248: BoxeR in Brief

BoxeR in Brief

Basketball has Michael Jordan. Soccer has PelÚ. And StarCraft has SlayerS_'BoxeR', the Korean superstar who revolutionized competitive StarCraft and changed the eSports landscape forever. Brett Staebell examines the swift ascent and lasting legacy of the "Terran Emperor."

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Living in South Korea, I can testify that the "unflattering stereotypes" mentioned have not been dismantled entirely. Games are popular, yes, and pro-gamers may be more well known due to the TV coverage, but the hobby overall is still seen by many as a waste of time. It's changing though.

i hate sports D:

E-Sport gaming.

Hah.

Funny and interesting stuff.

Damn you mandatory military service! Taking all of our best players... sigh.
Why not just call them PC Rooms since that's what they're actually called? (Baang=Room)

copycatalyst:
Living in South Korea

Nice! Where are you at? I was living in UJB until just recently.

copycatalyst:
Living in South Korea, I can testify that the "unflattering stereotypes" mentioned have not been dismantled entirely. Games are popular, yes, and pro-gamers may be more well known due to the TV coverage, but the hobby overall is still seen by many as a waste of time. It's changing though.

Agreed. BoxeR even wrote in his biography about being invited to a talk show several years back thinking it would be a chance to talk seriously about the dangers of game addiction. Instead he found a sensationalist exposÚ-style episode targeting his profession.

I'm not sure if views like that will ever disappear, but Korea more than just about any other country has seemed to embrace the change.

Brickcups:

Why not just call them PC Rooms since that's what they're actually called? (Baang=Room)

Hah, because this is the first time I've learned what "baang" meant? But also because I feel like PC Rooms have their own flavor in Korea as opposed to the US - their own little culture, if you will, that extends further than "a room with PCs in it."

The closest English approximation might actually be "net cafe," but even that doesn't quite get the tone of a PC baang down.

D-Ship:

The closest English approximation might actually be "net cafe," but even that doesn't quite get the tone of a PC baang down.

You've got that right. The thing I miss the most is PC rooms from Korea (ok... maybe not the most, but one of the top 10 lol). I just think it's weird to see "baang" repeated throughout an article. It kind of breaks the flow for me because I keep picturing people trying to pronounce the word. =] Net cafes never really took off in the US did they?

I was amazed that there wasn't any mention of Hong Jin Ho (aka YellOw) or the legendary Lim-Jin rivalry. Yeah yeah, this article was a focus on BoxeR, but the history behind these two changed the entire e-sport game.

Brickcups:

D-Ship:

The closest English approximation might actually be "net cafe," but even that doesn't quite get the tone of a PC baang down.

You've got that right. The thing I miss the most is PC rooms from Korea (ok... maybe not the most, but one of the top 10 lol). I just think it's weird to see "baang" repeated throughout an article. It kind of breaks the flow for me because I keep picturing people trying to pronounce the word. =] Net cafes never really took off in the US did they?

I was amazed that there wasn't any mention of Hong Jin Ho (aka YellOw) or the legendary Lim-Jin rivalry. Yeah yeah, this article was a focus on BoxeR, but the history behind these two changed the entire e-sport game.

Nah, net cafes are few and far between state-side. If I had to guess, I would say it's because American kids are more often provided with their own personal computers, and generally bigger houses provide the space to set them up. There's also more stress on studying in a lot of Asian countries (lived in Japan for a few years, seems similar in Korea), and parents intent on giving their kids the best education would just as soon leave games out altogether.

Believe you me, I did a lot of research on stuff that didn't make the final cut, and Yell0w was right up there at the top of the list. Explaining the scope of the rivalry and what it meant for the league and for Lim just ended up being too much when still trying to give as wide a view on BoxeR's career as possible.

But for anybody who has read this far: wikipedia is a decent place to start to learn more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Jin-Ho there are also lots of great matches on Youtube.

Great article D-Ship... I'm very interested in how things are going to develop with SC2 coming out. It seems like it is much more open to the sort of innovation that you were talking about him bringing to SC.

Exciting times ahead I guess.

Brett Staebell:
BoxeR in Brief

Basketball has Michael Jordan. Soccer has PelÚ. And StarCraft has SlayerS_'BoxeR', the Korean superstar who revolutionized competitive StarCraft and changed the eSports landscape forever. Brett Staebell examines the swift ascent and lasting legacy of the "Terran Emperor."

Read Full Article

Thanks for sharing this with us, it's a wonderful story :)

Brickcups:

Nice! Where are you at? I was living in UJB until just recently.

I'm in Incheon, near Songdo New City.

Brickcups:
I just think it's weird to see "baang" repeated throughout an article. It kind of breaks the flow for me because I keep picturing people trying to pronounce the word. =]

For anybody having trouble pronouncing it: think "banque" in French and take of the "que" sound. If that doesn't help, think that it's half-way between "bang" and "bong," although thinking of those words might do more harm than good in terms of breaking the flow while reading. : )

D-Ship:

Brickcups:

D-Ship:

The closest English approximation might actually be "net cafe," but even that doesn't quite get the tone of a PC baang down.

You've got that right. The thing I miss the most is PC rooms from Korea (ok... maybe not the most, but one of the top 10 lol). I just think it's weird to see "baang" repeated throughout an article. It kind of breaks the flow for me because I keep picturing people trying to pronounce the word. =] Net cafes never really took off in the US did they?

I was amazed that there wasn't any mention of Hong Jin Ho (aka YellOw) or the legendary Lim-Jin rivalry. Yeah yeah, this article was a focus on BoxeR, but the history behind these two changed the entire e-sport game.

Nah, net cafes are few and far between state-side. If I had to guess, I would say it's because American kids are more often provided with their own personal computers, and generally bigger houses provide the space to set them up. There's also more stress on studying in a lot of Asian countries (lived in Japan for a few years, seems similar in Korea), and parents intent on giving their kids the best education would just as soon leave games out altogether.

Believe you me, I did a lot of research on stuff that didn't make the final cut, and Yell0w was right up there at the top of the list. Explaining the scope of the rivalry and what it meant for the league and for Lim just ended up being too much when still trying to give as wide a view on BoxeR's career as possible.

But for anybody who has read this far: wikipedia is a decent place to start to learn more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Jin-Ho there are also lots of great matches on Youtube.

You're probably right about the whole housing and study issue as far as net cafes in the US. Maybe with a little proper marketing to the right demographic and dramatic price cuts they might be able to save it?
Strangely enough when I lived in Japan pc rooms didn't seem nearly as big as they were in Korea. While there were some here and there, I don't think i've ever seen one devoted solely to computer gaming/internet surfing (most of them turned out to be manga/internet cafes). They also weren't nearly as packed either. I think Japan probably has a higher focus on studies when compared to their western counterparts but, when compared to Korea or China, they are lot more lenient on their youth in regards to school. I remember when I was living in Tachikawa most of my Japanese friends spent their nights on the town in Roppongi. The only time I think I saw a majority of them studying was for entrance exams =P.

Even without any mention of YellOw, it was a great read. This whole issue has me excited for Starcraft 2 all over again. =] Looks like i'll just have to make due with Brood War until then.

copycatalyst:

Brickcups:

Nice! Where are you at? I was living in UJB until just recently.

I'm in Incheon, near Songdo New City.

Brickcups:
I just think it's weird to see "baang" repeated throughout an article. It kind of breaks the flow for me because I keep picturing people trying to pronounce the word. =]

For anybody having trouble pronouncing it: think "banque" in French and take of the "que" sound. If that doesn't help, think that it's half-way between "bang" and "bong," although thinking of those words might do more harm than good in terms of breaking the flow while reading. : )

The bang-bong hybrid may be the closest way to explain it without actually letting someone hear how it's pronounced.

While I never was that big on SC1 I watched a great deal of Wc3-promatches, and I love players like Boxer. Spirit Moon, TH000, Grubby, Axslav and a slew of other players were never quite content with using the cookie cutter strategies as the only way to victory. One of my favorite matches in Wc3 "history" was a tournament finals match between Grubby and Zacard. If I remember correctly they both misclicked when buying their tavern heroes, getting extremely unconventional ones which seemed to send them both into panic mode, trying to figure out how to make the best out of the situation.

I remember hearing about the huge amounts of StarCraft's competitors in South Korea in a report on CBC Radio One, back in 2008. that made me think: "Wow...Pro SC players? I'm sure they would own me in an instant"

RelexCryo:

Thanks for sharing this with us, it's a wonderful story :)

Glad you liked it! Any gamer worth his/her salt knows about SC, but not enough people know about BoxeR. Problem solved!...?

Brickcups:

You're probably right about the whole housing and study issue as far as net cafes in the US. Maybe with a little proper marketing to the right demographic and dramatic price cuts they might be able to save it?
Strangely enough when I lived in Japan pc rooms didn't seem nearly as big as they were in Korea. While there were some here and there, I don't think i've ever seen one devoted solely to computer gaming/internet surfing (most of them turned out to be manga/internet cafes). They also weren't nearly as packed either. I think Japan probably has a higher focus on studies when compared to their western counterparts but, when compared to Korea or China, they are lot more lenient on their youth in regards to school. I remember when I was living in Tachikawa most of my Japanese friends spent their nights on the town in Roppongi. The only time I think I saw a majority of them studying was for entrance exams =P.

Even without any mention of YellOw, it was a great read. This whole issue has me excited for Starcraft 2 all over again. =] Looks like i'll just have to make due with Brood War until then.

I personally would love to see a stronger PC-room scene in the US. It would make the whole experience more personal, and I wouldn't have to keep updating my computer so damn often to play.

As for PC rooms in Japan, I noticed the same thing - they're more like nerdy rec-rooms than houses of gaming. I think another issue there is Japan still has a very strong arcade/console scene, and they care about computers a whole lot less. There are a few theories on how/when that schism formed, but I don't know any of them well enough to elaborate.

And I'm glad you liked it! At first I thought I'd be able to cover everything, but damn, there is a lot of history for Pro-SC.

...Ender Wiggin?

When was this article written?

BoxeR has been playing Starcraft 2 (in the GSL and elsewhere), and was in code S for some time.
He also created team SlayerS for Starcraft 2, and has been recruiting players he thinks has potential.

He's still the emperor to many .. also, I think he's the only guy who, win or lose, goes up to his opponent and shakes his hand.

Great article, had fun reading it, felt like the narration to a boxing movie. Rags to riches.

 

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