Axiom’s Adieu

Axiom’s Adieu

 

October 15, 2015 marks a very sad day for me personally, as well as many other starcraft fans with the announcement of Axiom’s disbanding. This also coming in the wake of the announcement of John “Totalbiscuit” Bain’s diagnosis of liver cancer. This coming as a shock after Totalbiscuit being cleared of his original cancer, we had all thought he had won, but we all know if anyone is to beat this newer one he is the guy to do so! The beginning will be a little bit about Axiom’s history as an organization which may help some understand why this means so much to me, or just help jog some old memories even. In the end I hope to show you how much Totalbiscuit has helped Starcraft, and the impact Axiom has had with Starcraft as well.

 

In order to talk about Totalbiscuit’s work you would have to talk about many games, as well as his very famous twitter activity. However I am going to focus mainly on Axiom, as it was how I was introduced to him, and then talk a little bit about his work. For those of you who do not know, Totalbiscuit runs a Youtube account mostly famous for his personal game reviews, as well as his Youtube for Axiom which has hours upon hours of Starcraft content. He has Shoutcraft America vods, which is a tournament he created himself where he would take the top 8 ladder players and pit them against each other, as well as his Shoutcraft Clanwars. I do not remember his exact words but I recall one day while watching his stream he was talking about how Axiom was his passion project and from the sheer amount of content he has produced for the game I believe it is fair to say he has the passion.

 

In late November 2012, during Heart of the Swarm’s beta I had just gotten into Starcraft, the very first video I had pulled up was one of HuskyStarcraft’s casts of Axiom’s in house tournament for the HotS beta. After sitting down and marathoning the whole set of videos, I really enjoyed watching it and I had decided Ryung was my favorite player moving into the game, putting me on the path to be a Terran player.  I think it was something to do with Ryu from Street Fighter being my favorite, but who knows. From there, I have still to this day, always rooted for him and even with his lack of results of late, he still brings me back to the time of innocent beginnings and the pure joy I had of spamming nonstop hours of 2v2 fun with my friend Chris. I can remember watching every Dual cast from Husky and Totalbiscuit and then dying in anticipation during the wait for the next one – they had gotten me hooked on this game. From there I stumbled onto Twitch.Tv one day and saw Starcraft, as one of the top games being watched players like Demuslim, idrA, and iNcontrol, each getting about 8,000 viewers when they would stream.

 

2013 was a good year for Axiom’s players with the new WCS system being brought in they had all gotten fairly high places with Crank taking a top eight finish, and Ryung taking a top four finish in season one of WCS America. Then Heart went on to take a top eight finish as well during season three of WCS America and last but not least, we had Alicia who did not make a notable run in WCS, but did finish top four of Asus ROG that year! This was also the year of idrA’s infamous removal from Evil Geniuses. At this time he had become one of my favorite players and personalities, although he started to decline from the scene, until Totalbiscuit announced that he was going to be bringing idrA on to cast the winter Shoutcraft America. This tournament ended up being so crazy since this was about the time Hitman really made his first splash on the scene, which if I did the math correctly he was 17 at this time, beating Scarlett before eventually losing to HuK. This tournament single handedly brought life to the North American server for the time period that it was announced each time. With so many players really fighting to get into those top eight GM slots,  you had every popular streamer, stream sniper, and high level players, on and grinding out those games to ensure they would get a spot in this tournament.

 

Having all of these things happen and being spawned from Axiom was so amazing for me and the scene is really good. 2014 was a major year in Starcraft for me.  I had finally hit Masters league, which allowed me to play in some event qualifiers for fun, and I signed up to play the online qualifier for Red Bull Battle Grounds and drew Crank first round. This was exciting for me as I was getting to play one of my favorite players in Starcraft, and I tweeted at Rotterdam that I got that match, and thanks to Ryung and his opponent starting without casters, they gave me the go ahead to invite them. After getting demolished by Crank he chatted with me for about 30 minutes or so giving me tips and was just generally a cool guy and it meant so much to me. Like many other Starcraft fans I have aspirations to visit Korea. I am also Korean in descent, so that plays a role in it as well, so I obviously asked if I ever was able to come could I come to the team house and meet the players. He said “John is a pretty cool guy I am sure we could arrange something :)”.  Now whether he meant that or just figured I’d never go I have no clue, but it was still cool to me as a player who has envied these people, that I’d be able to someday go to a Korean team house and hangout was an amazing thought.

 

Unfortunately 2014 was a beginning to the rocky times ahead as far as player results from Axiom. We had Alicia starting the year strong by getting a round of four appearance in the first season of WCS America 2014, however never repeating his success. Crank had a very rough year only achieving a top twelve appearance which made this his worst year of results in his career. Heart was really a savior getting a second place in WCS America, and Ryung only making a round of sixteen appearances in a Dreamhack. This was however a breakout year for Axiom’s Impact taking third place at Redbull Battlegrounds, and second place at Dreamhack: Bucharest. His success did not go unnoticed as he would be picked up by SK Telecom early in 2015.

 

Now here we are almost through 2015 and there was not a huge notable finish for any players. We have Ryung with a top twelve for Homestory cup, and Heart the closest with top sixteen finishes at Dreamhack and IEM. While I wouldn’t consider these results nothing to Korean pro gamers, these results are not enough for them. By now, Crank had already pretty much stated he was going full into streaming and coaching for his team, but now he has officially stated that he was going to retire from competitive Starcraft and will continue to stream full time to support Axiom through this as well as to support himself through finding another job. Crank’s full statement: https://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/3oxtfw/thank_you_axiom/)

 

All of the above considered, I would like to send a huge thank you to Totalbiscuit for everything he has done for the Starcraft community, Axiom, and for me personally. For my final notes I would like to discuss what it is that Totalbiscuit means to me as a Gamer, and a person. He has at times saved me from buying games that I would not have liked,  as well as many times been the final straw to break the camel’s back and the deciding factor to buy the game. For example Sunless Sea was an amazing game when he stated on twitter one of the crew was accidentally shot by rats while trying to repair. I knew this story driven game would be a good fit. His opinions have also earned him a top Curator spot in the Steam Marketplace! There are also many Threads and ideas on reddit that I would love to see happen – A multi game tournament covering the bases of his many games Starcraft, Dota, Hearthstone and much more! (To read more please go to this thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/3oz0mj/in_lieu_of_the_shift_in_totalbiscuits_condition/)

There was also a fansite created called Here TB, take this! (http://www.takethistb.com/) which has some words about Totalbiscuit as well as some places to donate to like St. Jude’s Children Hospital for example. Before I sign off here I would like to say thank you so much John Bain, for all of the hard work, passion, and entertainment you have given to the people of all communities – any man who can stream any game and pull in 12,000 viewers everytime has clearly taken our hearts and I’m sure I do not stand alone in saying you have my prayers, I believe you will beat the hell out of this diseases average as you stated on twitter earlier, and I cannot wait for more of your content.

Thank you John “ Totalbiscuit” Bain.