This is a pretty long story but I'll go ahead and share it. One day I was playing some 1v1 custom games (over a year ago, February 2012), when someone named REQtheognis joined into the lobby.
Some of you may know him now as ROOTtheognis from ROOT Gaming. Much to my surprise, he did not immediately leave the game lobby as most high level players would do. I was in low Gold league at the time and didn't prove to be any challenge to him.
He was very friendly and talked to me for a couple hours. He said that he was setting up his stream, and after that he was going to start preparing for an upcoming tournament called MLG Columbus.
"Wait, Columbus Ohio?"
"Yeah, have you ever been to an MLG before? You should go man, it's a blast"
Out of sheer excitement, I went online and immediately bought a ticket to the event. At the time I had barely gotten my driver's license and didn't have any place down there to stay lol. Columbus is about a 3 hour drive from where I live, so my parents weren’t too happy when I broke the news.
Thankfully, one of my friends (the one who introduced me to SC2) said that he would buy a ticket and go with me. Neither of us had been to an MLG before, and it was quite an adventure. We went in there expecting 100 or 200 people, but there were at least 2,000-3,000 people in that convention center. We had no idea that the professional gaming scene was so large.
Before the “main event” begins, there are literally hundreds of computer monitors with pro gamers and teams playing 1v1 ladder games for warm-up. You can freely walk around and watch many different players, kindof like a zoo (not to compare them to animals lol). It was very interesting to see the various playstyles and build orders that they were using.
The main event was amazing. If you have ever been to a live sports game or a music concert, then you know what it feels like to be around thousands of people cheering. The energy and excitement surrounding you is something you have to experience, and something you can’t get out of watching a VOD. It’s like the difference between listening to an MP3 player and standing in front of the guitarist.
I had the chance to meet Stephano, LiquidJinro, Grubby, and many other high level pros in person, and they were all friendly down-to-earth people. There was not a single person who was standoff-ish or rude. Some of them were even giving advice to players asking for tips.
The games were extremely competitive and drew out many standing ovations. My favorite was a TvP game on Entombed Valley where MMA rushed out a Nuclear Missile and used it to force the Protoss army into a bad engagement he didn't want to take.
TL;DR: Do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to a live SC2 event, you won’t regret it.
Edited by Axiom on 3/28/2013 6:54 PM PDT