If golf has Michelle Wie, then StarCraft, or at least StarCraft in Korea, has Seo Ji-soo. The 21-year-old is well-known as one of few professional game players in Korea.
▶ Ma Jae-yun sets a record for annual prize winnings on Friday.
At the third Superfight match that took place last Friday, three major matches took place, and one of them between Ms. Seo and Byun Eun-jong, a 23-year-old male player who is part of the Samsung Electronics pro-gaming team. Ms. Seo, unfortunately, lost two games in a row.“I went into hard-core practicing for the last two months ― practicing 10 hours a day ― and it is a shame that I couldn’t show off half of my talents,” she later told the press.
Ms. Seo entered the gaming world in 2001 in the women’s preliminary of the World Cyber Games, while a first year student of Guri Girls’ High School. Since then, she has been on top of the women’s game community, receiving prizes in various women’s leagues and receiving nicknames such as “the empress.” Perhaps coincidentally, she also is very attractive and is the elder sister of Seo Ji-seung, a model.
Although Ms. Seo has been active in the gaming world, not all women game players are and there is currently no women’s league. There are now only two other professional female game players in addition to Ms. Seo. In tournaments where she has to compete against men, Ms. Seo has repeatedly failed, so she has not had the chance to come up against the “big boys.”
The Superfight games, however, are one-on-one matches started this year by CJ Media. Ms. Seo, being the budding celebrity she is in the game community, was given the opportunity to choose a gamer to play against.
▶ Seo Ji-soo. Provided by CJ Media
There were five candidates, four of whom declined to compete against Ms. Seo. Mr. Byun, who was a former boxer, agreed. Ms. Seo’s loss, however, was somewhat expected among the game community, because Mr. Byun’s personal ranking in the Korean e-sports association is third. He has a personal winning rate of 55.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the main match last Friday between Lee Yun-yeol and Ma Jae-yun ended with Mr. Ma’s victory. This took Mr. Ma’s cumulative cash prize winnings for the year to 105 million won ($113,200), which is the highest in the history of Korean e-sports. These winnings do not include wages or team matches.
by Wohn Dong-hee