The world's very first and only military-based professional gaming team have announced plans to disband shortly after their last few members finish military service in the South Korean Air Force. A name in the Brood War scene that will never be forgotten.
More like a tragedy in the professional gaming scene for us RTS fans, one of the most respected and legendary teams has finally shut its doors to new members and will be disbanding within a few months. For those of you that didn't know what their impact was in pro gaming in general, think of them as the father of all teams, taking in all the top names at one point when they had mandatory military service. Two of the most famliar names arguably would be Lim Yo "BoxeR" Hwan and Hong "Yellow" Jin-Ho. Below is a picture in reference to the huge return of BoxeR to SKT1 after military service. A video of the event unfolding can be seen HERE
YellOw on AFA, BoxeR on SKT1.
Citing mobile phone usage in the technology world and the rise of smart phones as a major factor in the decision to disband, the team also stated that due to the last league matches being played out in August, the Brood War scene would be extinct. John the Translator, formally known as Junkyu Park, had the following to say regarding phone use, having been in the industry for a number of years and a prominent figure in the GSL of Starcraft 2 over at GOM:
Junkyu Park on why mobile gaming affects pro gaming:
Let me explain the matter with smartphones and SNS. There has been numerous articles about this recently in Korea.
Back in 90's and 2000's the trend was to enjoy gaming together. Together I mean as going to PC bang and play with friends side by side. My generation is the generation that went to arcade and played console together with friends.
The trend now is much more individual. Now every person has their own PC and smartphones. Because of internet and various appliances, one can be connected with others without actually physically being together.
The trend is also clear in PCbangs, which originally started out as a place to play game 'together' with others. In my days we went to Pcbang after school and played team game of BW or Counter Strike, etc. Now the game is more diverse. You see more and more people who come alone and play game of their own taste. Because of better technology more people play game at their home. It is no longer a neccesity to play and enjoy same game as others as you can still be part of the 'gang' and feel you belong somewhere through SNS and smartphone. Gaming is no longer considered group activity but rather an individual hobby.
Will people still go to PC bang and play games with friends? Sure, but they can also stay home and meet them on internet. Will people still go to gaming event to watch pro gamers play? Sure, but they can also stay home and watch on internet, while chatting with friends. Enjoying game as being part of physical group is no longer the big thing.
This is the reason why people(or so these articles claim) that while eSports will definitely grow it will be difficult to see a single game dominating entire population and creating the phenomenon BW did. The scene needs to evolve to meet the demand of viewers that are becoming more and more diverse. One can no longer make huge investment in single game and expect great success as easily as before.
The roster of Air Force Ace in 2007.
With the aforementioned said, we leave behind truly one of the few real legacies in professional gaming. Since it's founding in 2006, we say goodbye to Air Force Ace and all of the many memories we had with them. Although their achievements were never much, the passion the team held and the amount of interaction they had with the community both in-game and offline still to this day is rarely seen. It's a sad day as this just solidifies the point I've been making for quite some time despite a negative vibe: Brood War is dead, and it won't be coming back. It's time for us to move on and respect the predecessor to one of today's largest e-sports as we embrace Starcraft 2. Updates to follow if they occur. Thanks to Team Liquid for the Junkyu excerpt and fomos.KR for the pictures.
Posted 10 months ago: Mon, 23 Jul 2012 15:43:21 +0100