I think I started getting into Love Live! towards the end of 2016. I didn't get into Love Live! as a series through anything Love Live!-related, somehow. I was a big Yuri!!! on ICE fan back then, and I soon came across a custom SIF beatmap for Arashi No Rhapsody, a song sung by two of the VAs in the show.
Later, I found the game that the beatmap was based off of: Love Live! School Idol Festival. I had no clue that Arashi No Rhapsody was a CUSTOM beatmap, so I was about to delete the app right on the spot. However, when I started reading through the story, Nico said her catchphrase- the infamous Nico-Nico-Nii- and I knew there was an anime to this game.
I only knew of μ's at that time and absolutely despised Aqours. I didn't get the concept that the two were different groups. Oh, and confession: I thought μ's was some secret prep school group that the game developers wanted to hide under Aqours, which is exactly why I chose a μ's member (Hanayo) as my partner.
I found Hanayo to be a character I could relate to at the fullest extent. I loved her voice more than anyone else's. No one could match up to Hanayo in my eyes.
Yet eventually, Maki found her way to the top of my list. I originally didn't like her because I felt she was too overrated, but I eventually tried to see why so many people liked her.
(After a few voice comparisons, Hanayo fell even further down the list...)
I wasn't able to warm up to Aqours until earlier this year (I even liked Nijigasaki immediately!). Yoshiko- Er, I mean, Yohane- was my best girl. Because she was overrated and I wanted to see why.
The first Love Live! merchandise I bought ended up being a Hanamaru nesoberi. Don't ask me how. I was eventually able to warm up to Aqours enough to actually watch the anime, rather than have it playing in the background while I cooked.
I eventually started drawing the girls- I've drawn all of μ's and Aqours.
Even later, I decided I'd make my own idol group. That by itself fueled my love for Love Live! even more, more than I thought it would.