It feels like a piece of me died today.
MSL is all but confirmed as being done. Another nail in the ever closing coffin of the Korean Brood War scene, and this saddens me. As much as I enjoy SC2 and GSL and all of the foreign tournaments and the booming scene, they don't hold a candle to the trifecta of the OSL, MSL and PL.
Something about the longer lasting and more established tournaments, the unmatched skill of the players - it all just feels like it's worth more. I dunno, maybe this is just rampant BW elitism. Something about waking up at 3 AM to hijack a restream of a restream to watch the Koreans go at it, with only Korean commentary - the casters screaming in elation at something like a plague happening for the billionth time in a ZvT. The intense micro.
MSL was my favorite of the Korean leagues. Something about the decisive group stages, the elaborate group selection ceremony with all of the shit-talking. The entire tournament just felt like it appealed to me more than the OSL.
Arena MSL was my first full MSL I watched, and it was incredible. I still say, the most entertaining series I have ever watched was Kal vs. fOrGG in the Round of 8 of that tournament. I was on the edge of my seat the entire series, and the games on Colosseum especially were something else. fOrGG's run in general was impressive.
That tournament is famous for being the one where fOrGG upset his teammate, but I remember it as one of the most exciting tournaments I've watched in all of Brood War. I honestly don't remember a dull series. Even the 3-0 finals, it was incredible because it was pretty much unexpected.
After that I dove headfirst into Brood War, following games constantly. As time wore on, I got burnt out and slowly started to remove myself from it. But one thing always stuck with me - following the MSL. I continued to stay up to watch MSL games regularly, whether my favorite player (Iris) was playing or not.
Even when I fully removed myself from the pro-gaming scene and following tournaments, I still snuck in and checked MSL results often, keeping tabs on how the CJ players were doing, and on how Taek-Bang-Lee-Ssang were faring.
So to hear today that MSL is no more, that I didn't actually get to watch the last MSL... it breaks my heart. It's like I never got to say goodbye to a close friend that was suddenly ripped from my life. I know this probably seems overly dramatic about a tournament, but I just feel like a piece of me is missing suddenly.
I'm really bad at closing things, so I'll just go with the best way I know to sum up how I'm feeling right now...
BW for life.