Now, why am I telling this background of a rather boring day? Well, this is obviously about my one year with TL, and what a great one it has been. From all the late night tournaments, the posting, the GSLs, the players and the community, it has been one hell of a fun time. After reading that date, I knew I had to create a blog about it (yes, I'm fairly egotistical), and decided to tell TL about why I even joined TL in the first place.
It was 2010, StarCraft II has just come out, and my friends were quite hyped about it. We used to play BW in the library, usually UMS games like Cat And Mouse, and often got a bit too loud, usually resulting in a disapproved face from the librarians, and occasionally told to leave. Despite the rule-breaking, it was an incredibly fun time I had, just friends and StarCraft. When I saw the SC2 trailer, I immediately said, "This will be incredible". As a Korean, StarCraft was just part of my culture and life (regardless of the jokes), and I began to have fun playing BW. I never really got into BW beyond a few YouTube videos, and I was unfamiliar with the tournaments or players beyond the bonjwas and TaekBaengLeeSsang. I saw SC2 as a fresh start, where I could begin my start into a community of like-minded people who shared my interests in gaming.
Well, it certainly didn't start that way. I got hyped about GSL Open Season 1, and that was really it. No one in my Korean church seemed to care about SC2, and my SC2 playing friends didn't seem too invested into the scene beyond watching Husky and HD. Sure, we played a bit, laddered and shared builds, but it just became a little hobby to play after school. Eventually, we decided to stop playing so often to not risk our grades, and my interest in SC2 waned. I watched Husky and HD, and began to expand into Ahnaris and some other people (sorry for forgetting!). Whenever I saw a Husky/HD video, there would always be a link to this website called Team Liquid, and I thought, "Maybe this is some hub to the StarCraft community I was looking for!" Once I clicked, my dreams were realized, a well maintained, large group all dedicated to StarCraft.
Honestly, I didn't really bother to make an account, and mostly lurked. I think my earliest memories of TL began around MLG Anaheim, because I remember lurking at the LR threads and reading the articles. I firmly remember reading "Elephant in the Room", and simply had some fun looking at the teams and players I did not know at all. Eventually, I made a decision to get involved into the scene, and began to watch tournaments, know the players and see the tournaments. MLG Anaheim was the first real tournament I watched, with all these supposed SC2 gods like Mvp, MMA and DRG playing, but I really only remembered BoxeR and the epic Skyterran war game. After it finished, I thought, "This game is epic".
Watching more and more tournaments got me into the SC2 scene (IPL3, MLG Raleigh and Orlando), I watched as many as I could, and remember my heart beating heavily when I saw Leenock defeat NaNiwa in Providence. I now understood why sports became so intensely passionate- because fans are invested into the lives of these people we watch from miles away. I groaned in pain when I saw DRG lose to NaNiwa, and felt jubilation when Leenock held that MLG trophy high up, knowing that the game was firmly in Korean hands.
Still, I refused to create a TL account for some reason (probably just lazy), but on that fateful day, December 22nd, after reading the 2011 in review article, I made an account, and posted something about the article. I felt that I had finished the biggest step in being part of the community. Tournaments, Fan Clubs and Generals began to be filled with my posts (Which I admit to mainly being superficial and useless) and began to know the people of TL. All of them had their personalities and differences, but they felt like one big family united by a single love for StarCraft. I've laughed, I've cried (not literally) in the forums. I was destroyed when I saw HyuN lose to Sniper, I jumped in the air when Polt defeated Stephano in Assembly. I laughed whenever the casters would make cheesy jokes. I saw how I could succeed if I just put my passions into the right places and put enough effort.
What can I say TL? This has become my second home on the Internet, a place where I feel respected and liked by people who I never met. Even though my real-life friends have deserted me for LoL, and perhaps my SC2 obsession is lowering my grades (I doubt it), I am a proud member of TL. This has been one year I will never forget, a spectrum of emotions and entertainment that I may never exceed. I may visit alternate communities and not be the most motivated to watch every tournament, but TL is as close to family as it gets on the Internet for me. Here's to another year with TL.