Have you ever had met a person in life who shared all of your interests? Thought the way you do?
The Moriarty to your Sherlock - Sometimes the other way around? Well, my brother, Chris, was and
is that to me. There is nothing in this world that gets my blood flowing like the thrill of a challenge,
a competition, or pursuit of perfection.
The earliest memory I have is playing Mortal Kombat Ultimate. My brother was a beast at
Nightwolf and Sindel. God, I couldn't stand that fucker and his axe combo; if you know the game,
it started with a low kick... followed by an annihilation of your manhood (insert rage). Anyways,
we'd play the game with large health pools so that the matches lasted for 7-10 minutes. We figured
this would balance out the flukes and allow the better player to always win. It was always him.
I would practice hours upon hours, character after character, just to find a way to beat his
Nightwolf. I would go so far as to play into the AM's while everyone was asleep on a school night.
Finally, a miracle happened. Jesus took the wheel, or in this case, control of the controller leading
me to accidentally pick Noob Sabot in the select screen. Well, it turns out the timing of Sabots
combos completely and utterly destroy Nightwolf. I ended up figuring out something called an
"infinite combo" in the fighter genre, like Marvel vs Capcom. I was unbeatable. This led to my
brother demanding the hero be banned from play, lol.
Fast forward a few years, and the best game of all time had been created; Starcraft: Brood War.
Our second greatest rivalry. I can still remember the day my brother came home with a disc of this
game. For all you youngins out there, we had to have cd-rom discs of the game to play it. This is
back when windows 95 was the most up to date operating system. Anyways, our buddy Jeremy
from down the street was all about this game. We installed, opened the game, picked protoss,
and entered a world that would define our childhood. Even to this day, I find myself searching
youtube for the game's music, old tournaments, and everything GomTV. The game was flawless.
Alright, enough gushing about Starcraft, down to the nitty gritty. Like all games, top tier players
separate themselves from the community and create their own secret hideout. In Starcraft, this
was Clan x17. To put this place in perspective; think of the biggest crush you've ever had. Now
imagine her surrounded by a multitude of bouncers, and around these bouncers are other nerds
ust like yourself. Just like the world of dating, clan x17 is the girl you want to bang, and the
amount of horny teenagers trying to get in her circle represents the starcraft community.
This is where my brother played.
Having only 1 computer growing up, I spent a great deal of time watching my brother in a chair
right beside him, learning from his every move. There was this one game I remember vividly,
the game he played against Testie. This guy was one of the top terran players in North America
at the time, a man ahead of his time in terms of skill. Testie decided to do a tank push/contain
on my brother's protoss base very early in the game. However, my brother had created a build
rushing zealot speed and shuttles in order to drop on top of the tanks, nullifying the terran
advantage. The game was a 30 minute slugfest of epic proportion. The result: my brother was victorious.
Throughout the next few years, he would play against the top canadian protoss Smuft- from
time to time, as well as many other Clan x17 members. I’m not sure of all the opponents
anymore, but I am certain he had to of run into Artosis, Tasteless and Day9 at one point or another.
As for myself, I played in x17 as well. My defining moment came before my brother’s success
in the game. One late night, my brother went over to our friend’s house in order to play me
1v1 online. We played for hours upon hours into the AM’s, digging deeper into competitive
nature with each passing game. And so the moment came where I defeated him in 3 straight
games, convincingly. My brother didn’t even type a word as his connection disappeared from
the LAN screen. I was beside myself because I had never truly beaten him on even terms
before. But… he crushed me in a harmful way. The following day he told me this, “I was just
playing around you know? I’m still better than you.” As a young, 12 year old boy, I accepted
my older brother’s statement and quit Starcraft for good.
There are times in my gaming career where I wonder, "what might have been if I had done 'x'?"
Well, this is one of them.