Weekend in Seattle

First time in Seattle.

Thursday (Day 1)

I landed in Seattle Thursday evening. I had a window seat on my plane and I was able to see such amazing views on my flight.

Malibu and Santa Monica; Yosemite National Park; Mt. Rainier

When I landed, I went to Eddie’s place in South Lake Union, we caught up and played some billiards and foosball. Then when the Andys arrived we went on the rooftop and watched the Perseid meteor shower! I never saw so many meteors in such a short amount of time before.

Friday (Day 2)

Today was the start of The International (TI) Finals — this was my reason for coming to Seattle. It’s the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year with a prize pool of $20.8 million. The whole tournament started a week and a half ago but today was just the semifinals with lower bracket and upper bracket finals tomorrow.

Our first stop that morning was at Facebook Seattle. Since Andy Z. knew some people there, so we were able to get a nice tour and eat some delicious breakfast on the roof top!

Defying gravity in Instagram distortion room; Rooftop patio for FB Seattle; FB breakfast

We then headed over to Key Arena where TI was being hosted. We got awesome gift bags which included a whole bunch of swag. We also got to try the HTC Vive Virtual Reality (VR) headset and play this virtual “dodgeball” game called Project Arena — it was the funnest VR experience I’ve ever had.

Project Arena demo video, not a video of me playing

We had to schedule a time to try the VR games. They also had a co-op game where you could fight zombies and a mode to spectate Dota 2 games. We knew this because outside the tent they streamed the VR games people were playing inside.

Massive fountain at Key Arena; Andy, Andy and Eddie watching others in VR; Ticket to TI finals

They also let you pose with your favourite Dota 2 heroes in augmented reality. This one you also had to book in advance.

Eddie and I posing and fighting with Crystal Maiden, a hero from Dota 2

There was even an acrobatics show, where people were doing flips, martial arts, etc. and then they surprised us by announcing a new hero!

After that we had dinner at Serious Pie, which is a well known pizza chain in Seattle which is owned by a famous local chef named Tom Douglas. We tried 3 kinds of pizzas, I think my favourite was the eggplant parmesan but they were all so good.

After that, we went stopped by Andy’s old apartment in Seattle for amazing views of the sunset over the mountains, ocean and downtown Seattle.

Serious Pie; View from FB housing; Selfie

Saturday (Day 3)

This day was more simple and less hectic since it was the day the mattered most in the tournament, so we wanted to watch as much Dota as possible!

View of a game being playing; View of stage and booth where players play; View of augmented reality in-game drafting

We woke up early and went straight to Key Arena and we were lucky to get one of the best seats in the stadium! After the first series, they had an orchestra play the most prominent Dota music in the game; it was pretty cool. We watched seven games of Dota that day and it was so exhausting. We had a late dinner at this Viet place called Green Leaf, it was okay.

Drums!; Acrobatics; Final game with a standoff

Sunday (Day 4)

Now that TI was over, we could properly explore Seattle! We started off by going to Moore Coffee near Pike Place Market. I had this Matcha Green Tea Latte with a cute cartoon character that looked like Shrek.

Matcha Latte from Moore Coffee; Clam Chowder from Pike Place Chowder; Marionberry Pie from Ellenos

We explored Pike Place Market a bit and then tried Pike Place Chowder which was probably the best clam chowder that I’ve ever had. We also had Ellenos which is a popular greek yogurt place, that’s also very good.

Pike Place Market

We then travelled to Gas Works Park which is north of Lake Union and gives you this amazing view from across the lake of downtown Seattle. It was called “Gas Works” because it has various abandoned gas pipes and containers here.

Gas Work Park

After we went to University of Washington, the university everybody in America thinks you go to when you put UW on your resume. It’s a gorgeous campus with some really nice architecture and has a nice view of Mt. Rainer in the background.

University of Washington and George Washington

We then went to eat in Capitol Hill, the trendy part of Seattle, and had delicious ramen at Kizuki and Boba at Oasis Tea Zone. We then relaxed at Eddie’s place until our flights took us back to California.

Closing Thoughts

The tickets at TI were the same price as Disney, but TI was so much more worth it in my opinion. There was so much entertainment besides actual Dota.

Seattle is a beautiful city, it feels small and homey. There is a lot of nature around Seattle and so much beautiful scenery. Also a lot of tech companies in the area, so I would consider living here!

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Click here to see some of my photos from my summer internship!