I have been to several other sites for old competitive games, and most of them are not as friendly and welcoming as this place. While all of them share TL.net's elitist nature, we somehow managed to dodge most of the problems with elitist Internet communities: Our elite here don't go out of their way to throw their weight around, and we're quite open to dissent and disagreement without devolving into terrible flame wars.
I don't use the word elitist in a negative way, though I am at a loss for a better word to describe the atmosphere here. "Professional?" "Meritocratic?"
I once asked why we have easy to take expansions in Starcraft 2, which I conflated with "natural expansion." Had I asked this in several other forums - questioning something taken for granted in the game - I probably would've been flamed, warned, maybe banned from those sites.
It feels weird that a site such as this could've existed for so long without devolving into an echo chamber.
I will not mention which Internet communities I've been to, but their layouts are very similar to the one TL.net uses. I made the mistake of assuming that they were as open to discussion as TL.net, to my detriment. Those sites look like this one, but their cultures are very different from ours.
No, this isn't intended to be a TeamLiquid Fighting! circlejerk. I'm genuinely curious how this site managed to avoid all the pitfalls associated with older forums.