I found TL off the back of the Gom Star Invitational, my brother told me that, "you know that game you play against the AI, which you can't even beat? People play that for money, on TV, in Korea, and its going to be broadcast in English"
Really, I wasn't enthused by this, the initial leap into the unknown when trying something new is always a little daunting.
I drank tasteless up. Even as one man, sometimes with bad audio, and terrible stream quality, he made the gom events required viewing. He bought out the magic in a game where I still couldn't beat the AI, and made playing it glorious.
Me and my brother tried to emulate the pros, playing each other on maps like Baekmagoji, Katrina, Bluestorm and Colosseum.
Trying to be better at BW become my everything, when I didn't have internet I would practice builds in single player, I played on ICCUP, and must have played easily over 100 games before ever getting my first win.
It may have not been the first win, but it is the first I remember.
I went 8rack on Andromeda, TvZ.
They said: BBS?
And then left.
The moment was surreal, and the feelings that came along with it were like nothing else. After failing for so long, and so badly and making little headway, it felt magical even just to win in this manner.
So that was broodwar. I was fanatically in love. I tried to watch everything, GOM wasn't enough, tornenting every VOD every week, watching proleague at four AM in uni first year.
I'm not sure I've been more crazy about anything and I certainly haven't been since.
Obscure matches still cling to the walls of my memory as if they were the last remnants of sticky rice left in a bowl. It is these matches I love to recall, seemingly mundane, just a game where 2 people played Starcraft and nothing unbelievable happened. Just the mention of two players names brings back visions and words of matches they played against each other.
My memories are bittersweet and ridden with nosdos. I tried to love SC2 as much I did BW, but its just another game and while I think it could be better designed (and before you accuse me of bashing SC2), I think the problem is me.
I've tried playing BW again and while there is still some of that ethereal magic there, I've certainly changed. I want it to be my everything but I just isn't there.
Maybe its the depression talking, but I seem to lack a fanatical passion for most things now. Maybe I've just got older and my priorities have changed.
My time on TL itself has been crazy, I feel like I've seen so much drama, watched Chill versus Combat ex from inside a greek PC cafe, and just seen so much growth in the user base. To me I'm still amazed that personal streams even exist, I recall the technological hackery that R1CH had to employ even get events like the old vod night and liquibition working. Nearly every week I find something on TL, like an amazing piece of art, a blog so emotive that I feel like I know the author as a result. Something cool always seems to be happening on TL, and the new blood seem to be as fanatical about Starcraft 2 as I was for broodwar, and for them at least, everything is so much bigger and better, the space in which we inhabit feels monstrous compared to one I came into on the 1st of may 2008. There are so many "I never thought", but I'll go with, "I never thought Slayer's boxer would play in a Team Liquid event".
I'm going to end with this:
With the end of Korean BW, this video is now very bittersweet, but what I take away from it is that, while I feel like I've come so far, there is still plenty more ahead.
Now as a postscript, I want to thank you for reading, especially since I'm a pretty dire writer, dyslexic and all, and quite frankly I'm not sure why anyone would want to read this, but it made me feel good in writing it.
I'd also like to thank some people:
-NeverGG I think your really the first person I really got to know on TL and the time we spent on the TL vent together talking about kpop and hot Japanese boys was time well spent. Some would say that your a little bit "eccentric", but I don't care, you were there for me when it mattered and helped me grow as a person, I hope you are well.
-Iyerbeth You helped me when I felt hopeless. You are a rock, who is cheerful, smart and funny, and writes way better blogs than I do. I know you are usually busy but hop on IRC when you are free.
Shoutouts to the members of the #scarlett_fanclub and #gteamliquid and of course my boyfriend (just in case he reads this^^)