Even though it’s been years and years since I’ve done any real competitive gaming, I still love the competitive gaming scene. I love reading about matches or watching videos of games I don’t even play just because I find other’s enthusiasm for them infectious. And speaking of infections, it just does not get more contagious than Daigo vs Justin Wong. I don’t care if you’ve never picked up a joystick in your life, you cannot watch the above video without being swept up in the rapturous roar of the crowd. I’ve seen it so many times a number count wouldn’t do it justice, and yet the crowd’s utter delirium at the sight of Daigo’s impossible maneuver makes my blood pump a little faster every damned time.
Here’s the rub, though. In the 7 years since that video hit the web, I never fully understood what I was watching. But thanks to the PA Report, a brilliant, instabookmark new gaming blog launched by Penny Arcade, now I do.
PA-R honcho Ben Kuchera sat down with Seth Killian, the announcer in the video/Capcom’s community manager, to explain moment-by-moment what is actually happening and why every nerd in the room loses their godsdamned mind when the shit (doesn’t) hit the fan. If you, like ig’nant ‘ole me, thought Daigo was just blocking Wong’s attack this entire time and got lucky, you really should read the play-by-play. It’ll be years and years before eSports are taken seriously by mainstream sports crowds (in the US), but knowing precisely who Daigo was, what he was up against, and how calculated those moves were, I’d like to submit this as Exhibit A as to why eAtheletes and all the training they put in should not be dismissed just because it takes place on a motherboard instead of a field.
My wife and I had our first official date at a LAN Party back in 2002. It’s an oddly strange realization that our relationship is older than Valve’s Source Engine. In fact, I remember showing Christine the first ever E3 Half-Life 2 tech demo that showed off Source’s revolutionary physics engine. And I remember sitting there, outputting this video of barrels falling down a giant plinko wall to my bedroom TV (yep, even back then I was into building HTPCes– Christine even used to come over every now and then and watch me play Counter-Strike 1.3 matches on that old ass TV) and thinking, “Either I’m dating the coolest chic ever if she’s impressed by this tech demo or she’s a really, really good actress.”
Anyways, this is a long way of saying that I still love the stuff people still do with the Source engine nearly a decade after its creation. And yes, this is a 45-minute long video of a group of friends playing Elevator: Source, a mod that features nothing but fast paced elevator simulation.