Gaming, Anime, and Life without hearing

An eventful year

Posted by pandatr0nics on 11/29/2012

It’s almost the end of the year already and I really can’t believe how fast it’s come and gone !  Well almost gone … the year is not quite over yet and there are still many promising encounters to be had, but for me it’s been wonderful, eventful journey through 2012 and I want to share in greater words than 150 characters :P  These are just my thoughts, my stories of how my year has been thus far and with my lack of keeping up with posting on this blog I hope that this will fill in the gaps.

For me, 2012 rang in fairly peaceful without any real trouble, I had a few dinner events with my favourite group of people Delon, Justin, and Rinaldi, who is happily married and with a child! Congratulations to you and your wife(I may have not yet said it but I felt i should just incase). Those 3 guys have always been helping me and chatting about things since i met them 3 years ago and I really couldn’t ask for better friends! I thank you guys for always being awesome even if Justin is always the butt of jokes about working or lack thereof.


Rolling into the end of February, being a gamer, I was excited for new and promising games which mostly included a return to my much loved franchise Soul Calibur! I bought the game, but quickly realized how much I disliked player with a standard PS3 controller and I just wasn’t having that ! So as I saw how many more fighting games were coming in the year at the end of February I made my first trip to A&C Games. It was a cold rainy/snowy day that I went to the shop that I have seen with a booth many time while attention Anime North in past years and had always wanted to check out! I now had a chance to do so and upon walking in I was mystified by the wall to wall games, gaming accessories, consoles, and more! It is a gamer’s heaven! I noticed finally that I’m being welcomed by a face I’ve seen a few times at the conventions, the shops co-owner Gar.  Now not fogetting my original purpose for going to the shop! I see various shapes and sizes of arcade sticks, but having not purchased one in over 10 years, I had no idea what the quality was like.  I eventually with Gar’s assistance picked out a HORI RAPS V3-SA  for PS3. I was happy with the purchase and the shop which had such a friendly atmosphere, which I don’t often see or experience at other game shops as a first time customer. I would find myself returning to A&C Games soon.


Around this time I was watching game streams because I was still playing SWTOR :P and wanted to see the new stuff from the testers that would eventually impliment into the game, and so I took to on a regular basis when not actively playing the game.  I found my interest piqued again at a stream for Street Fighter x Tekken which I had seen announced during a gaming conference.  At the time I wondered how they would do it considering the difference in style of the two franchise and with that  I took to the stream.  The game looked like fun and I wanted to buy it just from the little bit of the gameplay I was watching, but it was actually a contest like show they were doing with this new game that isn’t yet on the market… This event would eventually be attacked by various press due to certain comments and I’ll leave it at that because it wasn’t too important to me personally anyway :P   Now with Street Fighter x Tekken showing frequently on streams I started looking for other fighters on there and soon found that Toronto was still going strong as a fighting community and little did I know that tuning into this particular stream would change everything .

The stream I found on twitch was for TorontoTopTiers.  I was curious because I live in Toronto and I love fighting games, but it’s been long since I had competed at all and so I wanted to see what it was all about. I wasn’t let down and saw that Toronto had grown so much yet also thinned out with the lack of Arcades to go to.  After tuning into a few streams I got to talking with the person who was running the stream, TorontoTopTiers member Vince ‘RXS’ Hui, who invited me to come out to the Street Fighter x Tekken Tournament shortly after the game was released. I would soon find myself back at A&C Games or rather their Gaming area A&C World.  I brought my arcade stick with me for the first time anywhere that wasn’t at home.  I introduced myself to Vince through the use of my on hand notepad because my hearing device wasn’t a viable option considering the noise level.  He’s a great person and runs a wonderful stream despite Canadian net connections being poor.  Next up was the man in charge, TorontoTopTiers big man, Russell ‘NeoRussell’ Ordona, who at the time didn’t really take notice and it would take a few other visits to set in.  I enjoyed that tournament and would return to A&C world for their wednesday evening events.


It was now April and I realized I was going out more to the TTT events during the week, I loved it and found that I too wanted to help out because way back when arcades were around I was always there with a different group of people, but more or less doing the same thing as these guys were, gathering together and enjoying the games we all liked.  I learned about the major tournament the TTT guys were setting up to host in May called Toryuken, and I not only went to join it as a competitor, but also to volunteer to help out. Deviating slightly here there was a small surprise by Vince for my birthday which landed on a wednesday they gave me a special shout out during the stream that night and while I didn’t do it on stream or even at A&C World, there was a slight emotional outburst at home as it was the nicest thing anyone I had known for only a few weeks had done for me on my birthday.  Toryuken had come and while I didn’t do very well in the tournament I did make many more new friends and acquaintences, but even more so was that a friend I had met I’d have to peg it at least 6(give or take) years prior, TorontoTopTiers member’s George ‘Future’ Kossofidis, Simon Ng, and Mike ‘DarkDeath’ Francisco.  Basically Toryuken introduced me to a lot of wonderful people who I would see over the course of the year.

Moving through the months and many events comes EVO  and hoping that my group of pals from last year who spent the time watching the stream and having a great party would again gather, but only two from last year could and invited me out to their get together for this years EVO.  I had a great time with the everyone that weekend!  This is really dragging on and looks like mostly gaming events ! which it really has been so I’ll change pace  a bit.  During the summer months there were many events, but it was in those quiet times when they hadn’t yet started I would chat with Russell not only about gaming, but rather wanted to know about me and my hearing, so every once in a while we’d chat for a few moments in the quiet food places near by while waiting for orders to come so we can get back to the event. I’ve had a few such discussions with Vince  early on and I see that all the people I’ve met from the events and otherwise this year have been very supportive of me and I am grateful for it all.

It’s not only the summer though, but as this year has gone on I’ve talked a lot about myself, and while I am mostly telling all these good stories here now the year was not without troublesome times which led to a falling out with a friend I had known since high school.  It was more than just fights with friends or otherwise family, most of the troubles from this year seemed to stem from myself and I just try not to let it show because I ‘m not very good at talking about things and would feel more frustrated than before I started talking about it.

This is basically how my year has gone and while I didn’t talk about every event I’d gone to just know that I had a great time at all of them, but mostly this was for everyone I wanted to express my thanks to because I’m not good at talking in person about things.  All the great people of TorontoTopTiers , Thank you all for being such an amazing and understanding group of people! For doing the best to keep the communities growing, and for running the best events for Gaming in Toronto I have ever been to!  I’d like to say Thank you to the great great people at A&C Games , Keep up the amazing work with your events and also all those Retro games and consoles! You guys are the best! Lastly, All of my friends and family, Thank you guys for always being there when I need someone to talk to as it is not easy to cope sometimes and you guys always seem to know.

I am very happy with how the year has gone and I can only hope the rest of it will bring more entertaining times and that next year will be a great year!

Thank you everyone for a great year,

~ David ‘ Pandatronics’ Farinha


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