I ran into a lot of problems and threw my phone at the wall and cried more times than I can recall. Other than that, I don't recall much about the spring semester other than not doing well in Math class, not being very social and crying a lot. Spring semester ended and then came summer break! I had a lot of fun here, I hung out with my friends from home and become really close with a group of friends from Iowa, I went to Chicago/Iowa a lot to hang out with them and did a lot of dumb stuff. It was all good fun though and it helped me move on from my heartbreak. There's not much to say here but the first half of 2011 I went through a lot of "Growing up", I really had no other choice. Coming from a poor family and barely hitting puberty the year prior to this one, I had to face the real life struggles of college and relationships. (Interesting tadbit of information, I really didn't play league until winter break because when I was playing in my dorm room one night. One of my dorm floor mates came into my room and asked what my rating in the game was, at the time he was higher than me, something like 1400 ELO and I was like 1200 ELO. Basically, I hate losing and winter break came and I came back after reaching my peak elo of 2400 and bragged to him about it :p. Kind of a silly way to want to get better at the game, but I hate losing and love competition).
Thankfully, I'd like to think I handled all the stress well and moved into my Sophomore fall semester with a good head on my shoulders! This semester started off pretty well for me, I went out to a lot of clubs and became very social and made lots of friends. I was totally against the idea of relationships and just wanted to have some fun, I was young and didn't want to commit to a relationship knowing that it's likely that it would end. Call me naive but I didn't want to date just to "date", I felt like dating has a purpose, and that purpose is to either marry or break up. And quite frankly, I didn't think anyone my age was interested in marriage nor were we ready. Anyway, this semester is going well and I had this "checklist" of things that I wanted in a girl before I would even contemplate thinking about dating them. I'm just minding my own business meeting new people, attending the ethnic social clubs that I was a part of (Filipino/Chinese/Viet/Korean) and hanging out with everyone. During one of the club meetings I met this girl there, I thought nothing of her at first but we did talk a little bit. She had to leave before me and said bye and I figured that'd be the last time I talked to her. But that's not what life has in store for me, I went to go home for the night and I ran into her in the lobby of the dorm building and made fun of her for still being here and went home. The days go on and she just keeps appearing everywhere in my sight, it was really strange to be honest. I'm walking to class and I see her walking the same way, and not just once but multiple times. I thought I would be safe from her in the engineering building but here I am minding my own business doing work when someone sits next to me. Take a guess who it was, yup it was her. She didn't even notice me there until I said hi and that's when I finally had a conversation with her. We talked a bit and I mentioned how I kept seeing her everywhere and found out she has a lot of similar interests to me. Anyway, I don't want to go into too much detail of this but more or less, she was the "perfect" girl that met all the conditions I wanted in a girl from my previous checklist, and even with that, it took us a while to date because I was super scared to be in a relationship after my previous one. And this takes us into the next year!
Okay! So here we are, entering the spring semester of 2012 and I have a girlfriend now! I'll save you the embarrassing details of how I asked her out but I thought I did a pretty good job, maybe I'll tell you guys the story someday. I'm going to skip all the details of my life around here because there really wasn't anything that interesting happening, I was basically just living life being happy in my apartment with my girlfriend. Occasionally playing league and hanging out with my friends still. Keep in mind, even though I lived a very active social life, I still played league a relatively decent amount. Moving back into league, I believe I've played on a few random teams/tournaments with my friends/brother and even played on Epik Gamer with Dan Dinh and them back in the day. I almost got to attend Dreamhack but got replaced by Dyrus/Doublelift and thought nothing more of the "Esport" scenes or tournaments. I just went back to partying/school. I want to say during this year Riot released information about the LCS and how it worked, I remember reading it and wanting to be a part of it, really badly. This is when I started try harding in League and wanted to be a part of a team. I was attending summer school at the time so I'm 2.5 years into college heading into my Junior fall semester when I decided to defer from college and pursue the LCS. So I gathered some members and formed my first official competitive team that I was captain of, the members consisted of Yazuki/Nientonsoh/Nubbypoohbear, and we were deciding on our support at the time. I was originally a mid laner but Nubby was a good friend of ours and was a mid laner, so I decided to jungle so we could form a roster. The two supports we had as an option were LemonNation and Arthelon, I want to say Nien/Yazuki didn't like Arthelon so we went with Lemon. At the time, Lemon was a part of Orbit Gaming and that consisted of Link/Zuna/Others? and they just left to join CLG Black. So we picked up Lemon and became Orbit Gaming. I'm not going to life, it felt pretty badass to be sponsored and have my name on a jersey. We played in a lot of online tournaments and went to MLG Anaheim and competed! My first ever plane flight was completely paid for and my hotel stay, so it was a really cool experience.
Unforunately at the tournament, we got randomly seeded as the LAST seed team there through RNG. Meaning, we never had choice of side except for game 2, and it was a Bo3 tournament. We more or less played 1 Blue side game and 2 Purple side games every set and ended up winning 100% of our blue side games, but losing our purple side games against CLG NA and CLG EU. Keep in mind, I'm only bringing up the seeding/side choice because back then, blue side really was OP, and by a large margin. Anyway, playing in these tournaments really sparked my drive to get better and better at the game. A lot of shady things happened with Orbit with them taking our gear (I always made the tournaments pay to me, but one time I let them send gear to Orbit owners instead) and that made me want to leave the Organization. We went around hunting for a sponsor and played in a lot of tournaments until we could find one. We had some silly names like Team Reddit? I think because they helped us get to a tournament or something somehow... I'm not sure but I remember something similar to that, and we were also LEAF and other random shit at the time. Then we got picked up by Quantic and that was pretty cool, they told me they were going to fly us all out to their gaming house in California and I was SUPER stoked to move out to California. I told all my friends, family, gf and was super excited to start a new chapter of my life. Well, I kind of got trolled because Quantic went under water due to some poor financial decisions and other shady stuff and here we are, sponsorless again! So I'm shopping around for teams again and I really couldn't find an organization before the first LCS Qualifier happened, so I just started working on making one on my own. A friend of mine at the time recommend to name the team Cloud 9 and I really liked that, I imagined our jerseys being white/blue and promoting a positive atmosphere/playstyle due to the nature of what Cloud 9 means. Oh btw, to fill you in on some drama, Nubby has since left the team due to some shit that went down after one of the tournaments, it wasn't anything too major but he didn't mesh too well with the team environment so we needed to find a new player. I remember going through tryouts and we ended up picking up WildTurtle because I remember him carrying a team during IPL San Francisco or something.... then we did a roster swap, Nien went mid and Turtle went ADC. So here we are, dominating in online tournaments and me building up the organizational structure of Cloud 9 under the assumption that we already qualified for LCS and we enter the tournament. We lost a humiliating game vs Team MRN and tilted EXTREMELY hard and lost in the tournament later. Funnily enough, Riot sent us home the day we lost and I'd like to think that was one of the more depressing moments of my life that I had control over. The flight home back to Michigan wasn't that enjoyable and I was pretty sad for the next few weeks.
So here I am, in the basement of my moms house trying to decide what to do with life. It was too late to attend the spring semester so I was running out of options. I started asking rioters/people I knew when the next LCS qualifier would be, and they told me it would be in the summer of 2013, May or June? I don't really remember but I remember figuring out the date and deciding to try and qualify one more time, in the case I didn't qualify I would attend the fall semester of 2013 and go back to school/pursue my degree. Since the LCS qualifier, Nien has left the team and taken Yazuki with him. The only members left were Lemon, Turtle and Me, and I was in a pretty big bind to be honest. Lemon was going to leave if Turtle left and then I would be left with no team members. Thankfully Turtle chose to stay which in turn made Lemon stay, and I decided to go back to Mid lane and that started our lookout for Top laners/Junglers. Here comes Balls, he chose to join the team and play top for us because Turtle was on the team and he thought Turtle was really good. So, wooh! We have 4/5 members and now we just need a jungler. We found a guy named Trickzzzzzzzzzzzzzz or something like that, and boom! This is the new "Cloud 9" and we were playing in tournaments/scrims and winning again. So here comes a MLG Qualifier game and Trickzzzzzzzzz is no where to be found, so we need a substitute jungler and had to ask around. We found Meteos because at the time he was known as Short Dog and he was like.... 2500 ELO or something really high and used him as our ringer. I want to say he carried one game by playing Nocturne and stealing baron and qualified us into MLG and I still couldn't get a hold of Trickzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, so here we are with a new jungler! Bam, we attend MLG as Balls, Meteos, Me, Turtle, Lemon.
Anyway I think we took first place at this tournament and dumpstered Sneaky (He was on.. Dig B? I think?). There was a really fun clip in one of the games where he was taking red buff, and we nocturne/draven/lux ulted him and he died. (someone please find this).
I also spent a bit of the tournament here talking to the Quantic CEO/Manager and he was telling me about how they were reforming the Org and was rebuilding it and trying to pitch the Org to me again. A little bit of Trivia here for you guys that most people don't know is, that I was also in talks with Optic Gaming (I hope it's okay to say this now, it's been quite a while) and we were ALMOST Optic Gaming. I was really impressed with their social media following but in the end, they didn't offer much besides that and Quantic was offering us a house to practice in before the LCS. During this time, Turtle was a sub on TSM and they chose to bench Chaox for a LCS weekend and used Turtle instead..... well unfortunately for us Turtle got a penta and our doom was basically spelled out for us. Of course we all told Turtle to join TSM because they were the biggest team and in the LCS, we were only a challenger team and relatively small. So here we are, with no ADC a month or two before the LCS qualifier and we're trying out every ADC we could find. In the end it narrowed down to two players, Otter and Sneaky. Sneaky's old manager on Dig B (Kaniggit, or now known as Danan) told me to try out Sneaky and really thought he was super good. I remember Duo Queuing with both Otter and Sneaky while playing support, I enjoyed playing with Sneaky way more than Otter because I would say XYZ and he wouldn't disobey the call, he just did it and did it perfectly. So we were destroying kids and I felt really good with him. Lemon also played a lot with both of them and objectively decided that Sneaky was better. It was a little hard to make the choice to choose Sneaky though because Otter was Meteos's really good friend, and REALLY wanted him to join the team. (They used to be on Team Normal Stars together and played a ton with each other)
Anyway, so here we are, Quantic Balls/Meteos/Hai/Sneaky/Lemon attending the LCS qualifier super prepared to take it home this time. (I was busy playing instead of trying to create an Organization because I learned from my previous mistake, and we had the house that Quantic provided to us to train in). If you've never seen total domination, I recommend you watching that qualifier because that's where the Reign of us 5 began. Anyway, we finally qualified for the LCS and that was one of the happiest moments of my life, all the hard work we've put in finally paid off and we achieved our dreams. So, how did we become Cloud 9 if we qualified as Quantic? Basically, I spent a lot of effort looking into contracts/understanding contracts back in the day since I was the captain of the team, and I made sure that we had a way out, in the case that Quantic went under again and they couldn't "lock" us in a contract. I sought some advice and ran into someone who wanted to help me create Cloud 9 again. It was TSM's old GM, Jack Etienne. Thank goodness I found him because he helped us get out of the contract and build Cloud 9 with him being CEO obviously since I didn't know a damn thing about running an Organization. Luckily, he was just as excited as I was to find each other because I think after helping Regi run TSM for so long, he wanted to do his own thing, with his own team, and he found us.
That's all I'm writing for now, and I might go back to edit some things since I may have remembered wrong, but I'll write the next part sometime later~ Until then, enjoy some bonus pictures I found!!
(My Freshman year, Sjokz before she came an LCS Host, Travis way back in the day, Balls playing at IPL San Fran, Turtle after joining TSM and we became Cloud 9, MLG Dallas?Raleigh? Tournament where we smacked Sneaky, Baby Sneaky)