Note : Before we begin here’s a little insert about my recent life (not that anything exciting ever happens there lol), a few things can be inferred from it that I find amusing (somewhat, my humor sucks tbh).
So first off, my professional life never quite began, I mean I always work, have work, make enough money to live with my girl, we’re very fine without being rich, because our fields of interest are kind of disconnected from the actual world other beings seem to navigate. But man, I changed of job about a bazillion times in the last 10 years. I’ve been doing about everything you could imagine, kind of Jack London style, but without the racist extent hopefully. My goals have no correlation whatsoever with any life plan – I would even tend to think they don’t make any sense whatsoever, and somehow this makes me feel very good actually, maybe otherwise I’d turn insane.
I lived with this girl for a little more than 7 years, we changed of apartment twice in Paris, always living happily, with two cats and one dog.
Now, 4 months ago, we moved out of Paris. This can sound absolutely not a big deal at all, but France is a very archaic country and moving out of the capital here, is like, well, it’s not good for your professional career, unless you’re a teacher, state worker or whatever, people in this country often move out the capital for they retirement. We’re both about to turn 30.
So we moved to one of my most beloved place in this country. Normandie, sea side. This is a region where, everything is birthed and dead green – luxuriant. Sea’s nearby, everything around is quiet and calm, it’s lovely, winters are dark, it’s actually so great, poetry here may turn bad. Whatever.
We live in a huge place, all of grass and stone, it’s a very old farm, well not quite a farm, the thing just bigger : a “métayrie” is how you call that. We share with my parents a vast garden surrounded by old walls. Behind those, large and convex fields run, mist covered at dawn, that look far away at the sea from above. At night, the starry sky’s filled by the scary cries of howls.
That’s how far I’ll bother you with it – it’s just a place I really love and know.
What I really wanted to say with this, is that mood here is very far from computer games, I guess. I don’t play any games, since a long time actually. I don’t even know why I browse internet but for my work, yet, somehow, people I didn’t ever met like Rekrul or Nazgul or other persons on this site, I feel connected, because they link to memories of my past. That’s why I browse TL, that’s why I still watch Starcraft, this is all very common, to point actually that should, with that discarding state of mind I always had through my life, should lead myself to the disbelief of all things, that still follow online : I shouldn’t care, I shouldn’t even browse this only site, I browse, because all in all, I really don’t care – but about all this, there’s pubescent and virtual love stuck into my heart, even though I hardly ever participate ! (That’s false, I love actually to sound like a moron and dick, because that’s mainly what I am and it’s much more risky to do IRL).
I never quite nor have the time to get myself to write chapters of this very, very old story that I once lived. It wasn’t something great or truly uncommon, Elky for insance or even others I don’t even know, have much more to tell about I guess, but sadly (at least IM SAD about it), no one else does. Why ?
They don’t have time, they can’t, they don’t have to really. Well, as much as games are useless, as much as online is meaningless, when I get a random message asking me to write some more, something’s itching a little bit inside. I don’t have time to write in English, it’s a thing I do bad, it’s something I really don’t like. Someone should be doing that for this young thing, Esports really, what you call it now : for me it was rather Esports in Korea.
Young and old nerds combined, should have something to read upon. This is actually getting much bigger than I ever thought it would. So what I’m getting at, is that, me, since a shit while not even a player, not even a nice guy online, from that shithole now where I am, shouldn’t be the one writing stuff. Cool people, making stuff happen (ipl, nasl, mlg etc..), players, still riding the new tide, someone out there should be writing about that. I’m not talking interviews, news, whatsoever. For instance Boxer’s book’s a piece of shit compared to what HE lived. Well to his discharge, Korea isn’t a literature academic brewer, but, it shouldn’t be like that. So here’s my call, to any proper educated person (I know there are tons around the place), that can actually write something decent, in a decent English, unlike me – French and bad ! – PLEASE, OH PLEASE, do something nice. Write something with proper words, with proper English grammar, that can carry on this silly esport thing, grow it inside and make it through the next ten years at least, inspire many and allow the true and original memory of it, travel and survive.
Because it makes me always a little sad, that a very few people enjoy this tiny and shitty thing that I here write, buried in a jungle of retarded blogs posts, that only a handful will come to read, while, people should be given much better to read upon.
Okay now to the real stuff. Fuck I have to go dine soon. Shit. That was unexpected.
So we had a meeting arranged to the OGN office in pundan (is the name correct ? It’s that rich and far suburb around Seoul that takes forever to get to).
I thought at first it’d only be about introducing Smuft and Elky to the Pd’s. But once we got there people just hijacked them and begged for them to play. They played one insane game with elky zerg and smuft protoss, that lasted forever, I don’t exactly remember the details : just Elky using about every zerg unit there is, and winning it alas, after 30 + minutes of an endless stream of lost fights and annoying protoss harass, with defliers, lurkers and guardians.
When the game ended, around it felt like they just played an OSL final. People were applauding and yelling all over the place and I told to myself then, that the core of the Korean starcraft media, was really fucked up about this game.
After that silly display of foreign skill, Pd’s were really enthusiast about having them playing show matches on their channel. They told me that we had to find something to turn elky and smuft into TV characters, build them a silly personae ; well, elky had orange hairs, it was good, already finely tuned to their creepy far east foreign fantasy standards, but Smuft was too normal they said. They wanted something special : all of a sudden, the pd looks at him out through the office window and goes like (because of his haircut) : Omg ! Steven should be dressed like Street fighter Guile on tv !
THEY – WANTED – ME – TO – DISGUISE – MY – CANADIAN – FRIEND – INTO – GUILE.
When I later told Smuft about it, answer was : no fucking way ?
I explained him the same way they did to me, I had to convince him it was only for one time. They wanted a showmatch where he was dressed in army clothes, dyed in blond, and that, to top things, he’d have to mimic “sonic boom” in front of the cameras before the match.
Other than that, on that day we arranged everything so that elky could participate in the OSL. I think he was seeded directly in the next OSL groups, without having to go through the prelimns. Beeing the runner up of Boxer at WCG in Coex in Korea, works that for you.
We left the place with a very angry smuft about having to dress up as Guile and Elky in the cab, teasing him about how he handled him with off race in front of all these Esports important people. Smuft was about to turn 17 back then, and, as the prided protoss player he truly was, was actually really pissed about all this, making me try everything to comfort him on the way back.
On the same week, MBC had scheduled Elky’s first TV showmatches against Gorush and Grrrr…, I think it was the day after that.
So we went in the morning to MBC game’s brand new studios, located in the main building of MBC channel (its quite a big channel in Korea). Thing was, when you were going to play a broadcasted game, it would always take a whole day, because schedule was so bad and everything was taking so long. So you’d get there, surviving the endless traffic jam, then wait, and wait, and wait some more, until everything was set for the players to go at their game.
I remember we had all lunch prior to that with Daniel, his wife and Grrrr…, now I was very mad at Daniel because that fucking snake had said very nasty things on my GF at that time, without even having met her prior to that. I quite never understood how he married such a nice wife, because my feelings towards him were always very mixed up : he always acted nice, but reports from others, of what he would say about people behind their back, was really bad. Whatever : Elky trounced Grrrr… that day in front of the cameras. After the game I kind of felt bad, because Guillaume was a very, very close friend to me, that helped me more than anyone in korea, so many times. We also shared quite a number of untold stories (maybe not that only !) and after the game, after that unique feeling of seeing the one you root for and take care of, the one you were so happy to have along yourself in Korea, the one winning and doing what you absolutely didn’t do, winning his first game on tv against a soon to decline Starcraft god, legend, I asked myself instantly, because Grrrr… deep down, never gave a flying fuck about pro gaming and starcraft (grrrr… was the most amongst all, in love with Korea), if he didn’t throw the game to help Elky on his path. To be really honest, I think he did. Because he’s such my old best friend, and all around the coolest guy.
After that, Elky simply proceeded to trounce again. He owned within 10 minutes the poor Gorush (or was it H.O.T. actually ?), and joked in after the game in the cab, because Gorush kept making zerglings while Elky expanded after academy / two barracks and raped him with pure medics/ firebats. Korean zerg players were so stupid ZVT at that time.
Same week I had Smuft and Elky registred for the second KTF lan. God it was so aweomse. 1024 players ; a handful of pros, lots of amateurs – everybody was still in love with starcraft in Korea. I was thrilled to the upmost, they were about to experience the Korean lans, exactly like I had with Jaeyong a year ago. It was to be held very afar, in a huge place, only over one day, with a 10 000 $ prize. There were online open qualifiers held for the most part of the players, a handful of famous invites, can’t really remember the names. I was so happy actually because before online, Junwi had told me he would be there. Junwi was a very good friend when I was Pro gamer, we were in the same bnet clan, with him, su yon, jaeyong and cezanne, he was so young, we never had met before, I’d finally be able to talk to him real life, because within sam gug gi, he was like considered as the greatest ever to be prodigy. I mocked him day before because he told he’d be off racing terran for the tournament, because terran was so op and told me the thing he’d use against all, which actually was the all time lamest strat : mech / bio early push – vultures, mines, medic, marines combined, starting off with a 8 rax / gaz and weak bunker rush up to non stop agression.
So I took my two players there, I wasn’t excepting much of Smuft, I think I told him, because protoss was so hard you know, especially in a 1024 anonymous lan – in Korean lans, you don’t play with your id, you have a number so that you don’t know who you’re up against – so basically, as protoss, you have to be prepared to defend against all and everything, every single zerg is going to try to gay out of it, with silly mutals or lurke rush, while PVT’s will all be terran fe’s wich at that time, were so hard for protoss players to deal with.
We got there, morning was crisp as winter is over there. Before the doors of the huge hall would open, H.O.T. 486 was there, crowded by amateurs / fans, and bragging over the nerdy mob like the silly cock he is, once he saw Elky passing by, he just shut the fuck up, not even saying hello – I really hated that guy.
Because we were foreigners, it was always a trouble at these kinds of things, because we couldn’t read Korean and I had no one to translate that day. So once the door opened, I had to rush to the people in charge that I had spoke to before online, so to know where Elky / smuft had to sit, wait and decipher which “number” they were up against for the first round. Elky was already famous, people knew who he was, so he had to sign tons of autographs. I was happy, so he was. That was really cool at that time. Games went on, Elky and smuft when through the first rounds but were both eliminated before the finals. Starcraft lans in Korea at that time were really tough. Players there, even amateurs, were on par with pros. There were no real pro houses yet, you could lose to anyone.
Within the breaks between the games I went up to find Junwi, he was so shy, he couldn’t speak English, he was like 14 or 15 Korean age, but I kept bugging him in English and his friends were mocking him, but he was so happy to meet. God it was nice.
But the main thing of that day, was that, the only English speaking person of the place, was actually the public KTF rep setting up the whole tournament, who wasn’t exactly the person you would think about to handle a Starcraft lan. That person was a gorgeous woman, much older than I, that I had feelings for, upon seeing her for the first time. I was dressed well, unlike today, I was playing my silly 19 years old game. She was much older, maybe 30 maybe 35. She was still climbing up her company ranks. We spent the whole together around the place. She spoke a perfect English, had studied abroad. She wasn’t an easy going girl, the kind of corporate Korean woman, with many Korean males under her orders. She had to run this thing she had no idea bout : starcraft. But this was her event, she was so fucking pro, while her job KTF : PR, was nothing about that. But like everything she did later in her career – and god knows how successful she was – she was going at it like a lawyer on a multibillion merger. She was turning me on so fucking bad. I think my eyes that day were shining so much, she couldn’t notice I was discarding all my hard earned Korean – stupid manners – going at her like there was no tomorrow. I was trying to get her to the night club the same night ! she wouldn’t agree, ofc all that was really stupid. But I got her card. That day I didn’t care about Starcraft, at the starcraft lan. We went back with Elky and Smuft to Samseong much later, I was somewhat in love. She had given me her card.
That woman, we would later meet, many, many times. I loved her (WELL OK, LIKE MANY OTHERS IN KOREA (NOT TO SAY THAT KOREA FOR ME WAS ALL ABOUT THAT!)). She also introduced me to one of the smartest and nicest guy in Korea. We never went, like I offered the day we met, to a night club. But we went to other places. She was always so softly romantic in our dinners, but she was older and funnily enough, always behaved in our relation like something she never should have.
God, Korean lans. I loved you so much !
Gotta go eat dinner with friends. All for today folks ! Sorry I rushed it, I’ll proof read it when I get back.