Sunday, October 11, 2015

KGSP - 2015 SK Telecom Proleague Grand Finals

So this was my third weekend in a row going up to Seoul. Now that I've been going to Seoul so much, I really don't think of it as that bad of a place. I used to think it was pretty busy and complicated, but I guess once you get used to it it's fine.

Some of my friend's had their birthdays this weekend, but that was like, a bonus reason for going to Seoul. The real reason why I wanted to go was the same reason as to why I came to Korea in the first place. StarCraft.

In all of its Korean glory.

I can't say that's the sole reason why I came to Korea, but StarCraft and Korea's eSports culture is a huge factor as to why I gained interest into this country. So I made it a goal from the very beginning to check out Proleague as that's the biggest Korean StarCraft event.

Last year I missed out on the Grand Finals because they started it earlier and ended it in August before I arrived. I managed to make it out to a regular match in studio during my first trip to Korea which was cool, but the dream was to go to the Grand Finals. Which finally, was this past weekend.

Thank you Team Liquid for this wonderful tickets.

It was awesome. SKT1, the most decorated and historic Korean team, versus Jin Air Green Wings, one of the newer teams that rose from the most unlikely of circumstances. It was a classic case of the new guard taking on the old.

It was in Lotte World, which is an amusement park in Seoul. First time in Lotte World, seemed like a cool place, but completely overshadowed by the StarCraft atmosphere. We got there like 40 minutes early and already seating was almost full with tons of people standing.

With matches like Innovation vs sOs how can you not be hyped?

Luckily I reserved tickets online through Team Liquid so I was able to get seats while all the standees just watched as I was let through. That was awesome. Games were exciting and despite me wanting a Game 7, I was thoroughly satisfied. 

Didn't get a chance to meet any players to get any autographs or pictures, but I managed to pick up a bunch of sweet swag from the event. Gifts and decorations for years to come I'm sure. Overall really awesome event. Really glad I got a chance to go check it out.

Power Rangers poster goes away now.

In other news I just kinda hung out with friends in Seoul over the weekend when I wasn't at the StarCraft event. Went to a knock off Tim Hortons and then went to Maker Faire, a crafts event, in Gwacheon. Both were alright, but StarCraft was definitely the.. star of the weekend.

But yea, I'm done with Seoul for a bit. Three back to back weekends is a bit much. Was fun, but a bit much. It's getting pretty taxing on my time (and wallet) especially since we are well into the semester now. Not sure when I'll go back next.

I will probably not be returning here though. Granted it was ok.

Gotta focus on some school work this week, but I'm ok with this.


  1. Hey Gary,

    I'm also a eSport fan! It's cool seeing how legitimate they take online gaming. Im a former league of legends addict haha

    Side question tho:
    In regards to budgeting and the stipend how has it been balancing the cost of living and other expenses? Is 900/month enough? Or how much would you suggest saving prior to going?

    Thanks again!

  2. Hey,

    It's been enough for me, but it really depends on your spending habits. Pretty much no matter what you do you won't be "making" any money, if you save anything at the end of the month it's going to minimal. It seems that a lot of North Americans and Europeans end up going through most of the monthly allowance compared to some of the other countries. Probably just life style differences. I would save up money before going regardless though. 900 a month is livable in Korea, but if you have any emergencies that require hospital visits or if you want to move into an apartment, you need more money. Typical deposits for one room apartments range from 3000 - 10000 USD so that's not money you'll have if you live on the 900 a month.

  3. Awesome! Thanks Gary for the insight. Ill definitely keep that in mind. So it's possible to live on campus for much cheaper throughout the whole program? And yea I feel you haha I've lived other places and peanut butter and ramen have been close friends hahha but thankfully the ramen there is pretty good! Hope you're staying warm - I worked there in 2013 for 8 months and that was through the winter. Differnt type of cold there I'm from Minnesota tho. Thanks again!

    1. Well if you've been here before you should know the drill haha. Language programs guarantee you dorm, graduate school does not, but you should be able to get one.