Good reads on TL
Well, after the fiasco that was my last blog, I thought I'd write something a little less bitterly angry, and a little bit more useful and entertaining. I have collected here a number of pieces on TL that I think are worth a read. Many of you will have already read the articles, threads and blogs linked here. That's fine, these are of such excellent quality that I suggest reading them again. The pieces included here are in no particular order, I've tried to stay away from the well know "funny" threads, in favor of articles I consider are more overlooked. That's not to say that the day plane story or the underwater basket weaving thread *aren't* good reads, this is just geared to the opposite side of the spectrum, articles which are first and foremost informative or impactful, with humor taking a backseat, I did include a couple of reads that I found personally amusing which are less well known. Without further ado, have some of the best things TL has cranked out over the years. (This is part one, there will be more.)
1. Ver's How to Improve
Summary: Ver has written a lot of very excellent works, and at least a couple will make it to this list, but this is, in my opinion, one of his better pieces. Even though this was written before SC2 was even a glimmer in people's eyes, much of the general principles he writes about here apply to both SC2 and BW. Download it and read it. I keep a pdf of it in my e-book collection.
2. I Loved Victory by Plexa (part 2)
Summary: Plexa is another of the tl authors who pretty much only writes gold, but I Loved Victory has a special place in my heart. Oov is perhaps my favorite player in the history of BW, so I may be biased, but my bias makes this Final Edit no worse. Its a masterpiece of a tribute, its a damn shame the tribute video at the end no longer works (if anyone happens to find it anywhere, PM me), but this is well worth the read. More so if you know nothing about who iloveOov is.
3. riptide's Mind Over Mechanics
Summary:Continuing my trip down Final Edit lane, we get to a FE by Riptide (a man who deserves his typewriter icon). I always enjoy pieces that are timeless by the nature of the topic they discuss. This is one such piece. This talks about things that are better than build orders and APM, it talks about the true defining traits of champions, their comprehension of momentum, not just in games, but in whole series. Reading this article changed how I looked at series played between high caliber players, if you've ever sat there and wondered why your favorite player was doing something strange in a Bo5, this article will probably give you some insight.
4. Mind Games by RaGe
Summary: I can't talk about Mind Over Mechanics and not touch on the closely related Mind Games. This is another timeless piece, instead of talking about momentum, experience and handling pressure, this talks about single games, preparation and the battles that occur at the highest level levels of starcraft, battles not of units, but of psyches. Read this and understand the true beauty of starcraft, the battles that take place not in the game, but in the minds of the players.
5. Plexa's Apple Pie
Summary: Moving away from starcraft for a moment, this is one of my favorite blogs of all time. Its a simple reflection by Plexa. Many of you won't find it that significant, but this blog really got to me for some reason. It was sort of like seeing a reflection of yourself in a rippling pond. Give it a read, if nothing else, Plexa is an excellent author.
6. Before ESPORTS by Heyoka
Summary: Wow, six articles so far and all are by staff. That actually wasn't intentional. Anyway this is an excellent look at the very early days of "esports" before it had even gotten that tag. Knowing your history is important, so read this. Its interesting even on a "neat, old history" level, and there is a lesson to be learned from it.
7. Rekrul Breaking the Savior Scandal
Summary: This still stands as one of the moments that defined starcraft for me. The whole thread is a must read if you want to know how damn hurtful the Savior matchfixing scandal was. This is actually a very sad thread to read, it brings back bitter memories, but if you want a fascinating portrait of what people were thinking when Rek broke the news, this is the thread to read. Skip it if you'd rather not be reminded.
8. On the Shoulders of Giants by Riptide
Summary: While I'm linking history of the pro scene, I thought it appropriate to also link to the history of TL news. This is a tribute of the greatest contributors to TL FE/Articles/News from the earliest times up to 2009. Notice that most of them are still around. Its written in riptide's awesome narrative style, and it gives a interestingly candid snapshot of the people who made the articles section of TL what it is.
9. Trozz's blog
Summary: On a much, much lighter note, a really great blog by one of my favorite posters. For those of you who don't know Trozz always posts in hiaku. This blog impressed me both with the amount of commitment someone I knew relatively little about put into TL, and by the fact that it only used hiakus. Is it an epic read like some of the other pieces here? No, but it is one of the blogs that really impacted me, so it has a place here.
10. Blogs by Zatic
Summary: I picked one of Zatics blogs about traveling abroad, but really his entire series on Germany is awesome as well, and I suggest reading all of them. It gives a honest first person perspective of both working abroad and of living in Germany. Besides the entertainment value, I found these to be genuinely informative, and the style they are written in makes them a light read.
11. onepost's Stay One Step Ahead
Summary: If you haven't noticed yet, I really enjoy reading about mindgames and the like. This is a down to earth guide on the mental/tactical aspects of starcraft at a less than pro level. Its chock full of examples, and is one of my favorite threads ever. Its not long, its not arduous to read and much of what it says seems obvious, but its still something that is well worth reading.
12. A Legacy of Distinction by Arrian
Summary: Read it. Its about endings, and legacies, and how, no matter what happens to BW, its legacy will remain. I know I keep linking FE's here, but thats because they are so damn good.
13. Colbi's How the Cards Have Fallen
Summary: Ok, this will be the last FE I link in this list, I promise, but with all my talk about history, I'd be remiss to skip over a piece that looks at non-korean teams just as we saw SC2 peeking over the horizon. Give it a read and see where the author was right, and where he was wrong.
14. Bittersweet Symphony by Rekrul
Summary: If you read no other piece here, read this one. This is another of those blogs that formed my view of TL. This is Rekrul's story as a Pro Poker player in Korea, and its a story that merits being listened to. Read it, trust me, its worth it.
15. TL's Requiem for a Mani
Summary: At one time Manifesto said he was retiring from tl. This is his sendoff thread. Its one of those threads that cements the fact that tl is awesome, and its one of those threads that is probably worth reading in full.
This ends part 1, part 2 will be here soon(tm), feel free to suggest threads/blogs/posts which you think are overlooked but awesome/informative/interesting.