But for me personally 2016 has been quite a good year, mostly thanks to Team Liquid. For the first time in my life I got travel to far away places via plane, even got to leave the European continent for the first time. I met so many awesome people this year, collected so many good memories and experiences. Writing it down in detail would take more than one blog probably, so here's the short version of events I want to share.
For context, I joined TL as a trial writer late in 2015 after having written for a German audience since 2011. It was a new challenge and a dream come true - joining TL had been my goal when I first started writing about SC2. Very soon I got to write for Korean league finals, for high prestige Proleague matches, even for BlizzCon itself.
The First Steps: IEM Katowice
But things really started to get awesome in 2016. One day lichter approached me about travelling to IEM in Katowice in March, which I couldn't say no to. The flight to Poland was my first ever experience with airports and planes, the event in Katowice was overwhelming at times, but offered some valuable lessons and simply an awesome time. I discovered my love for shooting pictures there (even if I'm still totally an amateur in that), and I met some cool people, such as fellow writer EsportsJohn, who was at Katowice for TL Heroes at the time. Oh, I also met the legendary Kenzi there for the first time! ^_^
And I got to interview Kim Phan, which was one of the most nerve wrecking experiences in my life. My first face-to-face interview with anyone, in a room full of officials, with a super important person - she rekt me with her PR training I felt, but later I was told that I did well, so I'm conflicted to this day about my performance.
The Glory of the Grind
After that, I went back to the grind of writing articles. I helped out munch with Proleague, which has been a blast to write about (and damn, I'll forever miss to write about it), and jumped at every opportunity to fill any holes in other tournament and news coverage. I just can't help it, but I love the grind. There is nothing more satisfying to me than to finish several articles a day and go to bed knowing that I produced something in my time, which is going to be enjoyed by a lot of people, maybe even help them out with a bit of interesting, new or simply entertaining information. I love going into the writing-tunnel, love the grind.
Even though my own development as a writer has been too slow for my own taste - when it comes to improving my own abilities I am quite impatient - there has been visible improvement, which I am thankful for. I owe that to my lovely colleagues in the writing staff, who do a phenomenal job in editing, diversifying and improving my skills.
An Explosive Finale: BlizzCon and HomeStory Cup
I couldn't have been happier with how things went. Until lichter and Olli did indeed make me even happier with the offer to travel to another event. But not to some random event, no. To BlizzCon! To Anaheim! To the WCS World Championship! My travel arrangements could have been better, as I'm totally noob in these things, but that trip was a total blast.
The event was amazing by itself (WCS, the convention and SHOUTcraft, interviewing more huge personalities!), but the people really made everything as enjoyable as it was in the end. Shoutout to munch, monk, Wax, TLO and all the others who made it so special and fun. But guys, that wasn't even the best thing in 2016.
By far the most unique, awesome and coolest thing of the year was going to HomeStory Cup. I can't even count how many people I met there, with how many I spoke, drank and laughed. I got to meet munch again, met Olli, hexhaven and Destructicon and many other TL people for the first time. I was reunited with Kenzi. Finally got to see many figures from the community and Twitter face to face. Really guys, if you're ever given the chance, go to HomeStory Cup. No matter how small it's going to be in the future, it's THE event to go to.
This December I was officially made a staff writer, giving me this beautiful blue pen next to my name. A pen that means a lot to me.
I collected so many experiences, but as always the most important one was this: There is so much more I have to learn about life and work, and I really hope I get more opportunities to do so.
2016 has been a highlight in my life thanks to Team Liquid and StarCraft 2 and all the people I met and worked with, so I just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for existing and being awesome! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate and improve! Most of all thank you for allowing me to be myself in your presence - you all make me a better and happier person! ^_^