There are a lot of passionate people in the Team Liquid community. Everyday we see threads about StarCraft cooking, GSL statistics, or recent global events. It is the people who make these – people like you – that perpetuate Team Liquid culture and make it a cool community. We are lucky to have many contributors to inspire us, teach us, and be comrades, of a sort. Ninety-nine percent of these people are not part of the handful of personalities you see on streams, or even part of Team Liquid staff. They are people that you correspond with everyday on the forums, chat with in IRC, and bad manner on B.net. Unfortunately, with the mass of active Team Liquid users and eSports fans, it is not always easy to appreciate these unsung heroes, and too often their work goes unnoticed.
With Community Interviews I am going to put the spotlight on some of the contributors, artists, and fans that have made the Team Liquid community interesting and warm. If you guys have any suggestions or demands(!) for questions or interviewees, please post them. I know that a lot of people have slipped under my radar. The only people that I will not interview are super-popular community figures, like Day and Hot_Bid.
Joined TL.net: Thursday, 12th of February 2009 Total Posts: 186 Most Active Forum: Blogs (35% of posts) Warnings/Bans: None YouTube Channel:NukeTheStars
Why he was interviewed: His amazing hype videos have pumped me up countless times, for both watching and playing games, and have been an inspiration for my writing here at TL. He also chugs out great English Brood War commentary of recent games, week after week, just because he's awesome like that.
How old are you and what do you do for a living?
NTS: I am 25 years old and work as a copy editor at a major West Virginia newspaper.
When and how did you first find professional StarCraft? As a new E-Sports fan, was there a particular moment when you knew that this would end up becoming a huge, longtime interest of yours?
NTS: In 2007, I listened to an episode of the retro-games podcast "Retronauts" that discussed the topic of Starcraft. I didn't really like RTS games (and still don't, for the most part), but I thought the discussion of the Korean fervor for the game was fascinating. The pro scene was and still is a bizarre, intoxicating thing, so its appeal is immediately obvious. I bought the game and really fell in love with it. I watched YouTube vids off and on for about a year, but it was the BeSt vs. July OSL finals that clenched it for me, I think. The crowd, the drama, the decision-making and strategies... It all clicked. I've been an avid viewer ever since.
When and why did you start producing content for the StarCraft community? What was your first piece of content and what compels you to continue producing?
NTS: My first channel video was at the end of September in 2008. That was my first community contribution, if I remember correctly. And I wouldn't call it much of a contribution. Those first commentaries were god-awful. My girlfriend and I had just broken up, so I needed something to occupy my time and keep me from going crazy. I watched a lot of English commentary at the time and thought, "Hmmm, they sound like they're having fun. And I love Starcraft, so.... Why not??" It was a strange, impulsive decision for me, because I'm shy and a terrible public speaker. But, I ended up enjoying it a lot. It brought me into the games more. I still enjoy it 3 years later, so... why stop?
How do you compare the Team Liquid community of your E-Sports youth to the one that we have today? What are some of the negatives and positives of both eras?
NTS: The Team Liquid community is an awesome thing. I know a lot of people complain about the community getting bigger because there's a higher chance that trolls will infiltrate the ranks. But, I think it has just made things better. More wacky photoshops, more ridiculous blog posts... what's not to love? The only thing I don't like is BW vs. SC2 debates. There's a lot of them, and they generally just devolve into name-calling. There are ways to have mature, logical discussions about SC2 vs. BW, but I don't think I've seen one yet.
What are your top five E-Sports moments? Either personal or as a spectator.
NTS: Mine will be related to my commentating. In no particular order: 1: Stork winning the OSL. It cemented his status as my favorite player, because I could see his commitment to the title in every single build throughout the season. It let me know that a player can do anything in the pro scene if he sets his mind to it. 2: Jaedong coming back from 0-2 to beat Fantasy in the Batoo OSL finals. This was great for the same reason the Stork win was. No one pulls a GGPlay reversal except for GGPlay! But, Jaedong did it anyway. The way he did it was great, too. He adapted to the situation and figured out that all of Fantasy's builds were going to be ridiculous nonsense. I believe I got teary-eyed at the end of that final. 3: My fans getting me Stork's autograph on a sign after his game vs. Ych in the MSL. I never really think about people watching my stuff. I just make videos, upload, and sleep. Seeing people hold up signs with my name on them is terrifying. It means actual people are watching my vids... And these people got me my favorite player's autograph!! It's still framed and hanging up in my kitchen. I don't think they ever fully understood what it meant to me. Thanks, Ria, Mike, and Kevin. 4: Casting the 2-day 08-09 Proleague Finals extravaganza with RanshinDA. Not only was casting with RanshinDA fun, but the games were really good, too! The whole experience was exhausting, and I can't even explain how I felt afterwards. It's like nothing I've ever felt after commentating. It was almost the same feeling as just getting back from a vacation. It felt like I had actually traveled somewhere. Very surreal. Plus, that series included one of my favorite games ever - Jaedong vs. Fantasy on Outsider. And number 5 will be JangBi winning the Jin Air OSL, if it happens. His road to the finals has been absolutely ludicrous.
My favorite video of yours is the 2009 Jaedong hype video. Among your hype videos, do you have a personal favorite?
NTS: I hate them all. Well, no, not really... but I'm unhappy every time I upload one. I spend a week saying "This is awesome! This is amazing!" but as soon as I click that upload button, those feelings go away. If I had to pick one, I'd pick my Korean Air pre-season hype vid with mecha-Flash in it. That one still makes me chuckle, although I mostly just see things I could have improved. Being a perfectionist sucks sometimes.
What is it about Brood War that transcends time and culture and makes it so damn good?
NTS: There's a certain charm in everything about the game. I see a lot of people put down Brood War's graphics and say things like "I wish they'd make BW with SC2's graphics!" I completely disagree. Brood War's visuals are great because they're so abstract. My idea of what a zergling looks like is wildly different than anyone else's, that's due to the fact that Brood War allows you to use your imagination a bit. Economy of expression is important in games, and I think it's been all but lost in the most recent generation. Brood War says exactly what it needs to say. Nothing more. Nothing less. The animations are simple and tight and carry visual weight. There are only two resources to mine. There's just very little clutter. I don't even like RTS games, but I was immediately drawn to Brood War (after a short time of battling my hate for the genre). Same with games like Chrono Trigger. I don't like RPGs either, but Chrono Trigger is one of my absolute favorites. Some games are just too damn good for genre conventions to get in the way. Plus, the Terran theme kicks all kinds of ass.
Do you watch or follow StarCraft 2 at all? If not, why?
NTS: Nope. I have the game and had quite a bit of fun with it when it first came out. Now, I've moved on. That doesn't mean I don't like it. I don't play games like Fallout 3 or Mass Effect 2 these days either, but I've poured about 100 hours into each. I'm sure I'll go back to SC2 at some point. As far as the pro scene goes, I have virtually no knowledge of it. I couldn't name a single player (aside from the former BW players) and I have no idea what Code This and Code That mean. I've just never seen SC2 tournaments as my logical progression as a viewer/caster from BW. The "2" isn't the only difference between the games, after all. As far as the future expansions go, it will really depend on the price for me. The SC2 single player was fun, but the story had an awful lot of retconning. If the next game looks interesting and isn't 60 dollars, I might pick it up!
Ok, now the serious stuff. Kpop; essential, or evil?
NTS: Definitely evil. I don't trust a band with more than 5 members, and I think the minimum in Korea is 12.
Korean Brood War commentary or English commentary?
NTS: Korean these days. I have a tough time watching English commentaries now for some reason. Maybe it's because I always feel like I'm in a dual comm when I watch, nervously waiting for my turn to speak. Or maybe I'm just so used to Korean source vids and watching live games. I do watch some English commentaries nowadays (when I can find them!)
Your two favorite players, in order, and why!
NTS: Stork and Bisu. Why? BORK POWER! That's why!
Your favorite and least favorite teams?
NTS: My favorite team is Samsung Khan. I'm a big Protoss fan in general. My least favorite team is probably Ace, because they break my heart on a regular basis. It's like an abusive relationship, though. I keep coming back for more. Luckily, with a bunch of great players moving to Ace, I think that will change in the next season.
Who is going to win the OSL finals, Fantasy or JangBi?
NTS: JangBi. Fantasy has no reason to win. JangBi has a million reasons. Both are stellar, but you have to consider who wants it more.
Which forums on Team Liquid do you frequent the most, in terms of viewing?
NTS: Brood War, of course! Interviews, community reactions, silly photoshops. Everything you could possibly want.
Who are the three coolest non-admin/mod Team Liquid users?
NTS: As an infrequent poster, I can't really answer this. I think the coolest people are the ones who ask "Are you the REAL NukeTheStars?" in the BW stream comments. I can never decide if I want to lie to them or not. Oh, wait! Moletrap has a weird, non-Moletrap TL username. I'll pick that one... whatever it is.
Give us an easy recipe for a favorite food of yours.
NTS: Elvis' Fool's Gold Loaf - You hollow out a loaf of bread, spread butter all over it, and put it in the oven. Then you fry up some bacon. You take the loaf out when it's done, spread peanut butter on one side, jelly on the other, and bacon in between. Then you eat it and hate yourself for the following month. I've only had this sandwich once, but the experience will last a lifetime.
I'm glad that you like DeusEx HR. I do too. How did you spend your praxis?
NTS: Cloak, cloak, and more cloak. I like to be freakin' ninja Batman Adam Jensen. The original Deus Ex is my number 1 favorite game, so I've been enthralled by HR. It's so beautiful @.@
Will you be playing Diablo 3? If so, which class? If not, why the hell not?
NTS: I could never get into Diablo for some reason. And don't worry, I realize this is a personal failing in me. I'll really hunker down and make myself like it one day. And what class will I play? Batman Ninja, of course.... or the equivalent of such...
NTS: I read through the Brood War forums a lot, and there is something that's bothered me recently. Tons of people have been speculating on the death of Brood War, trying to pinpoint when exactly the pro scene will end, mourning something that's still here. Why the long faces? The pro scene is still fun, still producing surprises and drama, still producing a high level of play. Why not enjoy something that's happening right now instead of being sad about the fact that it will eventually end? Everything ends. It's the way of the world. I don't know about you, but if I eventually see the pro scene finish line pass me by, I'm going to stop, look back and go ".....MAN, THAT WAS COOL!"
Still a cool read. As someone who never played SC1 or saw TL before SC2, its nice getting backstory on the english side of bw history. I went back and read all the final edits and found out a ton about BW but it was mostly so I could get hyped when hearing about which legends were switching and to understand more Tastosis jokes about Jaedong and Flash.