It all started out in 2000, when I was in 6th grade, and my friend David Kim was in my English class. David introduced me to Starcraft, and I started off by playing only UMS's at first, since I didn't even know what the term "mana" meant. I was a complete noob; I remember during these times that I would be on my 56k connection, on my e-Machines computer, with my Motorola V60i on Speakerphone after 9PM, so I could talk to David and our friend Brian while we did 3v3 Evolves, since I didn't know that VoIP existed.
We would play Brood War for the entire night; we would come back into English class, half asleep, just talking about Wraiths, and Tom Kazansky, and how cool his animation looked. Starcraft was the most fun we had. It was what made us friends.
One day, however, my friend David told me that there is something called Melee. I had no clue what this was, but I said I would give it a try. He told me to play versus him, and I stuck to my Zerg race, as I felt that slime and aliens were cool. He was Terran, and I laughed, and called him a noob. Little did I know, he was a complete beast who was just not a UMS gamer.
David crippled me. It was the equivalent to Flash playing against a Courage-league player. I couldn't understand how he won. The next day in class, we spoke about the game, and he told me that he knew somebody from Korea, who was named Lim Yo Hwan. I didn't know who he was, nor that he was infact SlayerSBoxeR, but I felt intrigued to understand who he was, and what he was all about. David informed me that in his homeland, Starcraft is what him and I do, but millions of times bigger, with gaming teams and events. The moment I heard this, I was starstruck; I had to get more Starcraft in my life.
For the next few years, I played a lot of games on US East, primarily Lost Temple games, and the rest being Evolves, and the occasional Pleasure Kerrigan ( you know what I'm talking about ). Even though I knew that David was a pro compared to me, I still had fun playing with or against him, because we both shared a common interest in the game, and that was to learn more about it. Throughout middle school, I played mostly at nights, and when I came home from school. However, towards 2006 is when my real transition occurred.
It was my Junior year in High School. I slowed down from gaming because I had a girlfriend, and I felt that it was time to grow up. Once me and my girlfriend broke up, I decided to go back to playing Starcraft. I was still friends with David and Brian, and they told me to go to this website, called TeamLiquid.net. At first, I didn't know what the hell it was. I was a fan of GosuGamers.net, as they had a website without horses, and tons of replays and betting with minerals that I found cool. However, I kept lurking around TeamLiquid every now and then.
From GosuGamers, my first wet dream occurred. His name was Park Sung Joon, or better known as Julyzerg. I saw pictures of him on Google, and I saw his matches in WCG versus somebody called Choi Yun Sung, who I didn't know at the time, but would turn out to be hands-down the best macro Terran in the world (oOv). The games were riveting; I still remember as clear as day their match on Paranoid Android, and Julyzerg's absolutely insane overlord drop play, and hold position lurkers at the 7 o'clock bridge. That series would be the series that changed me from a casual spectator, into a serious spectator.
In 2007, I was getting ready to graduate high school, and was already accepted into my dream college. Life was going slow. I didn't have much to do. It was April 14; my mother's birthday. After having a little house celebration, I decided to go online, back to GosuGamers.net, and TeamLiquid.net. However, instead of just closing the browser window after going on the page, I decided that I wanted to sign up for once on TeamLiquid, and I pulled the trigger. I made my account, and gained access finally to the spectator sport which was Starcraft.
From that day on, things went a tad slow. I played Brood War at least once a week, but I spent 95% of my time spectating replays and VoDs from GosuGamers or TeamLiquid, and 5% of my time splitting my workers in offline games to get mineral efficiency. I was still a complete noob who was just infatuated with the idea of Starcraft being a big game. I watched SKY Proleague, OnGameNet, MBCGame, and evolved my love of July into other progamers who shined even brighter down the line.
My love went from July into Savior (Savior v Iris), into Hoejja (Hoejja v Bisu), into Yellow[Arnc] (Yellow[Arnc] v Jaedong), and finally into my last and favorite idol of all: Lee Jae Dong. Til this day, despite his lack of performance, he rivets me. His emotions pour through his hands when he plays. You can just feel his passion in his game play. He is the reason why I still withhold my childhood fantasies of Brood War.
Now, throughout the last eleven years of playing Starcraft, this is where TeamLiquid comes into play. I joined you guys in April of 2007. I never posted, I never commented, I never participated in the community. I was just a quiet spectator. Til this day, I regret that so much. I only became active when I started becoming competitive on iCCup with my Korean friends, at which time I switched over to Terran, and started climbing the ladder. However, it was already May 2010 by this time, and I knew that inevitably SC2 would be releasing, and I felt I was wasting my time playing. I immediately switched over to SC2 on July 27th, and my story goes on from there.
I became very active in posting and aiding the community during the last year. My posts went up 1000-fold (literally), and I felt naturally obligated to give back to the community that I never supported helping in the beginning. I feel indebted to TeamLiquid. What you have done for me as a nerd will never be forgotten; from reading LR Threads about WCG, to watching GTR streaming Kpop between Proleague matches, to the barrage of trolling on the forums... I love it all. I don't know what I would do without TeamLiquid in my life.
I would just like to conclude by saying Thank You for taking the time to read this, and Thank you Team Liquid. I know I have acted out of line in the past, by saying brash and arrogant statements towards players who I truly love and respect, and I regret many of my actions, especially not participating in the community when I was infatuated with it at a younger age. Looking forward though, I plan on serving you as best as I can, and helping out as much as humanly possible. I even started learning Hangul to one day help translate!
If you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to ask. I'll always be here for you.
Thank you for everything, Team Liquid. I love you!~