The history of basketball


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Basketball is one of the most entertaining, popular, and lucrative sports in the world. Played across many different countries, the fast-paced game is a highlight for many people. The National Basketball Association league is the most followed basketball league in the world, and also ranks as the most popular competitive leagues in world sport.
There have been all kinds of stars to come out of the NBA and become big names in other arenas. Players like Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan (the first global sports star) helped to elevate the game of basketball and bring it to a global audience. But, the game had much more humble beginnings, as we’re going to see when we explore the history behind the game of basketball.
Inventing the game
The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by a Canadian named James Naismith. He was working as a teacher at the YMCA training school in Springfield when he came up with an indoor game that would keep trainees active during the winter. Deciding to create a game based on skill, and inspired by his youth spent playing Duck on a Rock, Naismith enlisted his wife’s help and came up with the game we now know and love as basketball.

The early style of play
As you might imagine, the early way of playing basketball differed somewhat from the current style of play. In fact, it started off with just two peach baskets and a soccer ball, with the idea being to throw or bat your soccer ball into the oppositions basket while defending your own. The original game contained teams of 9 players, because Naismith’s class contained 18 people, and, as you might imagine, getting the ball back once a team scored was a nightmare!
The first ever game
Of course, basketball was only created so that Naismith could teach it to his class, and help keep them fit over the winter period. But, as you might imagine, the game caught on and wound up being incredibly popular. But, the first ever game was played on 21st December 1891, at the YMCA training school, after Naismith had posted the first-ever set of rules, which he titled ‘13 Rules of Basketball.’ Clearly, the game has come a long way since then, and we can guarantee there are more than 13 rules now.
Formation of the NBA
The NBA was actually formed pretty recently comparatively; formed in New York City in June 1946. The league currently consists of 30 teams – 29 from the United States, and 1 from Naismith’s native Canada. The league was formed by the merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. Players in the NBA are the highest-paid athletes in the world, accounting for average annual salary per player. The sport has certainly come a long way since the YMCA gymnasium all those years ago.

Now you know a little more about basketball, you can impress your friends who watch it with your scope of knowledge. And, any time they give Canada a ribbing, you can point out that a Canadian invented the sport! Basketball is one of the world’s best sports and is only going to grow in popularity over the next decade.

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Disney Birthday Cake Fails


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How wonderful is it to receive a special cake on your birthday, with your favorite characters on top? Well these next birthday cake fails will probably evoke screams or laughter depending on how old the birthday boy or girl is. But hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? If you are up for a good laugh, check out these cake maker’s disasters. Next time, maybe mom and dad will spring for the professional version and save themselves from the embarrassment.
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Cinderella

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Frozen

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Olaf

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Buzz LightYear

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Ariel

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Mickey Mouse

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Minnie Mouse

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Disney Princesses

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Hannah Montana

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Rapunzel

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Mickey

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Jonas Brothers

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Belle

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Hannah Montana

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Tinker Bell

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The Cars Movie

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The Little Mermaid

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Under the sea

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Snow White

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Pooh Bear

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The best books about running


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Running is slowly becoming a much more popular pastime for a lot of people. Health and fitness are becoming much more of a focus for people in daily life, and we are placing more importance on getting in shape and looking after our bodies. This is one of the reasons why running has become so popular – it’s a cheaper alternative to the gym, and you don’t feel so self-conscious while you’re doing it.
It might also surprise you to learn that running can be addictive, and this is why it’s good to get into a routine of doing it. Beating the pavement with your sneakers while listening to an awesome customized playlist is the perfect way of making sure you turn running into a more enjoyable activity. Another great idea is to get some books about running so you can increase your interest, as well as brushing up on your technique.
Born to Run – Christopher McDougall
This fascinating book reads much more like an epic movie than a non-fiction book. But, that hasn’t stopped the book becoming a global best-seller, and shifting close to three million copies! The book follows keen runner McDougall and his quest to master injury-free running by following the secret techniques of barefoot runners, the Tarahumara tribe. This is a compelling and really interesting read, and great for anyone who is looking to improve their technique.

Running & Being – Dr. George Sheehan
This is an excellent book from 1978, which became basically the running Bible for keen runners and exercise fanatics all over the world. George Sheehan gives the perfect encapsulation of a mid-life return to sport and covers the beauty and health benefits of running. It is also one of the best-known works to focus on the often underrated mental benefits of running, and how it is as good for the mind as it is for the body.
The Cool Impossible – Eric Orton
Eric Orton is a famed running coach who is well-known for helping people through injuries and rehabilitation. His book postulates that we are all born to run, and shows how anyone can don their sneakers and hit the tarmac, as long as they have the right kind of mentality. This is a really empowering and liberating book and one that every potential runner needs to have on their bookshelf. Orton also offers sage advice for those wanting running techniques and tips and looking for ways of improving their runs.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami
Japanese novelist Murakami is perhaps best-known for his surrealist novels like Norwegian Wood. But, in this book he takes a break from all of that to pen an ode to long distance running. Murakami went from being a 20 a day smoker, to competing in marathons after he took up long-distance running, and this book tells us how he managed it. It’s an excellent read, and slightly different look at the world of running, and how much it can affect us.

There are a ton of books out there about running, and the idea is to pick the ones that most appeal to you. There is so much to learn and experience from reading about other people’s running adventures and techniques. So, you need to make sure you doing as much as you can to check out these great books and expand you running knowledge.

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Behind the Krav Maga


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Krav maga is a pretty brutal martial art that began life as a military self-defense fighting system. The popularity of the sport has grown and expanded over the past 5 years and is now a pretty common discipline. It’s actually fascinating finding out about the backstory to Krav Maga, and how it came about. Sometimes, in order to fully appreciate something you need to go behind the face and look at the inner workings.
When it comes to Krav Maga, there are a lot of people still don’t know about this style of fighting. So, we’re going to look a little closer at it, and find out as much as we can. Krav Maga is Hebrew for ‘contact combat,’ and was founded in Israel. So, let’s look a little deeper, and find out what we can about the history of Krav Maga.
What is it?
Krav Maga, as we mentioned earlier, is a fighting style and self-defense discipline that was invented in Israel. It’s thought that the hybrid martial art is based on the fighting style that was used for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), as well as some of the security forces in Israel as well, namely Shin Bet. Created by Imi Lichtenfeld, Krav Maga blends a combination of existing fighting styles, including boxing, Judo, Karate, Aikido, and wrestling. There is an emphasis on speedy and naturalistic attacks and real-world scenarios.

Creation
In order to get to the creation of Krav Maga, we have to go back to the 1930s. Imi Lichtenfeld was a martial artist who had previous experience as a boxer and a wrestler. At the time he was living in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, and the community was facing attacks from fascist groups. Using his experience and knowledge of martial arts and street fighting, Lichtenfeld developed this new fighting style. Krav Maga was intentionally designed to be accessible and easy to learn, and, in the 1940s, after moving to Israel, Lichtenfeld began to give Krav Maga lessons, eventually training the IDF!
The basics
Like most martial arts, the principal theme of Krav Maga encourages students to avoid confrontation where possible. In the absence of this, the aim is to try to finish the fight as quickly and aggressively as possible. This is why the fighting maneuvers and techniques within Krav Maga are all designed to attack the most vulnerable parts of the body. Combining simultaneous attack and defense, Krav Maga is one of the best and most effective forms of self-defense out there.
Evolution
It began as combat training for the Israeli military and is still employed by the IDF when training their troops. However, the discipline has evolved and is now practiced by civilians on a wide scale. The first civilian Krav Maga school opened in Israel in 1971, and it is now an international discipline. Organized like most martial arts, Krav Maga students earn belts and pass gradings to increase their knowledge and learn more complex moves. Some organizations promote Krav Maga sparring, but competition is not widely promoted

Krav Maga is probably a martial art you have heard of, and now you know a little more about it. It’s certainly one of the more extreme and brutal forms of martial arts, and we can certainly see why the IDF use it. If this is a fighting style that seems to be in your wheelhouse, make sure you take a look at whether you can take some classes locally.

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The benefits of ballet


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It’s crucial to keep fit and get as much exercise as we can these days. But, we understand that going to the gym can be a little dull and monotonous. There are a lot of reasons to go to the gym, of course there are, but sometimes it’s the last thing you want to do! So, we reckon it’s best to try to find something that will give you a great workout, but is much more fun and engaging than simply spending time on the treadmill.
You might consider taking up some kind of sport, such as tennis, or athletics. However, we have an alternative to offer you – how about taking up ballet?! Now, we’re not expecting you to become the next Billy Elliot, or to be as graceful as Natalie Portman was in Black Swan. But, there are plenty of great reasons to take up ballet these days, and these are some of the best.

Improves flexibility
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of ballet is that it improves your flexibility and physical dexterity. Having a limber body is important because it helps you to exercise better, and means you can get the most out of any workout. It’s actually also really important for muscle memory, and for making your body healthier and stronger. This is one of the best things you can use ballet for, and it will help you to boost the body as much as possible. The physical benefits of ballet will become pretty clear within a couple of weeks.
Exercises the brain
And, it’s not just the physical nature of the art that is hugely beneficial; ballet can also be a great way of exercising the brain as well. While exercising your body, your brain is also being given a workout, and this can be incredibly therapeutic. Focusing on the teacher, the choreography, and the timing is essential, and can really give your brain a good workout – in fact, it’s thought to decrease the risk of dementia as well.
Confidence boost
It’s really important to make sure you boost and improve your confidence as much as you possibly can. When you are exercising and keeping fit, the more confident you are, the better the outcome will be for you and your body. You’ll be amazed by the posture and techniques you can accomplish with just a few ballet lessons, and this will definitely give you a confidence boost. That will seep into other areas of your life, and make you more confident overall as an individual.

Stress relief
One of the biggest killers in the developed world is stress, and this is something that ballet can help a lot with. Too many of us spend time improving our physical health, but we don’t pay enough attention to the mental side of things. Well, it seems that ballet is actually really great for relieving stress. Focusing on improving your technique will make you worry less about other things, and you’ll feel liberated as a resulted.
We bet you never knew that ballet had so many wonderful health benefits now, did you? There are so many great things that you can achieve and accomplish by taking up ballet. Make sure you add this to your exercise regime and start reaping the benefits. It might just be the best decision you ever make – happy dancing!

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Failures at Love: Stupid “Roses Are Red” Love Poems


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Nothing says romance on Valentine’s Day like a poem. But here are some of the funniest versions of the time honored “Roses are red, violets are blue” rhyme. What better way to insult your ex-lover or entice your current one than with a poem. You should try writing one yourself and sending it to your significant other. Or better yet, there should be a national contest. Take a second to read them and have a good chuckle.
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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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Bad Roses Are Red Poems

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The post Failures at Love: Stupid “Roses Are Red” Love Poems appeared first on Sport Peaks.


Hey! What’s With That Hairdo?


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People tend to have their own unique style or preference when it comes to hairstyles. Most people want to look nice for work, family and friends but a few just want to make a loud statement proving, that it takes all kinds to make the world go round. Here are a collection of hairstyles that pretty much run the gamit from the bizarre, to the cool “once upon a time” to “I’m to sexy for my hair”. You didn’t, by any chance, used to have one, did you?
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Hi-Top Fade

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Mohawk

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Mullet

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Einstein

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Liberty Spikes

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Emo Hair

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Rat-Tail

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Long pixie cut

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Cloud and Rain

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Flower and Stems

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Patterned Head

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Bob Cut

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Reverse Haircut

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Shaggy Hair

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Beehive

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Flammable Jerry Curl

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Wicker Hair

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Long Hair Don’t Care

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Backward Mullet

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Bowl Cut

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How MC became a pro


Jang “MC” Min-Chul posted an autobiography of sorts on Inven. It covers the period of when he decided he wanted to become a pro to eventually achieving that dream at 18. For those who do not know, MC started his esports career as a Brood War player. He never found success there and became one of the early transfers to StarCraft 2, where he became one of the most decorated pros to ever play the game. The first half of his career was spent in Korea where he won two GSL titles and had multiple top finishes that span from the end of 2010 to the end of 2012.
Soon afterward, he moved from Korea to Europe to participate in the WCS EU where he eventually became one of the top players in that circuit. At the same time, he set up a team house for the Koreans that moved to WCS EU to compete. While no longer in the highest echelon of play, he continued to be a dangerous opponent for the highest tier. Once his SC2 career was done, he eventually transferred over to League of Legends where he became the  head coach of Kongdoo Monster.
Here is his story in his own words. I will punctuate it with context to explain context behind his life and career. (my thoughts in italics, his are in plain text from this point on. Thanks to Andrew Kim for translating the original post).
MC: I lost my father at an early age and was raised by a single mother. Thanks to his inheritance, I had a plentiful life until I was 6 but, after the IMF financial crisis, it came to the point that my mother needed to start working. That led to me being alone at home a lot and my friend during that time was into video games.
I played a lot of games before StarCraft. I remember mostly playing The Land of the Wind, Maple Story, and Asgard. I got to know StarCraft through a friend of mine*, and because I didn’t know how to install it I played it mostly in PC Bangs. That was when I knew that I had a talent in playing video games.
*This is an interesting bit of history here. MC was about 13 years old during this time in 2004. He was in the midst of the PC Bang (internet cafe) explosion. His story was a common one during that time as PC Bangs were where teens and kids met to play games. It was a cheap form of entertainment and Starcraft: Brood War reigned supreme for multiple reasons: It could run on cheaper computers, didn’t need multiple licenses, and came right when PC Bangs grew in popularity.
MC: I spent my elementary school years playing unlimited 3:5 and 2:6 maps. When I was in sixth grade a friend told me about something called Brain Server, so he installed it on my computer and told me to play custom map games. I got deeply into those games after the unlimited maps.
That’s how I started with StarCraft and I joined a guild when I was in sixth grade. I don’t remember the name of the guild, but an older player I met through the guild taught me everything about pro gaming. I was very interested in making a lot of money* by playing games, which was my best friend growing up.
*This is a story MC goes into in an old Twitch VOD that is now dead. When State was training in Korea, he and MC are talking. During that stream he explains that when he was young and living in an apartment, his mom caught their landlord masturbating to her in their room. But they were too poor to go anywhere else, so he made it his goal to make money. His dad had died when he was 1 and his mom re-married when he was about 8. His stepdad had a failed business and fell into debt. Over a decade later, MC was able to get his mom a car, a house and repay the debts from his winnings he made in SC2.
MC: I started playing 1-v-1 from then on as a choice random player. Funnily enough I played into bad matchups back then. I played Zerg against Terran, Protoss against Zerg, and Terran against Protoss. I practiced 1-v-1 for about two months, and I received an offer from the older player that told me about pro gaming.
“Hey Min-chul, I have a guild in the Asian server and I’m the vice guild master. We’re a group of people looking to go pro. Do you want to join?”*
*When people talk about the famed infrastructure of Korean esports, this is pretty much it on the lowest level. A group of dedicated amateurs who have the mentality of hard work and willingness to put in the hours in hopes that they can go pro.
MC: But at the time I didn’t have the money to purchase the game, and when I told him I couldn’t play on the Asian servers because I didn’t have a CD Key, he said, “I’ll buy you a copy. Come play with us.”
That’s when I joined the guild called Siz. The guild master at the time was someone called Siz)Player. I still remember his name; Min Soo-hong.
Looking back, I think I’m able to lead this fantastic life I have to this day thanks to Siz)Player and Siz)Gravity. Siz)Player spent a lot of time watching VODs as an observer of the players and gave advice to them. When I first joined the guild there were three very good players: Siz)o.Ov Hwang Chang-gyu, Siz)KaL Kim Ku-hyun, and a Zerg player that I can’t remember right now.
As a selective random player at the time I saw Siz)o.Ov play and decided to go Protoss. He was a player who was good at astral plays, kind of like the stylish way  Kim “Bisu” Taek Yong* plays today.
*He references Bisu here because he is the most iconic Protoss player in Brood War history. Nicknamed the Revolutionist for upending the PvZ matchup against the bonjwa Ma “sAviOr” Jae Yoon at the height of sAviOr’s career. Where other games had patches, Bisu was the patch. If Bisu had never come around, it’s incredibly likely PvZ would still be a heavily Zerg favored matchup to this day.
MC: He was the best player in the guild and he was good at both team games and 1-v-1’s so I would observe his games to learn everyday. Siz)KaL a.k.a. Kim “KaL” Ku Hyun was a rock-like player and was very good, but Siz)o.Ov was better. So with three Protoss players and one Zerg the guild did team matches against other teams in the Asian server. And Siz)o.Ov would always win.
*Among all of the players MC names during this period, KaL is the most famous. In 2006 he was drafted into STX SouL. In 2007, he became a regular member of their Proleague team. He was given the nickname “The Red Shuttle” for his signature shuttle plays that left his shuttle in red HP. He became one of the “Six Dragons,” a period of time that lasted from the last quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. During that period he got Top 4 in the 2008 Club Day Online MSL. He had another run in 2010 where he made Top 4 in two different Starleagues. In 2012 he opted into the Air Force Ace team, which was a team that allowed esports pros to do play while doing their military service. He also played SC2 briefly when KeSPA transferred over. When he finished military service, he played on Prime for a brief time before retiring.
MC: My daily life at the time was coming home from school, playing practice matches, a team match, watch the VODs for o.Ov and KaL copying their builds, and then going to sleep. Around that time I met another player aiming to be a pro gamer, Lee Ho-joon. Ho-joon was playing as much as possible on the channel at the time to join our guild.
He was my age so we spoke comfortably with one another, got very close with one another, and I used to beg the older players to make him an official member after his time as a sub-member was over. (He needed three votes from guild members to be accepted in)
He was terrible when he first joined, but surprised me by improving quickly. Looking back I think I didn’t try really hard at the time lol. Then the first KeSPA Cup took place. Our guild decided to join and each team entry needed four players.
I was still too green to be in competition at the time. So they added me in the entry, while the other three players would actually compete. And that was my first offline event.
I met with KaL in person for the first time to go to the venue. I remember wearing the clothes that my mom bought me, and KaL was a very fashionable person. I still remember him wearing a flowered over shirt lol.
o.Ov, KaL, and the Zerg player I can’t remember made it to the finals, but lost to a guild called Rex. At this time KaL was really good and won all of the 1v1 games, and I remember o.Ov losing his 1v1 game and team match and feeling very apologetic.
Seeing games be played in offline tournaments like that made me want to go pro even more, and I continued to play StarCraft. After that a lot of good players started to join our guild.
Siz)CoZy Siz)Kai Siz)Flash Siz)Fantasy Siz)probe Siz)han; six players joined the team to make a strong entry,
Han Yeong-hoon, Park Kyung-ho, Lee Young-ho, Jeon Myung-hoon, Byun do-seop, Park Soo-beom, I can still remember all of their names. With the six players added was o.Ov, KaL, me, and Ho-joon.
o.Ov gave up on being a pro around this time. I remember it was because of some personal issues. While we were playing as a clan we heard a big announcement from the guild master.
“We’re going west boys!”
At the time team matches were in Asia, while 1v1’s were in the west server. So all of the good teams were in the west. So we used to go to west as a team to play practice games. Our guild moved to the west together. And slowly started to get better.
Then I learned about career matches. I think the first one I took part in was the 14th career match. I can vaguely remember Rush Hour being one of the maps. It was my first venture into Seoul and I remember going there with my mom lol.
While our guild was there playing in career match, KaL was the first to win a career match and went pro on our team. He was by far the best player in the guild so I thought it was natural. Then Ho-joon won his career match and went pro. I thought Flash or Fantasy would go amatuer pro first, and I was surprised at the time since Ho-joon was the worst Terran in the guild.
Honestly thinking now, Ho-joon just really tried hard and it was the result of that work, but I guess it was hard to understand for a kid my age. One by one my guild mates would win career matches and move on to be pros. I remember not working as hard at the time, naively believing the words from the people around me who called me very good.
I did have some performances at YMBC or BarbaraTV guild matches and I didn’t know that real pros prepare in the shadows. After that I went to the Elite School League and became the best StarCraft player in my school. I started to beat the other top players from other schools and met Shin Dong-won and Lee Sang-gil.
We were all at the same level, and we took turns winning first place at a competition that was held in Chun-an. I cultivated a friendship with them, childishly calling us the three kings of Chun-an StarCraft.
I then took an entry test to Astro at the recommendation of Kim Won-gi and joined the gaming house as a trainee. The first house I went to was very good. It was in Gangnam’s Seo-rae village, and I was surprised how big the apartment was.
I played games with the other members of Astro after unpacking my things and I still remember being nagged by coach Kim Dong-jin who was famous for his Terran play to produce probes. Thanks to that I moved by army shorts cuts from 1,2 to 0,9 and pressed 0 and 9 out of habit.
I was stressed during my time there, but it instilled some very good habits for me. Then on the second day the head coach told me to shave my head and sleep on the floor. He also told me that I would have to clean the apartment and cook breakfast for the team. I couldn’t understand why I had to shave my head, cook breakfast, clean the apartment, and sleep on the floor when there were beds.*
*A common story that is often the case in a majority of Korean esports teams, though this is the first time I’ve heard of having to go bald. The better Korean esports teams use the looks of the Korean pros to cultivate a “boy band” sort of look to build their brand and gain fangirl followings. So it’s likely this guy was also incompetent.
MC: I was only 14 at the time.
I honestly was more concerned about where I would find the money to cut my hair and couldn’t understand why I had to do all of those chores, but I told the head coach that I understood. Before that evening I asked other players I knew if they had to go through the same things. They told me to move teams, that other teams were different.
So I told Won-gi and left Astro in three days. To me a pro gamer was a dream job where I could make money while being supported in all other aspects but I got frustrated after being hit with reality. After I went pro I didn’t get paid for a year, and the year after that I was paid $6,000 a year.*
*MC’s Mom was incredibly happy for her son, but for MC he had a clear goal in mind and this was nowhere near enough.
I was told that it was pretty much the same no matter what the team was, and I kept asking myself why I was an amateur when the people around me went pro. Although I think I did know why.
That I didn’t work as hard.
But I kept my self-rationalization by saying that my condition was bad or that I had bad luck with draws.* With losses in three career matches and feeling inferior to other players who were successfully going pro, I was ready to fold on my goal to become a pro.
*This is a common affliction that can plague even some of the best pros. The fact that MC gets over this so soon is retroactively seen in the rest of his career. There were multiples times when MC wasn’t the best player in SC2, but he never played himself out of a game.
MC: I told my mother, who was supportive of my dream, that if it didn’t work out one last time I would quit. I prepared for my last career match.
I think I practiced the most leading up to that. Games were going well as I played without any sense of weight on my shoulders. Thinking about it now, all of the amateur players I knew were already pro. I won the 37th career match and officially became an amateur.
But then the problem was finding a team. Teams drafted players from the bottom teams to the top, and there was usually a number 1 and 2 preferred player slot to protect the top two players in the team. All of the teams placed their most valued players in those slots.
I didn’t have any connections to the teams and was determined to get picked by standing out in some crazy way. Then a friend of mine introduced me to the coach of MBC* Kim Hyuk-seop, and although I wasn’t chosen in the first draft I was able to take the entry exam thanks to his  recommendation.
*MBC was one of the Proleague teams at the time and the team that eventually recruited MC.
MC: The test at the time was a ranked game made up of 14 players including the members of MBC’s third team and I passed by placing second in the competition.
First place was Oh Se-gi, who played as tiny[s.g.]. A total of 6 players were chosen and we stayed in the dormitory and played ranked 1v1’s and team matches during the stove period.
After that period the head coach of MBC Ha Tae-gi told us to come visit the dorm after contacting the team whenever we wanted to. I called after a week of being home because I wanted to be closer to the older players there and when I went to the day that coach Kim told me it was a day before the opening match with Lecaf.
That was my first live viewing of a match.
I remember feeling so happy following the players in the back, saying hello to the people they were saying hello to, and them telling people that I was the team’s new youngest player when they were asked who I was.
It was like I already joined MBC. That day we won 3-0 and I went to see the fan meet up and about 50-60 people were there giving presents and talking to players.
There were a lot of pretty (girls) and so many gifts. At that moment I thought I was glad that I wanted to be a pro gamer. I was so happy to see the players get their presents (usually food) and the cakes and donuts I ate with their permission were delicious.
I thought that I also wanted to do very well to get gifts like this. After those three dream-like days I came back home and played while going to school. During summer break I went to dorms to play as a trainee-amateur player
And I was terrible at dorm life at the time lol. I didn’t know how to live as a group and was very rude. I was always scolded by the coaches and looking back if I was them, I would send me back home lol.
After that experience came the second draft. I was not chosen.
As I was down the older players tried to console me but I thought my path was blocked because there was no team that chose an amatuer that wasn’t chosen in the next draft. So I came back home and started to study. That was when I was 18, and I thought if I really worked hard in my studies I could get a job.
About four months later coach Kim, who became the head coach, called me on the phone. He told me that he’ll give me another shot.
I was very conflicted. I was focused on nothing but my studies for a time, and I’ll have to focus on it during the entirety of my summer break to catch up. On the other hand it was a game I put four years of my life into so I asked about it to my mother.
She told me that since it’s my last shot, I should go for it if I really wanted to. So that’s how I returned to Seoul and started to build myself back up with the team.
The third draft came along and I wasn’t on the team’s first pick. The second pick belonged to another player. I felt my world collapsing. I was certain that I would at least be a second pick.
But another player’s name was called. I started thinking about the second draft. After Sae-gi was chosen as the first pick I thought that was to be expected, but I was still expecting my name to be called as a second pick.
As I almost half-gave up another player was called as the third pick. Right as I was about to cry, I heard the head coach’s voice call my name as the fourth pick.
Thinking now, it may have been a way for the head coach to reign me in.
That’s how I became the pro gamer I dreamed of being from ages 13-18.
Afterword:
From here on, I’ll fill in the gaps between what happened from then to how he eventually became the head coach of Kongdoo.
After getting onto MBC, MC’s career in Brood War was nonexistent. There were no results or runs to talk about. KaL got the nickname “The Red Shuttle,” Bisu was “The Revolutionist,” and as for MC? He got the nickname “Suicide Toss” as he performed a throat slash ceremony before a game and then promptly lost.
When SC2 was announced, MC was hesitant to switch. This was because he would go from his small salary to no salary again off of a risk that he could be the best. He eventually did and became one of the most iconic figures of SC2 history. In SC2, he was the most dominant Protoss player early and known for his strong personality and antics (including a murloc dance, an undertaker entrance in the OSL, dancing, and karaoke). He eventually became known as the “Boss Toss” because of those reasons.
His story has been mirrored throughout many of the great SC2 champions and players through its history and still continues on to this day. As for MC, he eventually realized his time was done as a top player and he couldn’t come to terms with it when he was on SK. The SK manager Min-Sik “reis” Ko (currently working for ELEAGUE) told an anecdote at a Homestory Cup about MC’s struggles. He told MC something along the lines to stop whining as it didn’t matter that he was no longer the best, he was still making great money.
If there was ever a single line you could draw throughout MC’s entire history, it was always the drive to get money so that he could support his family. This is why he eventually retired after Proleague shut down in SC2. His ex teammate from MBC, Seo “Shark” Gyung Jon hired him to become the Kongdoo League of Legends head coach.
The last words he said to the SC2 community were from this interview:  
I know you guys sad for I leave StarCraft II scene,
But, you know, all people have to change… to another life.
So, please just cheer for me, it’s not betray.
We love esports and we are together.
And keep cheering StarCraft II please.
A lot of Korean players still want to play, so
Yeah, so, that’s all.
The post How MC became a pro appeared first on Slingshot Esports.


A letter to our readers


Sadly, Slingshot will cease operations effective tomorrow, Oct. 31, 2017.
We launched Slingshot because we wanted to do great esports journalism. I think under editor Vince Nairn’s leadership, we did produce great work. We didn’t fail in this regard and I owe debt of gratitude to all of the writers and contributors who worked with Slingshot over the past two years.
We were unable, however, to secure enough funding to continue operations. This is a business fault that lies with me, not with the editorial staff. For the past eight months or so we have been trying to raise funds and simply did not raise enough to continue Slingshot in the way we wanted. We had offers to purchase the site, but for several reasons those offers did not make sense. So we declined. We had a great business plan and were making progress building a membership base. But that plan requires new resources. And we weren’t able to find them.
We set out to create a media company that was independent and focused on producing high-quality journalism and esports content. We thought and still think we have a solid business plan built around diversified revenue streams from memberships, advertising and ecommerce based on our years of publishing experience. But for many years digital media has been dominated by advertising alone and now there’s skepticism about the monetization potential of advertising, leaving many investors and venture capital firms skittish about media. Some of the investors we spoke with were all in on social video, which we don’t think makes for good journalism or works as a long term business strategy.
Esports needs an independent media outlet. I urge anyone who was a fan of Slingshot to support the other independent, native media in esports. There needs to be someone willing to report on wrongdoing. Someone needs to stick up for unpaid players and to investigate the inner workings of the industry as it expands and experiences growing pains. I wanted this to be Slingshot, but it seems that will not be the case. So please, support other independent media.
Anyone who contributed to the Patreon we launched will be refunded. We launched the membership program as a step toward building to the future. But things did not work out as planned. Our intention was only to take money from members if we were continuing with the operation. So we will issue refunds.
I will likely share some more thoughts in the coming days about esports and esports journalism. I’d be happy to share more details about the experience on the business side with anyone interested. At the very least, maybe it can help others succeed where I did not. But I wanted to share this important news with you first.
I highly recommend anyone looking for esports writers and reporters consider Jarek “DeKay” Lewis, Stephen Chiu, Andrew Kim, Emily Rand and Vince Nairn. You won’t find many better than this crew.
I’m sorry it has to end this way. Thanks so much for reading.
The post A letter to our readers appeared first on Slingshot Esports.


Roll back the years: EPICENTER 2017


Before EPICENTER started, I referred to it as the “Champion of Champions” tournament. Seven of the best teams in the world (and Virtus.Pro) had congregated into a killer eight team tournament. Even among that field, FaZe Clan stood out as a favorite; FaZe had won ESL New York and the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier in dominant fashion. Its unassailable form turned the centerpiece of EPICENTER from “Which amazing team will come out victorious?” to “Who could dethrone FaZe?” The answer surprised everyone. The two teams that defeated FaZe in the group stages were SK and Virtus.Pro. Both teams went on to the grand finals, the first time they have faced each other since DreamHack Las Vegas.
For Virtus.Pro, it felt like a literal roll back of the years. Prior to this event, the Polish legends had been bearing the weight of a long slump since their Las Vegas victory nine months ago. Around that time, they had switched in-game leaders from Filip “NEO” Kubski to Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski. Although the tactics remained solid, Snax’s individual form bottomed out to the lowest point we’d ever seen from him. Coordination between players appeared fragmented or nonexistent. They were losing everywhere: online, on LAN, in qualifiers — almost anywhere you could think. So it was unthinkable to predict Virtus.Pro going far in this stacked event.
In classic Virtus.Pro fashion, it defied the odds in ways no one could imagine. The first match aligned with expectations. VP was crushed by SK with little suggestion VP could put up much of a fight against Gambit or FaZe. But the Poles regrouped and defeated Gambit, FaZe, and G2 during its run to the finals.
Snax did not return to the superstar antics he showed off earlier in in the year. Instead, everyone else stepped up their game. Jaroslaw “pasha” Jarzabkowski and Pawel “byali” Bielinski have been shining spots for an otherwise lackluster team over the last nine months, and they continued to raise VP on their shoulders as they brought the necessary firepower throughout EPICENTER.
What has truly been surprising is Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas and NEO’s impact. The entirety VP’s slump saw both pull off an invisible man act, and neither showed any sign of returning. This was a problem as their contribution was what tipped the scales for VP in the past. If they were on and added to the firepower of their stars, they turned from a good team to potential world contenders. That happened at EPICENTER, as TaZ had impact as an anchor and entry-fragger, while NEO was one of VP’s best players throughout the entire tournament. Additionally, TaZ finally took over the in-game leadership role from Snax. His style of calling fits the team much better as Virtus.Pro once again looks incredibly dangerous on T-side.
All told, it was a classical showing from Virtus.Pro reminiscent of a time gone by. TaZ was back to in-game leading and producing impact via entry kills to explode into sites. NEO was the critical player to pull the team out of the Gambit series and contributed great decision-making and game sense. Pasha aggressively pushed everywhere and won his duels. Byali got multikills at critical moments. The only one “missing” was Snax, and even he turned up at the very end of the G2 series to close out the game.
Even the final was a modern classic, as VP ended up playing against SK, the Brazilian squad that was once one of VP’s greatest rivals. As for SK, the showing was more a figurative art of mimesis. SK’s run at EPICENTER paralleled its first international finals at Faceit Stage 3 Finals in 2015.
This event featured the Brazilian side with internal team issues. Joao “felps” Vasconcellos was burned out, a frustration with incongruent roles that leaked out into interpersonal interactions.
“The change was a sum up of felps being a little bit burned out from playing roles he didn’t even like, requiring a lot of adjustment,” Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo said. “Small problems that we had to deal with outside the game eventually became more difficult for felps to deal with, more so than other players…He wasn’t feeling very happy playing for us and it was pretty much his decision to ask us to leave.”
In his stead, SK brought Ricardo “boltz” Prass. Boltz had been part of this lineup when it first made its big debut on the international stage under the KaBuM.TD tag.
The internal team situation resembles what happened to the Brazilian squad right before the Faceit Stage 3 finals. Luminosity made a dramatic roster move by removing Boltz and Lucas “steel” Lopes for Lincoln “fnx” Lau and Epitacio “TACO” de Melo. They had reached the limits of the old lineup and rather than wait around until after the event, they pulled the trigger.
“Back in the days boltz wasn’t very worried about it, and even with some of us telling him ‘Hey boltz, you gotta fix this thing,’ he wasn’t really focused on fixing issues, and he became someone who didn’t evolve,” FalleN said.
Although the reasons were different, the end result was that both lineups had no time to prepare for upcoming events. FalleN considered Faceit Stage 3 finals a revelatory event for his development as an in-game leader. Prior to that event, he had run a tight ship: there was a system and everyone was a cog within it. But that style of leadership wasn’t feasible with so little practice time, so he set the team loose. The results were some of the best LG ever had, and FalleN revealed himself to be a world class AWPer at the event. The Brazilians took second place, only losing to Fnatic. From that event FalleN learned how he wanted to steer his own leadership method.
FalleN embraced pedagogy instead of remaining the captain of the enterprise. His Counter-Strike methodology was taught and assimilated by his teammates. From there the structure was formed as they reified FalleN’s ideal of how CS should be played. Finally he gave them freedom, understanding he no longer needed to micromanage them — his players understood why he had them move in certain ways and thus they did it independently. That in turn freed FalleN to become the star AWPer of the team, the cornerstone from which they won two Majors.
At EPICENTER, the same thing occurred. There was no time to fit boltz into the system. Instead, SK relied on the core of the team as the basis of success. FalleN, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Coldzera, and TACO have played together for more than two years now and have a shared understanding of each other’s play that is nearly unmatched. From there, the experiences of boltz kicked in.
“I realise how stupid I was in the past, being lazy and how I lost an opportunity in my life, but I really learned from it,” boltz said.
For those two years following his departure from LG, boltz had built himself up as a better player. He first became the star of the second best Brazilian team, which eventually became Tempo Storm and then Immortals. As the roster filled out with more talent, he became the in-game leader and worked to be the supplemental element within the team. On his time with Immortals, the star AWPers of his team were Henrique “HEN1” Teles and Vito ‘kNg” Giuseppe. Boltz facilitated them with the maximum amount of freedom while he and steel filled in the gaps for teamwork, did the menial tasks, and consistently made great plays to push the team over the line.
When he came to SK, he did not let those two years go to waste. He applied those lessons of selflessness and discipline to make his new squad better. Boltz took up the old roles TACO had grown tired of, becoming the new site anchor and allowing TACO to explore where he wants to go with his play style. He took on felps’ old position, and his passive style perfectly complemented the hyper-aggressive style of fer. On the T-side of Mirage, he has shifted to TACO’s old spot at palace and in general is playing passive holds his side of the map, letting the rest of the team work without worry.
Boltz’s contributions have enabled other players to abdicate some of their previous responsibilities and focus on individual performance. On the former SK roster, FalleN’s innate style clashed with felps, which had both players sacrifice for each other to work. With boltz, FalleN’s AWP performance stabilized. These shifts boltz has brought to the team in turn has allowed FalleN more stability in his AWPing as there is no longer a style clash with his supporting cast as there was with felps. Just as in Faceit Stage 3 Finals, FalleN had a standout performance as an AWPer and one of his most notable showings since the removal of fnx.
It was fitting that these two teams ended up in the finals. Virtus.Pro has once again reawoken its old form. VP dug out the old plow under the snowfall, dusted it off, and rebuilt the engine to reach a final for the first time in eight months. SK had been slumping since the Major but is now revitalized with the addition of boltz, reminiscent of the Faceit Stage 3 Finals run nearly two years ago.
The question prior to EPICENTER starting was who was going to beat FaZe? The answer was Virtus.Pro and SK. Virtus.Pro’s renewed form was able to defeat FaZe with tactics, teamwork and key individual performances. SK was able to defeat FaZe with natural chemistry and individual skill. So going into the finals, the match was set as Virtus.Pro’s tactics against SK’s skill.
In the end, the EPICENTER trophy boiled down the classic VP/SK matchup. This was the best matchup in 2016, and this finals lived up to that hype. The series went all five maps. Virtus.Pro’s CT-side shut down SK on Mirage, and SK promptly retaliated by crushing VP on Inferno. Train was a tightly contested map as both teams dominated CT-side, but in the end SK clutched it out on Coldzera’s back. Cache was the exact opposite as both teams looked invincible on the T-sides. SK had fer as a one-man wrecking crew, but in the end Virtus.Pro persevered in classic Virtus.Plow fashion.
The final game was on Cobble. Looking back, it was a legendary game that will go down in the annals of CS:GO. VP’s T-side tactics were explosive and NEO had a world class performance. On the other end, Coldzera was the best player on SK and once he got his AWP going on the B site, Virtus.Pro could no longer contest him. It ended in double overtime where SK had to dig every ounce of clutch it had to take the final away from Virtus.Pro.
Although I have recalled the similarities of both teams to times gone past, the circumstances have completely changed. A year ago, you could say Virtus.Pro would always find a way back, but this year saw these players enter the worst slump of their careers, a hole so deep that it was incomparable to every other decline they’ve had. SK made it to the finals with a roster shift at the last minute, much like its run at Faceit Stage 3 Finals with fnx or DreamHack Las Vegas with felps, but both runs ended in second place. This time SK came out victorious in one of the epic grand finals in CS:GO history. And in its wake, both Virtus.Pro and SK have made a statement with their run. They are back and they are hungry.
The post Roll back the years: EPICENTER 2017 appeared first on Slingshot Esports.