Lee Jae Dong joined team Plus (오영종-Plus) in 2005, which in early 2006 (March 23) became Lecaf OZ.
He made his progamer’s debut on 13 February 2006 and his big stage debut in SKY Proleague 2006 Round 1, on the 30th of April. He achieved his first win in Proleague about a week later, against JiHyun (Hul at the time). Although 2006 was Jaedong’s first year in the professional StarCraft scene, he was already doing extremely well, having an overall record of 51 wins and 27 losses (65.4% win rate). This was the second best Zerg win rate of 2006, right behind sAviOr (GGPlay was third with 63.5%). His early wins against notable players included sAviOr, Reach, NaDa, GoRush, July, and iloveoov. It was clear early on in Jaedong’s career that his Zerg vs. Protoss and Zerg vs. Zerg were outstanding, being both above 70% (vs. Protoss 75% and vs. Zerg 71.4%). After the 2006 Season Lee Jae Dong was prized on 2nd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards with the Rookie of the Year Award.
It was Jaedong’s massive streak against Terran in mid-late 2007 that brought him into the mainstream spotlight. During this run he went 12–0 against Terran, which included scalps against NaDa and Hwasin. Jaedong’s rise during 2007 coincided with the demise of sAviOr. He finished off his brilliant 2007 by capturing his first Starleague title. Finally in January 2008 Jaedong captured the throne of No.1 Zerg according to the KeSPA Ranking, a title that he has held on for more than two years and a half, and still counting. After the 2007 Season Lee Jae Dong was prized on 3rd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards with the Best Winning Percentage, the Best Zerg, and the Player of the Year Awards. 2008 proved another successful for Jaedong claiming an MSL gold (technically in the 2007 Season) and a silver. He also managed to claim the No.1 overall KeSPA Rank for four straight months.
Later on in his career, Lee Jae Dong demonstrated that his monstrous Zerg vs. Zerg wasn’t just a chain of lucky games. Even though Jaedong was extremely successful at Zerg vs. Zerg in his early career, he later said that he didn’t feel confident at all playing it. However, his great success in televised games, especially in Zerg vs. Zerg, allowed him to get even better at it (see also). Soon, Zerg vs. Zerg became Jaedong’s trademark match-up with a winning rate of over 81% in the middle of 2009, allowing him to become the most successful Zerg vs. Zerg player in history. Indeed, Jaedong’s ZvZ mastery allowed him to reach the highest vs. Z Elo rating ever recorded, edging out previous bonjwa and TvZ monster iloveoov. After the 2008–09 Season Lee Jae Dong was prized on 4th Annual Korea e-Sports Awards with the Best Zerg Award, and the Player of the Year Award.
After his win in the Bacchus Starleague 2009 and the resolution of the Free Agency Controversy (see below), Lee Jae Dong announced that he would undergo Lasik eye surgery to repair his rapidly deteriorating vision. His surgery is scheduled for September 28. On 26 January 2009 Daily eSports announced: accepted to Seoul Cyber University School of Multimedia Design Lee Jae Dong will be a freshman in university this March. He applied for the regular admission which had its deadline on the last December 29. Overcoming a low admission rate, he received the acceptance letter.
Lee Jae Dong was the WCG 2009 champion and has won five major league titles: the EVER Starleague 2007, the 2008 GOMTV MSL Season 4, the Batoo Starleague, the Bacchus Starleague 2009, and the NATE MSL. Jaedong took out YellOw[ArnC] in the Bacchus Starleague 2009 in a 3–0 sweep, becoming the third Golden Mouse holder and the second progamer (after SlayerS_`BoxeR`) to win back-to-back Starleagues. In addition to his major league titles, Jaedong also won titles at the Seoul IESF 2007, the WCG 2008 Korea Championship, the WCG 2010 Korea Championship, and the TG-Intel Classic Season 1, a surprisingly one-sided series where he defeated Lee Yong Ho (Flash) 3–0 in the Final. He was No.1 overall KeSPA Rank from April 2009 till February 2010 (for eleven straight months).
2010 was the year defined by the rivalry between Jaedong and Flash. The two progamers faced each other in no less than 5 finals: WCG Korea, NATE MSL, 2010 Hana Daetoo Securities MSL, 2010 Bigfile MSL consecutively, and the Korean Air OSL 2. In these finals Flash came ahead 3-2, though Jaedong held a slight edge in their head-to-head record, an incredible feat considering Flash's domination at the time. Jaedong finished the year with a monstrous 70% win rate, behind only Flash, and yet again received the KeSPA Award for Best Zerg.
In 2011 Jaedong fell into a relative slump, with a win percentage lower than his rookie year (though he reached the round of four in the 2011 PDPop MSL and 2011 ABC Mart MSL). Peculiarly, his best match-up ZvZ and favored match-up ZvP fell to the 50% range, whereas his ZvT rose to an all-time high of 81.1% for the year (TLPD). After the disbandment of Hwaseung OZ, WeMade FOX, and MBCGame HERO, KeSPA formed an eighth team to allow the players of the former teams to continue to play. Though the Eighth Team has struggled in Proleague, Jaedong has remained their top-performing player.
Free Agency Controversy
In 2009, Jaedong applied for KeSPA’s Free Agency Policy due to disagreement between Hwaseung OZ and Jaedong’s parents over his new contract with Hwaseung OZ. Under KeSPA policy, the parents of progamers who are under 20 years old are required to approve any contract of their son/daughter. Jaedong’s parents felt that Jaedong shouldered too much of Hwaseung OZ’s burden and thus could not come to terms with Hwaseung OZ in terms of pay. Under KeSPA’s free agency rules, any progaming team that bids for a free agent progamer with a salary of over 50 million won (which includes any top progamer right now), must compensate that player’s original team with either 200% of his original annual salary or 100% of his original annual salary and one nonessential player from their roster. Combined with already tight budgets, this restriction for buying a high name player meant that Jaedong was unlikely to be bidded on by any team. After not receiving any bids during the free agency period, Jaedong was required to either renegotiate with Hwaseung OZ, to give up his progaming license for a year and become a semi-pro until the next season, or to retire. Jaedong’s parents, in addition to their criticism of OZ, had expressed willingness to have Jaedong retire and attend college, but on August 31, 2009, Korean news source Fomos announced that Jaedong had successfully renegotiated with Hwaseung OZ, and therefore, he will be playing with them for the 09–10 Season.
On November 1st, 2016, Jaedong was released from his contract with Evil Geniuses. Many had speculated Jaedong would return to Brood War, and had been playing under the ID "424" on the Fish servers. The account of 424 had amassed an unusual amount of games against FlaSh and Brood War professionals had said 424 played like a player who was rusty and an ex-pro. On November 8th, AfreecaTV announced that Jaedong would become a BJ and stream Brood War full-time.
Jaedong's first official return to the tournament scene was displayed at the KT Giga Showmatch. Here, Jaedong defeated Stork in the semifinals but lost to Bisu, 1-2, in the finals. His first off-line tournament will be the Afreeca Starleague Season 2. Jaedong showed signs of rust when he failed to qualify through the Seoul qualifiers but managed to rebound in the Busan qualifiers the next day to enter the Round of 24. He will play in Group E against Mong, Best, and Hint.
On June 23, 2020, Jaedong left StarCraft to fulfill his mandatory military service.
Play Style and Innovations
Lee Jae Dong proved that a focus on mechanics and execution could solve problems in the StarCraft game strategy. The reason 75% of Starleague and MSL semifinalists are Zerg in late 08–09 Season and 50% in early 09–10 Season is Jaedong. As a leader of Zerg race who varied his gameplay from low-econ builds to macro intensive builds, Lee Jae Dong taught how to beat the toughest opponents even on imbalanced maps. He has evolved the way the Zerg race plays the different match-ups greatly.
Jaedong’s ZvT used to be extremely dominant back in the second half of 2007 and early 2008. Jaedong’s Defiler and Ultraling play was almost unbeatable for a long time. His first well-known revolutionary approach to ZvT was the 2 Hatch Muta build vs. Flash, after which 2 Hatch Muta became immensely popular and a standard build in the ZvT match-up, whereas before that it was considered to be an all-in build. Regression to a 2 Hatch opening vs. Terran has also had a great influence on the way the game is played. Jaedong’s use of Queens and 2 Control Groups of Mutalisks was not just a spectacular reception in the expectation of public favor, but also showed a different way to approach the match-up.
Jaedong has also revolutionized ZvZ. The precision, timing attacks, careful unit counting, Zergling run-by plays (often in the midst of Mutalisk attacks) and methodical concave exploitation have advanced tremendously since Jaedong has showcased his ZvZ, showing that every Build Order has advantages against the other Build Orders, and you can overcome any difficulties with proper micro and game sense. No one understands ZvZ better than Jaedong does, and it’s the single most dominant match-up statistics in the history of StarCraft over a large sample size, 85.7% wins since December 2007 up to June 2009.
Lee Jae Dong in ZvP innovated with the 3 Hatch Spire into 5 Hatch with Scourge play and popularized the build which made it the standard for ZvP. With this build, he made a counter-revolution against Forge FE that’s reversed nearly all the advantages in strategy and morale that Bisu earned when he defeated sAviOr in the GOMTV MBCGame StarCraft League Season 1 Finals. He made an invaluable contribution to the development of Sim-City defense, an important part of ZvP.
In addition to standard play, Lee Jae Dong has innovated a lot of creative cheesy builds and refined July’s aggression to another level while still possessing a world-class standard macro game. His micro is considered his greatest strength.
|2007||OZ||57||31||64.8%||27-13||15-5||15-13||EVER 2007 OSL|
|2008||OZ||87||38||69.6%||33-22||21-4||33-12||GOMTV S4 MSL|
|2009||OZ||117||51||69.6%||38-22||52-18||27-11||Batoo OSL, Bacchus 2009 OSL|
|2011||OZ||56||31||64.4%||26-6||17-14||13-11||Ro4 PDPop MSL, ABC Mart MSL|
|vs P||335||224||111||66.9 %|
|vs T||400||242||158||60.5 %|
|vs Z||271||194||77||71.6 %|
|In Premier Tournaments|
|2010-08-28||2nd||Premier||Bigfile MSL||2 : 3||$16,100|
|2010-05-29||2nd||Premier||Hana Daetoo Securities MSL||0 : 3||$16,100|
|2010-01-23||1st||Premier||NATE MSL||3 : 1||$40,250|
|2009-11-15||1st||Premier||WCG 2009||2 : 1||$10,000|
|2009-08-22||1st||Premier||2009 Bacchus OSL||3 : 0||$32,200|
|2009-04-04||1st||Premier||2008-2009 Batoo OSL||3 : 2||$32,200|
|2008-08-10||1st||Premier||GOMTV TG Sambo-Intel Classic Season 1||3 : 0||$40,000|
|2008-03-08||1st||Premier||2008 GOMTV MSL Season 4||3 : 1||$40,250|
|2007-12-22||1st||Premier||2007 EVER OSL||3 : 1||$32,200|
|2007-08-12||1st||Premier||2007 Seoul e-Sports Festival||2 : 1||$17,544|
|Complete list of results in any tournament|
- SKY Proleague 2006 Round 1: Rookie of the Year
- SKY Proleague 2006 Round 2: Most Wins Award
- SKY Proleague 2006 Round 2: MVP
- 2nd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards (Feb. 2007): Best New Player
- 3rd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards (March 2008): Best Winning Percentage
- 3rd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards (March 2008): Best Zerg
- 3rd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards (March 2008): Player of the Year
- Shinhan Bank Proleague 08–09: Most Wins Award (shared)
- Shinhan Bank Proleague 08–09: MVP (shared)
- 4th Annual Korea e-Sports Awards (Dec. 2009): Best Zerg
- 4th Annual Korea e-Sports Awards (Dec. 2009): Player of the Year
- Note: In 2008 Korea e-Sports Awards have not been determined, 2009 Awards were related to the 2008–09 Season. So, Lee Jae Dong received Korea e-Sports Awards prizes of 2007 and of 2009 consecutively.
Awards with Hwaseung OZ
- SKY Proleague 2006 Round 2:
- Shinhan Bank Proleague 2007 Round 1:
- Shinhan Bank Proleague 2007 Round 2:
- Shinhan Bank Proleague 2007 Grand Final:
- Shinhan Bank Winners League 08–09:
- Shinhan Bank Proleague 08–09:
11th November 2009 - 30th September 2010
22nd December 2007-15th March 2008
|2008 Bacchus OSL|
|2008 Incruit OSL
|2009 Batoo OSL
4th April 2009-Continued
|2009 Bacchus OSL|
|2009 Batoo OSL
|2009 Bacchus OSL
Continued-17th January 2010
|2009 EVER OSL|
|GOMTV MSL Season 3
|GOMTV MSL Season 4
8th March 2008-26th July 2008
|2009 NATE MSL
23rd January 2010-29th May 2010
|Hana Daetoo Securities_MSL|
|WCG Korea Champion|
|WCG Korea 2007
|WCG Korea 2008
|WCGC Korea 2009|
|GOMTV TG Sambo-Intel Classic Season 1
10th August 2008 - 8th February 2009
|GOMTV Averatec-Intel Classic Season 2|
Further Readings and Useful Links
- Heir Apparent — a Team Liquid Final Edits article by Hot_Bid. [2007.12.28]
- STAR B.Net Attack No.35, MBCGame Show-Match Lee Jae Dong vs. Battle.Net users, Part 1 , Part 2 — seven 1st person Jaedong’s VODs on Python and Blue Storm. You can see final battle between… SCVs and Drones, Jaedong off-races as Terran, Jaedong off-races as Protoss, ZvT only with Hydras, ZvP only with Lings and Queens (and with Scourges lately), and so on. [2008.08.28]
- Jaedong — a blogpost by Letmelose. [2009.02.01]
- A History of Terran vs. Zerg — an article by Kim Yeon Woo ‘elcarim’ (from pgr21.com forum) translated by StRyKeR. [2009.05.21]
- Similar Yet Different — interview with Kim Taek Yong and Lee Jae Dong by Fighterforum.Com translated by Letmelose; check also the Korean source (Afreeca.Com) for photos. [2009.05.28]
- Progamers on Jaedong — a compilation from interviews by sky_slasher. [2009.06.04]
- Jaedong V100 Project Back to the Past — unfinished project on Jon747 YouTube Channel with 100 Jaedong’s wins in Proleague; total 29 VODs: 1, 3–7, 9–31. [June 2009] —Check also the thread on TL Jaedong 100 PL Wins by Roffles. [2010.05.28]
- Jaedong Fighting Card!, UPD1, UPD2, and Final — Jaedong Fighting Card Project 2009 by NeverGG. [2009.08.31–2009.10.11]
- Here To Stay — Team Liquid Final Edit. A begrudging analysis of Jaedong's dominance, written by Plexa. [2009.09.19]
- NaDa, Jaedong and Bisu: A Statistical Comparison — a blogpost by Letmelose. [2009.09.22]
- Jaedong–Bisu–Stork at WCG, Jaedong and Stork at WCG 2009 — Fomos and Dailyesports interviews with Lee Jae Dong, Song Byung Goo, and Kim Taek Yong at WCG 2009 Chengdu Grand Final translated by l10f and by Waxangel; check also the Korean source of the second interview (Dailyesports.Com) for photos. [2009.11.13 & 2009.11.15]
- SportsQ Interviews ‘Tyrant’ Lee Jae Dong — the interviewee of Naver’s SportsQ on the fourth week of November 2009 was ‘Tyrant’ Lee Jae Dong; translated by Harem. [2009.11.26]
- Jaedong’s Clanmaster — YGosu interviewed n.Die clanmaster, translated by sky_slasher. [2009.12.01]
- LeeSsang Blues — a long Fomos interview on the 20th January 2010 with Lee Jae Dong and Lee Yong Ho translated by Letmelose. [2010.01.28]
- Jaedong’s Replay Pack — collected by Harem (9 MB unpacked). [2010.01.30]
- Jaedong Talks about the MSL Final — a long NATE interview (source with photos) with Lee Jae Dong about MSL incident and much more; translated by Jaester88. [2010.03.08]
- Hwaseung’s Jaedong: “I’m Not a Cheapskate” — a Dailyesports article translated by Milkis. [2010.06.14]
- The call of the LeeSsang Rok - a statistical analysis of the Flash vs. Jaedong rivalry up until the BigFile MSL final by Thorin. [2010.08.27]
- The Cauldron #3 - The Tyrant's last reign An analysis of Jaedong's last major title, the NATE MSL, by Thorin. [2010.11.14]
- Jaedong should be one of the bonjwas - an analytical and statistical case for Jaedong being worthy of being considered a bonjwas, by Thorin. [2011.05.28]
- The Famous Victories of Jaedong - a VOD compilation of Jaedong's most famous victories, by Popzags. [2011.11.07]
- Jaedong - The Tyrant who hated to lose - an in-depth retelling of Jaedong's BW career story for modern and SC2 fans, by Thorin. [2012.12.06]
- - EG.Jaedong: Greatness defined Jaedongs TeamLiquid Final Edit. [2016.11.01]
- Jaedong: Never Give Up - An article that chronicles Jaedong's condition and drive to be the best in the post-KeSPA era, by Bigfan. [2018.02.26]