CLG Camp Blog part 1: Day 0 – 1

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Hey there guys! As I’m sure none of you know, my name is Andre Butler and I’m in charge of running most of the content here at Counter Logic Gaming. What you guys probably do know (or at least should by now) is that this weekend (January 3-5) is CLG Camp – the special event that had Reddit eager to express their frugal opinions over where 5 campers were selected to receive the full CLG experience for 3 days.

“This is CLG Camp, not CLG Daycare” – Hotshotgg

For those curious about the selection process – we had close to 200 applications sent in and were inevitably forced to make some tough choices about how we (the staff) were to create the selection process. While Kelby was able to narrow it down to the final ~20 or so, it was up to myself and Assistant Manager MaTTcom to interview those selected candidates (via Skype) who made it through the first cut and narrow it down even further. Beyond just in-game role and rank (all members main a separate role and are all Diamond except for one), we took into consideration overall personality and attempted to gauge how true of a CLG fan they actually were in order who would make the most out the experience.

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This experience was designed to be more or less the ultimate opportunity for 5 players to interact, laugh, bond, learn, eat, play, and connect with the current CLG roster in their gaming house (in Diamond Bar, CA). A full day’s worth of activities had already been pre-scheduled for each day, and so far everything has been more or less gone according to plan.

Well, Dexter not being here was certainly not part of the plan. After the whole immigration fiasco (#FreeDexter), there was no coach for the Jungle role. Fortunately for us and the campers, Hotshot was more than happy to be the substitute teacher for Jungle due to his professional experience in the role already.

DAY 0 – “Since Dexter is gone I can sleep in his bed right?” – Andre Butler

I’ll refer to Day 0 as late Thursday evening when the campers actually arrived. Nothing was officially scheduled this day, so that night was all for them to unpack, get settled in, and most importantly make initial introductions to the CLG players and house.

By around 11:00pm PST, all the campers had already arrived from their respective airports (either Ontario or LAX). Waiting for them in the house was their own specified living area (blowout bed, sheets, towel, and CLG posters) as well as their own computer next to a pro with their own CLG swag-bag for them to keep (no actual bag doe). Each swag-bag contained Link, Doublelift, and CLG Documentary posters, the “Link So Kawaii” shirt, 2 classic CLG shirts (one in black and one in white), a CLG hoodie, a Razer DeathAdder mouse, a Razer Goliathus CLG edition mouse mat, and a CLG edition NZXT desktop case.

Once everyone got done with their initial chatter among campers and pros, everyone was eager to jump in a game and get accustomed to each other as well as their seating arrangement. After that was done, we got a $40 order of burgers from Carl’s Jr for everyone for those who were hungry (and/or those who didn’t get an order of In N Out when Kelby picked them up from LAX). Once the food was acquired, it was time to watch OGN – Ozone vs Frost. Since the games weren’t particularly captivating, some people (including myself) went to bed after game 2 (which was around 3:30am) and thus concluded Day 0.

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DAY 1 – “OMG is that Bobbyhankhill?” – Aphromoo

The first half of Day 1 was only about one sole primary objective: make it to our Riot Games tour at 1:00pm. The distance from the CLG house to the Riot offices in Santa Monica is give or take 1 hour (traffic conditions vary based on time and day), so we had to make sure we left those by noon. I knew that leaving on time had about a 5% chance of happening, but we indeed left the house at a decent enough rate and got to Riot around 1:15.

Personally, I haven’t been inside Riot since the very first Spring LCS quals (around this time last year before Link’s first game with CLG) and while nothing looks physically different, a lot has changed. I think this was mostly due to the fact that the offices had to accommodate for their own company growth, as well as give appropriate space for all the new employees they hired throughout the year. That said, most of the office was quite literally empty due to their staff having a 2 week vacation off (the entire place is still manned 24/7).

Highlights of the tour were definitely seeing the camper’s faces as they gazed upon all the unique things that makes League of Legends possible behind the scenes (concept art, company philosophies, an in-house PC bang, etc). Personal favorite was Nien and I trying to get at least 1 game of Super Smash Bros Melee in on one of the few multi-console gaming setups they have available for employees throughout the floors.

Shoutouts to Riot SMK and Riot IceChest for giving us a great tour of all 3 floors of their offices and for giving us all a goodie-bag on our way out!

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We got home around 4:30, just in time for the campers to watch CLG’s scheduled scrim game against Cloud 9 at 5:00pm. That lasted a few hours (I think they played 4 games, 2-2) and immediately after made a lobby for CLG custom games – a team of 2 campers and 3 pros vs 3 campers and 2 pros. Honestly, I can not recall which team had who on it or which side won in the end. I remember Doublelift screaming after his Thresh died to Rammus and I remember Nien jungling Lee Sin and missing his Q for a fail attempted 3v2 bot lane tower dive. Those 2 things I can never unsee now.

Gears shifted promptly once again after about 2 games of the customs and everyone split up for individual lessons. Each player’s teaching method seemed different – Link and Nien started off with 1v1s with their students (each emphasizing different things before and after each duel) while Hotshot and his pupil jumped straight into duo queue. Doublelift and Aphromoo both started out with some individual coaching, but then had the camper bot lane duo with each other and sort of did a joint teaching session. Link as a teacher I would have to say is the best though. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has seen him stream his in-game analysis or commentary. His method of explaining his own vast game knowledge and pointing out mistakes makes him incredibly easy and intuitive to learn from (at least for me).

Last but not least on the day 1 schedule was arranged ranked 5s, again with a team with 2 campers and 3 pros and another team with 3 campers and 2 pros. For those who caught it, Aphromoo actually streamed his team’s (Aphro, Link, and 3 campers) 2 games where they basically dumpstered their opponents who they played twice in a row. I’m sure you can check out Aphromoo’s stream archive if you missed it, which is full of laughter and him referencing the jungler for the campers looking remarkably like former AD player for TWZ, Bobbyhankhill. From what I saw, Doublelift’s team with Hotshot, Nien, and 2 campers didn’t go quite as easy. I remember their second game having a Challenger tier player and a 90+ LP Diamond 1 player, so their games were probably a little more tilted due to the discrepancy of the 3 pro’s MMR, but they were still able to go 2-0.

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Day 1 pretty much ended after that. Link went to bed almost immediately after the conclusion of the ranked 5s games and then Hotshot and Aphro went to sleep not too much later. Kelby was also quick to bed after a full day’s worth of dealing with Dexter complications. The campers stayed up a bit to play a few more games, but most went to bed around 2:00am.

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That concludes part 1 of the CLG Camp blog. I’d love for you to follow me on my Twitter at @ATB_FTW and I’ll have another blog with pics after Day 2 is over!

photos taken by Andre Butler and MaTTcom

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by andre butler, on January 4, 2014