Another crazy SXSW has come and gone in Austin, TX, and I’m completely exhausted. Unlike the past two years where most of my participation was during the Music portion of the festival, I explored extensively during Interactive (i.e. earlier). The biggest events I attended were the Dropbox party and the multi-day Rachael Ray Feedback House Party. The first was at a brand new bar on Rainey Street called Container Bar and featured live music from Wild Cub (they’re gonna blow up). The second was at an event space on East Cesar Chavez called Chick Ranch and featured tons of live bands and BBQ from a Chicago restaurant called Lillies. I managed to snag invites to both events for myself and a ton of my friends through some Twitter magic. Besides those, I walked around to a ton of the open venues all across downtown Austin to catch music and eat/drink free stuff. If you’re interested in seeing my photos, check out the Flickr set here.
I went to my first SXSW event this past Saturday (despite the absolute deluge of rain) at the Palmer Event Center for the Screenburn Arcade where the IGN Pro League was putting on a StarCraft 2 showmatch between two community-voted players. Interestingly enough, the players Millenium.Stephano and TteSports.WhiteRa ended up being the winners of the IPL StarLeagues 2 and 3, respectively, which made the match feel even more epic. The Frenchman, Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri, is arguably the best foreigner (non-Korean) player in the world and definitely one of the best Zerg players globally. Aleksey “White-Ra” Krupnyk, hails from the Ukraine, and has been a long-time community favorite for his Protoss “special tactics” and broken English phrases that are frequently absorbed into the StarCraft eSports lexicon. It was awesome seeing these people play in person after being limited to TwitchTV streams and Major League Gaming events in the past. Nothing beats a live crowd, especially when an Archon Toilet results in the nearly instantaneous death of 10+ Brood Lords and a complete change in momentum.