I had a different opening paragraph for this article until I went looking for a header image. Now I've deleted it, and instead I'm going to talk about why I'm in love with this picture of Park "Saebyeolbe" Jongryeol. This is my 22nd and penultimate entry in this column, and choosing a lead photo is always one of my favourite parts, because there are also always so many moments of joy to choose from. Yes, you'll often see pictures of players looking focused or upset, but my personal style guide generally skews towards an image of celebration. Like this one.
Except Saebyeolbe just lost a game in this image. That confetti is San Francisco Shock orange; they just made it to playoffs, leaving Saebyolbe and the rest of the Excelsior in third place. But he's still smiling, congratulating his team, generally looking on top of the world. It's more than okay for players to be gutted after losing, and they should be given the space to feel that way without being exploited for broadcast. But where we over-focus on those, we miss ray of sunshine reactions like Saebyolbe's (and SonicFox before him).