This week a partnership between Sonic and OnGameNet was revealed, promising a cable broadcasted league on OGN. Naturally you've already seen this in community news or in the BW forum.
Before this was announced I wanted to write something about BW, and now that it has been announced, I feel like I have to. I haven't written much in English in ages, so I hope you'll forgive something somehow worse than my former ramblings.
The thing I'd been thinking about before was my own beginning in appreciating StarCraft. I don't mean in 1998 when I played on a LAN with my brother and his friend, I don't mean the next 3 or so years when I played nothing but UMS maps or all the chatcraft I participated in. That was fun, but that I could have forgotten about and put in the past forever. What I couldn't forget was the last OSL, and why it had to be the last, and how the lives and efforts of so many talented players had been thrown to the wind. I couldn't replace the endless variety this game seems to offer, or the spectacle of players pushing their limits. There was a void in my interests that couldn't be filled even by esteemed and noble games like Go. Somehow the thing that StarCraft has for me isn't offered in any other game.
My own beginning in StarCraft was when after making some terrible melee maps and talking trash on a map making forum, I started playing 1:1 games with the people and studying the game. I had inhaled Tsunami's guide and memorised every part of its wisdom in the desperate need to put up a fight. To my great fortune, my opponents had also been full of shit and were miraculously my own skill level. Those first games of real StarCraft where I cared about winning 1:1 were something that transformed my attitude toward games.
The thing that was so transformative was that for some amazingly nerdy reason, after every game we'd take a rest by watching the replay together. We'd talk about the game together, theorycraft, and then have great mind games to work with the next set when we set out to prove each other wrong over some idea of how the previous game could have gone. It was an exciting time when both me and my regular rival would furtively read strats to try to get the better of the other the next time we played.
I don't have anyone I play StarCraft with like that anymore, and I haven't in probably 8 years. And yet, pro StarCraft kept that alive, because I could see that dynamic happening clearly with the pros, with even more intensity. The mixture of pride, skill, intellect and perseverance is what made watching professional BW so enjoyable. Even as my responsibilities changed, I could still enjoy that feeling vicariously.
For whatever reason the expro games over the last years didn't quite do that for me, so BW coming back to OGN represents a little more for me than just the promise of more glitz and glamour. The stage on OGN represents the pride of returning pros who will have the weight of BW's future on their shoulders. When Sonic says he is thinking about how to get new youth into the game, I really feel he knows what's happening. This is still a make or break time for BW which is going to decide whether or not the game can continue for another decade. The players need to bring games good enough that not just the old fans are satisfied, but that a new generation can get starry eyed and generate some interest in becoming BW pros. OGN needs to be convinced BW can get a second wind and start to grow again.
The Last OSL was romantic and all, but I didn't actually do any of the things I thought not having BW anymore would free up so much time for, so I'd like to watch some games again plz.