I joined TL in early summer 2012 according to my profile. I had lurked in the LRs for quite a bit before that. I think I joined because I was curious about getting more into sc2. Originally, I had watched some sc2 at the start of 2010 but it didn't really appeal to me. I am not sure why I got back into it. One late, late, late night watching Nani at MLG wrecking through the Koreans on his way to his fateful finals vs Leenock sparked my love of Starcraft.
So, anyway, I had a few things on my mind when I joined TL. A few rules for myself, to make my life easier. These holy commandments were:
I'm an argumentative person. I rarely back down from an argument. On TL I've managed to keep my cool most of the time. Slowly, however, my rule has been bent if not broken as I've started to argue about sc2 a lot more. I try to stay away mostly by ridiculing whatever stupid idea of the week that's going on but I often can't help but get sucked into it. I'm pretty happy about not engaging so emotionally in various debates on here. Yet, I absolutely, absolutely hate these circle-jerk arguments where people are just looking to be negative and annoying.
Always say thank you
I try to always say thank you whenever I ask a question and get it answered. I try to always ask questions when I don't get something in the game (or out of it). This is a way for me to acknowledge that there is a lot of things I don't get and that I should be humble about it. I made it a personal rule to try to be positive and cordial. Too often it seemed like people on TL were just vitriolic. I think I have managed this pretty well and I hope that it has at least made someone's day a bit better.
I've had a blast
One of the best things about the sc2 community is when people who don't know anything about it walk past the computer and I am giggling, or the casters are laughing. More than once people have said "Wow, they seem to have such fun" in reference to casters roaring with laughter at some joke. I've laughed a lot at the stupid puns and the in-jokes, the memes, the joke polls or whatever else. So thank you to German potato salad, Decorah eagles, to Shine and the Injustice League, to the church of Elfi, to fabutaste and "x10 times better", Prime stealing wins and all the rest.
Thank you to all the LR regulars. I'm not going to name names because then I will forget people. No-one mentioned, no-one forgotten as we say in Sweden. I'm really thankful for all the good times I've had here. It really meant a lot to me in some of the more difficult times in my life. Starcraft 2 and Team Liquid has been a place where I can go and just enjoy myself without thinking about whatever problem I am having. It's also been a place where I've met people who I think of as my friends, even though we have never met.
I think I should say a few things about the way I developed. When I first joined TL I had never watched BW. I started to watch for a bit, encouraged by the BW-vs-SC2 battle, but I didn't honestly enjoy it. I watched some of the last PL and OSL but I wasn't amazed. As 2013 came around I started to watch more of it, however, and slowly it's been growing on me. I almost felt more like a BW than SC2 fan for a while during the last SSL. With Bisu switching over and starting to stream I became hooked. Now I haven't watched a lot lately. I watch the BW VoDs stream a lot, and a lot of 1st person Afreeca streams but it's more rare that I tune into tournaments. I tend to watch - or rather listen - to sc as radio. I click back and forth and when something cool is going on I watch, but it's rarer that I just stare at the screen. I get too bored for that. So that makes it hard to follow Korean-only streams. Plus I hate K-pop and it seems like it's what most Koreans listen to on stream.
I also developed in my tastes in sc2. I started by being a Nanifan. However, the last few months just became unbearable with Nani's whining, passive aggressiveness, aggressiveness and borderline sexism coming to the fore. It was hard to slowly disentangle myself from the one person I have been a true fan of. I haven't been mad as fuck for an entire day after any other player has lost. I haven't been depressed after other people failing. I haven't been beaming with happiness after anyone else has won. I am a fan of a lot of players, like Life or sOs, but they don't inspire the same in me as he does. Or did. Unfortunately, he killed the fan in me. That makes me really sad.
So I used to be a huge Startale fan. Back in 2012 when IM was on top and ST slowly worked their way to number one it was a fantastic time. I loved Parting, Squirtle, Life, Bomber as a combination of players. Each of them amazingly unique and brilliant in their own respects. As Startale bled out players, one by one, the spirit seemed to also fade. ST of today, not even counting the semi-merger with IM, is just not the same. It feels weird to just acknowledge that I can't get into ST the same way I used to.
Now I slowly moved to SK Telecom and I am feeling a lot of fandom for them. I'm enjoying the KT-vs-SKT banter. I even got angry when KT won, and I got happy when they lost. The only boring thing is that SK Telecom is almost too good. With Startale, you knew that they were struggling for the top but they were so close to creating an entirely new style of Starcraft and succeeding with it. I feel a bit dirty for cheering for maybe the best team in Starcraft.
A humble suggestion
So I was going to do research for this and do like awesome charts and shit. But I haven't had the energy for it. So this is my suggestion: Players should choose maps during group selection ceremonies.
Now, why should this be the case and why I am I discussing it here? I'm doing it because I think it's a suggestion that would aid sc2 and I wanted to give something back to the community I have taken so much from.
Starcraft is very much dependent on maps. When there are seven or so maps in rotation you can have general ideas for builds, but it's rather rare that we see entirely thought out map-dependent strategies. I personally prefer to watch SC when it shows that there is a lot of thought that has gone into a build or strategy. I think it makes for better and more interesting games. With map selections done just minutes before a game I think it makes it harder and not easier to prepare for maps and to create these strategies.
So what about the logistical issues? In tournaments with several group stages during a few days it won't be possible to do this. That's fine, I think, it can just be for the first group stage.
What about players and ceremonies? It's not necessary that players choose maps or go through what might be a very time consuming or unwieldy process in tournaments with 64 players and a massive amount of matches played. I think either it can be skipped in some of these tournaments or only done in some of the different stages of the tournament. Such as between the day between playoffs and group stages. It can just be used whenever it is practical.
Anyway, I've done the Internet equivalent of folding 10 000 paper cranes now. I guess I get to make a wish. I hope for the best for all of us and the great community we have. Thank you, TL.