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Meet Korea's Gaming Rockstars 64

PC Gamer has up a short piece looking at some of the big names in Korean gaming. The piece describes an event, and discusses the training regimen these console contestants go through. "I visited the A-team house, which is in a residential street in northern Seoul. Fourteen pro gamers live here, together with their team coach. It's half frat house, half sweatshop. Upstairs are the dorms. The team's top two players, Ma Jae Yoon (handle sAviOr) and Seo Ji Hoon (handle XellOs) share a room that's not much bigger than two single beds. The others are crammed into bunks in two other rooms. Ma, aged 21, is currently South Korea's number one Starcraft player and, according to Sean Oh, a millionaire. You wouldn't be able to glean this from looking at his bedroom."
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Meet Korea's Gaming Rockstars

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  • by Slider451 ( 514881 ) <slider451@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @03:59PM (#20658635)
    1. Serve on a fishing ship, in the military or... as a professional gamer.
    2. Endure austere conditions, long hours, harsh discipline.
    3. There is no step 3
    4. Profit!
    • 1. Serve on a fishing ship, in the military or... as a professional gamer.

      Actual, in Korea you can be both in the military and a professional gamer. [fighterforum.com] The previous link contains some pictures of the event they held to commemorate the creation of the South Korean Air Force Starcraft team. I believe the Navy also has a Starcraft team.
  • Millionare eh? (Score:3, Informative)

    by the computer guy nex ( 916959 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @04:00PM (#20658681)
    http://coinmill.com/KRW_USD.html#KRW=1000000 [coinmill.com]

    Looks like a Millionare in Korea can barely afford a PS3.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      according to Sean Oh, a millionaire. You wouldn't be able to glean this from looking at his bedroom."

      Most millionaires aren't flashy bastards though. I once had a boss who was a multi-millonaire. He looked like a hobo. In fact the only thing that gave away how rich he was was if you were allowed into his attic where he collected and framed $50 bills. Seriously, he collects and frames them. He has THOUSANDS of them.
      • Re:Millionare eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @04:11PM (#20658895) Journal
        You can make lots of money, but unless you are saving it, its hard to become a millionaire. For those of us who are just regular joes with 9-5 jobs, it isn't impossible to be a millionaire, you just need to lower your cost of living. It's kind of surprising how some former sports stars that were making millions a year have lost their money due to bad management and just spending it, where someone even just making 5 figures can still anticipate being worth several million before retirement.
        • I shouldn't really be talking about it, but what the hell. A company has just emailed me with a scheme that should see me making $20,000 dollars A WEEK pretty soon. I KNEW that this internet connection was going to pay off.
      • 1. make cheap photocopies of 50$ bills
        2. swap with real ones in attic
        3. burn down attic
        $. go to jai.. i mean profit!
      • If you think about it, it makes sense that millionaires are usually cheap bastards. Unless you are a cheap bastard, you usually won't become a millionaire. All of the people I know who have tons of money retained their money not by clever investments or lottery winnings or something, but simply by not spending it for years and years.
    • by alienw ( 585907 )
      I think people generally talk about dollars when they say "millionaire", even in foreign countries. Even then, the guy apparently makes something like $200k/year and doesn't spend any of it since he's too busy playing starcraft. Really sounds like a shitty way to go. You can make more money than that driving a truck if you are willing to devote your entire waking hours to work, and I think it would be far more fun than playing starcraft for 13 hours a day for a few years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dogtanian ( 588974 )

        I think people generally talk about dollars when they say "millionaire", even in foreign countries.
        Not in Britain, they don't. We'd generally assume that a British "millionaire" had a million pounds.
      • I think that people who are talking to western media sources generally talk about dollars (or Euros or pounds or comparable currencies - not much of a difference, as having just one million in assets rarely matches the perceived idea of "millionaires" in modern society). However, I would be surprised if people in India, China, Korea and the like translate everything into a foreign currency when they're speaking to one another about someone's wealth.
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You think driving a truck for 13 hours every day would be more fun than playing StarCraft for an equivalent time?

        Now look what you've done. Blizzard is in tears. I hope you're happy.
      • HEY I played Starcraft for 16 hours a day all summer once. It was the greatest summer ever. I bet he can appropriate 5000 dollars a month to new computer equipment and a t3 connection. I wouldn't mind living in a space that is the size of 2 beds if I had a brand new top of the line computer every month. If I got cramped I would just go outside for awhile...
      • ElkY played Starcraft successfully in Korea, and then switched to poker. He said [pokerstars.com]:

        "I could practice 12 hours a day, but if I lost the game, the value would be zero. However, in poker every hour has some benefit, so after 12 hours of poker, if I've played well, then I can say, hey I just made 3k today. For my level of performance, poker was the smarter choice."

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      it's an american article, a millionaire doesn't mean he has a million korean won you retard
  • by nomadic ( 141991 )
    Can someone explain to me the appeal of watching other people play video games? I just don't get it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by godscent ( 22976 )
      I expect that it is the same as watching other people play sports. I don't get it either, but it seems to be fairly popular.
    • I admit I could not watch a whole match depending on length and interest, but usually they do some impressive things that are cool to see. Highlight reels is where it's at. Just think of it like some other sport you can't watch. For example I love hockey, can watch football, but I am almost physically pained to sit through a baseball game.
    • Starcraft (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ka D'Argo ( 857749 )
      I've always enjoyed watching the Korean players go head to head in competitive Starcraft, cause they are the best at it. Nothing is quite as insane as seeing Slayer_Boxer go absolutely apeshit on someone with a few dropships and siege tanks. Some of the tactics and strategies they implore are so far from anything anyone else probably thought of in an RTS. It really makes for entertaining viewing. Some games obviously don't, I think really it comes down to more fast paced RTS games and obviously FPS games th
    • Do you understand the appeal of watching other people play sports? It's the same concept.
    • by Bazar ( 778572 )
      Well i personally enjoy it if its a game that i know and understand, and enjoy playing.

      I'm very competitive, and watching professionals, i can glean some insight into advanced tactics and gameplay. Which results in me playing better and thus winning more. (Its also fun to laugh at their screw-ups)

      Its fun to watch two people/teams go head to head, just like in sports.

      And finally, watching someone else play can give you a lot of fun of actually playing the game, but without actually doing any of that annoying
  • Howlin' Mad (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @04:16PM (#20659013) Homepage

    I visited the A-team house, which is in a residential street in northern Seoul.
    Are those guys *still* on the run from the U.S. government? I'd have thought getting B.A. Barracus onto a plane for South Korea would be a major PITA... and you just blew their cover again!
    • BA: "MMMmmrrr. BA ain't getting on no plane!"
      Face: "BA.... Have some milk"
      BA: "Mmmm, I like milk. Milk good for the body. MMMM" *chugs milk*
      Hannibal: "Ok, Murdock and Face, load him on the place, we'll be in Venezuela in 8 hours..."
    • by 45mm ( 970995 )
      "You ain't git'in me on no plane you crazy foo" I think they drugged B.A. more than once to get him to fly ... my question is how'd they carry him? Hannibal was strong but not enough to do it alone, Face was too busy with the ladies, and I think B.A. would have kicked Murdoch's ass just for touching him. Cheers for the A-Team memories!
  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @04:21PM (#20659135) Journal
    I got invitationals from South Korea, but I just thought it was spam. I'm kicking myself now. But at least Starcraft 2 will come out soon. SK has lots of gaming centers and this used to make for refined strategy over creative strategy. And one thing that Starcraft has is psychology. If you know exactly what your opponent is going to do, they have no chance. I think SC2 will have more advanced players from the get go than SC 1 did because SC1 was one of the first competitive online games with a ladder system. I was able to kick ass in Wacraft 3 as #1 1v1,2v2 and 3v3. So I think I'll be able to do well in SC2.

    The only reason I quit Starcraft was because of the map hack. People stopped playing on Battlenet, but I had no where else to train so I was screwed. I hope they punish map hackers in Starcraft 2. There are a lot of ways to do it. One way would be a report map hacker button: and when someone gets to the top 10 of reported maphackers, people at Blizzard could review a replay. Another way is to open up a ton(1,000,000) of memory addresses that allow map vision, and none are legit. If someone changes one of these values, they'll be reported to Blizzard and their CDkey banned. Anyway there are lots of ways of doing it. I look forward to Starcraft 2 as being my game of choice.
    • Or maybe the game could just be secure and not allow map hacking at all?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by king-manic ( 409855 )
        Or maybe the game could just be secure and not allow map hacking at all?

        Go server side for everything and have the installed game be nothing more than a dumb client?

        Map hacking occurs because the enemy player position exists within ram. By removing a fog layer or dummying enemy position graphics on top of the fog. The onyl way to truly avoid this is to prevent your opponents position from being distributed until they come into view. But the problem is network latency, limited server side resources, etc.. ke
        • by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @06:25PM (#20661023) Homepage Journal
          "limited server side resources" is crap. GOOD crap, in the sense that battle.net is free and Blizzard hasn't had to spend more than pocket change to keep SC and Diablo running all these years, but crap from the POV of cheating. Apply the FPS server model, dedicate a beefy machine to every 30-60 players, and you can do all sorts of wondrous things. The client doesnt have to be dumb, it just shouldnt be sent things it doesnt need to know. As to latency, for the game to be competitive you need minimal lag anyways, and how far is a unit going to move in 1/10th of a second? Sure, you have to send a *LITTLE* more data than the client needs, such as positions of units and projectiles that are [lag time]*[movement speed] distance into the fog, and that would be visible to a map hacker, but it would be orders of magnitude less trouble than now. EverQuest had to solve the same problem when people were sniffing the data stream to find NPC positions miles away, they just stopped sending that data, problem solved.
          • by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

            There is a problem with the FPS client-server model: if your server dies you're screwed. Let's face it, Starcraft and other RTSes do not need an environment with as low latency as, say, Counter-Strike. At the same time, CS is only fun with a fair number of players, necessitating dedicated servers, while Starcraft has more potential for quick pick-up games between random people.

            Which is to say... Nobody wants to connect to a dedicated server for a quick dirty RTS match, and if the hosting player quits (all

            • I think they could upgrade their dropped code too. If a player drops, he should be given the opportunity to rejoin the game. This is critical to top ranked 2v2s at the beginning of the game when your partner drops and you just conceed the loss because your partner messages you from the chat room,"I got dropped(duh), I'm bored, lets get another game, your odds of winning are extremely low anyway so quit"
            • There is a problem with the FPS client-server model: if your server dies you're screwed.

              Yeah. And?

              It's a fact of life. If your ISP dies, you're screwed. If your network card dies, you're screwed. If the batteries in your wireless keyboard die, you're screwed.

              Nobody wants to connect to a dedicated server for a quick dirty RTS match

              Not a big deal. Halo manages to create quick pick-up games with the simple model of, if at least one of the players is visible from the Internet, they get to be the server. Dow

              • by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

                Yeah. And?

                And it leaves Blizzard two choices:

                - Host all games on dedicated blizzard servers, including all the 2v8 comp stomps out there. This results in far more security and reduced cheating, but can you imagine the cost?
                - Allow one player to be the host, which introduces host cheating issues, but assuming the host is reliable it drastically reduces the odds of a client cheating. But, if the serving player leaves, the whole game goes kaput (and in RTSes, players tend to leave a lot)
                - Do peer to peer networkin

                • Allow one player to host, and allow it to fail over to another player. Use a central server only to track the state of who's in the game, who's the server, etc.

                  Problem solved, and it helps a bit with the cheating.

                  If it took me all of thirty seconds to come up with that, why didn't Blizzard just do it that way, instead of making it hell for anyone behind a NAT? And this will only become more of a problem in the future; I have seen ISPs throw all their clients behind one massive NAT gateway, rather than, say,
          • Yes, "limited server side resources" is a problem. If you apply the FPS server model, you aren't dealing with 30-60 objects : you are dealing with 300-600 objects. A typical 1-to-1 starcraft game tends to go all the way up to 300+ objects, and if you are thinking of 3-on-3 or something close to that, you are screwed. Now, multiply the 300 objects by the number of battle.net players. Suddenly, Blizzard needs to assign one machine per game (that is, approximately six players) and still cannot be sure if t
  • by riskeetee ( 1039912 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @04:32PM (#20659307)
    Before they die of exhaustion from a marathon gaming session!
  • keep playing video games 24/7 guys! More for me!
  • backwards (Score:4, Funny)

    by penguinbroker ( 1000903 ) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @08:24PM (#20662245)

    Korea's #1 Starcraft Player: I would like to have a good car and a fancy girlfriend.

    um.... isn't it supposed to be the other way around?
    • ftfa..

      Korea's #1 Starcraft Player: I would like to have a good car and a fancy girlfriend.

      um.... isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

      A good car and a fancy girlfriend should want Korea's #1 Starcraft player?

      CHris Mattern
  • ...well, at least the ones who haven't dropped dead from 72 hour gaming marathons...

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.