Today I will tell you all a story about the happiest moment of my Starcraft life and what led up to it. This will be a long read, but hopefully entertaining. In the Winter of 2008 I formed the UCSD (UC San Diego, my university) Starcraft team. Each year UCSD hosts an annual school LAN event, and I spoke with the Starcraft players at the school and suggested we start a team. I was planning on starting a college league for us to compete in. The league I created was the UCPL, for all the UC schools in California. That season, we lost in the first round of the playoffs, it was a disappointing season for myself because I lost a few of the matches during the season. Over the summer, and the start of next year, the team played some more together, and I started working with the CSL (Collegiate Starleague) which was to re-group and start up its season.
CSL Season 2
Throughout this past year, we practiced a lot for the CSL Season. We met up and had some team dinners, and met up on the ICCUP ladder to practice about once per week. We were the most active team in the league, our ICCUP team had almost 2,000 ladder games played and we had 6 members reach B- on the ladder. We stormed through the regular season and the playoffs and managed to reach the Grand Finals. We had a few weeks to practice for the final against the University of Waterloo, and myself and Jaeyun (the top two players on the team) practiced a crazy amount. I personally played over 100 games in practice for the finals. Unfortunately for us, the Grand Finals came around, and we were defeated by Waterloo. The final score was 1-4, with Jaeyun being the only one to take a win for us. It was a TERRIBLE loss.
After our loss, things got worse. One of our oldest and most important members, Luke (randomKo_Orean) was forced to quit Starcraft. His mother recently died and it was her dying wish to have him quit gaming and focus on school. We gathered for dinner and discussed everything, and I promised that we would win the next season for him and in memory of his mother. However, the Starcraft 2 beta was released shortly after and many people stopped playing Starcraft full time.
CSL Season 3
The third season put us in the most difficult group, with 5 teams capable of making the playoffs. We were able once again to storm through the regular season, not losing a single match. The playoffs though were incredibly difficult for us. In the first round we played our longtime rival UC Berkeley (who beat us in UCPL last year), and were able to win in the ACE match. Next, we went up against another rival school, UC Irvine. I was able to start it off nicely with a win against my friend Novella, and we won the game 3-1.
In the Western Conference final we went up against the University of Michigan. The match was thrilling, we were down 1-2, and my match was about to begin. If I lost the match we would be eliminated and our season would end early. In one of the most thrilling matches I've ever played in my life, I was inches away from losing the match, but SOMEHOW I was able to come back and win it. Jaeyun won in the ACE to take us to the Grand Finals. Check out the match here (My
game starts at 52 minutes):
Grand Final vs Duke
I spent a lot of time trying to prepare our lineup for the match, since they have the famous player Nony I didn't want to match up our best player against him. Sadly for us, almost all my predictions came up false - and Jaeyun got matched against Nony, and all of our other players got unfavorable matchups. The match didn't start well for us, with Cheese losing his first match. Next up, I was to play against their top Terran player. I didn't get to practice at all because my grand mother died recently and I have been busy dealing with family matters. I had to rely on my game sense and my previous practice on that map. Luckily for me, everything fell into my hands and I was able to win the game. Score tied 1-1. Next up, TOP played his match and although he was winning, he ended up losing it. Score 1-2 Duke. Jaeyun played against Nony next, and he was outclassed, Nony took home the win as expected. Score 1-3 Duke. We were on the brink of elimination. Our next match was a ZvZ by Andrew, who had lost 4 matches in a row beforehand. He was BARELY able to come out with a win, stopping a really unique cheese and defending with his life. Score 2-3 Duke. In the final 1v1 match, JeeSu took advantage of his opponent and was able to get a quick win and tie the match. Score 3-3... GOING TO ACE!
In the ACE game, Jaeyun rematched vs Nony. There aren't any words to describe the match, Jaeyun was able to play the game of his life and defeat the former progamer and secure the victory.
This is the last game of Starcraft I will ever play competitively, as a team, this was our last match of Starcraft. This was also my last match for UCSD because I'm graduating. We promised to win, for Luke, for his mother, for my grandma, for me, for the team - and we did it. We worked hard all season and we did it. I have never been a happier Starcraft player ever before! WE WON!
Some random stats:
CSL Season 2 stats: 8-1 (loss in final)
CSL Season 3 stats: 9-2 (two losses to Berkeley)
So overall I had 17-3 stats in CSL! I feel great for being able to contribute to my team, I worked hard and it paid off. I'm getting to exit Starcraft on a great note. I'm graduating on a great note: leading my team to 2nd place in Season 2, and 1st place in Season 3! <3 to my entire team, I love you all and WE WILL CELEBRATE IT!
<3 LUKE WE DID IT FOR YOU! Thanks again to David for being amazing in the finals, Andrew and Andy for giving us a chance to play the ace game! Love you all.