Written by Bobby “weenus” Hicks
While I suppose I should preface this blog with the words “no homo”, I don’t want to insult anyone, or mislead anyone. I cannot tell a lie, LANDodger is dreamy.
I had first stumbled onto LANDodger.com after a small hiatus from the scene. The CGS was starting to gain momentum, Source coverage was starting to share a spotlight with 1.6 coverage, and I found myself floating towards the Source community as I was getting re-acquainted with eSports. I was still with Gotfrag at the time, and while no one had outright began filling the void that I had left behind on Gotfrag, a number of other websites such as zmorris were doing essentially what I had made a name for myself doing, without the obstacles of an editor or censorship.
So essentially, cheapening the entire process.
I became immediately insulted by the entire ordeal, as I had worked very hard to rip of Thorin, so it hurt even more that someone was in turn ripping me off. Do you have any idea how hard it is to compete with a smarmy, sarcastic Englishman? I don’t know how the Week in Review ever succeeded, it was doomed from the start.
Well, I began reading these different Week in Review typed rip offs as a way of getting motivated to make a comeback, when I stumbled onto the LANDodger.com blog. At first I thought it was just another guy like zmorris from the Source community that had this different angle with the ability of saying whatever he wanted, but that wasn’t the case at all. LD Mike had a completely different writing style than I had seen in eSports, it wasn’t that sort of ‘stinging and pointed insider commentary while teetering on saying too much’ that Carmac uses, it wasn’t the “it’s all in the numbers and the stats!” typed commentary that Midway always hammered into our skulls, it wasn’t that unending stream of consciousness peppered with theory crafting that Bootman had made famous, and it certainly wasn’t anything from the weenus school of ‘throw out as many punchlines that will fit into a paragraph and see what sticks’… it was something totally different.
It was legit.
LANDodger.com reads like the sort of column you would read on ESPN.com, filled with true to life sports references and statistical call ins, with pointed commentary that had more to do with real world recent events and how that applied to a story than it really even did with eSports itself, and it seemed so obvious to me that, that’s what was missing. Realistic journalism that linked eSports to real sports. LD wasn’t just making pop culture references, he was voicing his opinions on the MLB and the NBA all the while putting out interesting eSports related stories that kept me reading.
I always prided myself on having a very distinct writers voice that could be identified within a single sentence, but here was a guy with legit writing chops. I knew I had to meet this guy and phase him into the same group of writers that I hung out with at events and talked to about current events every day.
I’ve been guilty over the years of always playing favorites with Journalists in the scene, whether it was hanging out with Stuart Brooks before he went rogue in Korea, Brian “Karpov” Johnson before he became a professional Poker Player, or having Slasher approach me in front of a number of my bosses and ask if I wanted to participate in any number of illegal activities, I’ve always played favorites with the writers I enjoyed reading, and I have to admit, it’s made me quite the asshole in the writing community. I knew that LD Mike could be one of those assholes too.
We missed each other at a few events before finally meeting at the 2007 CGS World Final, where I began introducing the guy to everybody. I think each of us found out that week that more people read his website than either of us really expected, including Dave “Moto” Geffon. I was dead set on getting LANDodger a job somewhere so he would continue to get paid and be able to show up to events. Long story short, a few months later, he had replaced Brian Johnson as my boss at the CGS. While I feel it would beckon towards megalomania to take credit for getting LD his outstandingly comfortable and well paid (albeit brief) job, I’d like to think that to some degree, I helped put that ball into motion.
I’ve learned a few valuable things through LD, although they may be inadvertent. I learned that eSports writing doesn’t have to be limited to eSports and Family Guy-esque pop culture references. I learned that a writer can be controversial without accusing any nordic-regioned players of being drug addicts, and most importantly, I learned that it’s not exactly wise to promote a writer who essentially does a similar job as you, but much better.
God I love LANDodger Mike Luxion.