Just thought I'd make a blog post given the fact I've made it to 10k posts and it's taken me a good number of years. Some of you may know me or my story since I've been around here such a long time at this point and I was lurking even before that.
My story with Teamliquid begins in around 2007. My friend mentions that he's been playing an RTS for a good number of years but never really competitively or anything and we'd only really just got to know each other and he discovered I loved RTS games. I'd grown up playing hours upon hours of Total Annihilation, Age of Empires 1 and later Command and Conquer Generals+Zero Hour. I'd just majorly got into WoW and that was the reason we met. At that point in time I'd never even heard of StarCraft or Broodwar before which is quite mind boggling.
He said we should sit down and play it together, because he thought I might like it. I grabbed my copy from the local GAME store as it was in the PC Classics area and super cheap by that point and decided to try out the game. I liked it, but back then I thought it didn't really hold up the torch to Total Annihilation. Everything felt shallow, all the limitations felt annoying and difficult to get used to, but I could see a game that I would probably like if I put more time to it. I nearly left it there. About half a year later I realised I had the disk sat near my computer and I decided to give it another go. I played through the entire Terran campaign and loved it. I realised I wanted to delve deeper and wanted to know more.
This is when I decided to do some googling. I wanted to find a website where other fans of the game would be talking about it and II could learn a little bit how to play. It was then I found the one thing that actually made me fall in love with everything. I managed to go on Teamliquiid a few days before the Incruit OSL Finals in 2008. I didn't even know there was a pro scene prior to this, but after reading TL for a while I realised how big it all was and I wanted to see the spectacle. It was then that I decided to tune in to watch Live if I could. I was a carer for my Mum from 2008 up until about 2015 so I was at home almost 90% of the time so I'd be in and awake so I thought why the hell not.
I tuned in to watch and I was utterly gobsmacked. The game I thought was shallow was deeper than I could have ever imagined. These were players who had mastered every single difficult mechanic the game had to offer and they were showing it right in front of me. I hadn't really tried Protoss or Zerg, I did their campaigns after but it was watching one players style that kept me playing. FanTaSy lost those finals against Stork, but he put up a damned good fight and his style of constant harassment and agression really gripped me. I was throwing all my eggs in one basket, but at that point I figured that's just how Terran worked.
I continued watching after that and saw a good number of proleague games from Terrans, but it was only when I saw FanTaSy play after a good number of other Terrans that I realised he was one in a million. I fell in love with his style on day 1 and this was only solidified by watching more and more of his games. I fell in love with SKT as it was his team and I'd tune in to cheer for them just in the hopes that I'd see FanTaSy beat a player again and watch SKT do even better. I came to like everyone on the team, even the zergs!
I look back at this now and I realise how strange this all was. Watching one single finals got me interested enough in the game to start looking to play and after watching mainly one player I realised how much I wanted to some day do what he was doing. I decided to learn any of his builds that I could and I soon found out they were hard, nay near impossible for me to do. I didn't care. I signed up to play in all the newbie tournaments I could including the first CPL and I practiced so hard failing over and over again. I spent something like 200 games on iCCUP before I even won a game against a protoss, but that win made me feel amazing.
The adrenaline rush was insane. I've had breaks here and there that made me lose all ability I gained due to other games distracting me but I've continued to come back again and again and now this is by far the main thing I do. I had my first experience of hosting and casting a tournament back when I tried to organise the STPL in 2015. I wanted to make a tournament where I could smurf as FanTaSy and have other people smurfing as other players, playing anonymously to remove the fear of going against someone much better than you. I just wanted people to have fun and while it was damned hard and failed soon after due to how hard it was to get players to organise games, I came back and did a solo event the BOSL which Radley won as BoxeR playing against GoRush (I can't remember who this smurf was) but it was great.
I took another break and it wasn't until early this year I realised I wanted to do something similar again. For the STPL and also Uni I developed a terrible but functional UI system to throw up overlays for streaming and I started adding to it and making it better. This leads me to today where I'm hosting and running the Clash for Char tournaments as often as I can and I'm having so much fun. I hope other people are enjoying it as much as I am haha.
The other crazy thing for me is when I was doing STPL I casted it sometimes solo and sometimes with Jealous and Ninazerg. It was at that time and maybe a bit before that that Sayle was casting with Elegant and I used to really enjoy watching the two of them. I always thought about how good they were and that I would never manage to get to their level and I'm likely still not, but fast forward to today and somehow I'm casting with Sayle on a regular basis and even got invited to go cast an ESL tournament with him. It's just so surreal, I have no idea how to really take it all in. All I can really say is I want to keep doing it not because I want to be popular, but because I would want to keep doing it anyway so I might as well get better at it!
I just love it so much, it's a lot of fun. All I can really say is I hope you all continue to play in the Clash for Char tournaments, because it's been a great ride and I hope you continue to share it with me! See you all at the weekend for TL Open #6 and the Clash for Char#11 and have a great week!
One final note, is 8? years later and I'm still only an average player still struggling to get FanTaSy's styles to work for me, but I'm slowly getting there and each game I feel like I'm improving so if you ever want to cheer for me or do what mekhami does and mentally abuse me until I get better then please come check out my stream sometime when I'm laddering. ^^