He is known for his aggressive style and unusual number of runner-up finishes in tournaments.
soO joined SK Telecom T1 in 2008, right after graduating from middle school to pursue a career as a professional Brood War player. He gave his regular season Proleague debut in June of 2009, in a losing endeavor against Light.
However, it took until late 2011 until soO really managed to make an impact in the Brood War scene. He became a Proleague regular as well as key player for SKT in the latter rounds of the 2010-2011 edition of the event. Additionally, he made a very deep run in the 2011 Jin Air OSL, going all the way to the top 4 before being stopped by JangBi. That result was the peak of soO's Brood War career in terms of individual competition, which was, at least in part, caused by the fact that KeSPA and all of its associated teams and players, including soO, proceeded with a complete switch from Brood War to StarCraft 2 in 2012.
Wings of Liberty
2012: A Time of Great Change
soO’s first televised StarCraft 2 match came in week two of the 2011-2012 Proleague Season 2 Round 1. Run as a hybrid tournament featuring both Brood War and StarCraft 2, soO lost to EffOrt on May 27, 2012. He defeated Modesty in his other StarCraft 2 match of the round. soO posted a 1-2 record in Round 2, with a win over INnoVation and losses to Horang2 and RorO. His first action in individual leagues came on July 19th as he took part in the 2012 OGN Starleague KeSPA Preliminaries. Having received a bye, he defeated BigTiger before being knocked out of the event by Shuttle.
soO once more posted a 1-2 record in the StarCraft 2 portion of Proleague Round 3. He defeated Kop in SK Telecom T1’s week one match against Samsung KHAN, but fell to Rogue of 8th Team on Cloud Kingdom and sKyHigh of CJ Entus in week four. Due to their performance in the four rounds, soO and SK Telecom T1 made it to the Playoffs. soO did not play StarCraft 2 in either of his teams victories against 8th Team in the first round, but did play in the Silver Challenger Match, losing to EffOrt and then herO in the ace match on Ohana. soO’s defeat was the second for SK Telecom T1, who lost the Best of 3 match to CJ Entus, 2-0. soO ended Proleague with a 9-9 record, albeit 3-7 in StarCraft 2.
Though not spectacular, soO’s performances in Proleague earned him a spot in the 2012 MLG vs Proleague Invitational. The regular season began on September 27th, with the 24 Proleague and 24 Foreign players playing two games in each set. soO opened the regular season with 2-0’s over Kawaiirice, Sasquatch and HuK on day one. He followed that up by 2-0’ing SeleCT on day two, while splitting games with MajOr and Illusion. soO put in another solid performance the following week, defeating qxc and Sheth 2-0, drawing with Caliber, Hawk and ViBE, but also suffering his first defeat at the hands of IdrA. He drew with Puma, beat Alicia and lost to aLive on matchday five and defeated Ret and SaSe, with a draw against NaNiwa to round out week three. soO started week four with a clean sweep of Grubby, Socke and Thorzain, but fared less well on the second matchday on which he lost to Oz, 2-0’d CranK and drew with MC. soO finished the regular season with a 36-12 record, which was good enough to qualify him for the single elimination stage of the event. His Round of 16 opponent turned out to be TY. The Zerg player came out on top by a 4-1 score and subsequently took out Flash, another Terran, 4-3. In the semifinals, soO narrowly defeated Soulkey in another 4-3 before taking down Oz in the finals, 4-2.
The first place finish was the first notable result of soO’s StarCraft 2 career and earned him a seed in the 2012 MLG Fall Championship which took place on the first weekend of November 2012. He was placed into Group D, but lost his first match against Daisy, 2-1. The Zerg player then defeated First and Scarlett in the loser’s bracket, but fell to Bomber, 2-0. soO then played against Suppy, who he 2-0’d, before losing to Rain, 2-1. With that, his tournament run came to an end, with soO finishing in 13-16th place overall.
Heart of the Swarm
2013: Struggles Yield Success
soO began his first full year of StarCraft 2 competition in 2012-2013 Proleague Round 1. The round actually started on December 8, 2012, with soO posting a 4-3 record for SK Telecom T1. Wins over Trap, Flying, Hydra and JuNi helped SK Telecom to a 5-2 record, good for third place. soO did not fare as well in Round 2 as he compiled a 3-5 record in the all-kill format round. After defeating Last, JYP and ThorZain in week one, soO did not manage a win for the rest of the round as SK Telecom T1 finished dead last with a 1-6 record. He did however notch a win over Motive in the first match of Round 3 before taking part in the Preliminaries for 2013 GSL Season 1. soO topped his group, going 8-0 with wins over Gerrard, Leta and Classic. This qualified soO for Code A. soO defeated Mvp and Killer, but fell to LosirA, eliminating him from his first season of GSL one win shy of Code S. Despite falling short, the Zerg built on the minor success with a 5-1 finish in Proleague Round 3. He lost to Hydra after beating Motive, before rattling off wins over free, Shine, Rogue and Size.
soO returned to individual leagues for the WCS Korea Season 1 Up and Down. He was placed in Group E along with Flying, Bbyong, ByuN, Sniper and Rain who was retroactively seeded directly into Code S prior to the group being played. soO finished second in the group with a 6-4 record, earning him a spot in Code S as well. soO was scheduled to play his Round of 32 group on April 10th, but first he had to participate in week one of Proleague Round 4. He lost to hitmaN and did not play against Samsung KHAN as SK Telecom T1 jumped out to a 2-0 start. With the team league out of the way, soO, sOs, Curious and MarineKing met to see who would advance from Group C. soO lost to sOs 0-2 in the winner’s match, but beat Curious twice that day to survive the group in second place. He was unable to translate his success in WCS to Proleague, however, as he went 0-4 in Round 4.
soO lost to Dear in week one of Proleague Round 5 before taking part in Group D of the WCS Round of 16. His group contained Symbol, LosirA and GuMiho. Paired up against Symbol in the opening match, soO lost 2-0 to Symbol before being eliminated by LosirA 2-1, meaning he missed out on his first top 8 finish in a StarCraft 2 Starleague. soO finished Round 5 with a 1-2 record, but, despite the unspectacular results, he had qualified himself for the Challenger portion of WCS Korea OSL. soO lost to GuMiho in the final match, but still finished 13-24th place, good for another Premier league placement. His Round of 32 group took place on June 20th. The Zerg logged wins over Maru and sOs, with the former also advancing, eliminating the Woongjin Stars Protoss as well as EffOrt from the event. soO continued to see infrequent play in Proleague Round 6 during this period, playing only once in the round, in another loss to Dear.
With a few weeks until the Round of 16 began, soO capitalized on the opportunity to ply his wares overseas. Thanks to an excellent performance in the KeSPA qualifiers that saw soO defeated Miso, Classic (now playing Protoss), RorO. Bbyong and Trend. This qualified him for the 2013 MLG Spring Championship. soO won his first three matches in the Early Rounds against FanTaSy, Drewbie and Illusion without losing a game. A 2-1 loss to HyuN dropped him into the loser’s bracket, but his 2-0 victory in the loser’s bracket round 6 against Golden assured him of a place in the final bracket. Once there he defeated Heart 2-0 before falling to Sage 2-1 bringing his tournament run to a close with a 9th-12th place finish.
soO returned to Korea to take part in the OSL Round of 16. He played three matches from July 4 to July 18, defeating PartinG 2-0 before losing to Symbol and Soulkey 2-1. The 1-2 record was not good enough to earn him advancement, making it another stumble one step shy of the elimination rounds in a Korean Starleague. soO featured once in Proleague, playing in the Playoffs and notching a win against hyvaa. The victory was part of a 4-3 loss for SK Telecom T1, the second in a Best of 3 series against STX Soul, eliminating SK Telecom T1 from Proleague. soO ended the year with a 15-16 record, his best matchup being against Zerg where he went 8-6.
soO first action of the final Starleague of the year took place in the up and down matches. He was placed into Group B which contained herO, Life, ByuN and Bang, escaping the group in second place after posting a 2-1 record, with wins against Life and ByuN. This result qualifed him for Premier. soO was assigned to Group G along with Bomber, Super and YongHwa. The group was played on September 12, 2013, with soO advancing out in second place on the back of wins against YongHwa, and Bomber in the final match. Having reached the Round of 16 for the third consecutive season, soO found jjakji, INnoVation and Super waiting for him in Group C. soO lost his first match to jjakji, 2-0, but recovered with back to back wins against Super and INnoVation. The second place finish marked the first time soO had reached the single elimination stage of a Korean Starleague since switching to StarCraft 2. His quarterfinal opponent turned out to be PartinG, who won the first game of their match on Bel'Shir Vestige. soO ran the table from there, however, winning three straight to advance to the semifinals. Waiting for him in that match was Soulkey, who was by far the more decorated StarCraft 2 player, with his reverse sweep over INnoVation in Season 1 of GSL earlier that year representing an achievement and level of excellence soO had yet to approach.
Both players opened hatchery first on Polar Night, but Soulkey went for the quicker baneling nest. soO responded to the ling flood with a wall and spine crawler. Soulkey followed up with a roach/baneling all-in and, while soO lost his roach warren, he held. His initial counterattack didn't end the game, but his follow-up with queens put him ahead 1-0. Having spawned in horizontal locations on Frost, game two started with conservative builds from both player. soO's ling flood was the first real action of the game. It killed two queens but little else. Soulkey's third base was far quicker and, while he held a supply lead going into the first fight, soO's superior micro swung the battle in his favor. A roach vs roach tug of war ensued, which came down to a final fight outside Soulkey's third base as he tried to flank soO. soO repositioned his army and brought his superior numbers to bear to go up 2-0. Soulkey opened gasless pool first on Whirlwind, while soO opted for hatchery first. He tacked on a baneling nest and went for a ling flood, finding a hole in Soulkey's wall, forcing out a quick concession and a trip to the finals for soO.
The finals took place on October 19th, with soO facing off against Dear, a potential royal roader. The SouL Protoss opened with a forge fast expand in game one, which aligned well with their cross spawns on Frost. Dear opened with phoenix, before teching into colossi and adding gateways of two bases. soO got a complete scout off, prompting him to mass roach/hydra off three bases. Dear hit as thermal lance finished, but soO's roach counterattack at Dear's natural with a pack of roaches forced warp ins at home. The main fight was going Dear's way, however, and, having killed the third base, Dear pushed into soO's natural, demanding a concession with a /dance. soO pulled his workers, but had no choice but to acquiesce. Down a game, soO opened hatchery first while Dear went for an oracle and then void rays after a gateway expand on Akilon Wastes. soO took his third, but found his zerglings out of position as six zealots marched in. Dear killed the base before gutting the natural to take a 2-0 lead.
soO opened pool/hatch/hatch on Polar Night, which effectively neutered Dear's forge fast expand. Dear opened void ray, while soO went for a roach/ling attack that got stalled at Dear's natural, but cancelled his third. soO forced another cancel while transitioning to hydralisks. soO's first forays with hydralisks were unsuccessful, but he added in queens and continued the pressure while taking his fourth. Dear kept soO at bay while building a dark shrine. Dark templars hit in all four bases at once, giving Dear a worker lead and the blow to soO's economy forced him into a roach/hydra/queen attack. Though it was met by storms, soO had more than enough to effectively reset Dear's army, kill Dear's third and put soO 40 supply ahead. All soO had to do was rebuild his forces before dealing the final blow.
Dear once more opened forge first on Whirlwind. For the first time in the series he decided to commit to a cannon rush to which soO only lost zerglings. Dear resigned himself to producing void rays while taking a third base. From there, he teched into charge and high templars while soO churned out hydralisks and took his fourth. With both players stationed at their fourths, Dear sniped soO's hive with zealots while occupying soO elsewhere with his main army. The Zerg swept across the map but ran into a swath of storms and colossi that tore his roach/hydra army apart. soO added in infestors during his remax, but the move did nothing to prevent Dear from wiping out his forces in the follow-up engagement and finding himself one win away from the title. soO went poo/hatch/hatch on Yeonsu while Dear opted for another forge fast expand into void rays. From there Dear added on gates before going for a two base all in with three void rays. soO scrambled to defend with roaches, queens and zerglings. Though the void rays initially met little opposition, soO won the fight on the ground with the help of a drone pull. Forced to run home with two void rays, Dear added on more units and made another go at it. This time, soO was 20 supply ahead going into the fight and he easily cleaned up Dear's army to bring the series to a 3-2 score.
Game six took place on Bel'Shir Vestige. Dear went gateway expand into an oracle before switching to void rays and a robotics facility. soO meanwhile went for +1/1 melee upgrades before going for a lair. The Protoss took his third while adding colossi and was able to repel soO's attempts to cancel it. Having reached hive, soO built an ultralisk cavern and a spire. Dear's first offensive move was to kill soO's fourth before going for a massive zealot warp in in soO's main that killed the spawning pool and hive before soO could start his 3/3 upgrades. soO double expanded in response while his opponent continued his own double upgrades along with getting storm. Dear again sniped soO's 2 o'clock base while taking his own fourth just south of it. The Protoss went in for a fight, only to be surprised by seven brood lords. He kited expertly, shaving off soO's roaches and ultralisks before blinking underneath the brood lords, taking out every last one. Suddenly down 25 supply, soO went for ultralisks, zerglings and more brood lords, but Dear gave him no time to recover as he pushed in one more time to take the match 4-2.
soO’s second place finish in GSL qualified him for the WCS Season 3 Finals. His group consisted of Maru, ByuL and duckdeok. He lost his opening match to Maru, 2-1 before falling to ByuL in the loser’s match to go out of the event without a win to his name. soO played in one more event in 2013, the 2013 Hot6ix Cup, where he drew Maru in the first round of the eight man event, once more falling to the Prime Terran, this time by a 3-0 score.
2014: Undisputed King of Zerg
Having ended 2013 on a bittersweet note after dropping out of 2013 Hot6ix Cup and 2013 WCS Season 3 in the first round, soO looked to get back on track and recapture the form that saw him reach the finals in 2013 GSL Season 3. soO’s first action of 2014 actually occurred in the week preceding the new year as he won his opening match of 2014 Proleague against Super, part of a 3-0 victory by his team, SK Telecom T1. He would finish Round 1 with a 3-1 record, his only loss coming at the hands of MyuNgSiK. SK Telecom advanced to the playoffs in fourth place. They faced off against Jin Air Green Wings in the Bronze Challenger match and, while soO lost the opening map to Rogue on Frost, PartinG proceeded to all kill to send SK Telecom in the next round. soO did not play in that match, a 4-3 over Samsung Galaxy that featured the infamous Reality vs Soulkey draw on Star Station . soO did feature in the round finals, however, but lost to Zest as part of an all-kill.
soO was seeded directly into Code S. His Group featured three Protosses, sOs, Panic and Ruin. Group C met on February 12, 2014, with soO winning his first match 2-0 over Panic before defeating sOs 2-1. soO’s round of 16 group contained herO, Bbyong and Trap. He advanced in first place with a 2-1 over Trap and a 2-0 against Bbyong. soO’s quarterfinal opponent was his teammate PartinG. He out-muscled PartinG’s phoenixes with hydralisks to take game one. PartinG evened the series with a patented immortal timing, but dropped the next two and the match to soO’s muta/corruptor play. With PartinG out of the way, soO moved on to face Life in the semifinals. Life took the first game, a lengthy roach vs roach affair on Heavy Rain in which Life made good use of burrow and tunneling claws to build and capitalize on a lead. soO got the better end of the ling/bane war in game two, but found his mutalisk switch pushed back on Alterzim Stronghold in the 3rd. Life added in infestors and reclaimed the lead with a nydus worm. Game four started with a six pool from Life, which soO managed to hold, six workers to four. The game normalized from there, with soO eventually coming out on top in a fairly standard roach vs roach. Life bossed game five with roaches and a faster third to go up 3-2, but soO forced a game seven with a win on Daedalus Point. Both players went for hatchery first builds in the deciding game on Habitation Station, with Life eschewing zergling speed and moving into a faster lair and roach warren. soO was able to establish a gold base, though, which allowed him to out-produce Life in a protracted roach vs roach engagement. The 4-3 victory marked soO’s second consecutive finals and first of 2014. Waiting for him in the finals was Zest, a player renowned for his effectiveness against SK Telecom players (one such example being his all-kill of SK Telecom in 2014 Proleague Round 1).
The finals were played on April 5, 2014. soO looked to be in a precarious position in game one as Zest pulled out a cannon rush specifically tailored to Frost. Placing his cannon on the lip overlooking soO’s natural, Zest forced a cancel only for soO to bring a drone across the map to Zest’s third location in the bottom left corner of the map. He took advantage of Zest’s delayed tech by adding a roach warren and rolling over Zest’s poorly defended natural to take a 1-0 lead. Game two on Habitation Station proved to be the first instance of a storyline that came to define the Season 1 Finals. After a hectic early game in which Zest managed to snipe soO’s main after multiple zealot warp ins went unscouted, soO dove onto Zest’s army with roaches, nearly wiping him out while expanding behind the aggression. soO moved into muta/corrupter while retaining a lead on bases, but was unable to do critical damage to Zest. Zest began to eliminate bases and cripple soO’s economy while building up a counter to soO’s air force. Over thirty minutes into the game and barely mining, soO tapped out. He bounced back on Heavy Rain, though. Having scouted Zest’s zealots warping in in the middle of the map, soO produced a flood of zerglings, invalidating Zest’s phoenixes and squashing Zest’s aggression. Closing out the game was a simple task from there as soO expanded up to five bases while attacking with mutalisks, corruptors and zerglings.
Game four on Yeonsu proved to be one of the most unfortunate of soO’s career and the turning point in the match. soO doubled Zest’s supply into the mid game after early zergling aggression crippled Zest and soO defended Zest’s dark templars with minimal losses. soO poked constantly with zerglings and roaches as well as an air army of mutalisks and corruptors, keeping a supply lead that neared 80 at some points. soO was unable to deal the killing blow, however, but remained massively ahead on supply. (For reference, at the 22:18 mark, soO was ahead 179 to 114. He had been ahead 121 to 76 ten minutes earlier). Zest was slowly building an army to counter soO’s, however, as soO stubbornly refused to change his tech path or tactics. Bad trade after bad trade began to take their toll as Zest built a fourth base and narrowed the supply gap (though with soO still 38 supply ahead at the 26:14 mark). soO actually increased his army lead to 70 at 30:53, but lost a significant number of mutalisks to archons and bled off even more to pursuing phoenixes. Zest kept damaging soO’s economy as soO struggled to find a positive engagement after so many poor fights. In the end he was never able to as a final fateful battle against Blink stalkers and archons over cannons sealed his fate and tied the series. soO bounced back in the fifth game, losing a fair number of workers to Zealots, but saving his third base with hydralisks. Zest teched into colossi, but soO scouted the transition and hit Zest when he was weak with zerglings and hydralisks to bring himself one win away from a GSL title.
Game six took place on Alterzim Stronghold. The players spawned in cross positions on the massive map and, having reached five bases, soO moved into muta/corruptor. Zest countered this as expected, with phoenixes and archons while taking his fourth base. soO continued to expand while fleshing out his tech three as Zest drew closer to maxing out while doing damage with dark templars and zealots. soO eventually added ultralisks, infestors and brood lords into his composition. Zest went up to ten archons while adding in a mothership. soO built an enormous bank which exceeded 10k minerals and 10k gas at times, as Zest added tempests into his army, making himself increasingly difficult to break. soO postured with his cumbersome army as he failed to find a positive fight. soO flirted with mutalisks on and off as the game progressed past the 30 minute mark. He was on seven bases, but his army was inferior to Zest’s deathball with archons, tempest, high templar and colossi. Knowing he could not engage, soO went for a massive flock of mutalisks, which Zest preemptively countered with ranged phoenixes. soO’s income steadily lessened as the game went on and Zest destroyed bases. soO was reduced to less than twenty workers, but still had enough of a bank to make more than five ultralisks. Despite being down nearly 50 workers, the Zerg managed to win a large engagement, but did not have the ability to reinforce. He pushed into Zest’s fifth base, but the sheer number of dark templars, cannons, zealots and the late addition of two immortals chipped away at soO’s ultralisks until there was nothing left. The seventh game took place on Daedalus Point, a map considered to be massively Zerg favored. Zest opened with phoenixes into colossi, prompting soO to go for a roach/hydralisk and corruptor timing off 69 drones. soO was repulsed, leaving him with no option but to rebuild while upgrading his army. Zest meanwhile was teching into an army that contained void rays, colossi and immortals that attacked into soO’s third. soO killed the colossi and three of the void rays, but Zest’s ground army was left unopposed. soO vainly rallied his units to defend his third, but it was not enough as Zest took the victory.
soO’s next competitive match took place nine days later in Round 3 against Incredible Miracle. He defeated Trap in the fourth game on Outboxer to give SK Telecom their first win of the round. With his return to his team’s Proleague lineup a successful one, soO looked ahead to the 2014 GSL Global Championship. Due to his finish in the previous season of GSL, soO was seeded directly into the second group stage of the event. He won the first match 2-0 against Oz, but lost in the winner’s match to the surprising San, who had beaten Maru to reach that point. soO was able to recover from the slip up, however, defeating Maru, 2-1. One of four players to advance, soO’s tournament run came to an end in the semifinals as he fell to Zest 3-2.
The first matches of the Round of 32 of the 2014 GSL Season 2 Code S were played on April 30th. soO was placed into Group B. Joining him were TRUE, Trap and RagnaroK. He defeated RagnaroK 2-0 in the first match of the day, but fell to TRUE, 2-1. Needing a win to survive the very first stage of the tournament, soO beat Trap 2-0 to move on to the Round of 16. This was sandwiched by a pair of Proleague matches, a loss to Reality on April 29th and a win over Bbyong on May 6th, part of a round robin campaign that saw SK Telecom T1 go 6-1 and advance directly to the Round 3 finals. Back in GSL, soO found himself in a group with teammates Classic and PartinG as well as a third Protoss, herO. As he had in the Round of 32, soO won the first match 2-0 (over herO) before losing to Classic 2-1. His opponent in the final match proved to be PartinG who soO defeated 2-1 despite losing the first game on Overgrowth. The second place finish placed him in the bottom half of the bracket, with a quarterfinal matchup against Solar being the first obstacle between him and a third straight GSL final. With his quarterfinal berth assured, soO played for SK Telecom T1 in the first week of Proleague Round 4. He lost to KassiA on the first map as Prime upset the Telecom giants. soO was back in action the next week, however, as his win over Oz was critical in his team getting back on track. The match against Solar was a swift one as soO won 3-0, setting up a semifinal against TRUE, who had beaten him earlier in the tournament and taken down Zest 3-1 in the Round of 8. soO’s next televised game came on June 16th. He lost to Rogue in the fourth game of SK Telecom T1’s match against the Jin Air Green Wings, a match won decided Rain in the ace match.
With soO’s focus back on individual leagues, the semifinal against TRUE opened on Alterzim Stronghold. Both players got up to three bases before going into roach vs roach. Due to their large banks and thriving economies, they were able to remax time and again, with TRUE finally opting to overmax on roaches as soO added a spire while holding better upgrades at the 25 minute mark. TRUE also added a spire, but the game was decided on the ground as soO took up an excellent position outside of his fifth base, decimating TRUE’s army and depleting his bank in one fell swoop. Game two was a far briefer affair as soO weathered TRUE’s zergling aggression before teching into mutalisks, a move that put him ahead 2-0. soO had a faster third base on Overgrowth and pooled zerglings which he used in a frontal attack on TRUE’s natural. Queens and roaches pushed him back as soO also moved into roaches on a superior economy. TRUE controlled the game from there, however, holding a supply advantage, maxing out with 50 supply more than soO and leveraging that lead into his first win of the series. Undeterred, soO and TRUE engaged in another roach vs roach on Frost. soO was quicker to hive and, while TRUE once more overmaxed, soO had 3/3 on the way when TRUE was only just researching 2 carapace to pair with his 2 attack. As he had in game one, TRUE tried to break soO, but the SK Telecom T1 Zerg held fast, eventually winning a fight on TRUE’s side of the map to go up 3-1. The match came to an end on Habitation Station. soO took the gold where TRUE went for the third base south of his natural at a higher worker count. It did him little good, though, as soO jammed with a vastly superior roach army, wiping out TRUE’s roaches before crashing into his natural. The win earned soO his third straight GSL finals appearance. soO played a final Proleague match prior to the finals, a match-clinching victory over TY on King Sejong Station.
The finals took place on June 28th. soO appeared poised to win game on after wiping out Classic’s army with roaches and mutalisks, but was unable to deliver the killing blow. Classic added phoenixes and immortals to his composition while soO went for corruptors and infestors. soO went for run-bys, but ultimately never had an effective enough army to challenge Classic, even with the addition of ultralisks, and lost game one. soO bounced back on Alterzim Stronghold as his ultralisks, queens and infestors overcame Classic’s high void ray count and archons. The series swung back in Classic’s favor in game three as soO’s swarm host gambit failed to bear fruit. soO took the gold base as his natural on Habitation Station. Classic did as well, but was unable to hold it against soO’s speedling heavy opener. soO pumped out roaches, zerglings and eventually mutalisks off four bases while building spines at home which helped give him the edge in the eventual basetrade in which Classic was reduced to three workers before dropping the game. Classic put the series 3-2 in his favor on Overgrowth as his Blink stalkers trumped soO’s mutalisks and hydralisks. The sixth game took place on Merry Go Round. soO expanded up to three bases and hydralisks, but Classic ran him over with a two base phoenix/zealot/sentry all in that had more than enough punch to take the game, match and GSL championship.
soO barely had time to reflect on his loss before playing in Proleague the very next day. He was paired against GuMiho, with his victory over the CJ Entus Terran the critical match that clinched the series 3-0 in SK Telecom T1’s favor. soO played two days later in the final match of Proleague Round 4, defeating Stork to give SK Telecom T1 another victory. They again finished the round with a record of 6-1, placing them directly into the finals. That match took place on July 8th. soO was first out for his team. He defeated Maru before dropping a match to TRUE who went on to win three matches before losing to Soulkey who lost to sOs in the very next game to give Jin Air the match. Regardless, this result gave SK Telecom T1 the highest point total among the eight teams in Proleague, placing them into the 2014 Proleague Playoffs where they met CJ Entus in the Round of 4. soO played three times as the teams play three Best of seven matches, losing all three times, once to Hydra and twice to herO. SK Telecom T1 managed to win, however, setting up a meeting against KT Rolster in the Grand FInals. soO was scheduled for the fifth match, which he won against Sleep. Despite his contribution, SK Telecom was defeated 4-2 after TY proxy two rax’ed Classic on Frost.
Fresh of another finals defeat, soO entered Season 3 of GSL via a direct seed by virtue of his third consecutive final appearance in the previous season. He was placed into a Round of 32 group with Trust, Stork and DongRaeGu. Group F was played on August 15th, with soO opening the day with a 2-1 win over Trust before moving on after 2-0'ing DongRaeGu. soO would not play again until September as his Round of 16 Group was last to play. Containing DongRaeGu and TRUE as well as Flash, who at the time was considered one of the best players in the world and in his best form since switching to StarCraft 2, soO managed get out in first place, with the most notable game being game one against Flash on Foxtrot Labs during which soO lost 36 drones to hellions, marines and cloaked banshees, but still went on to overwhelm Flash's bio/hellbat army with ling/bane/muta. Having navigated the groups stages, soO was paired against Stats in the quarterfinals, but first he participated in the 2014 KeSPA Cup in which he was eliminated in the opening match against Super 3-1. Returning to GSL, soO easily handled Stats, 3-1. soO's ascendancy was on full display in game three on Nimbus as he tech switched multiple times off an undisturbed economy while pulling Stats in all directions, canceling the Protoss' fourth base over and over before dealing the final blow.
In the semifinals soO found himself pitted against another Protoss, rival and former finals opponent, Zest . The series started off with a long macro game on Nimbus in which soO donated his ultralisks into Zest's mothership cloaked army to fall behind 0-1. Game two also exceeded 20 minutes after the players received vertical spawn points on Deadwing. After a flurry of stalker aggression, Zest assembled a collossi/blink army soO could not counter. Down 0-2, went for a proxy hatch on Overgrowth at Zest's gold set him up to build spines outside of Zest's natural via a creep tumor laid directly following a canceled hatchery. soO parlayed the opener into a lethal hydralisk push to earn his first victory. Zest put soO's comeback on hold, however, with a two base Blink timing that brought him within one win of the finals. King Sejong Station looked to be the site of another macro game, but things erupted into a basetrade which soO won after more than twenty drones escaped from the initial trade. Down 2-3, soO called upon the proxy hatch once more on Merry Go Round. A flood of zerglings stunted Zest's economy, setting up a successful defense of Zest's desperate two base push. Having reached the final game, soO and Zest started top right/bottom left spawns on Foxtrot Labs, soO looking to complete the comeback, Zest determined to spoil soO's fourth finals bid. Zest once more opened with a +1 attack/sentry third base, while soO went for a quick +1 melee attack and roaches. Having applied pressure by abusing the high ground placed behind soO's third, Zest recalled home to defend soO's roaches attacking at his third. Zerglings streamed across the map out of five hatcheries, but Zest managed to hold. soO moved into mutalisks, with harassment and mid-map trades widening the supply discrepancy in his favor. Having trapped Zest's stalkers, soO staged one final attack on Zest's third. Trapped in his mineral line and running out of units, Zest conceded the match to soO who moved on to his fourth consecutive GSL finals.
soO faced off against recently minted teammate INnoVation in the finals. The series started off on Catallena, a map on which soO took a 1-0 lead in the series with a roach/baneling all in. The second map was Nimbus, with soO jumped ahead 2-0 with a similar sort of ling/roach timing. INnoVation got on the scoreboard in game three after soO opted to play for a macro game. With INnoVation’s bio/tank army gutting his natural, soO moved across the map with a roach based force. Hes wa unable to do sufficient damage, however, as INnoVation managed a hold while killing of soO’s tech. Still down a game, INnoVation went for a proxy two rax on Foxtrot Labs which contained soO on one base. soO finally broke out against the four bunkers, but, having done so, he was unable to overrun INnoVation at home, prompting a one base soO to tap out. INnoVation proxied again on Merry Go Round, setting up a transition into a three base economy and a bio army that put INnoVation up 3-2. What proved to be the final game of the season took place on Deadwing. soO opened with a heavy roach count before moving into ling/bane/muta. INnoVation countered with bio/mine, but after losing a critical fight out on the map while losing workers and hatcheries, INnoVation surged to the bottom right corner of Deadwing with a constant parade to take the match and win the final GSL of 2014.
Similar to Season 2, soO was called into action within days of losing another finals. soO’s run at Dreamhack Stockholm started spectacularly as he advanced out of Group Stage 2 with a 4-0 record after defeating ZhuGeLiang and Golden. He didn’t drop a game in Group Stage 3 either, as he posted a pair of 2-0 victories over Leenock and Classic. His unblemished record continued as he charged to the finals by 2-0’ing Ryung, Patience and ForGG. Despite his 14-0 start, soO was unable to clear the final hurdle and fell to Solar in the finals, 0-3.
Following another finals loss, soO took part in the 2014 WCS Global Finals after finishing 10th place in WCS Points. This paired him against TaeJa, who won their match 3-1, eliminating soO from BlizzCon after a single match. soO’s final action of 2014 was the 2014 Hot6ix Cup. He was placed into a group with sOs, TY and Rain, but dropped out of the tournament after consecutive 2-0’s at the hands of TY and Rain.
2015: An Individual and Team Champion
After a tremendous 2014 that saw soO crowned as the best Zerg in the world for nearly the entire year, soO began his 2015 a few weeks early as he took part in the 2015 SSL Season 1 Qualifiers. soO was placed into Group B where he defeated Center before losing to Bbyong and San. The consecutive losses would have eliminated soO, but due to a complication with a European invite, soO participated in a single elimination bracket composed of all the third place finishes from the sixteen groups. soO won his first match against TerrOr and also defeated Sorry, but lost to YongHwa in the semifinals. The loss meant soO missed out on the new Starleague’s inaugural season. Four days later, on December 15th, soO was back in action, this time in the 2015 GSL Season 1 Qualifiers. soO was placed into a difficult group and, despite winning his first two matches against Blast and Hush, soO lost back to back series against PartinG and Rogue, depriving him the opportunity for a fifth consecutive GSL finals.
Despite having missed out on both Starleagues, soO was fielded by SK Telecom T1 against the Jin Air Green Wings in week 2 of 2015 Proleague Round 1. He came out second, defeating Maru on Foxtrot Labs as part of a 3-2 SK Telecom T1 victory. soO appeared twice more that round. He lost to Stats in week three, but came out on top against YoDa the following week. soO’s next match for his team was in the finals of Round 1 against Jin Air. He came out following Dream’s loss to Cure, defeating the Jin Air Terran before falling to sOs. Dark won three straight matches from there to give SK Telecom T1 the round title.
soO featured for his team in their very next match. He lost to YoDa, but SK Telecom T1 secured their first win in Proleague Round 2. soO participated in the Qualifiers for Season 2 of GSL the very next day, topping his group, with a 2-1 win over Bunny and a 2-0 of Cure and booking his ticket to Code S. Despite that success, soO had a disappointing result in Proleague later that week as he lost to sKyHigh and his team fell 3-0 to CJ Entus. soO got on track the next week, however, as his victory over Action sparked a clean sweep over KT Rolster. Having not been fielded by his team in week four of Round 2, soO took part in the SSL Season 2 Qualifiers. As he had in GSL, soO successfully qualified after defeating SpeeD and Check before losing to PartinG, but winning against DongRaeGu in the deciding match. This placed soO into the Challenge portion of SSL Season 2. His assigned opponent was Trust, but soO 3-0’d the Protoss to secure himself a spot among the final 16 in SSL. This positive result was sandwiched between Proleague matches against Jin Air and MVP. soO defeated Symbol in a losing effort against Jin Air, but defeated DeParture in the first match against MVP and Center in the ace match to give SK Telecom T1 the victory. soO also won the next week against Solar to improve his record in the round to 5-2. He did not participate in SK Telecom T1’s Bronze Challenger match against KT Rolster, however, as Stats performed an all-kill to deny SK Telecom T1’s title defense.
soO switched back to the individual leagues with Group C of GSL Season 2 Code S on May 1st. The SKT Zerg finished last place in his group, however, after losing 2-1 to FanTaSy and 2-1 to Trust. His SSL group took place on May 7th. He once more was the first one eliminated after losing 2-1 to Life and Trap.
Proleague Round 3 was another positive step for soO and SK Telecom T1. The team posted a perfect 7-0 record, with soO going 5-0. His wins over RagnaroK, Solar, Rogue, BBoongBBoong and MyuNgSiK were instrumental in his team’s success and was a total surpassed only by Dream and Maru (who each recorded six wins). This exemplary performance qualified soO for the 2015 KeSPA Cup Season 2 as one of the Top 2 2015 SPL Round 3 players. He played a tiebreaker match on June 24th, one he won 3-2 over Zest to determine his seeding for the main event to be held in July. Only one day removed from his series with Zest, soO took part in the SSL Season 3 Qualifiers. After beating SalvatioN, he lost to Journey, but rebounded with wins over Trust and Check to advance to Challenge. His Challenge match against Dear took place on July 2nd. soO jumped out to a 2-0 advantage, but was reverse swept, eliminating him from SSL one step shy of the main event. Two days later soO watched from the sidelines as SK Telecom T1 defeated Jin Air to win Round 3 while preparing himself for the 2015 KeSPA Cup Season 2.
The KeSPA Cup started off well for soO. He drew San in the first round and defeated him 3-0. Then, he squared off against herO in the quarterfinals, but had to wait a number of days for that match. First he had to play his Code A match against Leenock, whom he beat 3-1. Having secured his return to Code S, soO turned his focus back to the KeSPA Cup quarterfinals. soO set the tone of the series in game one, with early ling aggression throwing herO off his game. soO macroed up behind the pressure, prompting a concession from herO, who was twenty workers behind. soO didn’t look back from there, taking the series 3-1, despite losing the second map. soO’s semifinal opponent was Flash, who had defeated Curious and Classic to reach that point. Game one took place on Iron Fortress. Flash opened with his standard 3 command center opening with hellions and banshees before moving into mech. soO meanwhile went for a third after his lair and then a spire. sOO’s mutalisks killed nine workers and delayed mining at Flash’s third. From there he built up a roach/hydralisk army that rolled over Flash’s defensive set up. Flash evened the series on Moonlight Madness after creative use of the map’s architecture, specifically placing tanks and turrets on a high ground between soO’s main and third, severely hiccuped soO’s strategy. Flash’s proxy reapers forced a large number of zerglings from soO, but the players moved into the midgame with soO holding a slight worker advantage. Flash went for mech, while soO opted for two base spire, which scouted Flash’s composition, setting up a switch into roaches and ranged attack upgrades. Flash built his way up to four bases in the restrictive corridors of Terraform while soO expanded en masse and covered the map in creep. Flash eventually powered up to battlecruisers, but soO steadily depleted Flash’s forces with ultralisks, queens and infestors, eventually wiping Flash out to go up 2-1. The series came to an end on Bridgehead as soO once more went into mutalisks, this time against bio. Flash’s attempts at aggression found no purchases and he was soon cleaned up after failing to hold his third. Waiting for soO in the finals was his teammate Dark, another player who was gaining the reputation of Kong.
The finals began on Bridgehead, with both players opening hatchery first. soO’s ling/bane aggression forced Dark into a roach/queen nydus worm. The initial nydus worm failed to do any notable damage, but the second one killed soO’s third while Dark built an army that easily overwhelmed soO’s mutalisks and spine crawlers. Game two took place on Cactus Valley. soO opened with a 10 pool and baneling nest. Dark opened hatchery first and stayed his fate for a time by running his drones, but soO kept making zerglings, making the score 1-1. soO went for a pool first build on Dash and Terminal, but Dark stuck to his guns with another hatchery first opener. It was Dark who set the pace, as four banelings killed 12 of soO’s drones. Suddenly behind on workers despite having droned harder, soO moved into a spire while posturing on the map. Dark decided upon a roach warren, but was unable to deny soO from getting a faster third. He went for another nydus loaded with queens and roaches and, while he killed soO’s third, he lost his as well and was unable to break soO at his natural. Things went on for a little longer, but soO’s mutalisks eventually proved impossible to overcome. The players turned to Coda for map four. Dark went for a 7 pool which appeared to counter soO’s hatchery first. soO managed to stall until his zerglings were out, though, escaping the initial wave of zerglings up a base and one worker ahead. Dark got zergling speed and kept the pressure on. He streamed across the map, but soO erected a roach warren, three evolution chamber and spore crawler wall which, with the help of three queens and roaches, was able to withstand Dark’s flood of zerglings and banelings. From there soO merely added on roaches and swung the hammer to go ahead 3-1. soO opened hatchery first in game five, with Dark going for a pool first instead. soO applied pressure with a ling flood, but Dark held with the help of banelings. The players traded zerglings and banelings while building spires. Dark’s third was canceled and soO’s was killed, but the two were completely undeterred as they began to produce mutalisks with the carapace upgrade. soO was more aggressive with his mutalisks, while a zergling run by managed to kill Dark’s spire and eleven workers. Dark built an infestation pit, but soO kept making mutalisks and zerglings. Dark’s mutalisks found soO’s natural undefended, killing 23 workers, but he lost a fair number of them despite an evasive split. soO pushed into Dark’s side of the map, up 39 to 21 mutalisks. soO killed 20 drones and, while he was surprised by infestors, killed Dark’s third and safely returned home up 40 supply. Dark tried to hold, but soO had to much. Dark left the game, giving soO his fourth win and a KeSPA Cup championship.
With a premier championship to his name, soO’s next match took place in Proleague Round 4. He defeated BboongBboong and sOs in the first two weeks of the campaign and was unable to play in the third only because his team won 3-0 (he was slotted to play fourth against Dear). On a respectable win streak, soO boarded a plane to Germany to see if he could continues his success in Cologne at IEM gamescom. soO’s tournament got off to a great start as he 2-0’d HeRoMaRinE and MMA to move onto the elimination rounds. His unbeaten run continued against Lambo and, while it took a full five games, soO dispatched of FanTaSy as well to set up a finals rematch against INnoVation. The series got off to a strange start, with soO opting for a 6 pool into zergling and drone attack. Having scouted the lack of buildings in INnoVation’s main, soO turned around and forced INnoVation to lift this barracks and head home. soO was droning behind this, but INnoVation simply macroed into hellion/banshee, prompting a concession from the economically crippled soO. Game two was a more traditional two base spire against bio affair, but INnoVation kept soO on two bases, while taking a third of his own. soO offered resistance as he finally expanded, but was unable to sop INnoVation from adding in thors to his bio/mine, taking a fourth and going up 2-0. INnoVation tried to further his lead on Coda, but his bunker rush failed to prevent soO from breaking down his bunkers with spines and crashing into INnoVation’s main with banelings. soO opened two base spire in game four, but lost six drones to hellions. INnoVation defended soO’s mutalisks with thors, widow mines and vikings before transitioning into mech. soO had already switched to roaches and began to aggressively expand while banking enough gas and minerals to make 21 mutalisks as INnoVation moved out. soO managed to kill INnoVations’ thors, but tanks and hellbats went unopposed, killing multiple bases while INnoVation produced three thors at a time at home. Having lost 46 drones, soO moved cross map, but found no purchase against thors and turrets and left the game. Needing a win to stay alive, soO went for a pool first opening on Dash and Terminal. INnoVation elected to float to his gold base before going into bio/tank. soO knew the aggression was coming as he prepared zerglings and banelings on two bases, but INnoVation set his tanks up in an abusive position that allowed him to chip away at soO’s main. soO forced him back, but INnoVation pivoted to soO’s natural. soO went for a flank on INnoVation’s army, but had his zerglings cleaned up, allowing the Terran to set up a fatal siege on soO’s natural. soO tapped out, making INnoVation the champion and giving soO yet another second place.
Despite losing another finals, soO was played in two of SK Telecom T1’s next three Proleague matches. He lost to DongRaeGu, but defeated DeParture before returning to individual leagues for Season 3 of GSL. The final group of the Round of 32, Group H, met on August 26th. soO dropped his opening match to GuMiho, but clawed into the final match with a 2-0 over Hurricane. He stumbled in the end, though, losing to Rogue 2-1. The loss marked his final match in GSL for 2015 and Heart of the Swarm, an expansion that had seen him become one of the most storied players in the GSL’s history. soO played in the final match of Proleague Round 4 for SK Telecom T1 less than a week later, defeating Bunny to go to 4-1 on the Round. SK Telecom finished the round in first place, seeding them directly into the round finals. KT Rolster fought through SBENU and CJ Entus before facing off against SK Telecom T1, taking the match 4-2. soO managed to defeat TY, but fell to Zest who won three straight games to lift KT Rolster to victory. Due to SK Telecom T1’s excellence during the four rounds of Proleague, they accumulated the most points of any team, earning a direct berth into the Grand Finals. Played on October 10th, SK Telecom T1 played Jin Air who had won four straight Best of 7’s against KT Rolster and CJ Entus. soO was scheduled to play third and did his part by defeating Pigbaby. The victory was the second for SK Telecom T1, with INnoVation and finally Classic notching wins of their own to make SK Telecom T1 the champions of Proleague. soO was an integral part of their success over the year, logging a 19-6 record. His win rate of 76% was the highest of any player who played more than one match and included a daunting 10-1 mark in ZvZ.
Legacy of the Void
2016: The End of an Era
As is customary, soO’s 2016 started a few week early with the 2016 SSL Season 1 Qualifiers. They took place on December 15, 2015, with soO securing his spot in the main event by beating Bunny, losing to Solar, but rattling off wins against TY and Trap. His next action was in another Qualifier, this time for GSL Season 1. soO ended 2015 on a high note by defeating JYP and KeeN to qualify for Code A. But before his match against Trust could be played, soO had to face off against ByuN in the opening match of SSL on January 7th. He was defeated 2-0, knocking him into the loser’s bracket. Still needing to lock up his spot in Code S, soO faced off against Trust in a Bo5. He lost game one on Sky Shield, but won the next three to cement his place among the final 32. His next SSL match took place less than a week later, with a 2-0 over INnoVation keeping him alive in the double elimination bracket.
After a slow start to the year, the Korean Starcraft scene intensified with the return of Proleague. The first matches of Round 1 were played on February 1st. soO was unable to make his debut, however, as his team won before he was scheduled to appear. soO’s first Proleague action came two weeks later as his victory over TY helped SK Telecom T1 defeat KT Rolster 3-2. Having notched his first victory for his team, soO played against Patience in the Loser’s Round 2 of SSL. soO won on Ruins of Seras, but lost the next two games, knocking him out of the tournament. Shaking off the disappointing loss, soO posted a 3-0 record in Proleague over the next three weeks. Wins over horror, BrAvO and RagnaroK helped SK Telecom T1 clinch first place for the round with a 5-0 mark heading into the final week. But before the match against Jin Air, soO had to play in GSL. His was the last group to play. soO’s first opponent was HerO who he defeated 2-0. Next up was Dear who dropped soO to the final match, 2-0. With his tournament life on the line, soO faced off against the final group member, DongRaeGu in a ZvZ. soO got the better of the encounter, winning 2-1 to advance to the Round of 16.
soO’s next action came in Proleague as he and his team defeated Jin Air 4-2 in the Round 1 finals. soO’s win against Maru put SK Telecom up 3-1 and, despite losing to sOs in the next match, the Telecom giants prevailed as INnoVation picked up the final map. Having picked up another team league accolade, soO turned his attention back to GSL. soO was drafted into Group which contained Cure, Solar and Zest. soO defeated Solar 2-0 in the opening match, but lost to Zest and Cure, both by 0-2 scores to drop out of the tournament.
soO was in the booth days later for the start of Proleague Round 2. He lost his opening match to Ryung, but finished the round 4-2 with wins over Patience, Leenock and ByuL as well as an ace-match victory over aLive in week 2 against the Afreeca Freecs. soO parlayed the succesful round into a pair of qualifiers. The qualifiers for SSL Season 2 took place on May 12th. soO opened up with wins over TAiLS and Blaze before losing to Maru. He managed to win his next match, however, a rematch against Blaze to advance to the Challenge. soO’s last month in May was in Proleague. Having advanced to the Silver Challenger Match by virtue of Classic’s all-kill of CJ Entus, soO was one of four players who fell, as Stats took the match for KT Rolster without dropping a game.
June got off to a busy start for soO. He won his Code A match against HyuN, 3-0 on June 1st before taking part in SSL Challenge Group A. Featuring TY, Cure Bomber, Trap and Hush, the six members of Group A played robin robin Best of 3’s until the top three players had been determined. soO finished in 4th with a 3-5 record, a result that saw him eliminated from SSL. No longer in SSL, soO only played three times in Proleague Round 3. He defeated Super and Hush, dropping only a game to Losira on Frozen Temple. Despite his contributions, SK Telecom T1 struggled mightily, compiling a 2-4 record, an unthinkable low for the team which had won 2015 Proleague only a year earlier. With SK Telecom T1 preparing for the year end playoffs, soO and the three other members of Group D, Maru, TaeJa and RagnaroK met to determine who would move on to the Round of 16 in Code S. soO ultimately finished last in the group after dropping matches to Maru and then TaeJa, both by a 2-1 score. The losses ended soO’s year as far as individual competition went. All that remained was Proleague. soO featured once in the opening matchup of the Proleague Playoffs. He appeared in the Proleague format match in the fifth position, losing to Symbol. SK Telecom T1 managed to win the match 4-2, however, as well as the all-kill match a day later, setting up a Best of 3 against KT Rolster. His game against Symbol proved to be his last for SK Telecom as soO played no part in the pair of 4-3 losses to SK Telecom T1's classic rivals. In the end, soO posted an 11-6 record for his team during the what ended up being the final season of Proleague before its discontinuation.
2017: A Familiar Story
Having notched a first place finish at The 2016 Olimoleague Grand Finals, that featured wins over GuMiho and recent Blizzcon champion, ByuN in the finals, a revitalized and now teamless soO looked poised to carry that momentum into IEM Season XI - Gyeonggi. He breezed through the online qualifier, eventually defeating Billowy to lock up his spot in the main event. Once there he advanced out of his group in first place, beating Trust and Leenock. He would fall, however, in the quarterfinals. With the series tied 2-2, ByuL was able to defend soO’s one base aggression to take the match. Though not the most impressive finish, soO’s results towards the end of 2016 were encouraging and gave him something to build on moving into 2017 Global StarCraft II League Season 1.
soO advanced through the GSL qualifiers without dropping a game, beating a pair of Protoss in HerO and Billowy. For the Round of 32, soO was drawn into a group with sOs, the aforementioned and former teammate Billowy and Curious. soO won the first match against Curious 2-0 and advanced from the group with a 2-1 win over Billowy. soO’s group in the Round of 16 was one of the more daunting in GSL history. Featuring 11 Starleague finals appearances, ex- SK Telecom T1 members, INnoVation, Classic and Dark joined soO in Group B. soO’s first match was against INnoVation, who was regarded as a heavy favorite. True to predictions, soO lost 0-2, sending him to the loser’s match. In the fourth match of the day, soO defeated Dark, a player he had historically posted impressive results against, 2-0, to move into the finals match. Once there, soO avenged his finals loss in the 2014 Global StarCraft II League Season 2/Code S by defeating Classic, 2-1 and earning himself a quarterfinals berth.
But soO found no easy opponent waiting for him in the next stage. TY had recently won World Electronic Sports Games 2016, an event with a grand prize of $200,000, and topped both his Round of 32 and Round of 16 groups. Once more soO was the underdog, but, calling up a one base ravager rush on Whirlwind and Abyssal Reef, he was able to take the series in a full five games, 3-2. Next up was sOs, who had advanced second from both of his groups in the group stages of the event, but had convincingly defeated herO 3-0 in their quarterfinal matchup. soO displayed exemplary defensive prowess against adepts during their match, taking it 4-2. This win was soO’s 10th in either the quarterfinals or semifinals of GSL, as well as the gateway to his fifth finals appearance, a feat only matched by Mvp. His opponent in the finals would be Stats who had defeated surprise semifinalist, Ryung, also by 4-2 score. soO got off to a bad start in the finals. He opened with a gasless 12 pool expand in game one, but Stats would not budge, ultimately killing soO with an archon/immortal force. soO died a swift death to adepts in game two and three, putting him down 3-0. He clawed back into the series on Echo with a hydralisk/queen/roach all in and even managed to make it 3-2 despite losing eleven workers to an early adept attack with resonating glaives. The sixth game would be the end of his GSL campaign, however. Stats and soO traded blows, but the Splyce Protoss managed to work his way up to a fearsome army featuring carriers and high templars. soO’s desperate zergling/hydralisk doom drop bought him time, but he simply could not contend with Stats’ superior army and stable economy. The loss was the fifth in the GSL finals for soO. The second place finish qualified soO for the 2017 AfreecaTV GSL Super Tournament 1, however. He posted a disappointing result, though, losing in the very first round to Maru. After losing the first two maps, soO finally took a game on Daybreak only to drop the next game and lose 3-1.
soO’s second place finish in Season 1 meant that he was a seeded player going into 2017 GSL Season 2 Code S. He selected Trust to join him in Group E of the Round of 32 and was joined by Trap and Solar. After beating Trust 2-1, soO advanced in first place with a 2-1 over Solar. soO’s Round of 16 group was not as impressive on paper as that from the season prior, but Maru, Dark and Losira were stout opposition. Having selected him first in group nominations, soO played Losira and beat him 2-1. He posted the same score in the winner’s match, defeating Maru who utilized the three barracks reaper opening multiple times. He moved into seven barracks on Newkirk Precinct, making only a single marine among the reapers to ward off the scouting overlord, but soO produced a flood of zerglings off three bases, eventually trapping Maru’s reapers to take the match. The win placed soO in the Round of 8 for the second time in as many attempts in 2017. This time he faced off against Rogue, who was returning to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015. After splitting the first time games, Rogue jumped ahead to a 2-1 lead going into Ascension to Aiur. He went for a 13 gas/12 pool baneling attack that looked poised to overrun soO’s defenses who had opened with a more greedy build. But just as Rogue’s banelings scuttled toward soO’s mineral lines, a queen popped from the hatchery, blocking Rogue’s forces and thwarting the attack. soO took that game and then the next to advance to the Round of 4. His opponent turned out to be Classic, who for the second straight season fell at soO’s hands in an shockingly short series. soO got off to a good start, winning game one against Classic’s disruptor drops and never looked back from there. The 4-0 put soO in his second consecutive final, the sixth of his career, giving him sole ownership of the record for most GSL finals appearances. But soO would fall short once more against GuMiho. soO dropped a closely contested and controversial game one against mech, in which he opted not to build swarm hosts, and lost the second as well. Down 2-0, he went for a proxy hatchery on Odyssey. Roaches and queens failed to notch him an outright kill, but carried the advantage going forward and won the macro game. He dropped a third game before defending and punishing GuMiho’s cyclone heavy, aggressive mech style. Down 3-2, soO’s comeback ended on Newkirk Precinct. soO went for the one base ravager build, turning the game completely on its head. His rush was repelled, however, leaving soO with no choice but to macro out of the all in. He solidified himself on two bases temporarily, but failed to handle GuMiho’s harassment and was forced to concede, thereby losing the match 4-2.
With Season 2 completed, soO prepared for a qualifiers. His spot in Season 3 of GSL and IEM Season XII - Shanghai was assured, but that still left SSL Challenge Season 2. soO emerged from the bracket stage with wins over Seed and Cure who he defeated 2-0. That placed him in Group C with, Bunny, Pet and Losira. soO lost to Bunny in the winner’s match, but beat Losira and Pet to earn him a spot in Challenge. His first match took place on July 1st. He lost to Patience, 2-1, but notched a win the following week over jjakji. His next scheduled match was against Bunny, but before that he had a GSL group to play. Having selected Hush as a member of his group, soO started off against the Protoss who he defeated 2-0. aLive defeated Leenock in the other matchup, setting up a ZvT, soO’s statically worst matchup at the time according to Aligulac.  soO lost 2-0 to aLive, but advanced by virtue of 2-0 victory over Leenock. This meant he had made the Round of 16 in every GSL season during a calendar year for the first time since his historic 2014. Back in Challenge, soO lost to Bunny on July 15 before the event took an extended break to accommodate IEM Shanghai and 2017 GSL vs. the World. First up was IEM Shaghai. soO came out on top of a group containing, herO, Solar and TIME despite dropping a map to the Chinese Terran. The Round of 8 was as far as soO’s tournament would go, though. His woes against Terrans continued as he lost to ByuN, 3-1. 2017 GSL vs. the World was more successful for soO. He fell behind 2-0 against ShoWTimE, but, due in equal parts to his resilience and ShoWTimE’s disastrous collapse in form, managed to win the match 3-2. Next up was familiar foe Dark. Going into the match soO possessed a 10-3 advantage over his old teammate in maps, a lead that was widened to 13-4 as soO marched on the semifinals, 3-1.  Once more his run was ended by a Terran, however, as TY defeated him 3-1. Down 1-0, soO’s improvised roach/ravager all in failed to break the Splyce Terran, putting him in an irrecoverable position. He won the third game, but lost on Newkirk Precinct, eliminating him from the tournament.
With the pair of weekenders complete, the Starleagues resumed. soO’s first action was not a match, but rather the GSL Round of 16 Group Selections. As a seeded player, soO made Patience the second player of group C with his first pick. Patience selected Classic, who then waffled between Dark and Rogue, but eventually chose the Jin Air Zerg. At the very end of the proceedings, GuMiho swapped Patience and Dark, making soO’s final group, Dark, Classic and Rogue, with soO and Dark once more facing off in the first match. When the group finally took place, soO opened the day with a 2-1 over Dark in which his superior upgrades playing a key role in taking the third game. The winner's match against Rogue did not go his way, however. He won the first game with an inventive burrowed roach push, but lost the next two, most notably to a gold base build from Rogue that went unscouted for quite some time. soO and Dark met in a rematch in the final match and, despite once more winning game one and having won meeting between the two players in August thus far, soO was unable to come out on top. He seemed to hold a slight build order advantage in the third game after opening three hatchery before pool on Newkirk Precinct, but he failed to do damage with his zerglings and fell behind on supply as the game progressed. The loss marked the first time soO had been eliminated prior to the finals in 2017 and ended his search for a third consecutive and seventh overall GSL finals appearance.
soO brought September to a close with the last Korean event of the year, the Second GSL Super Tournament. He started off the event with a difficult match, having found himself paired against recent SSL champion Stats in the Round of 16. Stats won the first game on Mech Depot, but soO battled back, taking the series 3-2. Next up was Dark, who reached the quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over Bunny. soO tied the series 1-1 with a 13/12 baneling opening, but Dark stormed back, winning the next two games to eliminate soO from the tournament.
soO, along with 15 other players convened in Anaheim, California on October 27th for the 2017 WCS Global Finals. He was placed into Group B along with Rogue, Neeb and Nerchio. Having defeated Nerchio 2-1 in the first match, soO took on Neeb in the winner's match, an encounter which he won 2-0, sending him out of the group in first place. soO's quarterfinal against GuMiho was played on November 3rd. soO dropped the first game, but stormed back to take a 2-1 lead. The series ultimately went to a fifth game, with soO taking down GuMiho's mech on Acolyte.
With GuMiho dispatched, soO faced off against SpeCial in the semifinals on November 4th. soO lost 17 drones to SpeCial early in game one, but managed to toppled the Mexican Terran's mech army with the help of vipers. soO took a 2-0 lead with one base ravager aggression. soO completed the sweep after SpeCial's hellbat timing fell flat, allowing soO to take another easy game and move on to the finals.
The grand finals took place later that day, with soO taking on Rogue. The players traded games for the first three maps, with soO taking a 2-1 lead. Game four on Catallena looked very similar to Rogue's game two win, with a flood of zerglings evening the series. soO went for a 13/12 in game five, but Rogue held, sending the series to Acolyte for the sixth game. Rogue proved far more adept in the late game after a passive start. soO tried to fight back, but was pushed all the way back to his natural while Rogue was sitting on a booming economy. soO conceded, earning him the third biggest payout in StarCraft II history, but also giving him his third second place finish of 2017 in Premier events.
- Was defeated by EffOrt in his first official SC2 match.
- His first win in an official SC2 match came against Modesty.
- Became the first player ever to make three consecutive Code S finals in 2014 GSL Season 2, only to break his own record by making a fourth consecutive Code S final the following season.
- Tasteless' line "soO has lost again!"  became a popular meme in the Korean community.
- Reached to GSL finals on his birthday during 2014 GSL Season 3 Code S.
- Was featured in Madals' APM compilation at 2014 DreamHack Open: Stockholm as well as in his own over-the-shoulder VOD.
- Was listed on Greatest Players of All Time list on TL as 12th.
- His Korean fans created an Arcade map where soO is supposed to achieve the GSL championship by removing his opponents from existence. The map is a minigame consisting of several increasingly difficult boss battles. (example playthrough attempt by Canata)
- Holds the all-time record for GSL Finals appearances with six.
- Until the 2018 GSL Season 1 he had advanced to the finals of every GSL in which he reached the Round of 8. He posted a 13-0 record in quarterfinals and semifinals, with wins over all time greats, Life, Classic, sOs and Zest among others, until his streak was broken by Stats.
- Has been dubbed a "Kong" due to his many second place finishes. Most notable among them are his six defeats in GSL finals.
- Was the focus of the TL.net profile Eo Yun Soo. Lauded by staff  and community members alike,  it covered topics such as his time on SK Telecom T1, his views on streaming as well as his mindset and practice regime during 2017 GSL Seasons 1 and 2.
- Wrote the article My Life As Sisyphusfor TL.net.
|In Premier Tournaments|
|2020-06-07||1st||TeamLiquid StarLeague 5||4 : 3||$8,000|
|2019-12-08||2nd||StarCraft II: NationWars 2019|
Team South Korea
|3 : 5||$3,092.60|
|2019-10-06||3rd - 4th||2019 AfreecaTV GSL Super Tournament 2||0 : 3||$2,091|
|2019-08-18||1st||2019 GSL vs. The World: Teams Competition||Team Dark||5 : 3||Team Serral||$825.88|
|2019-03-03||1st||IEM Season XIII - Katowice||4 : 2||$150,400|
|2018-08-05||2nd||2018 GSL vs. The World: Teams Competition||Maru||2 : 5||Team Serral||$334.13|
|2018-07-22||Award||Global StarCraft II League: NesTea Award||– : –||$0|
|2018-04-22||1st||StarCraft II: NationWars V|
Team South Korea
|5 : 3||$10,281.33|
|2018-03-21||3rd - 4th||2018 Global StarCraft II League Season 1: Code S||3 : 4||$7,034|
|2017-11-04||2nd||2017 WCS Global Finals||2 : 4||$140,000|
|2017-08-06||1st||2017 GSL vs. The World: Teams Competition|
Korean All Stars
|7 : 1||$443.74|
|2017-08-05||3rd - 4th||2017 GSL vs the World||1 : 3||$6,700|
|2017-06-24||2nd||2017 Global StarCraft II League Season 2: Code S||2 : 4||$13,430|
|2017-03-25||2nd||2017 Global StarCraft II League Season 1: Code S||2 : 4||$13,440.26|
|2015-10-10||1st||2015 SK Telecom Proleague|
SK Telecom T1
|4 : 2||$4,240|
|2015-08-09||2nd||IEM Season X - gamescom||1 : 4||$4,000|
|2015-07-12||1st||LOTTE Homeshopping 2015 KeSPA Cup Season 2||4 : 1||$8,938|
|2015-07-04||1st||2015 Proleague: Round 3|
SK Telecom T1
|4 : 3||$1,336.59|
|2015-02-14||1st||2015 Proleague: Round 1|
SK Telecom T1
|4 : 2||$1,707.34|
|2014-10-04||2nd||2014 Global StarCraft II League Season 3: Code S||2 : 4||$14,274|
|2014-09-27||2nd||2014 DreamHack Open: Stockholm||0 : 3||$5,000|
|2014-08-09||2nd||2014 SK Telecom Proleague|
SK Telecom T1
|2 : 4||$2,111.11|
|2014-06-28||2nd||2014 Global StarCraft II League Season 2: Code S||2 : 4||$14,795.09|
|2014-04-26||3rd - 4th||2014 GSL Global Championship||2 : 3||$1,850|
|2014-04-05||2nd||2014 Global StarCraft II League Season 1||3 : 4||$14,226.10|
|2013-10-19||2nd||2013 WCS Season 3 Korea GSL: Premier League||2 : 4||$12,000|
|2013-07-14||4th||2012–2013 SK Planet Proleague|
SK Telecom T1
|0 : 2||$0|
|2013-07-09||4th||2012–2013 SK Planet Proleague: Regular Season|
SK Telecom T1
|In Major Tournaments|
|2020-06-14||2nd||WardiTV Spring Championship||1 : 4||$700|
|2019-07-15||1st||Master's Coliseum 5||4 : 3||$3,000|
|2019-01-10||1st||Master's Coliseum 4||4 : 3||$2,000|
|2018-11-11||1st||2018 Suning "Lion king" Invitational||3 : 2||$7,222|
|2018-08-26||2nd||2018 Master's Coliseum||3 : 4||$6,040|
|2018-07-01||2nd||HomeStory Cup XVII||3 : 4||$2,500|
|2018-02-20||2nd||WardiTV Team Liquid Map Contest #2||3 : 12||$900|
|2017-09-22||1st||WardiTV Team Liquid Map Contest||8 : 7||$1,400|
|2017-09-18||1st||2017 StarCraft II StarLeague Season 2 - Challenge||4–1||Grp S.||$1,770|
|2017-08-27||2nd||Master's Coliseum 1||0 : 4||$2,000|
|2017-07-07||2nd||2017 VSL Season 2 - Individual League||0 : 4||$2,650|
|2016-11-20||1st||VSL Team League||Y-dong||4 : 3||No Toss||$847.23|
|2016-03-26||1st||2016 Proleague: Round 1|
SK Telecom T1
|4 : 2||$1,603.73|
|2014-07-08||2nd||2014 Proleague: Round 4|
SK Telecom T1
|2 : 4||$548.90|
|2014-05-20||1st||2014 Proleague: Round 3|
SK Telecom T1
|4 : 2||$1,625.22|
|2014-02-11||2nd||2014 Proleague: Round 1|
SK Telecom T1
|0 : 4||$389.06|
|2013-05-22||1st - 12th||2013 WCS Season 1 Korea GSL: Challenger League||2 : 0||$892|
|2012-11-01||1st||2012 MLG vs Proleague Invitational||4 : 2||$10,000|
|In Premier/Major Team Leagues|
|2018-04-22||StarCraft II: NationWars V||All Kill of Finland|
|soO||Neon Violet Square||Serral|
|Complete list of results in any tournament|
Matches & VODs
- 2016-12-24 | Shaft]] of [[Polygon Gaming]] by [[
- 2016-12-10 | Shaft]] of [[Polygon Gaming]] by [[
- 2017-2-18 | Seeker & Philipe]] of [[Polygon Gaming]] by [[
- 2017-2-18 | Seeker & Philipe]] of [[Polygon Gaming]] by [[
First Person View Match VODS
- [e] 2014-09-25 | by inven eSports (trans. )
- [e] 2014-06-21 | by inven eSports (trans. )
- [e] 2014-06-14 | by inven eSports (trans. )
- [e] 2014-05-31 | by inven eSports (trans. by Seeker)
- [e] 2014-05-06 | by inven eSports (trans. by Seeker)
- [e] 2014-03-26 | by inven eSports (trans. by Seeker)
- [e] 2014-03-19 | by inven eSports (trans. by Seeker)
- [e] 2014-03-06 | by inven eSports (trans. by Seeker)
- [e] 2014-02-06 | by inven eSports (trans. by Seeker)
- [e] 2013-11-01 | by Waxangel of TL.net at 2013 WCS Season 3
- [e] 2013-10-10 | by This Is Game at 2013 WCS Season 3 Korea GSL (trans. )
- [e] 2013-10-05 | by This Is Game (trans. )
- [e] 2013-09-28 | by This Is Game at 2013 WCS Season 3 Korea GSL
- [e] 2013-09-13 | by Fomos
- [e] 2013-07-05 | by Fomos.kr
- [e] 2013-06-21 | by This Is Game
- [e] 2013-05-31 | by ESportsTV (trans. )
- [e] 2013-05-22 | by This Is Game
- [e] 2013-04-11 | by This Is Game
- [e] 2013-03-07 | by This Is Game
- [e] 2013-02-20 | by This Is Game
- [e] 2013-02-06 | by This Is Game
- [e] 2013-02-01 | by This Is Game
|as||800 - 524||60.4 %||758 - 595||56 %||497 - 289||63.2 %||10 - 0||100 %||2065 - 1408||59.5 %|
1v1 Medal Statistics