I was lucky enough to attend the MLG Columbus 2016 CS:GO Major. Lots of things happened while I was there. I saw Thorin taking selfies with teenagers (hilarious). I made eye contact with Eric “adren” Hoag (oddly sensual). I witnessed Marcelo “coldzera” David’s jumping AWP 4k live (never been so tilted in my life). I sat next to the Brazilian cheering section during the finals (loud). I watched CLG try to close out games (heartbreaking).
This article is not about those things. This article is about the stuff I bought and/or acquired while I was there–I wanted to title it “The Merch They Carried,” but I didn’t know if that would be lost on the younger crowd. Enjoy.
MLG Bottle Opener
I was late leaving the arena with my friends on Saturday night–we had been chatting up one of the custodial workers about the shirtless Liquid fans who had been ejected from the arena by the police earlier that day. I’ll give everyone the inside scoop at some point. There are videos of the entire altercation on my Twitter that you can check out in the meantime.
Anyways, on our way out of Nationwide Arena, an MLG employee asked us if we wanted “free bottle openers.” I gave an emphatic yes, because beer was now the only liquid that couldn’t disappoint me.
Shoutout to that MLG employee, though. I’ve been doing incredibly dank 360 bottle-opens for me and my friends with these ever since I got back.
SteelSeries Rival 300 Fade
I’m a sucker. I bought a Rival Fade. The dude at the merch booth said that it was the last batch they were ever going to make, plus they were selling them for $30 (they usually sell for $70). I’m sure peripheral enthusiasts have strong opinions about why the Rival is a “bad mouse,” but any way you look at it, scoring a collector’s edition high-quality gaming mouse for only $30 is nuts.
The downside of buying a Rival Fade? Now I have to decide what to do with it. I’m quite attached to my Logitech G502 Proteus Core–it’s the best mouse I’ve owned to date–so I’m not particularly interested in replacing it with the Fade. Do I hold onto it and sell it in like 30 years to pay for my hypothetical children’s college education? Do I damage the resale value by opening the packaging and trying out the mouse? These are the questions that you have to ask yourself as a Rival Fade owner.
A friend managed to get their Fade signed by Hiko, KennyS, FalleN, and s1mple–if any collection of signatures on a mouse could make you a better Counter-Strike player, it would have to be those ones. He’s also a total jerk for being smart, unlike me, and buying the VIP passes before they sold out. I’m not bitter. Not at all.
A Surprisingly Classy CS:GO Patch/Vinyl Sticker
I’ll be honest, there isn’t a lot to say about these. They look nice, they’re fairly tame/non-threatening to non-CS players, and seem to be made from high-quality materials. They were also dirt cheap–I think the sticker and patch together cost about $6 total.
Check Out My Pins, You Filthy Peasant
Are you jealous? You should be. Except about the part where that teenager haggled his way into making me overpay out the ears for that Tactics pin. (That kid has a bright future in sales.)
CLG and Cloud9 Wristbands
I stopped by the Autographs booth during one of the matches, and got to hang out with the very friendly CLG.RED crew–after waiting in line behind a nervous looking 15 year old who wanted an interview, they chatted for a bit, hooked me up with some dope wristbands, and missharvey signed my mousepad.
The Cloud9 wristbands pictures above were thrown by the team’s manager Tres “stunna” Saranthus, who made a surprise appearance in the stands on Friday to toss these bad boys into the crowd. My brother yelled “nice throws!” while this was happening, which scored us a glare from stunna and an embarrassed smile from Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert. It did not score us a wristband, unfortunately.
I still thought it was pretty funny. Also, I looked under the seats at the end of the day and found a wristband, so, yes, it was totally worth it. Apologies to stunna, though. He’s a cool dude.
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An Incomplete Mousepad
Apparently I am truly, truly awful at asking for autographs. I hate waiting in line, I hate competing with 13 year old boys to try and get a famous person’s attention, and I hate that I’m too polite to call out the 13 year old boys who kept budging me in line. I’m also forgetful and kept misplacing the white Sharpie that I’d brought along with me.
And yes, the mousepad is disgusting and needs a wash. But that’s never going to happen. And take note, young ‘uns, because that was the mousepad I started playing Counter-Strike on. That’s right. Those unidentifiable marks on it? They could be anything. The mousepad is, in what is quite likely a literal sense, living history.
Plus, Sadokist and HenryG put their autographs together in a heart. And I definitely didn’t ask them to do it. Just saying.
MLG Columbus almost claimed the life of your faithful CS:GO reporter.
Keyword “almost.” I’m only that easy to kill when I’m in game, thank you very much.
While I managed to avoid getting sick for the duration of the actual event, as soon as we finished our 12+ hour overnight drive back from Ohio, I collapsed into a blanket-covered, germ-ridden pile of human garbage. I would spend the next eight days cycling through fevers, nausea, moderate delirium, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. I’ve got a strong immune system, but whatever germ cocktail was floating around Nationwide Arena during MLG Columbus 2016 was designed specifically to take me down, and take me down hard. The whole time I was sick is kind of a blur, to be honest, but I do remember that it really, really sucked.
Next time, I’m taking a hand sanitizer shower at the end of every day.