LiNK Starcraft II Benefit Tournament huge success at University of Oregon

On December 3rd from 2-11:30 PM, over 20 people joined together in the University of Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union Fir Room for the LiNK StarCraft II Benefit Tournament to raise awareness for the e-sports community and the North Korean human rights cause. Tournament participants raised over $200 for the campus LiNK chapter.

The tournament was organized as one vs. one player rounds, with double elimination winner and loser brackets. Two hosts acted as monitors during the games, while providing live commentary and featuring overhead projection of each round. After a long day of gaming, the tournament champion title was awarded to CGMooffinMan. Event organizer Jacob Blakely stated that the local LiNK chapter plans to organize one or two more tournaments similar to this one sometime during the mid Winter-Spring terms.

The University of Oregon’s chapter decided to raise awareness through a Starcraft II tournament due to the cultural phenomenon it has taken on. The Starcraft series has sold over 9.5 million copies worldwide and even broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the best-selling PC Strategy Game of all time. Over 12 million Starcraft users have registered to be apart of the Battle.net community to discuss game play. The popularity has even extended to the point where in South Korea, Korean Air had branded two planes in honor of the game. Overseas, video gaming is treated much like professional sports and conspiracies of cheating and using illicit substances in order to advance in game tournaments are common concerns. Celebrity Korean professional gamer, Lee Yun-Yeol is the held at the same prestige as LeBron James after signing a three-year contract deal worth $690,000. However, it is not easy to reach the level that Yun-Yeol has attained. A high APM, actions per minute, is required in order to succeed at games such as Starcraft. People who are considered to be hardcore players can typically play at 300+ APM, compared to a normal person who types 70 words per minute on a keyboard. Fans of Starcraft broadcast their love for the game on popular video hosting websites such as YouTube, as over 182,000 related videos of game play have attained millions of views. Needless to say, this game is very well-known worldwide.

LiNK, Liberty in North Korea, is a collective network of almost a billion people who work togethers towards North Korean refugee freedom. The organization is an initiative to funding rescue and resettlement needs, while providing assistance in the adjustment to refugee’s new lives. The campus LiNK chapter meets every Tuesday at 6 PM in the Multicultural Center in the EMU near Panda Express. Interested persons are encouraged to attend a meeting to learn more about the organization and to get involved.

To view the rest of the leader board results, please visit http://challonge.com/sc2link3. To learn more about Starcraft, please visit http://www.asylum.com/2010/07/22/starcraft-history-12-facts and http://us.battle.net. For more information on LiNK, please visit http://www.linkglobal.org/thereliance. For questions or comments regarding the tournament and the campus chapter, please email linkuo@uoregon.edu.

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A moment of fear and disappointment.

“I can’t make it!” A little boy screamed this as he thrashed through the water. He continued to fight the pool as it swallowed him into its chlorine-filled stomach. From across the pool deck the boy’s teacher saw his struggle. The teacher grabbed an innertube as he ran towards the boy. He then jumped into the pool and carried the boy back to the safety of shallow waters. Though the event was horrible but took a turn into something positive, there was still something that bothered me. The worst thing about this situation was that I stood only four feet from the drowning boy; I was supposed to be the one saving him.

At that point in my life, I was a trained lifeguard for three years and I had saved other children younger than the drowning boy before. But this time I was oblivious to a situation that I should have been more than prepared for. I neither heard the boy screaming, nor saw his struggle. I cannot even blame this on being absentminded or preoccupied. I was standing in front of the boy, ironically holding the “LIFEGUARD” life preserver and readying myself for any emergency.

I was in a position where I was striving for the image of perfection. I was just as terrified as the boy. I suffocated in fear of having more than 50 young lives depend on me for their safety. Because of the pressure being placed upon me, I drowned with the struggling boy.

After that situation, I learned my lesson and no longer will I allow my fears to hold me back from what I can do. When an opportunity is present, I just let go and jump in after it.