Almost every day around four o-clock in the afternoon, I would smile when I heard her grunt and moan as she motioned back and forth on the swing in our backyard. I had made the backyard her wonderland. Flowers, vines, and white lights wrapped around every structure. There was a large deck which contained a pond, a wooden gazebo, and a rocky trail leading to the shed. The yard was a place of tranquility and magic. Our neighbours, a newly married couple, had two kids, a boy and a girl. Sometimes I would glance out the living room window and eye their children sneaking into the yard so that they could stare into the pond and try to catch a peak at the tiny fish.

My wife and I had two boys of our own. They were ten years older than our neighbours’ children. They were healthy, typical, teenage boys, who loved baseball and had good hearts. You could say that I saw the young couple next door as a reflection of my wife and I ten years ago. My wife also gave birth to a daughter, but there were some complications and we were told that she would not live very long. She suffered from critical brain damage. She would never learn the ability to speak or understand. She was impaired. We were told that the condition she suffered from was called cerebral palsy.

I had made the backyard for her. When we bought the home in the early nineties I chose the biggest lot on the street. I was determined to make a place for her, determined to see her smile each day. The doctor had told us that her mental capacity would never grow beyond one of a young child. She would motion back and forth; she would never grow out of her swing.

Like the garden, she required a lot of attention, and I was willing to care for both. It is only now that I am afraid I will not be able to care for her anymore. Six months prior to today, I had met with our family doctor who had more news to share; this time it was about me. I have been diagnosed with a cancer, which currently has no identified cause or cure. I have been undergoing treatment, but as I feel my life slip from my grasp, I worry about the garden; I worry about her. When I close my eyes I see her swinging, at age five, seven, nine, fourteen, twenty-one, thirty-two… I want to be there to love her; I want to watch her grow.

I lie in the hospital bed; I am surrounded by white walls and patients in blue gowns. The doctors are constantly in a hurry, and the dilated pupils of every visitor appear vividly distinct. I stare into these black tunnels, which extend so far back that they do not suggest an end. Everyone is distant; everyone is afraid of getting too close.

But then I hear her, unfazed, melodic and radiant. I close my eyes again, and see the sparkle and life of the garden, and the sun’s beams bouncing off her golden hair. Her light reaches me in times of darkness. I can see her light at the end of the tunnel. I close my eyes one more time and everything goes black.

I never did hear her swing again.


Three Matches To Watch from Starladder XIII LAN Finals Groups

Starladder XIII LAN Finals kicked off Friday in Kiev, Ukraine with Team EnVyUs, Natus Vincere, HellRaisers, FlipSid3 Tactics, Gamers2 and Gplay competing for a $50,000 prize pool. With unexpected wins from Gamers2 and Gplay off the tournament favourites, Day 1 ended with shattered expectations. To get a sense of how these teams are performing, here are some key matches to keep in mind going into Day 2 of the tournament:


Get On My Level 2015: Highlights from Melee Singles


From May 30-31, the Canadian player-led video game organization Even Matchup Gaming hosted the largest Canadian Super Smash Bros. event in history. In Melee Singles, Hungrybox, asserted his dominance over the tournament, but there was also impressive play from Canadian KirbyKaze, fan-favourite SAUS and runner-up Hax$.

You can read what happened here:


First update of 6.84: 6.84c

With The International less than three months away, IceFrog has rushed the 6.84 patch update, nerfing many of the popular picks of the Summit 3 Tournament that took place last weekend. The changes affected Wisp, Gyro, Bristleback, Drow Ranger, Brood Mother, Undying and Chen, s4, and gold and experience gained from kills.

A full list of changes can be found on Valve’s official Steam release.

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Press Start 2015 – Super Smash Bros. Melee Tournament: C9 Mang0 Defeats Fly Amanita

Mang0 tears his way from Losers Round 1 and goes all the way to Grand Finals in MacD’s Press Start Smash Tournament, taking place in Southern California over the weekend. There were 232 entrants, which included three out of the top five Melee players, all competing for a prize pool of $10,000.

The format of the tournament was a bit different from most others. As opposed to the top 8 being best-of-fives, the whole top 32 would have these sets. The round-robin pools that took place on Saturday led to very unexpected brackets for Day 2.

After Round 1, Cloud9’s Mang0 was sent to the Loser’s Bracket for not showing up on time, along with two other top players S2J, arguably the best Captain Falcon main, and Hax, who is known for being an extremely technical Fox player. Fly Amanita and MVG’s Axe faced in the Winner’s Finals with Fly winning. Instead of Axe playing Pikachu, his main throughout the tournament, he opted for his known secondary, Young Link, against Fly’s Ice Climbers. Axe, feeling more comfortable on Young Link for the match up, stuck with him all five games.

It was an unexpected Winner’s Finals considering that three of the top five players Melee players and TSM’s Leffen were all competing. Other upsets occurred when COG/MVG’s Mew2King met Leffen in Round 2 of the Winner’s Bracket. Although the last two times they played, Leffen had the better of Mew2King; prior to Apex 2015, M2K always had his number. Leffen took MewTwo King 3-1, sending M2K to the Loser’s Bracket in Round 2; an early descent for the King of the Mews.

Leffen went on to face MIOM’s SFAT; the pairing that have been at odds over twitter recently. While SFAT was victorious in precious money matches, Leffen was the favoured to win, but he lost 3-2. Leffen, along with Mewtwo King and HungryBox (who lost to Lucky 3-2 in a close set) were all sent to the Loser’s Bracket.

Mang0 is known for having impressive Loser’s Bracket runs when he drops sets early, but today he completely dominated with wins on Jace (3-0), westballz (3-0), Hax (3-1), Leffen (3-0), Shroomed (3-0), Lucky (3-1), HungryBox (3-0) and Axe (3-1).

Leffen’s loss to Mang0 was a huge disappointment for arguably the sixth best player (and the only player outside of the top five to have taken sets off them), especially after recently beating Mang0 in the winner’s semis at Apex 2015 in a high-stake $1000 money match.

In the Grand Finals, which would have been the first-round matchup had Mang0 shown up on time, Mang0 won the first set 3-0 to reset the bracket, and then he also won the final set 3-0. Mang0, who hasn’t placed this high all year, showed the Smash world that he isn’t slipping as he lived up to his title of number one, only dropping three games in all of the Round 32.

Link to Bracket: