Table of Contents:
- Part 1: How I Found BW
- Part 2: My Life As A Gamer
- Part 3: OnGameNet StarLeague
- Part 4: MBC StarCraft League
- Part 5: ProLeague
- Part 6: The Conclusion
Part 1: How I Found Brood War:
The setting is 2003. A 10 year old Korean boy (me) and his older brother has just heard some news. Their mother will become a guardian for two teenagers, a male and his older sister, whose parents their mother knows really well. Little do we know, that that arrival of the male teenager, SeHyun, was going to change our lives forever.
A few weeks has passed since then, and the kid and his brother have yet to meet SeHyun. Well one day, the we stopped by the new apartment in which SeHyun hyung and his older sister were residing in. It was just a very friendly welcome and all was going well. Until we noticed later on, that SeHyun hyung was clicking away furiously on his laptop and his fingers going ablaze. My brother and I were curious as to what he was doing and so we walked over to him. My brother instantly recognized that SeHyun hyung was playing StarCraft. After his game was over, my brother and SeHyun hyung began talking about StarCraft. SeHyun hyung explained that StarCraft was a really huge thing in Korea right now and that the game was an absolute blast to play. When my brother explained to him that we have a StarCraft CD in our household but we never really touched it, he flipped out. He started going on and on about how it was one of the greatest games ever and how we had to take it off our shelf immediately and start playing it. Needless to say, he was able to convince us to give it a shot.
Eventually, as time elapsed, my brother and SeHyun hyung became insanely close. They were pretty much best friends. And since I also played StarCraft, we were able to play together and have some incredible times together. StarCraft brought the three of us together and it was the most unforgettable moments of my life.
Part 2: My Life As A Gamer:
But before all those loving connections and relationships developed, a lot of things had to fall in to place. To start off, my brother was the first one to pick up StarCraft. I followed him a little later on. Of course, me being young and naive, I just dawdled around for the longest time while my brother actually took it seriously from the get go.
So we begin here:
Battle.net server: US East
When I first started playing BW, I was just a young little lad so there was no way that I was going to pick up on how to 1v1. So for about a year or two, I became an UMS master. Cat and Mouse? Psh, I was the king. Snipers? PAH! I was one of the sharpest shooter out there. In fact, my UMS playing got so bad, eventually I joined my first BW clan on US East. Of course, it wasn't a 1v1 clan. I joined a clan known as l3ls-, (Blood Legion Sniperz) and was with them for a pretty long time. Snipers was my all time favorite game and I played it on a daily basis with my clan buddies. Eventually though, l3ls disbanded and I was stuck playing alone again. Well eventually, my brother's constant pushing and ridicule was enough to push me over the edge. I decided to pursue a new life in BW as a 1v1 player.
So this was the turning point in my BW life. No more playing UMS all the time. It was time to play this game the way it was meant to be played. Let me tell you, it was absolute hell. My brother and SeHyun hyung helped me a lot but man... it was just so torturous you know? Always getting yelled at and being called names for being such a noob. But you know what? I took it. I took all their criticism and I became a 1v1 player. And eventually, I joined a clan known as lwl-. Unfortunately, my time in lwl was really short lived as lwl wasn't really a good clan and the clan just ended up disbanding entirely. But by then, enough time had elapsed that I knew I was good enough to join a better clan. And one day, as I searched for matches under the melee section, I saw this: "1v1 Lost Temple Sphere tryouts". I clicked "join" and thus began the most momentous occasion of my BW life, joining (Sphere).
The tryout was successful! I joined Sphere and established myself as a 1v1 player. But of course, every good story has a bad point right? The most frustrating thing about Sphere was that the clan was insanely inconsistent. Most of the members were just never consistently on or decided to move on to other teams without any prior notice. Since I was one of the few members who consistently came on practiced with other member, I got promoted. I was given authority to run tryouts and recruit new players to Sphere. Well things kind of cooled off for a while. Sphere was active and we were even running clan wars. I even participated in clan wars and won several times. But unfortunately, Sphere was just never stable enough. We became incredibly inactive again so I decided to find a different team. So one day, when I joined a 2v2 game, I met someone named Shakti~Lzuruha. Shakti was someone my brother apparently had former connections with and was also a member on TL. We talked, he gave me a tryout, and I was able to join Lzuruha.
Unfortunately, even though I loved my time at Lzh, I grew to miss Sphere since I had so many family like member in there. Eventually, I said goodbye to Lzuruha and returned to Sphere. Thing were going great for a while. We recruited new players and became an active clan again. Unfortunately, Sphere lacked solid management and organization, people ended up leaving us again and I ended up leaving Sphere again as well. My friend Hunter and I decided to try out for gO) and we ended up getting in. So for a while, I was with gO) and then gO) just died...
Fed up with East clans, I rejoined Sphere and then just remained in there. My time with US East was done. It was time to move on.
Battle.net server: Asia
Even though I was very active on East, I was also just as active on Asia. Asia was where I met a ton of Koreans during games and a server where I could actually speak Korean with the people. I played a lot of 1v1s, 2v2s and 3v3s on Asia. I had a blast. Eventually I was able to find a Korean clan known as v3) and joined them for a short time. Unfortunately, as time elapsed, SC1 gaming on Battle.net was beginning to wear off on me and I decided it was time to pursue something more serious.
So here it is. The mother of all mothers. iC mother f*ing Cup. If you were good enough, you could meet Korean and foreign pros on here. iCCup was where you truly established yourself as a gamer.
..... Yeah... that place f*ed me over too many times. I thought I was good? PAH! I would get my ass handed to me so frequently it was just like a rofl noob fest movie in which I was the protagonist. The highest ranking I ever got was D+. I was so envious of my brother. He once got B- on iCCup and ultimately, ended up in clan [LighT]. And where was I? A D+ scrub who just couldn't get better. AND IT WAS SO FRUSTRATING BECAUSE I WAS ALWAYS ONLY A COUPLE POINTS AWAY FROM C-! Practicing against my brother was pointless. My score was probably like 13 - 56 against him. I would also end up crying so many times and piss off my brother. He'd be like "omfg, grow some f*ing balls. It's a g** damn game..." But whatever... the pain was too much. BW required too much practicing and too much skill development. Eventually I stopped playing BW because I just wasn't one of the chosen ones. (Note: I wasn't trying to go pro or semi-pro or anything. I just wanted to be good enough to join a prestigious clan)
So that is the end of my BW story as a gamer, but rest assured, the juicy stuff is coming up next.
Part 3: OnGameNet StarLeague:
WHOO! OGN TIME! I freaking fell in love with OSL. OSL was without a doubt one of the greatest things in my life. OSL was where I truly learned to appreciate Brood War and the Korean pro gaming scene. Here was the first ever OSL I watched from start to finish:
Ahhh... http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/EVER2004_OSL ... how I still remember and love you so... BoxeR and YellOw's semi final match in which BoxeR bunker rushed him 3x... The finals where in game four on Requiem, BoxeR showed how bio could beat mech. The finals where in game five, BoxeR was so distraught and mentally torn because he lost to iloveoov, his own disciple. The 3rd/4th matches where two old time favorites, YellOw and Reach, put up a spectacular showing. I still remember it all.... All those good times with my first ever OSL.
So then, came the next obvious step. I was hooked on OSL. My brother was constantly uploading VODs for TL so he was the source for all OSL VODs. We would watch together all the time. Watching BW VODs and watching BW LIVE also established a really close bond between me and my brother.
I just couldn't get enough. The crowd that went wild yelling "LIM YO HWAN HWAITING! CHOI YEON SUNG HWAITING! PARK JUNG SUK HWAITING! HONG JIN HO HWAITING!" The Korean announcers yelling "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!" The players' emotions, their turmoil, their joy, their sadness, their ecstasy, I was feeling it all along with them. I wanted more. MORE OSL!
OMFG... IOPS OSL was positively orgasmic... Starting off with that kick ass Linkin Park entrance song, in to the a close up shot of the crowd that was screaming at the top of their lungs, in to an even closer shot of the two players sitting in their booths, waiting for the game to start. It was all just so... so... F*ING AMAZING! The greatest thing IOPS ever did for me? I fell in love with NaDa. I kid you not, I was gay for him. NaDa was so damn worth it. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=100673
So now we transition to EVER 2005. Man this StarLeague was a really memorable one. This OSL was where I found out a player by the name of Goodfriend existed. I was pleasantly surprised by how dominant he was in this OSL. It was as if he just came out of nowhere and wanted to create a name for himself. Well congratulations buddy, you did just that! But you fucked up and lost to July in the finals.... :/. My man crush for Goodfriend was short lived seeing as he made one big appearance, and then just disappeared forever...
So1 holds a very traumatic experience in my heart. I will never forget So1 OSL. This was the OSL that shattered my heart and made me want to punch a wall and cry. Do you know how excited I was to watch BoxeR finally win a tournament with my very own eyes? BUT THEN ANYTIME CAME IN AND SHATTERED THAT DREAM IN TO A MILLION PIECES! Even though BoxeR put up a very valiant effort and took it all the way to the fifth game, Anytime road the Legend of the Fall straight to the top and destroyed the emperor's quest for the Golden Mouse... Of course I admit that I ended up developing a huge amount of respect for Anytime, I hated him with a passion for what he did to my BoxeR.
You don't just prevent this man from a Golden Mouse and get away with it.
Best mother f*ing opening ever?
The ShinHan OSLs were the greatest OSL times ever. I was so pleasantly surprised to see this Korean bank sponsor an OSL four times in a row. Of course, since it provided such sexy games, I had zero complaints about it. I saw iloveoov prove his dominance as he 3-0ed July. I saw Casy win his first ever OSL and establish a name for himself. And then... and then.... I saw the OSL that holds a special place in my heart to this very day. I saw LIVE, NaDa defeat Anytime 3-2 and take his rightful throne as the first ever player to win a Golden Mouse. This finals holds a special place in my heart for three reasons:
- NaDa ran out of that booth, ran all the way down the hall, and hugged his tearful mother. After losing his father, I could only imagine what this victory meant for NaDa and his mother.
- I saw NaDa hold that Golden Mouse really high in his hands for the whole world to see and then make out with the mouse. It was the most glorious sight in the world.
- NaDa got revenge for what Anytime did to BoxeR.
And then... the OSL right afterwards? OMFG! I was about to freaking lose it. When I saw NaDa 3-2 Casy in the semi finals and then the camera panned over to him and he pointed to his three OSL badges and then hold up his hand to indicate that a fourth one was incoming, I just totally lost it. I was surging with excitement, pumping my fists and jumping up and down like a maniac. LET'S DO THIS NADA! FOURTH OSL IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING! Unfortunately... yet another traumatic tragedy ensued. sAviOr took down NaDa with a easy 3-1 and destroyed OSL history's chance at recording a player's fourth OSL title. Of course, this OSL victory started the MaBonJwa era so it wasn't all bad but... still... it was NaDa's time....
All good things must come to an end:
Well.. unfortunately.. there is no such thing as a happily ever after. In the summer of 2007, after the conclusion of the http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/2007_Daum_OSL, I was no longer able to watch OSL. One day, I got off my school bus and headed on my way home like I always do. Only to see that my brother was there waiting for me with his car and a solemn expression on his face. Since my brother had been accepted to the University of Florida, after fourteen amazing years with him, we finally parted ways. Since my brother was the source of my watching OSL LIVE and VODs, I tearfully waved goodbye as my brother drove off for Gainesville as I realized that nothing would be the same ever again.
You see, I was insanely tech illiterate at that time. I was also not an active member on TL. I think I had maybe about 59 posts on my account? I had no idea about the Small VOD Thread, or about BaeZZi/Jon747's youtube channels. I just didn't know what to do :/. Now granted, I could've probably called up my brother and ask him to teach me how to watch OSL but I didn't feel like it. It just wasn't the same. I had been dependent on my brother for my whole life. The fact that I had to fend for myself from here on out... yeah... that transition took a long ass time... (wow... I sound like a complete loser right now)
Return to OSL:
Welp, I wasn't going to remain a loser forever. I learned to speak for myself and became a fan of StarCraft once again in 2009. I never stopped following OSL because I kept on following through TL but I didn't really watch OSL. All that changed when I finally decided to ask my brother what I should do about watching OSL again. He taught me about the Small VOD Thread and about moktira's and nevake's youtube channels. And for a while, I kept watching OSL from time to time and stayed with it, but unfortunately, I found a new passion in my gaming life: Defense of the Ancients. Since my brother's friends at UF all played this game and had scrims every night, I eventually learned how to play DotA and temporarily put StarCraft out of my life. But of course, StarCraft never stopped calling me. So in 2009, I watched the http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/2009_EVER_OSL and saw Movie make a name for himself. Of course Movie's fame was short lived thanks to the GOD Flash .
There's not much to say afterwards. I kept watching OSL from there on out. I was crushed as Flash failed to grab a fourth OSL as he lost to EffOrt's 3-2 comeback and was jumping and screaming with joy as Flash triumphed over Jaedong after that huge NATE MSL blackout fiasco. I saw Fanta grab his first ever OSL over Stork. I saw JangBi win his first ever OSL over Fantasy. Kim Carrier shed tears over JangBi vs ZerO because of the horrendous fact that BW was over. OSL was just the most amazing thing that had ever happened in my life.
What will always be remembered as the biggest achievements of their careers and the most defining moments of an OSL champion with a true heart:
I wish I could talk about the OSL forever... but now it's time for us to move on to yet another juicy part of my story: MSL.
Part 4: MBC StarCraft League:
Yet another StarCraft event that was the greatest thing ever. MSL. MSL made just as much impact on me as much as OSL did. MSL was where I got to see so many great/amazing games and see so many players come in to light. MSL was where dreams were born and where dreams were crushed. And in 2011, when MSL ended, I raged hardcore at the SC gods who allowed this tragedy to ensue.
This was my first ever MSL that I watched from start to finish. I will never forget this MSL. I freaking fell in love with GoRush through this MSL. This MSL also introduced me to Midas, Nal_rA, XellOs, ChoJJa and Kingdom, so this MSL was really special to me.
UZOO MSL was the shit. This was where mantoss shined in all his glory. Of course, once again, it was stopped right at the last minute by sAviOr. But that's okay. Because sAviOr was an incredibly iconic player back in his days. Even with the whole match scandal, people can't deny that what he accomplishes was anything short of bonjwa status.
OMFG! CHOJJA! CHOOJJJJJAAAAA!!! This MSL was HUGE for me. ChoJJa was one of my all time favorite Zergs. But the most disappointing factor about ChoJJa was that he just never really made a big splash you know? I was wondering as to whether or not ChoJJa would ever win a big league. And then... and then.. he goes and beats MaBonJwa to claim his only MSL title. How f*ing epic is that shit...
There's really not much I can say about the Pringles MSLs. It was just once again, an evidence to sAviOr's dominance and how much of a baller of a gamer he was. In Season 1, seeing Nal_rA be dominant was absolutely riveting. And I guess for Season 2, Silver's only relevant result being the end case thanks to Pringle MSL would be the important highlight? None the less, sAviOr accomplished what only iloveoov had accomplished till that point, three MSL championships. It sucks that ChoJJa won CYON MSL now that I think about it. How amazing would it have been for sAviOr to win four MSLs in a row? O_o;;
Fuck yeah this guy:
What a total badass. Talented as he is handsome, GOMTV MSL Season 1 holds a deep place in my heart for two reasons:
1. The rise of Bisu
2. The fall of sAviOr
Now this does not mean that I hate sAviOr. It was just that sAviOr was so dominant that I just kept on wondering exactly who was good enough to stop this monster? And the answer? MBC HERO's Bisu. Seeing Bisu rip through that MSL in such an OP fashion made me fall in love with him. (probably not as much as Kiett though)
And then of course, Bisu went on to win GOMTV MSL Season 2 as well :D. As sad as I was to see the rising dinosaur toss Stork go down, it was twice as satisfying to see Bisu become a 2x MSL champion.
In all honesty, GOMTV MSL Season 3 pissed me off to a great extent. Who the hell was this Mind guy that just robbed my Bisu of a third MSL championship? I didn't care that Mind made it to the finals. I cared that Bisu made the finals of an MSL three times in a row. Bisu was so close to achieving an iloveoov.. and then this crap happened :/. What's even worse was that Mind became a one hit wonder. Well that's great for him and all but don't prevent Bisu from a third MSL if all you were going to be was a one hit wonder.
GOMTV MSL Season 4 was Jaedong's first MSL championship. Need I say more? GOD I LOVE JD! After he won http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/EVER2007_OSL, he went on to win MSL right afterwards. I was so glad that a new dominant Zerg had appeared. I knew from the get go that JD was going to become an iconic legend. He just had that look to him you know? The "gtfo of my way or suffer the consequences" kind of look.
Inconsistency in the story?
I'm not sure if you guys caught on, but I talk about GOMTV MSL Seasons 3 and 4 even though they happened after my brother left. But I knew about these two MSLs because I kept up to date on them through TL. Through TL coverage and Korean wesbites, I found out about Mind beating Bisu and about Jaedong winning OSL and MSL.
And also, to be quite honest, whenever my brother would come back home during a three - four day weekend or holiday, we would catch up on some of the OSL/MSLs I've missed. So I didn't stop watching ENTIRELY, I just couldn't watch every single game like I used to. So no, no inconsistency in the story.
Return to MSL
Deja vu? Yeah, pretty much. My return to MSL was pretty much the same as my return to OSL. I really missed watching StarCraft. So I came back to my beloved MSL because I was dying to watch all the bonerific games and feel the epicness of it all again.
But can you believe that of all the MSLs I could have chosen, it was NATE MSL I chose to watch for my big MSL comeback?
Since I already knew about Flash's existence from the OSL and that this kid made OSL at age fifteen, I was already in love with Flash. I also followed him and closely and was overjoyed that he won http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/2009_EVER_OSL. So of course I was ecstatic about watching him win NATE MSL. Him having to beat Jaedong to achieve it was like the cherry on top. Two epic BW players who were currently at that time #1 and #2 in the world clashing against each other? ABSOLUTELY MUST WATCH!
My closing statement about that MSL? http://www.teamliquid.net/powerrank/index.php?prid=37
Of course, afterwards, Flash got revenge three times :D
And the best part of it all? I f*ing loved the fact that the final MSL was won by Flash. Now no one in the world can ever dethrone him from the fact that he was the final MSL champion. http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/2011_ABC_Mart_MSL
Unfortunately... this part of the thread does not have a happy ending in any way...
The End of MSL
Sigh... the part I was dreading to write about the most. The end to one of the most beautiful things in the world. When MBC announced that they were getting rid of their gaming divison to make way for full time KPOP, I screamed at the top of my freaking lungs. (Internally of course) What the fuck? I normally am not the guy to cuss but holy mother f*ing s*it of all c*ck sucking little p*ssy bastards within the hell that is dumbass MBC. Why the flying f*ck would you go and cancel MSL?!?!?!?!!?
All I know is, after MSL ended, I just couldn't stand MBC. Reading all the tributes people made in the BW General and Blogs section about what MSL meant to them just tore me apart completely. It was the most gut wrenching experience ever you know? And then when mods/admins switched over their icons to this:
I just lost it...
But let us wipe away our tears and lock away those furious feelings. Let's just look at it this way: Would we rather have had 0 years of MSL? Or 11?
Part 5: ProLeague:
Fair Warning: While I wrote a fuckton about OSL and MSL, I can't really do that for ProLeague. The main reason being that I didn't watch all of it as thoroughly as I did for OSL and MSL. But another main reason being that ProLeague just has too many teams and games that it would take a month to write about it in depth, and well... I'm just too lazy to do that, sorry
I hate to have an inconsistency in my formatting where OSL and MSL are each like 35% of my story and have ProLeague be only 10 - 15% but yeah... that's what's coming so whatever...
This is what ProLeague was for me:
Pantech and Curitel
Which eventually became:
OGN Sparkyz --> Hite Sparkyz
KT Finger Boom
CJ Entus --> Hite Entus
And ultimately became:
(SKT T1 was excluded because they never changed)
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft/Proleague was a huge impact in my StarCraft life. Even though individual leagues would always pump me up and make me so addicted that I never wanted to stop watching all the games, it never quite gave me the feeling that ProLeague gave me. When I saw those player come out on stage, bow in unison, and then head off to their appropriate sides as they prepared to fight for their team, it was a sensation I just couldn't describe with words.
The best part about ProLeague was that you just didn't know who was going to get sent out you know? And even though SC2 GSTL's KOTH format is entertaining and exciting, ProLeague's format allowed us to see the best of the best in each player since they only had one chance and one chance only.
The ace match scenarios? Forget about it... Freaking orgasmic, that's what that was. How amazing was the suspense you felt when you just didn't know who each team was going to send? How amazing did it feel when you saw your team send in the ace player you wanted sent? Or when they sent someone completely unexpected and you couldn't wait to see the justification behind that decision?
And of course.... Who could ever forget...
ProLeague was the shit. It was where teams truly proved once and for all who deserved to be on the top. It was also a place where players could shine even if they never shined in OSL or MSL. But most importantly, ProLeague was where players became family and could celebrate with one another as brothers and sisters. It was a place where if you had an abysmal score for one season, you found the motivation needed to kick ass in the very next. It was a place where tears fell both from joy and frustration. It was a stage where everybody knows your name.
This was probably the most frustrating moment in ProLeague history. We got 3 crappy games of BW and then 3 crappy games of SC2 with 1 final crappy game of SC2 to end it. And why do I say they were all crappy? Because IMHO, it would've been better to just either stick with BW and delay SC2 again, or remove BW entirely from the ProLeague and put it out of its misery. This hybrid format was the mos frustrating thing ever. How in the world did they expect players to juggle between two games and still provide quality games worthy of the player playing? Honestly... it was just stupid. Now I'm not saying that all the games were bad, I'm just saying that the games could have been so much better. Imagine the pressure these players felt as they realized they need to keep playing BW and SC2 in order to provide great BW and SC2 games for the fans. I don't know... I honestly just felt like it was a miserable time.
But none the less, ProLeague is ProLeague. It is marvelous in every way. We need to make sure we keep supporting it and give it one final UMPH! So that it can go out with a bang! *cough* JangBi 3 - 1 FanTaSy was the lamest ending ever *cough*
We now conclude this section with the greatest pictures ever:
Part 6: The Conclusion:
Well ladies and gentlemen, if you've honestly read from beginning to end and have now arrived at this point, then I applaud you. You are a true SC fan.
StarCraft BW was and will always be the greatest thing ever. It was without a doubt the most amazing eight years ever. Even though I started late back in 2004, I never stopped keeping track of BW and kept with it all the way to 2012. For those of you who want to post your own BW stories, please by all means go for it. Let us show how much BW affected us and how much we love it!
TL;DR - I was a BW maniac before I ever became an SC2 fan. While my passion for SC2 is strong, my passion for BW was just as strong at one point. BW was the sole reason for SC2's existence anyways. That is why BW will always hold a special place in my heart. A place that SC2 could never replace.
Thank you all for reading.