Where to start? I'm one of the last remaining Quake players in the Philippines, a country who's only semblance of a "professional" e-sport left is DotA (Defense of the Ancients). It's frustrating. There's little to no place left to turn to for practice, much less for fun pickups, and despite my best efforts to make competition and a community (I own/manage a gaming café), people just aren't interested in Quake anymore; even if they do play, it's limited to baseq3 on q3dm17 and FFA q4base. The only Quake I get is regular duels with my best friend, and even then that's not enough.

I may just be the only Filipino on this site, which just compounds how jealous I am of the opportunities the rest of the community enjoys - easy access to events in the States and in Europe, said events actually pushing through, and being able to play online if the showing up at a venue thing doesn't work. So far, the former is barely feasible for the average Filipino gamer, and the latter is just LOL thanks to our dismal connection.

So I've decided to take things into my own hands. Seeing as I have friends and family at just about every possible qualifying venue for big tournaments such as WSVG and the CPL, I'm going to take my chances and send myself to competition if competition won't come to me. This is where I'm going to need some help.

It's going to be my first time joining an international tournament, and I have no idea what to expect or am expected of. So I register what needs registering, book my flights to and from, and find a place to stay as well as cheap sources of food. I'm going to be traveling mostly alone (sadly the only option for me right now is dueling), so answers to the following questions will help me tremendously:

1. Other than clothes, my gear, money, and an impending sense of loneliness and doom, what else should I bring?

2. How do I deal with the fact that other (sponsored) players will be able to practice in their hotel rooms and whatnot, and all my practice will be in the actual competition itself? Should I bring along a gaming laptop and just warm up on bots?

3. Flying and paying for all my expenses out of my own pocket is going to cost me, isn't it?

4. What's the atmosphere like? Will I be able to make any friends?

5. Anything else I should expect (other than to lose)?

6. How long does a qualifier usually last? 2-3 days?

My only wish at the end of it all is that I play well enough to garner a sponsor (for traveling expenses at least) just so I can keep at it and keep playing. I believe SteelSeries sponsors the Philippine WCG contingent, so I guess that's my first stop - hopefully I get good placements enough to merit their attention and support.

Help me out ESR - you got me hooked onto this whole mess, now I need you to help see me through to the end. Thanks in advance for any answers and insights anybody can give (especially if you've been/are in in the scene).

Edit: Added question #6.