When I came back to BW and started playing 1v1 and watching SRTs during the Sonic era, I quickly became a bigger fan of the game than even I anticipated. What was a small incursion into BW, a re-visitation of a game that I spent a long time in the past playing money maps in, became an invasion of a sort haha. Coming from Starcraft II and seeing competitive BW in a brand new light was something else. I was enthralled by the beauty of it all and followed the scene closely since.
From SRT and SSL to KSL, VNSL and now ASL, the scene has gradually grown since. BW even came back to OGN for 2 seasons in 2014/15 and even OGN was surprised by its reception. We've seen group selection ceremonies again, players playing their hearts out on new maps and to top things off, we even got a mini-proleague in ATB. BW was only going up and with the announcement of Starcraft Remastered, it was a time of extreme caution but it also seemed like the dev team and Blizzard as a whole finally understood BW's legacy.
Alas, I personally believe that remastered actually did a lot more harm to the scene than some folks realize. Sure, remastered gave the foreign scene a small boost. We had 2 LANs, more online tourneys running simultaneously than we've had in ages and we've had some new players/viewers who were interested in finally trying out the game or watching ASL. However, the cost was too great, too severe for the korean scene which was slowly building itself.
Since remastered went live, things haven't been as swell as anticipated. Remastered was released in a terrible state. There really can't be enough of an emphasis on this. Bugs, lag, simple commands or profiles not working and on top of that, SD graphics which were something that I love about BW seemed like a mere afterthought for the dev team. It's almost like no one thought that someone out there would like to continue playing with the older graphics but on a ladder or with MM. This doesn't even include some of the new errors that were introduced to a game that worked like a horse in the past. Nowadays, my computer steams if I try to play for even 15 minutes straight. I never had problems with 1.16.1, even when I was running other apps with it. Nevermind that the blizzard launcher is also drain that's honestly terrible and not needed imo.
The foreign base has gotten a bit split up between ICCup and the official servers while the Korean scene lost fish. Sure, they were not the greatest folks from what I hear but still a loss regardless. Some new, old and returning players quit due to the various bugs that were frustrating to deal with. Projects like Shieldbattery went on indefinite hiatus (still being worked on though!) and programs such as mcalauncher and canrep were now pretty useless to use which is ironic because these programs easily outdid what Blizzard was trying to implement by a milestone. How is it that Blizzard still hasn't managed to match or outdo some of this stuff is beyond me.
This doesn't even include the fact that some of the HD graphics such as marines and some of the death animations are totally different from the original and lack the same wow factor. Tanks blow up as if they were nukes, same goes for pylons etc...
Above all though, the biggest loss for the scene imo was our autonomy.
Previous tournaments ran without a hitch but with RM being released, we've lost Afreeca Team Battle which was a huge loss. Add in the fact that Blizzard is making it extremely difficult for Afreeca to run ASL and all of a sudden, things look extremely grim. The most important tournament for the current scene threatened by Blizzard, enough for their CEO to make a plea to the fans to help them out. Whether some find that distasteful is beyond the point here.
From my perspective, the Korean BW scene has taken a huge step back and that's extremely unfortunate. Our main tournament was threatened and it seems like Blizzard still doesn't seem to understand what the fans want or they are pretty terrible at finding ways to help their bottom line as well as make the fans happy. The dev team is trekking on and seem to be trying their best so props to them but close to half a year after the game was released, there are still ongoing issues.
Add in the fact that the Korean scene still hasn't recovered and has been affected quite severely and it's a nightmare. At this point, I keep wondering what'll happen next. In my mind, ATB is gone for good and there's no telling when ASL will be next as well. ASL5 should be starting sooner than later, considering they were accepting map submissions so I guess that's a positive note at least.
In the end, I don't believe that BW will ever die even if Blizzard took away ASL as well. We'll just go back to the old SRT days where there were a lot of smaller online tournaments. Slowly but surely, the scene will build itself up again but at what cost?