My name is Mike Taylor, though I have taken up the pseudonym Steamhawke in my online circles. I am a 21-year old student about to finish up my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ever since I was young I have been enthralled with video games, and have had a particular liking for the competitive scenes that developed around them. I have played many games across multiple genres at competitive levels over the years, but as I am about to finish up my academic studies, I am gearing up to try and pursue my dream of being a professional gamer. I have been working on this site to develop a base of operations and start building a web presence around myself as a gamer.
I grew up in a home where video games were allowed, but under strict regulation. Never allowed to purchase or own a gaming console in my family, I was woefully left out of the craze that drove youngsters to playing games on the original Playstation, Super Nintendo, or Nintendo 64. Thankfully, though some miraculous twist of fate when I was 3, my older brother and I extricated 2 original NES systems out a dumpster in Germany and through great efforts managed to get them working. From the moment I blew the dust out of a Super Mario Bros cartridge and got it running, I was hooked. Since then I have played console games casually, and delved into the much more accessible world of PC gaming.
Over the years, I have played a large number of titles competitively, though always as something of a hobby. I have a passion for gaming and a knack for theory crafting and strategizing, so I have always enjoyed testing my mettle against that of another person and securing the sweet sweet victory. In every game I've ever played though, I always expect there to be someone better than me, and will always strive to improve myself to put forth the best performance I can.
Outside of gaming, I am a man of many tastes. I love to ski, mountain bike, hike, and backpack in the wilderness areas of Colorado. When given the opportunity, I greatly enjoy aquatic recreationals such as swimming, scuba diving, sailing, white-water rafting, and kayaking. Additionally I love to read, cook, write, quote movies, and tinker with electronics. I'm always willing to try something new, and look forward to experiencing as much of life as I can.
I treat gaming as both a social activity and a sport. I always strive to treat my fellow players with respect and civility, whether they are my teammates or opponents. I will always seek to win, but through skill rather than exploiting, and take my victories with humility and my losses with grace. I am driven to succeed, and will try and grow and learn from all of my experiences as I aim to be the best of the best.
Socially, I wish to gain friends and build relationships that last throughout the my career as a gamer. I am loyal to my mates, and would much rather build up a team with a group of chill, talented players then hop from team to team trying to do as well for myself as I possibly can. I want to maintain a solid reputation in the gaming community of whatever title I am playing as well as in the larger competitive gaming scene. I greatly enjoy meeting and playing with the people who support me, and I enjoy working alongside game developers to try and give my input on how a game should develop, even when our visions don't line up. I will always try and keep any kind of trash-talking or rude behavior to a minimum, and treat everyone I encounter with respect.
Competitively, I wish to win. I will strive to play at the highest competitive tiers, but do so ethically. It is of great importance to me to be a gamer with integrity and play what is effective, but not if it means exploiting players or game mechanics to gain an unfair advantage. I want to earn my victories legitimately and play with and against like-minded sportsmen.
I firmly believe that in anything I do, there will always be someone better than me. It allows me to constantly grow and hone my skill in preparation for facing them. I do not ever want to become egotistical or look down on other players, simply because I perceive them as less skilled than me. I want my actions to speak for themselves, and when I am defeated be able to discern how I might improve and win in the future.
Above all, I play games because I enjoy them. As far as I'm concerned, if you're not having fun, you shouldn't be playing a game. I do not want to fall into situations where I am not enjoying a game I am playing and not enjoying the people I'm playing with. If ever you have a problem with me, you are firmly encouraged to bring it to me directly and honestly so we can set it straight.
I will keep an updated list of goals and accomplishments within a particular title in their respective pages. This is just a brief overview of how I have performed in games over the years:
Pokemon R/B/Y - I can kick your ass
Super Smash Bros Brawl - Tournament Play
Unreal Tournament 3 - Tournament Play
Starcraft - Brood Wars: iCCup rank C+ (Random)
Starcraft 2 - Wings of Liberty: Top 2% of Masters (Zerg)
World of Warcraft - Cataclysm: Season 11 Gladiator, Server First raid clear of Firelands
Diablo III: First 10% to clear Inferno Diablo
Heroes of Newerth : 1800+ MMR (Top 1%)
Guild Wars 2 : #2 Ranked Player (NA), #1 Ranked Engineer (World), 1st place Mist League Season 1 Ladder