When I moved to Levering, I was still coaching UCLA Esports, but I was kicked out for a "harassment" case on September 20th, about a month after my move-in date. It was unfortunate timing because if I knew I was going to be kicked out, I wouldn't have felt obligated to find a year lease: having a living a location didn't feel like a necessity if I wasn't going to be routinely doing anything.
Regardless, I settled down, met my roommates (2 bed, 2 ba - 3 guys, 3 girls), and basically started playing Valorant, an online-shooter video game, full time.
I've been a video gamer since I was young, playing games like Golden Axe II and Dr.. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine on the Sega Genesis at an early age and transitioning on to PlayStation games (FF IIV), then GameCube (Super Smash Bros. Melee), and finally PC games (Guild Wars, Heroes of Newerth, etc. etc.).
I'm not sure why I got a PC over an Xbox (maybe because it was more functional than an Xbox?), but it was strange because I remember most of my friends playing games on Xbox Live while I ended up playing online multiplayer games on the PC instead.
In my teenage years, I learned how online PC games could connect people: for better or worse.
In Guild Wars, an MMO game, I met an in-game character girl one day at a secret beach in Lions Arch, the iconic main hub for adventurers, and ended up exchanging emails with her somehow. We became pen pal friends for a little over a 2 years, sending frequent and infrequent messages to each other across this time period.
The first email we sent to each other ~March, 2006:
Another exchange in 2008:
What she sent me for my birthday by request:
It strange how we ended up finding each other and interacting, and I wonder what she's up to now.
Over the course of a year, I played Valorant. I reached the top rank (Radiant) in the game and also managed to hit top 10 on the leaderboard at a point:
A lot of players called me "boosted" (meaning my rank was higher than my actual skill and other players "carried" me). In any shooter video game raw aim (your mechanics) are the holy grail, but the reason I won games were through smart gameplay decisions and coordinating the teams I was on by being an IGL (in-game leader).
I ended up coaching a few amateur teams and players looking to get better at the game including one of my roommates who played Valorant every so often as well as streaming on twitch.
None of these pursuits went anywhere, although I really didn't put any effort into advancing myself in any of these areas either. If people reached out and needed help, I tried to help, otherwise, I played and streamed.
I grew a small following on twitch which got me to affiliate (avg 3+ viewers, 50+ followers, stream 8 hours +), but it was short-lived.
Life was life and the COVID pandemic made it hard to aspire to do anything else, so I forged on ahead: making friends and enemies in the communicating, trying to get better at Valorant, and altogether not thinking about too much.
Will update with more key events / details later! (especially since this phase was so recent :3 )
- 2020 August
- Moved into 734 Levering Avenue, 2bed, 2ba: 3 guys, 3 girls.
- 2020 August - 2021 June
- Streaming Valorant and vegetating mostly because of Corona.
- 2021 June 18th
- Left to Vegas to visit family.