I'm old, I'm a family man, but after reading that StarCraft Remastered was released, I felt something in the center of my chest, a NEED to tell this younger generation about what made the original StarCraft beautiful.
I was already irritated with the StarCraft II kids and that was .... what? Seven or eight years ago? I had no interest in StarCraft II, that 3D bullshit was threatening my Brood War. And I wasn't going to allow that to happen. I was the biggest Brood War nerd. Actually, I AM the biggest Brood War nerd currently alive on this planet. I stayed as far away from that shit as possible, it was destroying everything I grew to love, and I just ignored it. I pretended like it didn't exist. Some generous members of TeamLiquid even offered to provide me with some sort of "CD Key" (if that's even what it's still called anymore) for StarCraft II. I can't quite remember what started that, but it was a contest of some sort. I never accepted it. I just didn't want to look at anything other than my first love.
I even remember there was a (at the time) viral video of a girl tearing apart her boyfriend's StarCraft II package, including his CD key. This was serious shit to normal people at the time.
However, I'm not here to speak of StarCraft II, I'm here to speak of the legends of the original Brood War. Interest in this sport has SURGED after the release of StarCraft Remastered. For all of you youngsters reading, I'm going to give a list of what we used to call "The Four Kings". These men were the absolute, undeniable truth when it came to professionalism in this sport.
Lim Yo Hwan (SlayersS_`BoxeR`): He was the first to have sponsors flock to him. He was the first to demand contracts. He was the first to lay the foundation for the modern progaming team as we know it today. He paid money out of his own pocket to support this sport. Do you watch team events? He paid to kickstart the very first team league in 2003. If you need to ask about his professional performance, then all I have to tell you is that he was called "The Terran Emperor" for a reason. However, since I know you new kids will criticize him, I will say this: He didn't have what we used to call the "Sense of Star" (a term coined by former progamer King Dong Soo aka GARIMTO). He was terrible at macro-managment, but the most amazing at micro-managment. But this only proves that he did not have warm blood flowing through his veins. It wasn't blood at all. It was IRON. Though he had no natural instinct or a predispositioned mind for this sport, he earned everything he achieved through raw, rough, distressing practice. Watch how he was demolished by Seo Ji Hoon (XellOs[yG]) and then watch how he carved all the new KTF up-and-comers apart during the team leagues. These are two completely different Lim Yo Hwans: When he's caught off guard, he cannot rely on instinct because he has no instinct, all he has is brutally abusive practice.
Then look at what happens when that brutally abusive practice pays off. I've seen this man turn around matches which I thought were already lost. I've been late to my first class in eighth grade because I was curious as to what Lim Yo Hwan could POSSIBLY do to reverse his dire situation. He wasn't naturally talented, he wasn't gifted, he was disciplined and determined. Here are two anecdotes about Lim Yo Hwan: During his earliest days with his first team (IS - Ideal Space), his practice partners complained that they had to beg him to stop training since he wouldn't stop trying out his build orders until they ingrained into his subconscious. The other anecdote is that Guillaume Patry (Grrrr..., the first foreigner to win a Starleague) said that he only has about ten numbers in his phone. Guillaume said Lim Yo Hwan never allowed anything to distract him, he gave up everything, including his personal life, to become a champion.
Lim Yo Hwan is StarCraft.
Park Jung Seok ([Oops]Reach): Like Lim Yo Hwan, Park Jung Seok didn't have the "Sense of Star". He even admitted that strategic games like StarCraft made his head spin. However, he pushed through each and every match like a fucking man. I will not make the claim that he was the best with macro-management, however, I will say this: There has not and will never be a Protoss who could macro like Reach. To this day, at the age of 29, I still go back and watch some smug, snot-nosed rookie who just signed with a pro-team try and out-macro Reach. Then I see the observer pan to a row of Zealots and Dragoons rushing to the battlefield to end the match. Reach ALWAYS looked as if he were ABOUT to win the match even when it was obvious he was going to lose. Remember IntoTheRainbow? He always prioritized expensive units (the most famous being the Reaver, he was the Reaver King) and just let his other units pile up until the very end. Reach was the opposite. Reach pushed. Reach fought.
Park Jung Seok is StarCraft.
Lee Yun Yeol ([ReD]NaDa): NaDa is the only player of the Four Kings who TRULY had the "Sense of Star". I have to make a confession: I HATED NaDa when I first began to follow him. His big claim to fame was that he defeated Guillaume Patry. I just thought to myself "Wow ... you defeated an alcoholic compulsive gambler who doesn't give a fuck about StarCraft anymore. Good job!" Now, when I tell you this kid dominated, you're not actually understanding what I'm trying to tell you. I was DEAD FUCKING WRONG about my initial assumption. This kid had the longest win streak in televised progaming history when I stopped keeping up. I will never forget watching his matches against Lee Hak Ju (Dongrae[S.G]) during the Shinhan Starleague. That was a masterful performance, one of the finest Terran vs Terran matches I've ever seen (given the stupid fucking maps,I mean).
Lee Yun Yeol is StarCraft.
Hong Jin Ho ([NC...YellOw]): I will say this once and for all of time: Hong Jin Ho was the most intelligent player ever to grace this sport. He was known as "The King of Second Place" and the "Silver Collector" because of his constant failure to achieve the gold. You may know him as the "Storm Zerg" because he had the most orgasmic use of both land and ground units. His macro and micro were always insanely brilliant, however, he would send the "gg" first and you would just sit there thinking "What in the FUCK did he do wrong?". He wasn't technically gifted. He was slow. He used his mind, not his hands. So, if any of you youngsters watch his matches, keep this one thought in mind: "If he were technically gifted, he would have gone down in history as the greatest progamer of all time." Being intelligent and possessing the "Sense of Star" are two completely different things. Of all the Four Kings, only one had the "Sense of Star" (NaDa), the other two relied on raw determination and practice. YellOw didn't need the raw determination and practice and he didn't need the "Sense of Star", he was just a naturally smart person interacting with an intensely complex sport. And this is why it was so fucking heartbreaking to watch him lose.
Hong Jin Ho is StarCraft.
You kids have fun with the new StarCraft: Remastered and be sure to study the matches of the Four Kings because now we're moving on to a new generation.
You are StarCraft.
Be good to this sport and study its' legends because if you ever let this die ... I don't know.
It would hurt me more than you would ever know.