This is going to be really long, probably random, or whatever else. Since I'm in a really sort of sad, reflective mood, I got to thinking about all this stuff and decided to write it all down. Might be an interesting read for some, and it would be interesting to hear other people's stories.
====!! WARNING LONG POST !! ====
This blog is sort of inspired from this thread at GG.net and got me thinking "why do I play/bother with this game?" . I mean, I obviously know the answer and have of course spent many hours thinking about it - I mean, something has to keep a person coming back to the game day in and day out.
Anyways, my motivation or the "why" for BW takes three forms for me:
1) Actually playing the game.
At the end of Summer 2005 my aspirations of becoming a top level gamer ended. I played my WCG Local qualifier, got 2nd and advanced to regionals. I had to play Froz and Cypressman and only 1st place would end up advancing to the finals. Froz won, and I got third (technically second since Cypress wasn't a citizen so didn't really qualify, but admins let him play anyways!). So being one place away from making the finals, that was pretty much it. The year after I joined academic decathlon and took 6 AP classes, applying for college, etc... so I stopped entirely for 3-4 months, and just never really picked up the game again with the intent of playing competitively.
I still play and practice for LAN tournaments with the intent of playing solidly and entertaining and having some good results, but that comes from the competitiveness in me. If it's not a LAN tournament, I play the game to have fun. I'm at a skill level where I can hop on ICCUP and play entertaining games with people. I enjoy the challenge of playing, and being able to play at a fairly decent level to produce games that are entertaining both to play, and to watch later on.
For the most part (except this year), I've actually played about 150-200 ICCUP games each season spread around several accounts, but I'm never really playing to practice or improve, just playing to have fun and enjoy the skill level I already have.
The game is and probably will always be extremely fun and challenging for me, so I play it.
After my break from BW in 2006 or w/e I realized that others in my team were able to put forth way more time and dedication than me to actually improve on their game, so I started to contribute in other ways to still help the team, which is why I started leading it. I started small, just setting up clanwars for us to play, then eventually got leadership of the team.
I take my duties and responsibilities managing my team, or doing my admin work very seriously. Sure, I am not a pro-gamer in Korea, and for the most part have not gotten paid to be doing what I do, but I approach it with a professional attitude because I believe in the future of eSports in North America and I'd like to be involved in the next generation here, and Starcraft is the beginning. Also, I don't know about anyone else but I like to use things and skills I learn through this game and apply them to real life. For instance, leadership and management skills that I've learned through leading LighT, etc, have helped me in real life as well.
So, I'm hoping that my time spent in this capacity will pay off down the road through gaming and life itself, and it's always a rewarding feeling being the leader of something and impacting other people. Sappy as it sounds stuff like Aerials calling me his BW dad (<3 paul) make my time spent as a leader worthwhile. I thought to myself, this must be what it feels like when a parent sees their kids go off to college (when Shad and Aerials joined ToT)...
3) The real life aspect
Primarily through LighT, I've been able to meet a lot of people. I'd say that if I actually lived close to some of them, we'd be like best friends. In 2006 I knew a lot of LighT were going to WCG Canada and I decided to invest some money that I had saved up throughout high school to make a trip to finally meet these people that I had known for so long. There are so many great people I've met in real life through BW, and so many more I want to meet... I'm going to change up direction now because my mind is wandering and just say some things about the people I've met.
- SchiSm[LighT]: I've known him since I was 15 years old (I'm 21 now). Since I started BW again in 2003 and joined my first team called WiN], we've been in every single team together. When that team died, we didn't want to lose touch so we made our own team, and when that died I joined NW_ and he came with me, and when that died I joined LighT and he came with me... We used to practice a lot back in the day, and I'd be able to take games from him 50/50 even through 2005... He has a deeper understanding of the game than any person I know except for maybe Day, and he became the best Canadian terran and probably one of the best foreigners if he had enough motivation to get his name out there.
When I heard WCG Canada 2006 was in Montreal, the chance to meet him was my primary motivation for actually going. Not only is he one of my best BW friends, but he's an awesome guy in real life too, and I hope to keep getting chances to see him in the coming years.
- Bandit[LighT] - We were in NW_ together, and I joined LighT slightly after he did. We became really close because we became leaders together and talked quite a bit on MSN. He was officially the first LighT member I met, at the airport in Montreal (he landed two hours after I did). He was always better than me, but we had some epic games after he would come back from a year of inactivity, and for about a week I'd be able to hold my own against him. Bandit is probably the best player I have ever known, and it's pretty sad he never got the recognition he deserved.
He was the only one to beat, let alone take games from Testie at WCG Canada in 2006, and after a year of inactivity, he was able to beat a super-active A+ IefNaij at WCG Canada in 2007, and take the silver medal. He doesn't play BW much any more, but he is still one of the coolest people I have ever known, especially for his ability to have a perfect balance between gaming, school, and a social life.
- Hap[LighT] : The best BW friend I've never met (but will meet some day). I feel like I can't even describe in words how cool Hap is, and we made a pact to visit each other one day when the economy picks up.
- Aerials : I knew him way before LighT, when he tried to get me into his team 1FaM before I joined NW_. For some reason or another, we stayed friends even though I ended up not joining his team. When the time came, I repaid the favor by letting him into LighT when his team died, even though he was pretty newbie back then (1-0 PGT ezeeze). Since he joined we became better friends and I finally got to meet him in 2007 and again this past summer, and probably again soon enough. He became one of my best BW friends, and became a pretty damn good player almost overnight it seems, I still don't really know how he did it.
- Louder[LighT] : Pretty much the only thing NooKS did while in LighT before completely quitting was telling me to let Louder onto the team. Being nice, I said yes even though I had never heard of Louder other than being the leader of HnR . Not only did he become a really good gamer again, but also a really good friend.
Even though I haven't known him as long as I have known the other people listed above, I've probably talked to him more than all of them combined, and meeting him three months ago was a real treat. He's someone I admire in many ways, having been a successful leader of a once great team, and being able to balance his gaming with a career and family is pretty commendable. Other than that, he's one of most intelligent people I've met on BW too.
- Freaky[LighT] is like my brother from another mother, although culturally ignorant people might think my above statement was true, we'd historically be more likely to kill each other than be brothers.. but ya.
... moving on to non team people ...
Cypressman! I've only met him at LAN events, and first back when he was actively playing he was (and still is) insanely good. He bashed me out of every LAN and WCG offline event I played, but he's still one of the cooler BW people I've ever met. Especially being able to be crazy good while never playing is pretty awesome too- must be the Korean genes.
Day : I met him first at the SoCal LAN in 2005 but he probably doesn't remember, but met him again at the ones in 2007. He was also on my USA B team, and I'd call him every weekend at 10 am to wake him up to play nation wars. But really I've had a lot of really great talks with him on AIM and on the crazy ass car ride getting lost 3049583490 times trying to find the TL dinner at BJ's. He's a great guy and really funny, which makes talking to him pretty awesome 100% of the time.
Quesadilla : Another really cool guy I met at the SoCal LAN's, who just really loves BW and overall really cool.
G5 ! We used to have a lot of bad blood online but then we met and I realized that he's a really cool guy (hopefully reciprocal), and I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. So ya, Eric is a really stand up guy and I think that doesn't get recognized enough.
anyways too much rambling, there are many more people I could name... but I'll end it here.
share your own stories, why you play this game, what keeps the BW clock ticking for you, who are your best friends and why, what cool people have you met, etc!