I chose StarCraft.
With this decision, I travelled the world for esports: Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Finland, Sweden, and China (though, regrettably, never Korea). I got to live briefly in the TL house with Liquid'Hero and Liquid'TaeJa, where Hero asked me to teach him Hearthstone, and TaeJa learned my name I suspect for the sole reason of asking me to help him get rid of spiders. And yes, TaeJa never practiced, even in front of the boss. (It was pretty great.)
Through good fortune, I was then hired by Blizzard as Lead Co-op Designer of StarCraft II, where I truly felt I was able to apply my skills and talents to a passion. It was a dream come true. My team fully empowered me to make meaningful contributions to the game, a game held sacred, one that had so much influenced the direction of my life. It was a pure joy and an honor to see players tinker with and theorycraft around Commanders and balance tweaks I had a hand in, much as I had once done myself over the past 25 years with Blizzard RTS games.
All in all, StarCraft was my community, my tribe, and—as cliché as it may be—I'm eternally grateful it allowed me to make so many lifelong friends along the way.
Recently, I made the difficult decision to leave Blizzard. Though this is the end of my time on the StarCraft II development team, it is in no way the end of my involvement with its community. I'll do my best to continue engaging online and will probably attend even more offline events than before, COVID willing. I hope to see many of you at these events, and if I do, please don't be a stranger.
Going forward, I'll be putting my skills, passion, and heart into Frost Giant—a new game studio announced today with many of my old colleagues I worked with on the StarCraft II team. On this new adventure, we will build a new RTS that we hope will be worthy of the legacy of the great RTS games that have come before it.
And with that, I have but one thing left to say:
Please cheer for me. I hope to show good games.
En Taro, StarCraft.
Kevin "monk" Dong | @Solid_monk