Professional Gaming

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    Professional gaming, progaming, and competitive gaming are all blanket terms used to describe the competitive, organized, and often financially sponsored playing of games at a high level. Because the competitive scene varies from game to game, each game's competitive scene should have their own section below.

    Video Games

    Real Time Strategy


    With player salaries ranging between $20000 and $200000 and games routinely broadcast over three television channels, Starcraft is far and away the most glamorous form of professional gaming. The most noteworthy Starcraft tournaments are organized under the Korean E-Sports Players' Association (KeSPA) in the form of the OSL and MSL individual competitions and the ProLeague team competition.

    Because Starcraft has been played professionally since 2000, there have been lots of notable players, including:

    • The Bonjwas (The undisputable best of their era):
      • Lim Yo Hwan ("Boxer"). Also known as the "Emperor of Terran" or simply "The Emperor", it is said that "Every fan of Starcraft is a fan of Lim Yo Hwan." Arguably the most prominent Starcraft progamer, and widely considered the best player ever, Boxer has invented and popularized many of the tricks that modern players use today. Boxer is considered to be the player that brought competitive Starcraft to prominence. Has since moved into StarCraft II play.
      • Lee Yun Yeol ("NaDa"). While Boxer was the Emperor, NaDa was the Genius. Winning the most amount of gold medals to this day, his success is greater than Boxer's though he remains quite a bit less popular. Has since moved into StarCraft II play.
      • Choi Yun Sung ("Iloveoov"). Boxer's Protege, he came out onto the scene destroying everyone with a massive army of units. Nicknamed the cheater terran for being able to produce so many units, he dominated the scene for quite some time.
      • Ma Jae Yoon ("sAviOr"). The Maestro dominated the universe for an entire year, and was a favourite against everyone. Winning four titles, his dominance was undisputed up until 2007. Was one of the players implicated in a matchfixing scandal in 2010 that rocked the progaming scene and destroyed the reputations of many other progamers, including Hwansin and (Fake) Yellow.
    • The current stars:
      • Lee Young Ho ("Flash"). Considered to be the top Terran player of his time, he shows a dominant performance in his games despite not winning a large amount of titles.
      • Lee Jae Dong ("Jaedong"). The top Zerg player of the era, he holds the most amount of titles for any modern player.
      • Kim Taek Young ("Bisu"). The revolutionist who started the current era of numerous top players.

    StarCraft II

    The new generation of progamers, unlike the original scene "foreigners" or Western players are making a much larger impact into Korean territory.

    • Prominent teams:
      • Team Old Generations (oGs): An Exactly What It Says on the Tin team, several old StarCraft Brood War players who have switched to StarCraft II have created this team. One of the highest rankest teams in the world, with many top-ranked players who regularly land in Code-S or get into the top 16 of the GSL. Notable faces (Out of 15 total members, 10 of which have gotten into the top 16 of the GSL at least once):
        • NaDa
        • Inca (GSL second place 2011)
        • MC (GSL winner, 2010 & 2011)
        • Zenio
        • TheWinD
      • Team Liquid (TLAF-Liquid): Probably the most well known Western team that regularly competes in Korean events, and the eponymous pro-gaming team of the Team Liquid Net StarCraft II community site. They've practiced with team oGs in their team house in Korea. Members:
        • TLO
        • Jinro
        • HerO (Former oGs member)
        • Ret
        • HayprO
        • Sheth
        • Tyler (aka NoNy, from StarCraft Brood War)