I first met Geoff at MLG colombus 2012, when I was just starting out with my stream and dreaming of being a pro. I'd like to clarify that I was at the time, a nobody. I got to see a side of many StarCraft personalities from not just a friendly perspective but also just one of those starry-eyed fans who loved the game and respected the pros/personalities. I walked up to him and I very nervously said "hey I just wanted to say you're super inspiring and I love that you're into sports and working out because it makes all this seem a lot less nerdy." He nodded his head at me and said "right on man thanks for taking the time to tell me that" and I was giddy.
Of course I have my story and we all know how it went, but I will never forget tuning into State of the Game and hearing the discussion around my proleague bootleg stuff among other things, Geoff was one of the kindest folks and said something along the lines of "yeah the guy with the belt on his head bedroom casting isn't bad" and he even eventually got me hired to do the EG-TL Proleague with him. He apologized to me profusely for how little they could pay me since they were supposed to have other casters that couldn't make it and did his best to make sure I was comfortable since he was the huge name and I was still a nobody who hadn't really done any events.
Then I met him for real at Dreamhack Summer 2013, my first ever StarCraft 2 event I got hired to cast. I usually go on about my bromance with Apollo here but Geoff was the first person to come up to me and say "hey bud you look super nervous what's on your mind" and we just chatted for hours during rehearsals and before we went on. I knew Geoff loved to roast and troll his co-casters but he was so kind and friendly to me especially the first day and I knew I did a terrible job because I really was so scared to screw up my big chance to make something of this passion I had for StarCraft. He saw that and helped me cultivate it, I'll never forget him asking me when the event was done how much I got paid and he immediately said "ask for double next time you'll get it 100% you deserve more don't let people use you and you can always ask me if you need advice on this type of stuff. We gotta look out for each other."
Geoff really nails the strong/silent type when it comes to personal stuff and I had the pleasure of doing many events with him over the years, laughing and hanging out and generally being a nuisance as I was the young guy constantly fucking up or overstepping my bounds. Perhaps the biggest thing we shared in common was being ridiculed by Blizzard for saying dumb shit we didn't mean since we were both pretty emotional people at times as well.
In the last year I started talking to Geoff a lot more and we both opened up about our personal failures, fears and goals. Many a day after WCS I'd get dinner with just him and we'd let it all out and I remember telling him we were both gonna make it and things were gonna be good and when I was down he'd say the same thing right back to me. Every experience with Geoff was so typical of what you'd expect, he was always easygoing and when the line at the restaurant was too long we'd just say fuck it and go find a hole-in-the-wall and just shoot the shit over a little meal and talk about the good times, the bad times and everything else we wanted from life.
It has been one of my greatest pleasures to do WCS Challenger with Incontrol in the last year. We both went up to Marc who was in charge last year and made a case that we should be allowed to be more stupid on air since it was not a premier tournament and we had to be up at 5am to cast what would amount to "group stage 3" type games from Dreamhack until the top 4 of NA(top 16 of EU Keepo). Blizzard gave us free reign to troll on air and we both talked about getting Feardragon out of his shell more too(I think we've accomplished that as Ravi has become such a more confident caster and I love working with him). We kinda owned that show in the last year and every season we'd talk about new things to focus on and drag out to keep things interesting since we knew Serral couldn't lose (and when he did oh boy it just made things super fun tbh lol).
Being stuck at airports, taking 2 hour shuttles to Jonkoping, and casting until the dark hours were some of the best memories I had with Geoff. He was never short of a story to tell or a way to make the most difficult(or boring) of times a treat to spend with him. We'd also been playing some games on stream lately and it was nice to be more of a friend and less than just a coworker with him this year.
I love you so much Geoff and I just want to say I appreciate everything you've done for me so much, and I'm so sorry for the hardship you've had to endure the last 12 months so go knowing that you are loved and many people will carry you with them for the rest of their lives. You have shaped me in a way I couldn't ever thank you enough for and I appreciate every bit of ribbing you've ever given me because I definitely needed it. We've had this chat already so I'll just say regardless of any beliefs I hope you're up in heaven having a cold one with TB and if you get a chance tell my mum I love her too. Cheers <3