My ESL Studios Los Angeles Experience

So I won a trip to play in Total War: Arena’s North America launch event last week.  While still in beta, Total War: Arena opened up it’s NA beta access.  I’ve been hooked on the game for two months now, racking up 690 games and 259 hours. Needless to say I was screaming like a little kid on their birthday when I won my VIP pass. Screaming on the inside ’cause the head boss where I work was standing right next to me when I found out.


This was actually my first flight in an airplane. I’ve just never had the opportunity before.  Flight was fine, I just went a little stir-crazy having to sit still for a cross-country flight. Luckily I had Master and Commander as well as Godzilla to distract me.


LA traffic was not quite as bad as I had imagined. The hotel room was really nice. It had everything you could want to eat right across the street too. Starbucks, Denny’s, Del Taco, McDonalds…Greek, Japanese, and more. It was really convenient. I killed the Del Taco twice. Food was not as expensive as I had thought it would be either.


We were shuttled to the ESL studio on Thursday. We got to check out their setup, meet the CA staff, and OMG CHIC-FIL-A CATERED LUNCH! We managed to get in a few practice games after lunch before heading back to the hotel.


The day of the event, things were still being prepared. The setup was pretty sweet looking. We got those snazzy t-shirts to wear, grabbed some lunch, a practice game, and it was event time.  I was on team Warcast, the EU team. It was nice to win a few battles, but team ‘Murica took us down 7-3. The last battle was my favorite. Our whole team took Roman infantry, and we slugged it out on Rubicon. We won. You can check out the whole event here.


The next day brought another maddening cross-country flight.  Cowboys & Aliens kept me sane, and in my seat. The coolest thing I saw the whole trip was in the Chicago airport. I was lost trying to find my next flight gate, and then I saw this. I’m a HUGE dinosaur lover. I stopped to take a picture, and realized that the dinosaur was looking towards my gate.


I had just enough time to grab some authentic Chicago deep dish pizza before my flight started boarding. This looks like that, right?


It was a great event, and an amazing experience. Would recommend, 10 out of 10! I loved meeting all the players. Got a few friends on Steam, and hope to get a few games of Total War: Arena with them sometime. I hope to stream the games for you so you can quasi-meet them too.

Thanks to the Creative Assembly team for hosting the event, and best of luck with the game. A pretty significant patch comes out today, and I can’t wait to try it. I’ve got someone messaging me about it as I write this. Time to stop typing, and start playing apparently.

As soon as you release the patch…

…anytime now. Please?

4 thoughts on “My Trip To The Total War NA Launch Event”
  1. Watched the stream. Sorry you guys didn’t do as well as you’d liked. How were the teams determined? I was wondering this cause you won the trip for the NA beta launch and yet weren’t on Team ‘Murica. I loved that Deman (and some other guy) casted the whole thing, as he is my favorite caster from LoL. Oh and your game face…lel. It looked like a lot of fun and glad you were able to make the trip and experience it!

    1. Well everyone wants to win of course, but I was happy enough just being there. Dogbert (James Givens) tried balancing the teams, but there were some no-shows and a few players that had never touched the game before, so it was fine. I think that I would have preferred my team in the end anyway. Their defensive strategy would have driven me crazy!

      Deman was awesome. I thought his voice sounded familiar! And how did you see my game face?! I was hidden in the back half the time!

  2. I was 3 years old when I went on my first flight, don’t remember it at all. The first flight I do remember we never landed, I went sky diving.

    Since then way too much flying, and yes traveling to LAX from the east coast is mind numbingly boring.

    1. I watched the same episode of Grinder twice on their in-flight TV preview. Godzilla, Master and Commander, Cowboys & Aliens, and a weird movie called Carriers (that I would not recommend). I was really lucky with the people I was sitting next to. Couple flights I had nobody! The flights I did were thankfully decent human beings.

      And it totally figures that you would go skydiving. It explains SO much.

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