Don Bowden

Intel Extreme Masters Toronto comes to and end, Flash takes the win!

Korea’s Flash (Lee Young Ho) handily defeated Korea’s Zest (Joo Sung Wook) in the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm finals here at Fan Expo. With a score of 4 to 1 Flash showed the kind of dominance he was known for in his Brood Wars career. The victory not only earned him the IEM Toronto trophy and the $10,000 first prize, it also earned him a place in the Intel Extreme Masters World Championships.

Flash accepting his winners trophy


Flash started playing StarCraft II in 2011/2012 and in a short two years has proven to be a formidable competitor who is no doubt making the StarCraft II elite very nervous, this is going to make the World Championship next March very interesting indeed.  If you missed out on any of the tournament action you can watch all the video on demand here and read all the daily recaps at Intel Extreme Masters.

The Intel Consumer Experience Zone was once again a huge hit with the Fan Expo visitors, everyone seems to enjoy the free game play we have set up. Fan Expo in general was a hoot, the cosplay was a lot of fun to see, there were lots of figurine and tee shirt vendors around so I was able to pick myself up a new Green Lantern and Flash tee-shirt so I have that going for me.

The thing that I found most interesting was the celebrity autographs, the event organizers set up a platform that ran the entire width of the back wall where celebrities would hang out for a couple of hours each day to sign autographs and provide photo ops. There were some big name stars there, Nathan Fillion from the TV series Fire Fly and Castle and the big draw on Sunday was William Shatner.

Star Treks own Captian Kirk, William Shatner

Star Treks own Captian Kirk, William Shatner


Now the thing that took me by surprise is how much the celebrities charge for their autographs and photo op’s, prices ranged from $50 to $95. Heck, if I had known people were selling autographs I would have taken the picture from my blog bio, had a sign printed, and charged $10 bucks for my autograph, wonder how many takers I would have gotten? An unsubstantiated rumor had Hulk Hogan charging $9.50 for his autograph, and if that was the case he would have undercut my price and there was no way my beard could  have competed with his mustasche…

Toronto is a terrific city, we ate some excellent food and met a lot of nice people, all in all we had a great time. I’ve posted more pictures up on our Intel Extreme Masters Flickr page for your viewing pleasure so be sure to have a look. If you attended the Fan Expo drop me a note in the comments section and let me know what you thought about Intel Extreme Masters, and if you didn’t attend feel free to drop me a note as well.

Don Bowden

About Don Bowden

Don is a Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer in Intel’s Corporate Demos Group supporting various Intel events from executive keynotes to trades shows. His latest gig is with the Intel Extreme Masters Gaming Series where he provides general technical support. Don’s an avid gamer, mostly first person shooters, his real passion is on-line racing with which is the closest thing to driving a real race car as you’re going get. Don is also a skier, photographer and avid motorcyclist, making two cross country trips and a trek to the Arctic Circle and back from his home in San Jose, CA.

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