Liquid Community: Heelz, the resident memer

April 07 2023

TLR 2043

Our fans are what make us. It’s been that way from the very start, since Liquid was a StarCraft clan and forum for Brood War fans. So we know that it’s important that we give back even a fraction of the love you give to us—which is why we’re bringing back Community Spotlight! We are going to spend this series highlighting people who have brought life to our community, who made our esports history meaningful, and who make it fun to be a TL fan. (When you’ve recovered from the blood pressure spike of an average Liquid FPS game.) To kick off our return we have a spotlight that’s long overdue. We have to show some love to an incredibly passionate and genuine fan—to our very own Resident Memer.

The one and only: Heelz.

If you’re a TL fan, chances are you’ve laughed at, liked, or retweeted a banger meme from Heelz. He is well known in the TL community for his passion, dedication, and—above all—his non-stop memery. What you may not know is that he’s the biggest Yeon fan in the world, he’s interviewed Steve, and he’s yet another jungle main being oppressed by Rito James. Heelz has supported and memed us through all the highs and the lows. Through that, he’s become a beloved regular in the TL world as well as an appreciated memesmith across LCS. We are grateful to have someone like Heelz in the Liquid community, and we’re excited to introduce you to him.

You’ve been memeing TL’s history for a while now, but what made you a TL fan in the first place?

It goes back to how I became an esports fan. In 2016, ELeague, which was basically a publicly broadcasted CS:GO tournament at the time, was on TV. Before that I didn’t even know esports existed. So I was watching this Counter-Strike tournament, and because I was a huge gamer, I was super interested in how competitive and how well made this tournament was.

I needed a team to support so I looked into the North American teams, and it was Cloud 9 mostly, and then there was Team Liquid—the team with the horse logo. I really liked the logo, so I kind of just stuck with TL simply because I thought the logo was cool, and it grew from there.

It takes some dedication to support a team for that long. Why have you stayed around for so long?

First of all, they have teams in basically everything, so you never get bored with the teams you are supporting. I usually follow almost all of them. The staff behind the scenes have always been great. Liquid+ was a really important thing in my opinion because it allowed fans to connect a lot more to the staff through Discord. So once you make these connections with people inside the org, it’s hard to ever support a different organization because there is no reason to.

Plus, I fell in love with the rosters. While I started as a CS:GO fan I became a big Liquid in 2018 when the Fortnite roster was formed: Vivid, Strafe, Poach. That was like the first esports roster that I truly fell in love with. I watched them every night after school. Now I have become so involved with League of Legends and memes that I really don't ever see myself rooting for another org.

Who are your favorite players from the org (either current or former)?

[In the] past it was definitely 72hrs and Chap. I was riding with that roster for so long. They had so much fun, they were so good.

Other notable players [are] mostly League players: [I] really liked watching Broxah. Super positive guy, super good. Tactical at that time, really liked him. I was part of the main fan group—the Tacti-Cuties. We were just massive Tactical fans. His Discord was super active; it was really easy to get behind him because he was always active in his Discord.

Through memes and stuff I have kind of become friends with Yeon. I’m a super big Yeon fan, I’m VIP in his stream, he has me added on League and Discord. [...] I was able to visit LA last summer, and because of Ben—the LCS manager—I was able to see the AWTF and actually meet Yeon, and he seemed genuinely excited to see me, which made me feel great. So yeah, I am actually the biggest Yeon fan in the world. Definitely me for sure, absolutely no one else.

Have there been any moments in Team Liquid history that have made an impact on you?

There were two wins and one fan moment that really stuck out to me. The first win was the Counter-Strike Grand Slam. CS:GO is probably my second favorite esport. That was the one I started with. I feel like that was just a monumental moment for the org. It was only done once before, against Astralis. So that win was super crazy, to watch my team climb to the top. They were dominant that summer.

For me, the most important win in TL history was the MSI upset over IG. I was not really following League, but I was interested because it was the biggest esport in the world. My friends were trying to get me to play League. To be honest, I was shutting it down because I was really good at FPSes. I thought it was a pointless game, and then [I watched] that Team Liquid game at like 6 AM instead of studying for a midterm I had that day. It motivated me to play league, and now I am super addicted to League. League is my favorite esport and my favorite game.

The fan moment was 2021 Worlds when they had the fan names on the back of the jerseys. We knew for a while that Liquid was doing that, that process started early, but the moment where it really hit me was where Tactical and Gumayusi from T1 met up and took a picture of them swapping jerseys and my name was on the back of Tactical’s jersey being held up by Gumayusi—he was easily one of the best players in the world. It was just a super surreal moment.

A lot of the Liquid fans know who you are and you all talk with each other on social media. Who are some of your favorite members of the TL community?

The first one I have to mention is Kadaver, the head of the Liquid+ fan engagement. In my opinion, when you think of Liquid+, Kadaver embodies that. He is such a kind person [and] does whatever it takes to make sure the fan is happy. I feel like so many fans have been elevated in their fandom because of him just because of his kindness. He used to help me a lot in the past.

For example, in my junior year of high school I had a business project where we were supposed to interview a CEO of our choice. Most people choose their mom or dad, which was fine, but I wanted to go big. I wanted to interview Steve. So I reached out to Kadaver and asked if it was possible. I knew it was crazy, but he made it happen. So everyone was interviewing their mom and dad and I was interviewing the CEO of one of the biggest esports teams in the world.

Another person I want to mention is Ben the LCS Manager. He was my 2nd Twitter follower ever—I don't know how he found my posts. He’s just been so kind to me for no reason. He has always come to me with cool opportunities, and when I went to LA he allowed me to see the AWTF. He brought me around for a few hours, introduced me to everyone—it was surreal to shake Bjergsen’s hand. Truly just treated me like one of the guys So I’m a big Ben Zieper guy.

Some of the fans… Barberic is super nice. No matter how bad a Tweet is, you know he’ll like it. I don’t know if any other esports team has such a nice following. I know I’m not really following any other team, but it feels like Liquid has so many personalities, and that includes fans behind the scenes.

We’ve talked about Liquid enough, let's talk about you. It looks like you’re a U Cinci fan as well. Which rivalry do you think is better, Astralis vs. Liquid or UC vs. Xavier?

I think it’s genuinely UC vs. Xavier. Astralis vs. Liquid is nice, but that's because they are good, it's not so much a hatred. UC vs. Xavier doesn't particularly like each other that much. It’s because we’re really close together so you wanna claim, “this is the school that represents the city,” and it gets really heated because of that. So I think UC vs. Xavier is a better rivalry.

Would you rather battle a horse sized duck or a 100 duck sized horses?

I think 100 duck sized horses… they can definitely charge you, but the horse sized duck definitely has a bite power of insanity, and I don’t want to deal with that. My hand would get bit, and it would hurt, so I don’t know how easy that would be. As long as I play it slowly I could definitely take on a 100 duck sized horses.

What hobbies do you have outside esports?

I am super into traditional sports. I grew up playing soccer for a while in a club travel team, so I am pretty well versed in that. I honestly just like all of the traditional sports. I am a big soccer and football guy. I really enjoy college basketball. It’s like my main passion outside of esports.

So then how did you feel about the world cup?

It was crazy, it felt too good to be true to have Messi win. My favorite player in the world is Mbappé, so I obviously wish France had won. I wish the US had done a little bit better—it was a success, but it wasn't overwhelming. I wish France would have won, but it was really cool to see Messi get it done.

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know about you?

It’s crazy how big this has gotten with me just posting really stupid memes on Twitter and Reddit. I hear inklings that behind the scenes I am a pretty big name, and then there are some stories of people knowing me. Like I once got recognized in a LoL lobby which was insane to me.

So I just wanted to say thank you for the support! None of this stuff would have been possible without people liking, and commenting on Reddit. It gives me a lot of fulfillment. I never make the memes for likes or popularity. It’s just super nice to see people genuinely enjoy the memes that I make. It’s really cool that I am able to do this.

The passion Heelz shows is incredible—from sticking with us since 2016 to cheering us on in competitions he knows nothing about, all while being a student. He’s an Mbappé-loving Tacti-cutie who supports our League team with all of his heart (especially you, Yeon.)

Thanks to Heelz for taking the time to join us! If you would like to get a taste of some of the spicy memes Heelz puts out be sure to check out his Twitter and his Reddit.

Writer // Becca Glantz
Graphics // Stacey Yamada