Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

The End of a Dream

“We dreamed a dream.
A dream full of hope.
Sometimes we had regrets.
But it was a happy dream.
It’s time now, to close…
…this midsummer’s night dream.
We’ll wait.
Until we can dream again.”

In my entire life, I had never really been that much into any sports. I kinda liked football, sure, but never enough to actually get off my ass and go watch a match. Spectator sports just weren’t for me. Just like how I never watched other people play video games on youtube. Why wouldn’t I just play them myself?

That all changed, somewhere early this year.
Thanks to a friend of mine, I found my passion.
I found something that made me happy, excited, and gave me idols to look up to.
That something, whether it sounds strange to you or not, was Starcraft.

The text at the top of this post is from the ending ceremony of this year’s Proleague, a domestic Korean league in which teams featuring the best players in the world face off to decide which is the best in Korea, and, as such, the world. For people who aren’t into Starcraft, I like to compare it to the Champion’s League; you can go and see Messi, Müller, Ronaldo and Neymar play right in front of you and after the match you can walk right up to them and ask them to sign your ball.

Going to that studio and seeing these players go at it gave me a sense of excitement that I’d never felt before. The way they thought, strategized, multi-tasked. The way TY can attack on four fronts at once without even batting an eye or the way sOs comes up with a new, innovative and never before seen strategy every time he plays.. These players were nearly a decade younger than me, but I never had anything but the greatest respect for them. They are people to look up to, giving everything they have to be the best they could be. But they were never unapproachable. They weren’t celebrities sitting in their gilded tower ignoring their fans; even in spite of their fame you could just tap them on the shoulder, ask them for a picture and an autograph. Many of them, like Byun, Dark and Stats, were more than happy to oblige, even posing the way you asked them to or, in the case of Dark, dealing with your crippling autism when you met one of your idols face to face by kindly waiting while holding the winner’s cup in his hand while I was just staring at him stupidly after he signed my poster. In the end, it was their personalities and their devotion to the game that made Starcraft what it was…
But that all ended today.

“Today, we are announcing the discontinuation of StarCraft ProLeague. StarCraft ProLeague started out in 2003 as the world’s first team-based eSports league and 2016 marked its 14th  year, making it the world’s longest-running eSports league.

ProLeague paved the way for many top-tier StarCraft players and served as the bedrock behind Korean pro players becoming the world’s greatest. The league was loved not only by Korean StarCraft fans, but had fans that followed it from all over the world.

ProLeague won the hearts and support of fans through its exhilarating competition and immersive stories. However, behind the excitement, it also had its share of hurdles that we as its organizers had to overcome. We had faced challenges that hindered ProLeague’s operations including the acute drop in global eSports sponsorships in 2008 caused by the global financial crisis, the first case of eSports match-fixing, and declining number of teams.

Despite those challenges, KeSPA made countless efforts to maintain ProLeague. However, the drop in the number of ProLeague teams and players, difficulty securing league sponsors, and match fixing issues have made it challenging to maintain ProLeague. As such, KeSPA has come to announce the discontinuation of ProLeague and its operations of the five out of total seven StarCraft professional teams that participated in ProLeague 2016. The decision to put the past 14 years behind us and discontinue ProLeague was a difficult one and it deeply saddens me to have to bring you this news.

Although ProLeague has ended, StarCraft will continue to be a globally competitive eSport. StarCraft is one of the world’s best RTS games and is an immersive and exciting eSport to watch as well as play. With its partners, KeSPA will look for ways to support pro-gamers who will be competing in the WCS Global Finals this November as well as continue to seek competition opportunities for local pro-gamers through measures such as expanding the StarCraft KeSPA Cup.

I would like to thank all parties related to KeSPA including the players and coaches, teams, broadcasters, the media, and eSports fans for the passion and support they have shown StarCraft ProLeague. Without the enthusiasm and contribution of everyone involved, ProLeague would not have been possible.

Thank You.”

-KeSPA Chairman Jun Byung Hun

It’s easy to point the finger at Blizzard or KeSPA for letting this happen, or to Korean youth that is obsessed with MOBAs. It’s easy to say that we should just switch to watching a different esport.. In the end, Starcraft is the only thing I found in 29 years that gripped me by the throat and didn’t let me go. I visited as many matches as I could and watched at least one match every single day since May this year. I followed my favorite players – TY, sOs, Maru, Dark and others – cheered for them when they won and supported them when they lost. I found ‘my’ team in the Jin Air Green Wings, one of only two professional teams who supposedly will survive this death of Starcraft. At some point, I had visited the studios so many times that the Korean staff and even the presentors recognized and greeted me when I walked in.
Starcraft wasn’t just a game.

To commemorate the end of Starcraft in Korea, I’m posting the pictures I took at some of the matches that I visited. I hope I can add at least a few more to them next year.

Twitch doesn’t allow me to embed the videos so just click these links

starcraft-room

Until we can dream again.

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3 comments on “The End of a Dream

  1. Nicole
    18 October 2016

    <3

  2. Pingback: Good morning, 2017 | Anonymous of Holland           -A Dutchman in Korea-

  3. korean fan boy
    22 April 2017

    good … good … write thank you very very … i too sc2 fan i too saf proleague end …

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This entry was posted on 18 October 2016 by in Games, Korea and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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