If you haven’t heard yet, ChanmanV announced that he will be ending his shows and general involvement in eSports. I think the community will really miss his presence in the coming months. He produced a ton of valuable, free content for the community, and he engaged positively and frankly with the drama and issues in a burgeoning industry.
The community probably saw a lot of what he did publicly with his shows, but he also did a lot behind the scenes, and I figured I would share a story about that. Fun fact: Chris was actually instrumental in a lot of the progress of Spawning Tool to where it is today. Within a week or two of the launch, Chris contacted me about using Spawning Tool in conjunction with Pro Corner to host pre-generated replays for practice. That ended up not panning out due to technical difficulties from my side (I regret having not been more on the ball) and a better understanding between us of what the community could offer, but it was the beginning of understanding how Spawning Tool, a technical concept more than a product concept, could be valuable.
Over the next few months, Chris invested a lot of time, thought, and social capital in Spawning Tool and never asked anything for it. He put me in touch with personalities and players (I was starstruck every time) to get feedback on the site and functionality. He sat with me on long skype calls to think over features and even went as far as to review what was basically a product backlog we maintained in a spreadsheet. He stuck with me through all of my vague feelings about product and business direction. In fact, my biggest regret to today was not having dedicated more effort and listened more to Chris (and a few others) who were my biggest proponents earlier. I feel like Spawning Tool could have moved much more rapidly and came to a stronger result from that.
I personally will be sad to see him go, but his explanation makes a ton of sense. There are a lot of professionals out there, but a lot of eSports is still driven by the community, volunteers, and semi-professionals. I don’t think I can overstate how much Chris has put into StarCraft and couldn’t ask any more of him. I wish him the best to him and his family moving forward.