Pauls Sc2 Article, Our Stories, And A Place To Share Character Codes!
I thought I'd say here that, Paul your article today was amazing. And it’s nearly the top of the Sc2 reddit... being that it’s MLG weekend, that's pretty impressive.
With the being said I would like to share with you my story of Starcraft 2 and how it changed my life.
The Early Years with Starcraft I:
In 1998 the year Starcraft 1 came out I was only 7 years old, but I remember very clearly the very first day it launched, me and my friend from across the street ran out to a local video game retailer and he bought the game with the aid of his parents. We quickly installed it on my father’s computer and launched the game. Our very first reaction was "whoa, this game has the best graphics EVER". I was too young to be a match for the AI in the game so I was forced to sit back and be a spectator as my friend battled the evil Terran Confederacy!
This is where my love of RTS games comes from, I was so enchanted by the way every game had a different outcome, and there was never one "right" way to doing things. It was a game where personality can truly shine through. Of course my personality at the time was "MASS PHOTON CANNONS ON ISLAND MAPS". But I mean, weren’t all of us like that at one point?
MY family didn’t have internet at the time, so I only ever played the campaign and custom maps, unfortunately I got a little bored of the AI constantly beating me, so I stopped playing, and moved on.
Always in my head I knew Starcraft was an amazingly complex game, and through the years of my absence from Starcraft I had always been vaguely aware of the scene in Korea. Who hasn’t heard the quote "Starcraft is Korea’s National Sport"? But I was too distracted with girls, and Warcraft 3 to think of "That game from the 90’s".
My New Friend; The Resurrection of SC1:
In high school, I sat next to a shy fellow in my "Multimedia" class who everyone thought was crazy and rarely spoke. While working on a project to make myself look old (the fountain of age, we called it) I had glanced over and noticed he was watching a Starcraft game on Youtube. I didn’t think much of it at first, but the camera kept switching over to hundreds of girls screaming and crying out for this one player "Flash" to win. I tapped his shoulder and asked "Hey, is that Starcraft?" even though I clearly knew it was. Right then started a budding relationship that would center around the culture of Starcraft. Admittedly I didn’t play very much other than the campaign at this time, but that was only because my new friend was WAY TOO GOOD.
Then came Blizzcon that year, the year Starcraft II was announced. I remember watching that trailer for the first time when Tichus states "Hell, it’s about time". Immediately after this my love for Starcraft was kicked into overdrive! My video game life revolved around it, I was even forcing my girlfriends at the time to play with me! Every weekend I would set up Hamachi and play with my friends over Virtual Lan. The bad news is, all my friends, myself included were terrible at the game, and spent most our time trying to defeat the AI.
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Starcraft II was on "THE VERGE" of launching and the beta was announced. At this point I was the only one in my friend group who was still very much into Starcraft and I had every intention to join the beta. After fruitless attempts to join the first few waves of beta invites I had gotten contacted by my brother, who had snagged one from his friend! I remember biking to his house as fast as I could to finally get a chance to play Starcraft II.
I remember my first game, I was Terran it was on ladder (which I think was the only option back then) and my brother was looking over my shoulder telling me all the new things, all the new things I already had researched tirelessly. I decided to go mass marine, the fail-proof Terran strategy. At this point, my brother sat down and started learning things from me, things like researching stim-pack at tech labs and dropping mules to increase mineral production. After massing about 20 marines, I walked across the map into about 3 Colossi and was wrecked shortly after that.
That game was the first of many my brother and I played that day, a pattern that remains constant over the many months. Of course now I live in a separate city and we play 2v2’s over battle.net.
The Pro Scene:
Just like many of us, I was captivated not only playing Starcraft but also watching it. I had discovered Husky Starcraft early in the beta and strictly watched his coverage. My first real exposure to spectating a tournament was the HDH Invitational which many epic games were played, and many of these pro players names started to mean something to me. I remember watching the Idra vs WhiteRa games and cheering on WhiteRa because he was the more "mannered" of the two. It was then that I realized this game is not just a game... it’s a sport.
Over the next few months my love for the game exploded I would spend countless hours playing, watching, and discussing Starcraft. I would watch Day, Psy, Hd, Husky and the GSL all in one long day of Starcraft. I got so familiar with the players that I started thinking of them as idols, especially HuK who hails from my home of Canada. I remember literally screaming at my screen when Moon tried to 6 pool Huk at the grandfinals of DreamHack. But, by far my most memorable experience was my first BarCraft for MLG Orlando.
Now, I could describe the whole thing, but I might as well just copy and paste Paul’s article here as it was a carbon copy experience, yet I can’t help myself so I will share the most memorable part.
There were four "real" sports fans looking down upon me and my friends for watching Starcraft there, but for some reason we didn’t even notice as they called us some of the most foul words in the English language. We had just kept cheering; their words didn’t even falter us. It was time for the Grandfinals and the "dudes" were still there, yet their taunting stopped, they were looking up at the screen. They knew exactly what this match meant, it was more than just as Paul puts it "Pixels shooting at Pixels" and it was a exciting commentary of the endless struggle between Korean top Starcraft players and the rest of the "Foreigners". A commentary that has such a strong "David and the Goliath" theme, that no one can ignore it. I remember when Huk won, and the bar exploded into cheering, I looked back at the "bros" to notice they were cheering too. To this day, I can’t help but smile at that fact.
The Future of Starcraft, and Me:
Starcraft to me, is such an amazing and complex game that I think it will begin to transcend the "nerd" culture within the next five to ten years. I don’t think it will be universally accepted, just likethe same way that some people think of Baseball being a "pussy sport". There will always be haters, but I guarantee an explosion of popularity, that will bring Starcraft to the masses. Infact, it’s happening right now. As I write this I am watching MLG Providence, I’m also watching more people discussing, watching, and loving Starcraft than I thought possible.
As for me, I will always be playing Starcraft. I had recently bought a slew of video games, such as Battlefield and Skyrim and I’ve hardly touched them in favour of Starcraft. For some reason it’s a game I never want to stop being better at. I’m feeling a lot better about the game, and the way I play... Master’s League here I come.
Please, share your own Sc2 story here, I would love to hear them.
For anyone who wants to play with me, my code is Spittal.979
Paul... that includes you.