First person recount:
As one of 9 countries to have an official launch party, I have to say we’re fortunate even though there wasn’t a lot of fanfare or hype since this is an expansion after all.
The event was held at Alienware Arena Chinatown, a high-class LAN cafe which uses Alienware PCs (surprise!) on the 11th March 2013. If anything I think this is a ploy to market the cafe itself as it opened fairly recently while stationed at a not-so prominent location. It was slated to start from 6-9pm to coincide with Australia’s countdown.
Being smart, I knew that there was no point in going too early since there wouldn’t be too much to see/do considering the scale of the event, why would you wait to countdown when you can countdown without waiting? The upside of arriving early was free food, which was evidently wiped clean when I arrived at roughly 7.30pm. There was a sizable crowd spectating show-matches between local pros. Even though the quality of the matches wasn’t the highest, the energy level present was something I find commendable, it really showcases the passion of the local fans.
Shortly afterwards, Senior Game Producer Kaeo Milker took some time to answer some selected questions from the net and from the ground. Due to the nature of such interviews, there wasn’t really anything worth reporting on since spoilers and stuff aren’t going to be leaked, while everything else was general Q&A PR.
With a few minutes left to 9pm, the crowd gathered in front where trailers were being played before the actual count down (couldn’t get myself into a position to take better shots). As with most, if not all Blizzard events, there were loot giveaways – this time in the form of hourly raffle draws. Knowing my abysmal luck, I decided not to even participate because having no chance is better than having that same chance being crushed into dust right before you, right?
The only real benefit of this launch timing is that we get to play the game first before the other half of the world. For the Aussies it is already 12am while it is only 9pm for us, talk about being fortunate.
At the end of it all, I didn’t walk away empty-handed, as I got myself an autographed HOTS poster from Mr Milker himself. Yay..
PS: I do not own nor do I play SC2. I just enjoy e-sports as a whole, with SC2 being one of them.