Posts Tagged ‘PMS Clan’

Get By With A Little Luck From My Friends

The Frag Dolls, Ubisoft’s competitive/promotional team of girl gamers, is recruiting a slew of Cadettes for a 6-month “internship” that promises a whirlwind tour of the gaming industry.  Hells yes.  I am ON BOARD.

Along with the absolutely darling Michelle a.k.a. Sunie (blog: Oh Geeze), I have spent that last few weeks compiling my application.  It consist of a Gaming Resume, a Gaming History, and a Video Q&A.  Cadettes will be selected at random for the pool of applicants.  Naturally, I’ve waited this long to post about it because I didn’t want to risk alerting any potential competitors…and not at ALL because I’m too addicted to Modern Warfare 2 to do more than poop out the occasional tweet or e-mail.  The girls already applying are, for the most part, awfully pretty and grossly qualified.

Fortunately, I’m pretty cute ad talented myself, so we’ll see how the cookie crumbs when the Frag Dolls announce their 12 winners the first week in March.  Early birthday present to me?  IT BETTER GODDAMN HAPPEN.

Anyway, my application video and Gaming History shall make up the remained of this post.  Stick around if you’re into that sort of thing. 😀

The Gaming History Of Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico

As part of a family that saw the value of staying on the cutting edge of technology, I enjoyed access to computers and gaming consoles from early on in life.  First there was Crystal Caves on the PC, then Mario games on the Nintendo, Japanese imports like Final Fantasy and Monster Rancher on the Playstation, and finally non-stop Pokémon on the GameBoy.   Through high school, I played mostly role-playing games and Dance Dance Revolution until my younger brother inadvertently turned me onto World of Warcraft my junior year.  My junior year was also when I became acquainted with Trevor/H2O TorcH who introduced me to PC first-person shooters with the release of Battlefield 2 that summer.  I was instantly addicted to Battlefield 2 and to seeing my name at the top of the post-game score charts.

My  freshman year of college (2006), I attended DigitalLife in New York City.  It was my first gaming event and I was dazzled by the professional gamers from Asia competing at Warcraft 3, the oodles of swag offered as promotional game prizes, and my brief encounter with the ladies of PMS Clan.  I spent the rest of the year trying (with limited success) to learn Warcraft 3 but mostly just shooting people in Battlefield 2.

Shortly before DigitalLife rolled around the following Fall (2007), I picked up Team Fortress 2 freshly out of beta.  My intention was to learn it well enough to win prizes at the event, but I became addicted.  When I learned about on-line tournaments, I joined a team with Trevor and some of our friends from high school.  The team performed poorly, so Trevor and I joined a more competitive team.

During my early days of Team Fortress 2, I trucked my skills down to VGXPO in Philadelphia with the dual intention of winning some swag and interviewing Amber Dalton of PMS Clan for an essay on Girls in Gaming.  I did in fact win some neat swag and, during my interview with Amber, she took notice of my prizes and suggested I campaign for a Team Fortress 2 team within PMS.  A few weeks and many forum posts later, I was co-leader of the first PMS TF2 division.

That season was a lesson on the ins and outs of on-line leagues wherein I learned much about competition, strategy, and a woman’s place on the internet. I was frustrated by all the negativity coming my way, but very pleased when I and a contingent of my TF2 team took a solid first (the team we played in the finals rage-quit after the first round!) at the Digital Overload LAN (spring 2008).

At that summer’s  Nvision LAN, my TF2 team took first in the GeForce tournament and competed admirably in the main event.  I also made it out of groups into the elimination bracket with my first attempt at Unreal Tournament.  I continued to work hard at TF2 and that fall, my team advanced to the play-offs in both CEVO and CGS online.

Inspired by Ultimate Gamer’s debut last winter, I acquired an Xbox and began training in a multitude of games, mainly Street Fighter 4.  I competed in SF4 at WCG Fighter Club, Summer DreamHack, GVN Summer Bash, The E-Spot, and another WCG Fighter Club.  I’ve also picked up Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST and will compete in both games at WCG’s Crossfire tournament at the end of this month.

In addition to my own gaming, I’ve done shoot-outs for Sapphire and Commodore at VGXPO 2008 and helped work the main stage at GameX 2009 with PMS Clan.  NoobTube TV has used me for on-camera interviews at NY Comic Con, MLG Meadowlands, GVN Summer Bash, and various WCG events in New York City.  UFrag TV, another gaming coverage site, also hired me to help cast their live, streaming coverage for VGXPO 2009 and Big Apple Comic Con 2009.

I am very interested in continuing my involvement in the gaming industry and increasing its scope, so working alongside the Frag Dolls would be a dream come true!

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Reality TV Killed The Video Game Star

I guess I haven’t hinted at it much in this blog, but I am terribly interested in a reality television enterprise called “WCG Ultimate Gamer.”   The first season aired around this time last year and featured 12 gamers that would compete against each other in video games and related “real life” challenges (ex: Halo and paintball, Dance Dance Revolution and dancing, etc).  The show featured Amy “Athena” Brady who, with her sister Amber, founded PMS Clan (of which I am a member, and a general at that!) and Chelsea a.k.a. Delicate who is also a prominent, long-time PMS Clan member, the only two ladies, I am pround to say, who made it to the final elimination gauntlet.  If you’d like to check out the show, all the episodes are on Hulu and additional information about contestants can be found on the US World Cyber Games homepage.

It was awesome to watch two of my favorite girl gamers climb to the top of the pile, but it was even more awesome to know that video games and gamers could be so spectator-friendly.   As someone who has been hiding as much as gaming behind my computer screen, it made me positively giddy to see my hobby join the mainstream, like extreme skateboarding and winter sports before it.  After all, I had something culturally relevant to reference when people questioned my motives for things like “Team Fortress 2 practice” and “selecting Training Mode on Street Fighter IV.”

Anyway, since the show debuted, I have been dogging anyone with clue (show contestants, the host Joel Gourdin, WCG executives…) about WCG Ultimate Gamer season 2 because OH MY GOD I WANT TO BE ON THE GODDAMN SHOW.   Maybe you think it’s not cool.  Maybe you think I’m trash (just because I am from New Jersey and I summer at Seaside does NOT mean I am “like that” :P).   Maybe you think girls suck at games and the only contestant should be Fatal1ty… But know this:

I have been competing in video games for money and prizes for over three years.

I have defended titles alone and on teams.

I have been hired as a personality at gaming events.

And I have worked both on camera and off as gaming press.

Inspired by the show, last May I acquired an Xbox, something I had once been feverishly opposed to.   Only recently acquainted with the game, I went within 100 damage of winning a best-of-three Street Fighter IV show match with Sweden’s recently ranked 2nd place finisher at Summer Dreamhack.

My partner and I took a pilgrimage to SK Gaming’s home lan center in Stockholm, tested arcade skills in Amsterdam, logged hours in game cafes across Europe, and came home to a booming tournament scene that slung us back across the globe to TorcH’s 3rd place victory in Chengdu.

I’ll go anywhere in the world for a challenge.  Too often I have to take a back seat to other people’s gaming achievements, and more often I’ve hid myself altogether.   Ultimate Gamer is my chance to be more than a support class, more than the cute face at the Quake booth.  I plan on busting in, guns a-blazin’, and really tearing shit up…as it were.

I’m Seltzer, and I assure you I have what it take’s to be WCG’s next Ultimate Gamer!

WCG 2009: Here Comes The Hero

Life has been a little hectic since I’ve returned from my trip to the World Cyber Games in Chengdu, China.  I’ll spare you my touristy run-down of airport delays (Beijing rockets silver iodide into clouds to make rain, but ended up blanketing Beijing in an unseasonable blizzard), sleep deprivation (left a forehead print on the glass revolving door, poured noodles on my partner’s laptop trying to show my mom my breakfast over webcam), internet restrictions (no Wikipedia, no Facebook, no blogs, no Youtube, and a very sensitive IP blocker), and personal excursions to different corners of Chengdu (the mountain where Daoism was founded, tons of street market haggling, and harrowing cab rides).  I will, however, name-drop it like it’s hot.

TorcH and I sat across the aisle from SirScoots, a well-known personality in eSports, and MoB Shift, one of the two Guitar Hero players for USA.  The flight was uneventful save for my sudden and unparalleled achievement in Pokemon Pinball: access to the Mewtwo Bonus Level and an all-time high score of 1,517,277,700 on the Blue level (which after some research I’ve discovered is not a very impressive score… let down).

Waiting in the Beijing airport, I lost track of TorcH and glommed onto the group surrounding the US WCG managers, Paul, Aaron, and Natalie.  Also in that group were Jamal, an Ultimate Gamer contestant, and one of my new friends, Sean “Wraith” Snack.  Paul ended up saving the day and getting us to Chengdu that night whereupon we were greeted by… a gaggle of uniformed volunteers speaking English, offering bottles of water, and encouraging us to relax in a special seating area while we awaited our shuttle!  It was our first taste of celebrity, and it was pretty neat.

At the hotel, the lobby was set up with tables dedicated to registering teams.  There were uniforms and meal cards and room keys for the players who all shuffled off to bed by 2am China time (all of China is one time zone). I had been awake for 25 hours and most other for much longer than that, so I was determined to sleep as long as possible.  Fortunately I didn’t because then I would have missed the players’ tour of the Panda Research Base the next morning!

Ah, the day of the police escort…  For the 30 minute ride to the panda base, we had a cop leading our bus the whole way (as a note, the banners for WCG still lined the road two full miles from the venue) and other cops along our route blocking intersection traffic so we could pass.  We were rushed around the base by our volunteers/herders and tour guide, but the pandas were epically adorable.  On the ride home, I sat with a group of referees in panda (excuse me, pander, as the Chinese pronounce it) hats and got to know Nicholas White, an Australian ref who has attended several WCG final events.

Upon returning to Century City, the combination hotel/event hall, we got our passes and entered the venue for the first time.  And here, we come to our agreement from my last post.  These aren’t the original “scantily-clad ladies” I was promising, but readers, feast your eyes on the lovely booth girls of Samsung!

These beautiful girls (and several very attractive guys) populated every exhibitor booth in various teams of costumes.

There were futuristic soldiers, elves, school girls, deal-or-no-deal types, space aliens, airline stewardesses, and even some cat-girls… whatever best related to the individual products (however tenuously).

What’s more, they all spoke at least some English, and were always eager to help me understand or get me to participate.

So suck on it, boys… I got to be around tons of hot Chinese girls and you didn’t. 😛

Coming next installment… how Team USA fared and who owned the most face! (hint: it wasn’t us)

GameX: It’s Got Bawls

Sorry, blog!  I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy catching up with everything I missed this week while sick.  As a gesture of apology, the next post will focus entirely on scantily clad women. 😀

TSP GameX

This was the first year for Pennsylvania’s new gaming affair, GameX.  Held in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center near Valley Forge National Park, it was a bit out of the way for convention-goers more accustomed to metropolitan travel, but the expo still managed to attract a large number of attendees.  This may be due in part to GameX’s attempt to appeal to multiple crowds within gaming culture.

For the casual gamers who love to play with friends, there was a large Bring Your Own Computer area, the Alienware Arena, a bay of 98 Alienware PCs loaded with games and open to everyone, and as well as a ring of Xbox 360s and Playstation 3 running mostly fighting games hosted by the GXL team.

TSP Alienware

Competitive PC players had three gauntlets to run in the Alienware Arena in Team Fortress 2, Flash Point: Dragon Rising, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Unreal Tournament 3.  Console fans could duke it out in Street Fighter 4, Halo 3, BlazBlue, and more at the GXL booth or try their hands at Smash Brothers and Rock Band 2 on the main stage with the ladies of PMS Clan.  Prizes ranged from t-shirts and cases of energy drinks to hundreds of dollars and three real Epiphone guitars!

Just interested in looking around?  GameX has you covered there too!  Industry panels and exclusive screenings ran all weekend in the theatre room and the Artists’ Alley and Steampunk Gallery both had some amazing and funny pieces on display (and for sale!).  Gaming celebrities like The Escapists’ famous fast-talking Aussie critic Ben “Yahtzee” Crowshaw from Zero Punctuation and several cast members of the popular web show The Guild were on-hand to chat and sign autographs in the red carpet section.
TSP Zero

Interactive booths from Ubisoft, MSI, Hi-Rez Studios, Dante’s Inferno and Warhammer Online, Turtle Beach,  and more ringed the walls and dotted the showcase floor, offering attendees lots of free swag and exclusive gameplay opportunities.  Other companies like RockyBid.com, Dust-Off, Bawls, and Steel Series offered great deals on products and services.  There were displays from local robotics teams and local Jedi teams. And just when you thought the day was over, live bands took over the main stage to serenade the attendees with game-inspired ballads and mash-ups of well-known game soundtracks.

As a special treat for industry insiders and the hard-working volunteers, there were several VIP parties once the doors closed on the convention hall each night.  While many enjoyed the upscale wine and cheese soiree on Friday night, I loved the bouncing between the GameX and The Escapists’ parties at Arnold’s Family Fun Center on Saturday.  Laser tag, bumper cars, beer, and Bawls: everything a gamer could ask for to unwind!

TSP Bawls

GameX has already posted their 2010 date (October 22nd-24th for those wondering) so I hope it’s safe to say this event will be around to enjoy again.  I look forward to seeing how the convention grows, if it changes spaces, and what it has in store for the future!