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To read about the Korean team of the same name, see MVP.
He is a four-time GSL champion and winner of a WCG, BlizzCon, MLG, and IEM. Mvp has been referred to as the best StarCraft II player in the world on several occasions. He is also, along with MC and Polt, one of the three players who has earned more than $300,000 in prize money in the StarCraft II Wings of liberty era.
Mvp is a former Brood War progamer who had had a decent career with Woongjin Stars. He switched to StarCraft II in October 2010 and co-founded team Incredible Miracle alongside several other former Brood War progamers. Roughly four months after his switch, Mvp claimed victory at the January 2011 GSL, becoming the first Terran player to win the tournament. He then went through a less successful period until July 2011, dropping into Code A, though he managed to win the GSL World Championship in the meantime.
Mvp's victory at MLG Anaheim 2011 has been said to be the beginning of a period of dominance for him. After the aforementioned tournament win, Mvp went on to place in top four in every premier tournament he attended the following 5 months. After winning the GSL in August 2011 in said period of dominance, Mvp attained the same amount of GSL Code S Champion titles as his team-mate NesTea. What is applaudable is that in his run in the aforementioned GSL, he had the hardest road of any player to a GSL final. Additionally, Mvp also placed second in the GSL October and winning both the BlizzCon 2011 and the World Cyber Games 2011 at the end of the year all in his period of dominance.
In contrast to his performance in 2011, Mvp declined in 2012. He delivered average performances in both the GSL and foreign events in the first half of 2012 as he had been dealing with health issues. However, in spite of these health issues, Mvp still managed to win the 2012 GSL Season 2, thus becoming the first four-time champion of the South Korean league. In August Mvp won IEM Season VII - Global Challenge Cologne - his first tournament win in Europe.
Mvp first cultivated an interest in Brood War in his teenage years, and began to follow the professional scene after he watched a match betweenYellOw and BoxeR(he had developed an admiration for the latter). Mvp played Terran competitively, and won several amateur tourneys. His success in these tournaments led his father to urge him to consider making career out of gaming and, at seventeen years old, Mvp committed himself to becoming a Brood War progamer. He eventually joined team Woongjin Stars, and played his first televised match on April 13, 2008 in the GOMTV TG-Intel Classic Season 1. He won that first match, but his run in the event would end in the second round. He was no more successful in the GOMTV Averatec-Intel Classic Season 2, in which he defeated another future Starcraft II progamer in the form of MMA. Mvp was introduced to the Proleague on October 5, 2008, as his team faced WeMade FOX in the 2008-2009 Shinhan Bank Proleague Round 1; he lost to NaDa. Mvp had an unimpressive 5-15 record throughout the Proleague, and faced sAviOr and Flash, only to be defeated by both.
In May 2009, Mvp gave a noteworthy individual performance in the 2009 GOM Classic Season 3, reaching the round of sixteen. and eliminating Stork. His performance in the 2009-2010 Shinhan Bank Proleague was little better than in the previous season, closing the season with a 5-12 record. Mvp ultimately qualified for a starleague in February 2010, earning a spot in the 2010 Korean Air OSL, where he was eliminated in the round of 36. In the following months, he reached what would be the crowning achievement of his Brood War career; in the 2010 Hana Daetoo Securities MSL: he qualified for the round of sixteen at the expense of BeSt and Stork, knocking out BaBy to make his way to the quarterfinals. Flash ended his run at this stage of the starleague, though Mvp managed to win one game with Battlecruisers. He was less successful in the 2010 Bigfile MSL, being eliminated by Kal in the round of 32 in what would prove to be his last official Brood War match. Shortly thereafter, he switched to StarCraft II. Mvp would later state that this shift in career direction was motivated by the huge prize pools announced for the GSL, as he wanted help his family (which he describes as very poor) with his winnings.
Wings of Liberty
Switch and Rise to Prominence (Oct 2010 — Jan 2011)
Mvp's StarCraft II career officially started on October 1, as team Incredible Miracle, of which he was one of the founding members alongside NesTea, LosirA, KYumer, and TT, was unveiled. Mvp, who was the first active A-team (and arguably the best) Brood War progamer to switch to SC2[better source needed], qualified for the GSL Open Season 2 a week later. His run in the tournament was short-lived: after he defeated Sound in his first official match, Zenio knocked-him out of the tournament in the round of 32; Mvp still displayed a beautiful micromanagement and an overall solid play, but lacked scouting.
On November 9, Mvp was highlighted for his performances on the ladder, as he was credited with being the first player to reach 3,000 points on the Korean server. Two weeks later, he entered the GSL Open Season 3, and proceeded to the round of 16 at the expense of BanBans and IdrA. Even though the latter regarded him as a potential semifinalist, if not winner of the whole championship, Mvp was upset by Choya in the round 16 and dropped out of the tournament. With this result, Mvp placed twenty-eighth in the GSL opens rankings, hence securing a spot in the upcoming Code S season. During the post-season, before the 2011 GSL circuit kicked-off, Mvp made two appearances in independent South Korean events. He was invited in the Gisado's Challenge to participate in a King of the Hill contest pitting five Terran players against five Zerg players in best of three matches. Mvp all-killed the Zerg line-up comprised of IdrA, Zenio, Leenock, and the GSL champions FruitDealer and NesTea, losing only one game to Zenio. Mvp also signed-up for the Gainward SC2 Tournament in which he wasn't a seeded player, thus having to battle amongst 700 players to reach the offline finals, which he eventually did. His run in the last rounds were impeccable, losing only one game (to MarineKing) and crushing his teammate NesTea 3-0 in finals to celebrate his first success in a major tournament.
At the same time, Mvp entered the 2011 GSL January Code S, storming his way through the group stages without dropping a single game (he beat FruitDealer in the process). TricKsteR was overcame 3-0 in the quarterfinals as well, and Mvp met his teammate and former GSL champion NesTea in the semifinals. He won the match 3-1, thus dropping his first set in the entire tournament, and proceeded to the finals where he met MarineKing. Mvp described these series in his pre-finals interview as easy, only acknowledging NesTea as a difficult match. With his 92% win percentage in Terran-versus-Terran matches in 2011's major and premier tournaments prior to this encounter, Mvp appeared to be the favourite. In the actual GSL finals, he demonstrated a nearly flawless understanding of MarineKing's playstyle and swept his opponent 4-0, leaving him no chance of a comeback throughout the series. Mvp ended the tournament with an impressive 16-1 record and became the first Terran champion of the GSL. His grip on the South Korean scene, resulting from this title as well as from his spotless 29-3 record in official matches held in Korea for the month of January, definitely awarded him the reputation for being one of the best players in the world.
Relative Slump (Feb — Jul 2011)
In early February, Mvp was used twice by his team during Incredible Miracle's victory in the first ever GSTL, fending off a dark templar rush by the ace player of oGs, MC, and coming back from a large supply deficit against Bomber of the team StarTale before losing to Squirtle. At the end of the month, Mvp's entry in the GSL March Code S turned out to be huge upset for him, as he was defeated twice in a row by July in the first group stage, hence dropping out of the Code S. Mvp wasn't more successful three weeks later in the up and down matches, as two losses against Alicia and Genius sent him into Code A and made him the first GSL champion to be demoted the season following his coronation. On March 30, Mvp entered the 2011 GSL World Championship, in which he had been appointed as one of the eight South Korean representatives. He made his way to the finals at the expense of HuK, July, and San, and eventually met MarineKing again in the finals. The encounter was clearly less one-sided than the GSL January finals as MarineKing was able to tie-up the series 2-2, but Mvp ultimately secured the victory 4-2 (using his trademark Battlecruiser play in two games) and claimed his second GSL title.
On April 22, two weeks after he had became the second two-time GSL champion along with MC, Mvp made his first steps in Code A in the GSL May (the GSL World Championship wasn't a part of the regular GSL circuit, thus Mvp's victory didn't grant him his Code S spot back). He eventually reached the finals, knocking-out viOLet and KeeN in the process, only to be defeated by Bomber in the last match. As runner-up, he earned the privilege to choose his opponents in the Up and Down Matches; he chose two Terran players, RainBOw and Rain, and defeated the latter 2-0, thus rising up to Code S once again. Before the next regular season began, GOMTV organised a 64-player GSL Super Tournament in which Mvp was seeded highly based on his previous performances. His run was short-lived as he was ousted at the second round by GanZi, after he defeated Creator in the round of 64 (Mvp still retained his Code S seed, the Super Tournament being ruled aside from the GSL 2011 circuit). Five weeks later, on July 5, Mvp suffered another setback in the GSL July Code S as he lost to Zenio and ByuN in the round of 32 group stage, hence dropping out of the tournament (but retaining his Code S seed again, since he had defeated sC to take the third place of the group).
Era of Supremacy (Aug — Oct 2011)
A week after this premature elimination, it was announced that Mvp would attend a foreign offline event for the first time of his career at the end of the month, as he was invited to the MLG Anaheim through the GSL-MLG exchange program. This first competition outside Korea turned out to be a success for Mvp. He dominated his pool with a clean 5-0 record, and went on facing the Zerg-versus-Terran specialist DongRaeGu in the championship bracket. Mvp came out victorious 2-1, and defeated BoxeR as well in order to reach the grand finals. His opponent there was another South Korean Terran player, MMA, who was the MLG reigning champion. Mvp narrowly won the series 2-1 to secure the title, hence winning a premier foreign event on his first attempt.
One week later, Mvp was back in Korea to enter the GSL August Code S, where he took the first place of his group with two victories against MC and Polt. Mvp's qualification for the main bracket led him to give up his invitation to MLG Raleigh (thus becoming unable to defend his title), as he decided to focus on the GSL instead. Mvp would be given another opportunity to compete in North America as Blizzard Entertainment announced on August 17 that he had been invited to the BlizzCon 2011 due to his current second place in the 2011 GSL rankings. Mvp's opponent in the GSL August round of 16 was none other than his teammate NesTea, three-time (and reigning) GSL champion, against who he had never lost in an official match yet. Despite being regarded as the underdog by both the South Korean and foreign fans, Mvp secured a 2-0 win and proceeded to the quarterfinals. Two clean victories against HuK (3-0) and July (3-1) sent him to the third GSL finals of his career. His competitor for the title was TOP, who was regarded as a threatening opponent since Mvp was struggling with his Terran-versus-Terran matchup at the time. He had indeed recently lost twice in a row to a Terran player in the 2011 GSTL Season 1 group stage (against Bomber and qxc), and has been knocked-out of the two last GSLs by Terran players as well (GanZi in the Super Tournament, and ByuN in the July Code S). Mvp was nonetheless able to overcome TOP on September 10, taking the series 4-1 in a dominating fashion and tying his teammate NesTea with three GSL titles, with the highlight being a quadruple nuke drop that flushed TOP out of his main during Game 1 on Daybreak after the two had halved the map. Artosis stated during this last series that he believed Mvp had the hardest road to a GSL final yet, since every single opponent he was required to face was either a GSL champion (actually every GSL champions but FruitDealer), a DreamHack champion, or a legendary StarCraft: Brood War Golden Mouse owner.
Ten days after his coronation, Mvp put his title back in challenge in the GSL October Code S. He easily qualified for the main bracket, beating his handpicked opponent Ensnare and Clide, and was pit against Bomber in the round of 16. The latter had a good record against Mvp, whom he had defeated in their three last encounters (in the GSL May Code A finals, in the ongoing GSTL group stage, and in the ongoing MLG Korean Invitational). Mvp nevertheless won 2-0 and proceeded to the quarterfinals, where he met NesTea again. The three-time GSL champions battled in a back and forth series, of which the Terran player emerged victorious 3-2. During the post match interview, Mvp disclosed that he was suffering from the carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. He eventually reached the finals for the second time in a row, at the expense of GanZi who was beaten 3-1. Mvp then travelled across the Pacific in order to attend both the BlizzCon 2011 and the GSL finals, as the latter match was scheduled to take place at the Blizzard convention as well. On the eve of the BlizzCon's opening day, the Danish manufacturer of gaming peripherals and accessories SteelSeries announced that it was now sponsoring both Mvp and NesTea. Mvp then made his way to BlizzCon winner's finals at the expense of mOOnGLaDe, TooDming and SeleCT, and met NesTea again. The Zerg player won the match 2-0, hence ending a four loss streak against Mvp, but the latter still made it to the grand finals after a swift victory against Sen in the loser's bracket. Before Mvp attended a rematch with NesTea in the BlizzCon grand finals, he had to play the GSL October finals. His competitor for the title was MMA, who eventually overcame the three-time GSL champion in front of the largest GSL audience so far.[Citation needed] Mvp managed to win only one game on an all-in, losing 1-4 to his opponent's well-planned build orders. In the BlizzCon finals held a few hours later, Mvp won a first best of 3 series against his teammate NesTea, but coming from the lower portion of the bracket he had to win another one to secure the victory. The second series was tied 1-1, with the deciding game taking place on Shakuras Plateau. They battled in a 45 minutes long game, with Mvp turtling and NesTea attempting to break his defense by every means, trying to harass him with Mutalisks, to push with Brood Lords, to do a Baneling Nydus attack, and finally to make a massive Ultralisk/Baneling drop in Mvp's main base. The Terran player gradually took an advantage with an intensive drop play and several successful Nukes. Down to three bases against six, NesTea ultimately attacked with all his remaining forces, but Mvp's Ghosts made short work of his Brood Lords and Infestors, leading him to concede the game, the match, and the tournament. Mvp subsequently won the championship and headed back to Korea with $68,500.
Successful End of Year (Nov — Dec 2011)
At the end of October, Mvp realised two noteworthy performances, as he won the 2011 MLG Global Invitational South Korea (which awarded him a spot in the Global finals), defeating Bomber and MMA in the final rounds; he qualified two days later for the final bracket of the World Cyber Games 2011 Korea, at the expense of MC and TaeJa.
Mvp then entered the GSL November Code S the best possible way, taking the first place of his round of 32 group with two wins against aLive and MarineKing. He reiterated this performance in the round of 16 group as he defeated jjakji and GuMiho, hence earning a spot in the main bracket. In between the GSL group stages, Mvp had beaten AnNyeong, SuperNova and MarineKing to win WCG Korea, hence qualifying for the world championship. On November 18, Mvp was in Providence in the USA (through the Quantic Incredible Miracle partnership) in order to attend both MLG Global Invitational and MLG Providence. He left the Global Invitational empty-handed, as he was eliminated by NaNiwa in the first round, and later entered MLG Championship's open bracket. Mvp flawlessly earned his spot in the championship bracket, going undefeated in the open event. There, two swift victories against Rain and Bomber drove him to face MC, who sent him in the lower part of the championship bracket. Mvp kept advancing in the loser's bracket, knocking-out MarineKing and HerO before barely defeating the unexpected HayprO in a close series. He then challenged MC again, with the match starting at 2-1 in favor of the Protoss player (due to the extended series rule). Mvp nonetheless beat the odds and took the series 4-2, and proceeded to face Leenock in the antepenultimate round. The 16 years old player's mastery of the Zerg-versus-Terran matchup proved itself to be too much to handle for Mvp, who was overwhelmed and therefore finished at the fourth place of the event.
A few days later, Mvp was back in Korea to compete in the GSL November Code S playoffs. He crushed sC 3-0 in the quarterfinals, hence becoming the first (and only one so far) player to advance to three consecutive GSL semifinals, and challenged Leenock for a place in final. The series they played was much more tied than in the MLG Providence, but the Zerg player eventually emerged victorious again as he secured a 3-2 win. In early December, the World Cyber Games 2011 in Busan kicked-off with Mvp as one of the three South Korean representatives. He went undefeated in the group stage, and made his way through the bracket as well, eliminating MacSed (whom he acknowledged as the toughest opponent he faced in the whole championship), BlinG, and Kas to reach the finals. There, Mvp overwhelmed XiGua to become the first WCG StarCraft II champion. The day after his coronation, Mvp traveled from Busan to Seoul in order to attend the Blizzard Cup, and event organised by GOMTV and meant to gather the ten most successful players of the year. Mvp had qualified for this tournament by three means (as the best-ranked player in the GSL rankings, as the BlizzCon winner and as the World Cyber Games champion), which led GOMTV to invite MMA and Polt by virtue of their fourth and fifth positions in the GSL rankings. Before the event kicked-off, Mvp stated that he meant to win it, but was a little bit worried by his lack of practice due to WCG being held the day before. He made it to the playoffs, taking the second place of his group with a 3-1 record, as he lost to DongRaeGu and defeated MC, Stephano, and HerO. He then defeated Polt 3-1 in the round of six, with the last game of the series being an intense back-and-forth battle on Calm Before the Storm which ended when Mvp crushed Polt's Battlecruisers fleet. Mvp's opponent in semifinals was MMA, against whom he remained on a stinging defeat in the GSL October finals. The SlayerS Terran was able to overwhelm Mvp in the Blizzard Cup as well, as he inflicted him a severe 3-0 defeat that stopped his run in the tournament. 2011 therefore ended with an extremely successful series for Mvp, who had won no less than four premier events and nearly $160,000 over the course of the last six months (and had reached at least the top 4 of every tournaments he had attended since August), and who was topping the 2011 GSL rankings.
Difficult Path to a Fourth GSL Title (Jan — May 2012)
Mvp's first appearance in 2012 took place on January 11, as he entered the 2012 GSL Season 1 Code S in a round of 32 group featuring IdrA, NesTea, and Lucky. Mvp defeated the latter but was beaten by NesTea, which was the first time he ever lost to his teammate in an official series held in Korea. The Terran player nonetheless beat Lucky again, using Ghosts and Nukes effectively in the final game to allow himself to proceed to the round of 16. Mvp's run ended in this second group stage, as he lost to GuMiho, defeated Curious, and was ultimately sent into Code A round of 24 by GuMiho after he displayed an unusually poor Terran-versus-Terran play. The new GSL format initiated in the GSL November made it that he only had to win one match in Code A to get his Code S spot back though. However, before this encounter was played, Mvp traveled overseas to attend the MLG Winter Arena in which he had qualified thanks to his fourth place in MLG Providence. His participation in the event turned out to be a significant setback, as Ret made him drop into the loser's bracket in the second round, where he was immediately eliminated by GanZi. Two days later, Mvp secured his place in next season's Code S as he defeated Sniper in the GSL Season 1 Code A last round. On March 14, Mvp entered the Iron Squid – Chapter I, where he was one of the four last invites. He delivered an average performance in the online group stage, in spite of a good start with two wins against ThorZaIN and Symbol. An unexpected 0-2 loss to IdrA followed by another defeat against MC on the same mark left him with a 2-2 record in matches and 4-5 in games, which made him drop out the tournament based on the games score.
Three weeks later, on April 13, Mvp entered the 2012 GSL Season 2 Code S where he was seeded along with NaNiwa, Ryung, and Puzzle. His wrist injury still plaguing him (he had to skip his scheduled attendance to the IGN ProLeague Season 4 to preserve his wrists for the GSL), Mvp initially lost 0-2 against Ryung in a series that made him look like a shell of his former self. Mvp then had to play Puzzle, and managed to defeat him 2-0 while looking quite strong in the process. In the last series of the night, Mvp had to play against Ryung again. Mvp revealed a hidden Viking fleet and Battlecruisers to dismantle Ryung's mechanical army to take the first game, while his experience in base trades allowed him to end up with a stronger army and running economy in the second game, taking the series 2-0 and qualifying for Code S Round of 16. Mvp's round of 16 group featured HerO, July, and Leenock. He emerged victorious against July 2-1, holding July's trademark aggression, but lost 1-2 against HerO and had to face Leenock and his mastery of the Zerg-versus-Terran matchup. In a series reminiscent of Mvp's skill before his handicap, he defeated Leenock 2-1 and advanced to the quarterfinals, where he would meet NaNiwa. Mvp eventually defeated the latter 3-1, winning two games out of one base all-ins. He stated after the match that he had thought of using these early game aggression strategies in order to punish what he referred to as "NaNiwa's greedy early game". Now the last non-Protoss player remaining in the tournament, Mvp played his sixth GSL Code S semifinals against PartinG, who was widely acknowledged as the best Protoss-versus-Terran player in the world at the time. Mvp took an early 2-0 lead, transitioning from a macro build to a Marine/Medivac/SCV all-in to punish a Colossus into Storm tech switch in game one, following up with a non-cloak variation of the 1-1-1 all-in in game two. PartinG was able to win the next map, going safely to three bases and crushing Mvp's army, but the Terran ultimately sealed the deal in game four with a well-timed 4-Medivac drop, hence winning the series 3-1.
Mvp's opponent in his fifth finals appearance was Squirtle, who had an impressive run in the championship, being on a 14 wins streak. A one-base Hellion/Marine/Medivac rush coupled with a good scouting denial took the Protoss player by surprise in game one, before Mvp took a two-game lead after a macro-game on Entombed Valley. The Terran player applied an early Marines pressure in game three, successfully gaining a decisive economic advantage that resulted in a Squirtle's GG. Needing to win only a single game to secure the series, Mvp appeared to be on the verge of the victory, but his opponent didn't crack under the pressure and realised a spectacular comeback. The Protoss player destroyed Mvp's army in game four thanks to best upgrades, before the two players faced each other on Metropolis. Both of them built a huge economy, being reluctant to attack at the point of sacrificing their own workers and cheap units to free supply for high-end units. Mvp went for mass Battlecruisers supported by Ghosts, while Squirtle made an army of Stalkers, High Templars, Archons, and a Mothership. The Protoss led a first massive attack on Mvp's island expansion with a suicide mass-recall, but his units found themselves stuck there after the Mothership was destroyed. He nonetheless managed to ferry back everything from the island with a Warp Prism as the Terran player did not dare to attack. Mvp finally sent his twenty-Battlecruiser fleet and his pack of Ghosts toward Squirtle's bases, where he lost everything to a well-placed Vortex coupled with a deluge of Psionic Storms and Feedbacks. A flock of Void-Rays cleaned the remnants of the Terran army, leading Mvp to concede a second game. After this epic outcome, Squirtle was able to recover from a failed push he initiated in game six by killing many SCVs until he was clearly ahead. The Protoss player eventually tied the series 3-3, forcing a decisive game (the first one in Code S history). Mvp tried to surprise his opponent with a proxy 11/11 Barracks rush supported by SCVs which was scouted in time by Squirtle, who was barely able to hold it off thanks to a great micromanagement. Down to five SCVs and with no tech, Mvp seemed pretty much out of the game, but he managed to make enough Marines for a last-ditch attack supported by his remaining SCVs, with a single MULE being left in his base. The Terran player eventually took the upper hand on Squirtle's Zealots and Stalkers, and dealt the fatal blow by destroying his Pylons. This thrilling series (arguably the most contested GSL finals so far) hence ended as a 4-3 victory for Mvp, who was crowned champion of the GSL for the fourth time of his career.
Entering the OSL (Jun — Aug 2012)
On June 14, Mvp made his debut in the 2012 GSL Season 3 round of 32, where he managed to proceed to the round of 16 in spite of a loss against Genius (two wins against SuHoSin and Happy awarded him the second place of his group). He wouldn't be able to defend his title much further though, as he lost to TaeJa and viOLet, hence placing fourth in the group and dropping into Code A round of 24 (meaning that he was still able to secure a Code S seed for the next season). In early July, Mvp attended a European event for the first of his career, being invited in the HomeStory Cup V held in TaKe's flat in Krefeld, Germany. His participation in this tournament turned out to be one of his worst performance in a foreign premier event with his early eliminations in the MLG Winter Arena four months before and in the TeamLiquid StarLeague 3 in March 2011. He was indeed eliminated in the second group stage, placing last in his group after two defeats against Ret and Naama and a narrow victory against Golden (he had also been upset by the underdog monchi in the first round). Two week after this disappointing outcome, Mvp was back in Korea to enter the 2012 OnGameNet Starleague Season 1, the first season of the prestigious league dedicated to StarCraft II. As one of the four players invited in the non-KeSPA dual tournament, he didn't have to compete in the qualifiers. Mvp eventually earned his spot in the round of 16, defeating Min and Sniper and losing to Oz. After qualifying for the playoffs, he stated that he was growing eager to face Flash, whom he said seemed to be an excellent StarCraft II player. Mvp did not advance past his Round of 16 group, defeating BaBy but losing to Flying and PartinG.
Drive for the Five (Aug - Oct 2012)
In August 2012, Mvp experienced a major success on the international stage when he participated in IEM Season VII - Cologne. After finishing first in the group stage, he was seeded into the Ro8, and proceeded to display his dominance over foreign Zerg players, defeating sLivko in the RO8, VortiX in the Semifinals and Nerchio in the Finals, each by a score of 3-1. In a memorable Ro8 moment, he allowed sLivko to construct a Zerg-owned Command Center by repeatedly allowing his SCV to be the target of Neural Parasite. In a post-game interview, Mvp confirmed that he already knew he had won the game and intentionally allowed this to occur.
Mvp began his run in the 2012 GSL Season 4 with a test of his TvT skills, being placed in a RO32 group with TaeJa and his long-time nemesis MMA, along with underdog foreigner MaNa. Mvp lost to TaeJa 0-2, but defeated MMA twice, 2-1 and 2-0, to advance as the second player in his group. The RO16 was comparatively easy, with Mvp defeating JYP 2-1 and then continuing his career-long domination of MarineKing with a 2-0 win to advance to the RO8. Mvp continued his success, defeating Symbol 3-1 in the Ro8 and Rain 3-2 in a close semifinals series where Mvp repeatedly pulled his SCVs for a mid-game all-in attack that would come to be referred to as the "La-Z-Boy Push."
Having advanced to the Code S finals yet again, Mvp had a chance to win an unprecedented fifth GSL title. In recognition of this, a special award was prepared for him by the GSL, similar to the Brood War "Golden Mouse" award. In the finals, Mvp faced Life, who in his inaugural Code S season had dominated Terran players, with a combined 8-1 record against Happy, MarineKing and TaeJa. In arguably the closest GSL Code S finals series ever played, Life won the first two games with his aggressive zergling-heavy style, only to see Mvp come back to take a 3-2 series lead behind a switch to a focus on blue flame hellions. Despite being visibly frustrated following his Game 5 loss, Life himself came back to win the next two games and deny Mvp his fifth title, accomplishing the first ever GSL Code S Royal Road victory.
Final Months of Wings of Liberty
As the reigning Code S runner-up, Mvp was automatically seeded into the 2012 GSL Season 5, but could not repeat his success from the previous season. He did not advance past the Ro32, defeating Bbyong 2-1 but losing to both DongRaeGu and Creator 0-2 to finish third in his group. Dropping down into the second round of Code A, Mvp was nonetheless able to secure himself a Code S spot for the next season, defeating Flying 2-0 and sOs 2-1.
Mvp did not have any more success in the 2013 Global StarCraft II League Season 1, again falling in the Ro32, this time as the last-place player in his group, losing to KeeN 1-2 and to RorO 0-2. He then lost to soO 0-2 in his first match in Code A, falling out of the GSL altogether.
Heart of the Swarm
On the strength of his 2012 performance in Cologne, Mvp was one of the 24 players who qualified for the IEM Season VII - World Championship. He stormed the group stage with a 5-0 series record, including a 2-0 win over Stephano, and received a seed into the Quarterfinals. There, he dominated MaNa en route to an easy 3-0 victory, before falling to his teammate YoDa in the Semifinals in a close 2-3 series.
Mvp then qualified for the 2013 MLG Winter Championship with a 3-0 victory over Curious in the qualification showmatches. Mvp defeated Feast 3-1 in the Ro32, but fell to rival MC's creative Oracle play in a 1-3 Ro16 loss.
With the release of Heart of the Swarm and the advent of the WCS tournament system, Mvp decided to participate in WCS Europe, and received one of the 24 invites to the inaugural 2013 WCS Season 1 Europe Premier League. Mvp advanced from the Ro32 finishing second in his group after defeating Siw 2-0, losing to DIMAGA 1-2 in an upset, and recovering to defeat Socke 2-1. In the Ro16, he again suffered a minor upset at the hands of a foreigner when he lost to LucifroN 0-2, but again advanced second in his group after two dominant 2-0 wins against SaSe. In the bracket stages, Mvp showed flashes of his IEM Cologne performance, again showing off his domination over foreign Zerg players, using heavy Hellbat harass and strong mid-game bio attacks to defeat TLO 3-0 in the Quarterfinals, win a rematch against DIMAGA 3-0 in the Semifinals, and finally take the championship with a 4-1 victory over Stephano in the Finals.
His victory qualified him for the 2013 WCS Season 1 Finals, where he continued his trend of narrowly advancing out of group stages in second place, losing to Alicia 1-2 but defeating KangHo 2-1 and Ryung 2-1. In the Quarterfinals, he defeated TvT expert ForGG 3-1 before narrowly losing to eventual champion INnoVation in the Semifinals by a score of 2-3, which included an impressive Game 2 win in a long macro game despite losing almost all of his SCVs to early attacks.
In the 2013 WCS Season 2 Europe Premier League, Mvp advanced to the Ro16 by defeating elfi 2-0 and Tefel 2-1. His victory over Tefel included a memorable game where Mvp won despite being so far behind at one point that Apollo, who was casting the game, repeatedly said that he would eat a hat if Mvp came back to win. Mvp's run ended in the Ro16 this time, as after defeating Ret 2-0, he lost 1-2 to both HasuObs and Grubby, finishing third in his group and dropping to Challenger League. Despite this, he did earn a ticket back to BlizzCon for the 2013 WCS Global Finals, where he would fall 0-3 in the round of 16 to eventual finalist Jaedong.
Mvp's lack of a top 4 finish since the 2013 WCS Season 1 Season Finals represents the longest drought of his career. He dropped out in the round of 16 of the 2014 WCS Season 1 Europe Premier League, beating Bunny but losing to an impressive VortiX and in a very close series against long-term rival MMA. Nevertheless, Mvp's play looked confident and he placed highly enough to guarantee himself a spot in the Premier League of Season 2.
Mvp left Incredible Miracle on July 23, 2014, at the same time as Trap, Squirtle and YongHwa. Almost a week later, he lost his 2014 WCS Season 3 Europe Challenger match against the Terran player MorroW, with a score of 2-3. In the following months, he participated in multiple qualifiers without success, and has been inactive since October 2014.
Mvp is regarded as an extremely solid all-around player, who relies on excellent macro management combined with impeccable timing and superb unit control. His wide range of build orders allows him to be a threat in every match-up, and he regularly tries to surprise his opponents by mixing all-ins into best of X series. Mvp is credited with popularizing the heavy use of Ghosts against Ultralisks and Brood Lords in August 2011 (following a widely commented game against July in the GSL August Code S semifinals), hence bringing a major shift in the Terran-versus-Zerg late game. Since 2012 Mvp has relied heavily on mech play against both Zerg and Terran, favouring hellbats and tanks in Heart of the Swarm especially. Mvp is also one of the few Terran players who sometimes goes for mass Battlecruiser play in long macrogames. One famous occurrence of this strategy took place in the 2012 GSL Season 2 Code S finals game 5, against Squirtle, where Mvp's mass battlecruiser fleet unfortunately fell to Squirtle's well placed storms and archon toilet supported by void rays, in one of the most acclaimed games in StarCraft 2 history. Despite losing that game, Mvp would however go on to take the series and the tournament. More recently, Mvp won a game vs FireCake in 2014 WCS Season 1 Europe Premier League round of 32 with a mass air army consisting of Vikings, ravens and battlecruisers on Frost. After opening with a standard mech composition, Mvp turtled while transitioning to sky Terran. After building his unstoppable army, he lifted his structures and floated them with his air fleet while destroying FireCake's bases. This late-game TvZ style has been dubbed "Nomad Terran".
- Mvp is the most prolific player in GSL. He indeed won the league four times, reaching the finals six times. He was also the runner-up of the Code A once. Mvp was the best-ranked player of 2011, and topped the 2011 GSL ranking for most of the year, only dropping to the second place twice: between GSL March and GSL World Championship, and between GSL July and GSL August. Mvp took the lead of the 2012 ranking as well after his victory in the GSL Season 2, only to lose it to DongRaeGu after the next season. He claimed the first place of the rankings once again after his runner-up place in the season 4.
- Mvp is one of the six GSL champions who dropped into Code A the season following their coronations, as he was eliminated in the 2011 GSL March Code S round of 32. After him, both jjakji and DongRaeGu fell immediately after their titles. After Mvp's title in 2012 GSL Season 2, Seed, Life, Sniper fell right after winning the league.
- Mvp qualified for the 2011 Blizzard Cup by three different means: as the top-ranked player in GSL, as the BlizzCon 2011 winner, and as the World Cyber Games 2011 champion. As a result, GOMTV invited MMA and Polt by virtue of their fourth and fifth positions in the GSL rankings in order to fill two of the three spots earned by Mvp. The latter ended up facing both of them, eliminating Polt and losing to MMA.
- He was ranked 1st on the Liquipedia list of Accomplishments in Premier Tournaments until TaeJa won DreamHack Summer 2014.
- Mvp, alongside NesTea, MarineKing, MC and Leenock, is one of the players who played in the first GSL Wings of Liberty Code S and the last GSL Wings of Liberty Code S.
- Mvp is - after MMA and MC - the third player to achieve Triple Crown. He is, with Life, one of the only players who qualify for two, separate Triple Crowns.
- Affectionately nicknamed Jürgen and jokingly referred to as European after winning 2013 WCS Season 1 Europe and going on to represent Europe in the 2013 WCS Season 1 Finals back in Korea. He had fun with being labeled a naturalized European at the season finals, saying in an interview with Apollo, Day9 and Chobra after finding himself the only European region qualifier left at the season finals that he wanted to represent Europe and bring back a victory.
- Was the subject of a CNN news report that looked into his career as a pro gamer as he took gold at World Cyber Games 2011 and featured interviews with him and Tasteless.
- Also nicknamed the Game Genie Terran by Tastosis since he appears to play as if he had maphacks enabled.
- Mvp is the 2nd player to achieve the NesTea Award after placing into GSL Code S 10 times in a row.
|In Major Tournaments|
|2013-08-14||1st - 8th||2013 WCS Season 2 Europe: Challenger League||2 : 1||$300|
|2012-11-21||2nd||2012 IGN Pro Team League||1 : 5||$444.44|
|2012-04-30||3rd||NVIDIA Gaming Festival 2012||2 : 1||$1,000|
|2011-12-22||1st||IPL Team Arena Challenge||5 : 3||$500|
|2011-11-13||1st||Team Ace Invitational||3 : 2||$8,877.05|
|2011-09-25||2nd||GeForce Starcraft II Pro/Am||3 : 1||$3,150|
|2011-01-09||1st||Gainward SC2 Tournament||3 : 0||$4,300|
|In Minor Tournaments|
|2013-10-06||1st||Igromir 2013||2 : 1||$3,000|
|2011-10-28||1st||2011 MLG Korean Invitational||4 : 2||$2,000|
|2011-06-02||1st||SAGAcity Invitational 2011||4 : 0||$1,500|
|Complete list of results in any tournament|
Matches & VODs
First Person View Match VODS
- Mvp's profile on the Korean Ladder
- Mvp vs IdrA ladder match casted by Artosis
- World class gamer: Inside the life of pro-gamer MVP - CNN video profile
- "The 13 feats of Mvp" - by Thorin of Team Acer
- "The King: IM_Mvp - Road to Blizzcon #1" - by Stuchiu of TL.net
|as||103 - 75||57.9 %||127 - 76||62.6 %||156 - 104||60 %||386 - 255||60.2 %|
1v1 Medal Statistics
- Heyoka (1 January 2012). "2011 in Review - TL Awards - Player of the Year (Korea)". TL.net. Retrieved 11 September 2012. "There isn't much else to say, MVP is hands-down the best and it is absolutely unthinkable to give this award out anywhere else when looking at the scope of events through the past year."
- Ring, Robert C. (2012). Simon, Shawn "Sheth". ed (PDF). The Year in StarCraft II. Birmingham, AL: Double Forge Publishing. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-9851458-0-4. LCCN 2012932373. "If there was one player by the end of 2011 who could safely be considered the best of them all, it was Mvp."
- Staley, Derek (2 January 2012). "StarCraft 2 Power Rankings: Setting the Stage". ESFIWorld.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012. "...the gap between Mvp and everybody else is significant... you've got the most dominant, consistent player in 2011"
- "Players ranked by prize money earned". Aligulac.com.
- "정종현-최인규-임재덕 모였다! 스타2 게임단 'IM' 창단! " [New Korean SC2 Team -- IM] (in Korean). fomos.kr. 1 October 2010. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012. "A new SC2 team has been created. Its name is 'IM, which stands for 'Incredible Miracle. It includes four ex-SC1 progamers: ZergBong, MVP, TT, and Losira."
- Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski; Nick "Tasteless" Plott (29 January 2011). Seoul, South Korea: GOMTV. Event occurs at 29:30. http://www.gomtv.net/2011gslsponsors5/vod/66149. Retrieved 11 September 2012. "Artosis: Mvp had the hardest road to a GSL finals ever, he beat every single champion on the way."
- Mvp: "I've said often before that wrists and my health in general have not been the best". ThisIsGame.com, 13 April 2012. Translated version / TL.net Forum thread
- Weeks, Gavin (17 November 2011). "Meet the Team: Jung "MVP" Jong Hyun". Quantic Gaming. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "NaDA vs MVP 2008-10-05 on Harmony". TLPD.
- "MVP in the Shinhan 08-09 Proleague". TLPD.
- "MVP vs sAviOr 2008-10-18 on Neo Requiem". TLPD.
- "Flash vs MVP 2009-06-09 on Neo Medusa". TLPD.
- "MVP in the Shinhan 09-10 Proleague". TLPD.
- "Hana Daetoo MSL Flash vs MVP 2010-04-29on Odd-Eye 2". TLPD.
- "2010 Bigfile MSL MVP vs Kal 2010-07-03 on Triathlon". TLPD.
- Mvp (12 May 2011). "Team Liquid Final Edits: The Elephant in the Room". TL.net. Retrieved 12 September 2012. "This is the first time I've mentioned it, but I come from a very poor family. The 100,000,000 won prize GSL came out with had a big influence on my switch. I wanted to win, and I wanted to make money. I wanted to help my family out with my winnings."
- tree.hugger; Xxio (2 January 2011). "[GSL] "A New Year" - 2011 Preview". TL.net. Retrieved 11 September 2012. "Xxio: His expertise in Brood War has already shown itself in all the fundamentals. Once he gets going, MVP is going to be unstoppable. He is the most skilled contemporary Brood War player playing StarCraft II. In 2010 he beat BaBy, Best, Stork, and Jangbi. He beat Flash in a TvT. I'm just saying."
- Hot_Bid; TrueRedemption; Treehugger; BroOd; Lovedrop (31 October 2010). "[GSL] "Foxer the Fruit Stealer" - Ro32 Recap". TL.net. Retrieved 12 September 2012. "Lovedrop: [Mvp] Delighted us with beautiful micro and solid play. Maybe could've scouted the Brood Lords and held on in game 2, and reacted better to game 3's constant drops."
- "IMMvp Jung Jong Hyun, diamond ladder score over 3,000 points". PlayXP.org, 9 November 2010. TL.net Forum thread
- "GSL Liquid`Jinro, EG.IdrA - S3 Ro32 Foreigner Sp.". TL.net, 2 December 2010.
- Gisado Live Report. TL.net, 22 December 2010.
- [GSL Jan.] Code S, Final. At 00:30. GOMTV.net
- "[GSL] “Mirror” - January Finals Preview". TL.net, 29 January 2011.
- Mvp's games record in January 2011. TLPD
- Bomber: "Overall, Mvp is the best player". Interview with Bomber (at 06:30). ArtosisTV @ YouTube.com 16 February 16th 2011.
- "GSL sends Mvp, DongRaeGu to MLG Anaheim". TL.net, 12 July 2011.
- "Which Korean Pros are Coming to Raleigh?". MajorLeagueGaming.com, 11 August 2011. TL.net Forum thread
- "NesTea, Mvp to BlizzCon". Battle.net Korea, 17 August 2011. Translated version / TL.net Forum thread
- Mvp vs NesTea matches history. TLPD.
- "GSL Code-S August RO16 Preview". TL.net, 23 August 2011.
- "GSL Code-S August Finals Preview". TL.net, 10 September 2011.
- "GSL Code-S RO16 + Power Rank". TL.net, 4 October 2011.
- "IM_MVP Interview - GSL Oct. Code S Semifinals". GOMTVNET @ YouTube.com, 13 October 2011.
- "GSL October to be hosted at Blizzcon". SK-Gaming.com, 12 July 2011.
- "SteelSeries Sponsors IMNestea and IMMvp". TL.net, 20 October 2011.
- "Blizzcon and GSL Finals - Polar Opposites". TL.net, 26 October 2011.
- "Nestea and MVP to MLG Providence". TL.net, 22 October 2011.
- "11th Dec WCG - MVP's interview". ThisIsGame.com, 11 December 2011. Translated version / TL.net Forum thread
- "MMA invited to Blizzard Cup". ThisIsGame.com, 3 December 2011. Google Translated version
- "If MVP Wins WCG, Polt qualifies for the Blizzard Cup". ThisIsGame.com, 9 December 2011. Translated version / TL.net Forum thread
- Mvp vs. NesTea records in Korean events. TLPD.
- "[GSL] Code S - Jinxed". TL.net, 2 February 2012.
- "Four more legends to wrap it up". IronSquid.tv, 13 February 2012.
- "[Code S] RO16 - Group B Recap". TL.net, 20 April 2012.
- "[Code S] RO32 - Group E Preview/Group G Recap". TL.net, 14 April 2012.
- "[Code S] RO8 - Day Two Preview/Day One Recap". TL.net, 3 May 2012.
- "[Interview] 2012 GSL S2 CodeS RO8 D1 Winners". TL.net, 2 May 2012.
- "[Code S] Semi-Finals Preview". TL.net, 10 May 2012.
- "[Code S] Semi-Finals Recap + Interviews". TL.net, 11 May 2012.
- "[Code S] Finals Recap". TL.net, 20 May 2012.
- "Mvp goes to HomeStory V". GosuGamers.net, 30 June 2012.
- "[Interview] OSL non-KeSPA dual tournament winners". ThisIsGame.com, 17 July 2012. Translated version / TL.net Forum thread
- The Defining Players: Mvp. Robert C. Ring, The Year in StarCraft II, page 90.
- Mvp the European (Interview at WCS Season 1 Finals)
- Inside look at world champion gamer Mvp CNN