Friday, July 17, 2009

Evolution 2009 Starts Today

At 9:00 PST the biggest fighting game tournament in the country (some say even the world) begins. The 2009 Evolution Championship Series is a fighting game tournament full of tradition, featuring the worlds greatest fighters in various fighting games. Held at the Rio in Las Vegas, this three day tournament will put the best against the best, with fighting game superstars like SoCal's Alex Valle, East Coast's Justin Wong, and the ever-so-feared Daigo flying in from Japan.

This past year, the fighting game scene has witnessed quite a few changes to their community. Unlike other games such as Starcraft, Halo, and CounterStrike, the fighting game community never acquired that widespread attention to qualify as an official eSport. The community has been known to hold their own in a sort of wild west fashion, organizing their own tournaments and keeping the community afloat with Youtube videos and the pure love of the game, all without the need for sponsorships and professional companies like MLG or WCG.

But with the release of Street Fighter 4, the scene was exposed to a sort of rebirth. Just as the number of competitors and popularity of the games was falling, SF4 brought with it a resurgence, filling the community with a strong sense of pride, along with a brand new feeling of hunger with everyone wanting to prove that they're the best once again. The pure popularity of SF4 gave the fighting game community a ton of exposure, bringing in both old school SF2 players as well as a younger generation of fighting game enthusiasts.

After a years worth of tournaments, the one tournament that everyone has been preparing for starts today. Some competitors are students at school who play fighting games as a hobby, some are 30 year old Street Fighter veterans who have been playing their whole lives. Some have dropped everything else in their lives and have become professional players, and some don't even compete; they just have a love for the community.

At Evo this year, the headlining game is Street Fighter 4 which boasts over 1040 entrants. Other featured games are HDRemix, 3rd Strike, Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and Soul Calibur IV. There is also a community sponsored Brawl tournament on the side, and kiosks featuring new games like BlazBlue, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, and Tekken 6. This is also the first year that Evo will be hosting a proper live stream, featuring coverage across all three days, with the finals for all of the games on Sunday. The live stream can be viewed at and starts Friday at 10:00 PST.

For those interested in the history of the fighting game community, check out these pieces:

- I Got Next started out as a students final project at art school, but quickly grew into a much bigger fighting game documentary. Ian Cofino traveled across the country and made a movie highlighting the Street Fighter 4 hype, with a focus on the growing rivalry between the East Coast and West Coast. You can view the short cut of the film at

- Over at All Is Fighter (, writer DJcream wrote up an incredibly strong piece entitled the Dawn of Evolution, highlighting the history of the Evolution fighting game tournament. Armed with a ton of history and video clips, the piece is a great overview on the fighting game scene, and is a must read for any fan. Check it out here.

- And last but not least, the closest thing the Condo has to competitive gaming, our very own Jeff and Keng in a teams match at a San Diego tournament.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2009 Emmy Nominations: 30 Rock is Crazy

So in light of the recent events, I'd like to kick off the string of relevant, fun, and informative blog posts with my thoughts on the 2009 Emmy Nominations!

At 5:35 AM PST, Chandra Wilson and Jim Parsons stood on a CBS set and announced the 2009 Emmy Noms. Of course I was wide awake, due to my messed up east coast internal clock, and watched as the two actors read a bunch of words in succession which meant the world to me, but jack shit to most everyone else in the world. The full list of nominations can be found here, thanks to the folks at The Futon Critic, one of my favorite TV sites. I'll be commenting on the main categories.

Lead Actress In A Drama:
It's cool seeing Sally Field's name on the list once again. Watching Forest Gump's mom lead a corrupt family week after week is enjoyable, but my vote goes to Glenn Close as the powerful female lawyer Patty Hewes on Damages. I'm also glad to see a nomination thrown to Elisabeth Moss for her role as Don Draper's sidekick and holder of secrets, Peggy Olson.

Lead Actor in a Drama:
I'm pleased to see that most of my favorite lead actors made the list. Bryan Cranston coming off of last years win is nominated once again for Breaking Bad, and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men is simply the modern definition of cool and suave. Hamm also received a nom for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy as Dr. Drew Baird on 30 Rock, the handsome yet ridiculously dumb love interest for cool kids favorite Liz Lemon (Tina Fey).

Lead Actress in a Comedy:
Tina Fey, that reunion episode was so good.

(and I'd like to point a bit of credit to Toni Collette for her role on United States of Tara, well deserved)

Lead Actor in a Comedy:
Once again the NBC mainstays are on the list; the hero Jack Donaghy and leader of the Michael Scott Paper Company, Michael Scott. I've only seen a couple episodes of Monk, but wtf is Tony Shalhoub doing on that list again? And while Flight of the Conchords was funny in its first season, the train wreck second season lead to a nomination for Jermaine Clement? I'd rather see Adrian Pasdar on that comedy list, because his acting on Heroes didn't last for one second without laughter.

Supporting Actress In A Drama:
My vote would probably go to Rose Byrne for Damages, but that's probably because I haven't seen In Treatment. Seeing Cherry Jones for her role as female Commander In Chief on 24 is cool, but personally I'd rather see Girl Jack Bauer on the list (Annie Wersching, who was playing celebrity softball with Pam Beasley and Nelly earlier this week).

Supporting Actor In A Drama:
Can we take the Boston Legal people off the list please? I swear that show ended 5 years ago. Regardless, Michael Emerson as the most evil man in the world is always awesome, and so is Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, bad kid gone...badder on Breaking Bad.

Supporting Actress In A Comedy:
Jane Krakowski was so good on 30 Rock this year, and so were Kristin Wiig and Amy Poehler for their various roles on SNL. But my pick has to be Kristin Chenoweth for Pushing Daisies, because I'm a super fanboy, and I've been listening to the Wicked soundtrack all summer and she kills it. And Weeds? Forget that shit it isn't even funny anymore. Oh yeah, Hayden Panettiere as Claire on Heroes would have been good too (okay I'll stop).

Supporting Actor In A Comedy:
It seems like they just pick a different Entourage cast member for this list every year, but Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer both receiving nominations is fantastic. And
I only started watching How I Met Your Mother this year, but damn, Neil Patrick Harris is fricken...wait for it...legendary.

Outstanding Drama:
I watch every show on this list except for Big Love, and they're all good choices. I could easily see the award going to any of these shows, but I'd probably give it to Mad Men or Breaking Bad, and then save the LOST win for next year after the show is over.

Outstanding Comedy:
Once again Flight of the Conchords and Weeds, not funny this year, but what else is there. 30 Rock for the win bar none, but it's also nice to note that Family Guy is the first animated comedy to appear on the Outstanding Comedy list in almost 50 years (true fact:

Other Notes:
I would've loved to see some love for Battlestar Galactica. It got a few nominations in the production categories, but it truly is the best piece of sci-fi programming I've ever seen in my life. And where the hell is Chuck at? Generally one of the most consistent shows on television, and it receives no awards except for stunt acting or something like that. They could've easily threw some of the actors and actresses into the comedy slots. And even though I only know a couple of people who watch it, Friday Night Lights definitely needs some exposure. It rebounded from a so-so 2nd season and found its footing once again, and it's honestly one of the best shows on television. Oh, and by the numbers, 30 Rock has 22 nominations, the most ever for a comedy, and Mad Men holds 16, the most of any drama for 2009.

So I doubt anyone will read this entire thing, but if you did, post your thoughts on the nomination list, which once again can be found here. Looking forward to the show in September, maybe I'll do a prediction list when its closer to show time.


Welcome! To The Nazer And Ray Blog-extraordinaire!

After several minutes of thought, I have decided that Nazer and I are the Coolest guys in this room. The lack of posts from the other half of this quartet of awesomeness are obviously uninterested in keeping the seed alive. I feel like danity kane after Diddy gave aubrey and d woods the boot. Left wondering WHAT THE FUCK just happened and what the hell do we do now. However, I like to think that Nazer and I have more appeal and talent in our big toe's than the surviving members of DK. Sad thing is adonis' lack luster and Lance's frequent bukkake posts keep readers interested and wanting more. So the real question is can the Cool Kids survive the recession that it is in right now.

My assumptions as to what Lance and Adonis actually do are about as good as yours (non existent reader). But my excuses for them go as follows:


1. Busy "working" for food at his mom's office
2. Studying Infromatics takes up too much of his time. (whatever that is)
3. Gone into depression after moving out of 198
4. Is getting play on a regular basis
5. Taking singing lessons so he could try out for American idol the 500th season
6. Watching a heavy amount of porn all day which then leads to him crying himself to sleep at night.


1. Caught up in summerschool
2. Boycotting actual clothes by limiting himself to faded shirts and basketball shorts. (reminds me of the friends episode where Chandler gets his heart broken and only wears sweat pants).
3. Doing everything within his power to become and actual repellant for woman by resorting to endless hours of playing Magic the gathering with Tuan.
4. Trying to make it so that when you search his name on it says see Scrub.
5. Gone into depression that the 198 apartment is gone which limits his bull shitting time.
6. His triton vision has gotten the best of him and he now jacks off to images of Ben stiller from dodgeball.
7. Trying to get into the Guiness Boook Of World Records for longest nap at 72 hours straight.

Maybe we can start another massive comment conversation by listing your own personal thoughts as to why Lance and Adonis aren't posting. Till next time your step you might run into cobb webbs the next time you walk into the cool kids room.

Just Ray