i played tfc when i was 8 years old. tf2 came out when i was 14. i pubstomped for a couple months. a fellow tryhard pubstomper introduced me to #tf2.gather.us and i started pugging everyday. i enjoyed 6v6 waaaaay more than pubbing and never wanted to pub again so i practiced a shit ton.
i tried finding a team but it was hard to find a team where i felt like the players were at my level. i did not have any positive influences irl so being a 15 year old immature troll with decent dm hindered my networking abilities.
i matured up a little bit and eventually found a team. we won cevo-a without dropping a single map, but it wasn't a big deal at the time since many pros were transitioning from cevo-p to esea-i. my team captain aka tragic kicked me off the team for trolling him after a scrim.
then i played as a backup for many open and im teams throughout the rest of my career since i was doing terrible at school. i only played 3 full seasons as a starter in the 7 years that i played tf2 competitively, but i played a SHIT TON of pugs.
im very thankful for the experience that this community has given me even though i was initially a shithead. i learned how to work with others even though i often had urges to be a dumbass. it taught me the importance of having a good mentality, patience and discipline when it comes to trying to improve at irl stuff, something that i could not learn outside of tf2 due to my life situation. im kinda going off topic here but just wanted to show my appreciation for the game and the community.