Lately there have been a number of false rumours posted on Korean forums. One of those was a thread in the Fomos community which claimed that MBC players had moved out of their hostels on the 19th. Netizens claimed that a famous clan master on Bnet told them so and that netizens who went to the Oz-STX match on the 20th said the practice room was empty. FAKE. MBC players have been tweeting pictures of themselves in the hostel. The decision on the future of the Hero team hasn't been made yet. My guess is that Kespa is looking for another sponsor for the team.
Looks like MBC is really disbanding the team.
Confirmation that the MBC hostel is still currently available to the players. They will move out sometime in September. Some players are staying at home, some are still staying at the hostel.
MBC's Pusan and Coach Han from Oz both attended the Rookie Draft today (the Fox Coach did not attend; ACE do not recruit players in this manner) but they didn't pick up any players. Only CJ, Khan, SKT and STX picked up players. Teams are possibly expecting another draft similar to last year's Estro draft, hence they held back from signing more players.
Player Reactions to the Bad News
Let's get some initial reactions from the team (via twitter and cyworld) about the possibility of MBCGame pulling out of esports for good. These were posted in late July/early August, since then the mood has improved a little.
“Driving me crazy”
“I need to be brave”
“I have to work hard but I have no strength please give me some strength”
Wow tweeted something for the first time: "ㅠㅠ"
"I just want to see some light… I’m speechless."
"What is this so-called life?"
"A tedious existence"
"I can only wait, I really hate this period."
"Becoming more uneasy"
"I hope they come to a decision soon"
A difficult period of MBC players and fans alike.
Your Questions Answered...
Thanks to everyone who asked questions about the team. I've tried my best to answer them...
Sawamura: why did tyson choose protoss for his main race?
Legatus Lanius: i also would like to hear about tyson ryo, as hes my favourite mbc player.
Tyson chose protoss and became a progamer because of Reach.
His closest progamer friend is Jaehoon. He's also close to Kal and Movie. He was once asked which team he’d like to go to if he wasn’t on MBC and he said STX, because Kal is there. Tyson has an endearing personality but he's also a bit cheeky. Sometimes gets a bit down on himself too. But according to his teammates, he eats a lot. Like almost every other MBC progamer, he likes sports. He seems reserved in front of the camera but it’s not the case in private. He likes kpop girl groups a lot. His ideal type: "a pretty girl".
awu25: what are some of the team members' favorite soccer players. I know Sea loves Messi, are there any other favorites?
Jaehoon is a Liverpool fan. His favourite player is or was Torres. I’m not sure if this is still the case now that Torres is at Chelsea.
Hyun is a Barcelona fan. I’ve seen pictures of him decked out in a Barca kit a couple of times.
invisible.terran: I just want to know how Tiny doing, he always seem potential =)
Hyde: How's Tiny doing? Last I saw him he pulled out of the star leagues (his back was injured or something?) Is he still practicing?
Tiny is still living with the team. I don’t know if he’s back to practicing again but his outlook seems relatively positive (given the circumstances), judging from the comments he leaves on his teammates cyworld pages. I really want Tiny to be able to continue with progaming. He's tried and persevered so hard despite his neck problems.
In a Fomos interview in February, he said that if progaming doesn’t work out, he’ll enter university. I hope Kespa find the Hero team another sponsor because I’m doubtful any team would want to pick up Tiny given his poor health. I’m most worried about these rookies because the team environment at MBC is quite different from other teams. I wonder if they can adjust if the team goes the way of Estro.
Finskie: Did Shark’s retirement have any significant impact on the players? How is Pusan faring at coaching?
For sure they miss having him around everyday. Shark was one of the members of the original Pirates of Space team that HERO formerly was known as. He’s always known to have a very positive attitude and is highly respected by his teammates. Most importantly, he’s been such an innovator of the game, much more so than he’s been given credit for outside of his team. I guess when he retired it sort of felt like an era was coming to an end. But as far as gaming goes, I don’t think it had any significant impact on the players because Shark still continued to work at the Loox Center after he left the team and keeps in close touch with his former teammates. I remember one interview by Jaehoon in which he mentioned how Shark found him a torrent file of an old game of Shark’s, which helped Jaehoon beat Zero on New Bloody Ridge. I hope Shark stays involved in the pro-scene even if MBCGame dissolve.
In my opinion Pusan is doing really well at coaching. Jaehoon and Tyson have had the best seasons of their careers and the rookie Sang didn’t do badly either, with 2 wins from his first 5 appearances and a win over Light in an OSL prelims Bo3. In private the players still call Pusan “hyung” instead of “coachnim”, an indication of the close relationship he has with the players. So they not only respect him but they like him a lot too. MBCGame Hero is not an easy team to coach. First of all there are the financial issues and then you have to get along with the players to be accepted as a coach. There have already been 2 coaches in the past who were rumoured to have left the team because of their poor relationship with the players. Pusan (and Mumyung too) deserves a lot of credit for Jaehoon's transformation.
Doctor.K will be in the army for 2 years, so if MBC ever disbands and there is no new sponsor, I think Coach Park should seriously consider bringing him over to SKT. Who knows, Bisu might even win an OSL… or at least qualify for one.
Kipsate: Update on Sea, he looked really ill during his OSL match today, it kinda made me feel sad.
It was probably nothing serious. Because not long after that he went to see Super Junior Kyuhyun's musical (The Three Musketeers) with Shark and Jaedong. Kyuhyun is the one on the right in the picture. The picture was tweeted by another actor in the musical, Min Young Ki (second fr left)
Kyuhyun is acquainted with several progamers, including Bisu. He and Shark are very good friends, they were introduced to each other by Shin Hye Sung from Shinhwa, who met Shark online. Shark then introduced Kyuhyun to some MBC players, including Bisu. Not long ago, Shark introduced Kyuhyun to JD. So now JD is part of the progaming-kpop celebrity circle.
Actually Sea was almost late for his OSL match. The MBC team car was stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Yongsan. Strangely, this seems to happen quite often. In 2010, they were late for a progamer education seminar because of a traffic jam. Early in 2011, they were also late for a similar seminar due to a traffic jam, or so team officials say. Strange how STX were never reported to have been late for seminars even though they stay in the same building as MBC.
For moopie, KTF_CloaK, soujiro_ and matjlav: An update on Ruby
Ruby returned to MBC house on 21st June and he’s been practicing ever since. Shortly after that he also appeared on the Sungchoon Show and then Bnet attack. He said that when he returned, he found the atmosphere in MBC house to be as spirited and lively (interview was conducted before THE bad news) as when he left 2 years ago. He commented that it was like meeting old high school friends again. What he wants to do during the off-season is to go on a vacation with his teammates. I also heard that Ruby currently has a girlfriend.
IntoTheEmo: Why is Jaehoon so clutch in PL? And who do they think has the biggest fanbase?
Jaehoon is very clutch in practice but overcoming that live-match nervousness was always a struggle until now. He’s a perfectionist so every mistake he made just made him more stressed out. Jaehoon once said in 2008 that he admired Stork because although they have the same blood-type A (in Korea and Japan, blood-type is supposed to be a good indication of your personality), Stork is not shy at all. This was back in 2007-2008 when Jaehoon practiced a lot with Stork. I suppose now Jaehoon is so clutch because he realizes that it can be done. Back in March, during his WL slump, Jaehoon commented “Some things are just impossible”. I think beating Zero on Bloody Ridge was a big turning point for him. Because after that he started talking about winning 30 games in a season, something he confessed he thought was impossible during WL. Now he’s thinking about progressing further in individual leagues. Once that massive mental barrier was overcome, his perspective on his career completely changed.
The players probably think Ruby and Sea have the biggest fanbase. Everyone has a lot of respect for Sea as the team Ace and everything he's accomplished in his career. They also frequently mention how really popular Ruby is among fangirls.
SaetZero: I would like to know if Hyun is doing anything in particular to improve above and beyond (Like how Shine talked about in a recent tournament interview) his normal routine. I feel he needs to step it up and become a leader of the team along Sea and Jaehoon (Tyson is still too early to call imo). I want to see MBC have a Zerg that is reliable ^^ And I want Hyun to be good! He's a cool guy!
Sorry, I don’t know what he’s doing in particular practice wise. But in an interview before the ABC Mart MSL Group Selection Event, he once mentioned that he was thinking about not doing ceremonies anymore because he wanted to behave more like a senior player and be more serious.
I don’t think it’s a case of Hyun not practicing enough because Tiny commented that Hyun practiced like a machine for his ABCMart MSL games (and still crumbled during the matches) but I think he tends to lose focus and concentration easily during live matches. He once said in an interview this season that his ZvT is alright during practice but in live matches it just completely falls apart and he has no idea why.
Since I’m not able to provide much of an update on Hyun, here’s a picture that captures one of his quirky habits… playing matches without his shoes on. And also some Hyun gifs courtesy of the friendly people at Hero Gallery:
From Dropbear: I would like to see something on Jaehoon's bnet attack if possible:
With my rather limited Korean, here are some points I remembered from Jaehoon’s Bnet Attack episode. My own comments/thoughts are in brackets [ ].
- is close to all his teammates but closest to Tyson.
[Tyson said the same thing about Jaehoon when he appeared on Bnet Attack recently, so the feeling is mutual. Jaehoon seems to look after Tyson like he’s his younger brother.]
- said Tyson listens to him well.
[A typical conversation in the practice house might be “Subeom ah, use this build and you don’t even have to practice to win”. Tyson: “kekeke”. I didn’t make this up because Tyson revealed earlier in the season that Jaehoon actually told him that before.]
- regards Sea as his dongsaeng and a player whom the team cannot do without.
- was upset by the commentary during his game against Peace.
- when asked what other interests he has besides gaming, Jaehoon replied: “becoming a coach”, which wasn’t the answer the commentators were looking for. They wanted to know what hobbies he had before he became a progamer, to which Jaehoon replied, “football”.
- likes Lee Haeri from Davichi, whom he describes as the kpop idol with the best voice.
[To be exact Jaehoon chose Haeri is the 2nd closest to his ideal type. But there is noone in 1st place, because Jaehoon is a picky guy. lol]
- most important criteria for his ideal type: a kind girl with a good personality who understands his job.
- was referred to by the hosts as MBC’s protoss Ace. Jaehoon replied that this kind of talk makes him nervous.
- was persuaded by Mumyung to stay on for at least another year, after wanting to retire in 2010.
- making so many errors in previous seasons not only made him upset but also made Coach Ha angry, which in turn made Jaehoon scared.
[Timid person he is/was. He's said this about himself in the past.]
- mentioned in 3 separate interviews that he would appear on the show if he managed to get 30 wins. At the start of round 5, he never thought it was possible because he was still 17 wins away from that target.
- when asked by Park Sang Hyun whether he prefers off-racing as Terran or Zerg, Jaehoon expressed that he is confident with all races.
[After watching his zerg play on Bnet Attack, MBC fans on He-Gal said: “Joojangnim, please teach MBC zergs how to win using hive tech!”. In private, Jaehoon is not short on confidence.]
- Nal_rA is his favourite protoss player .
- thinks Zero and Hydra are the toughest zerg opponents.
[To which the hosts responded: “oh, not Lee Jaedong! lol”]
- considers all other protosses his rivals and this season especially Movie, whom Jaehoon notes is a close friend of Tyson’s, even though Movie is a difficult person to get to know well.
- chose Fantasy as the Terran whose play he likes the most, especially Fantasy’s use of vultures.
- is the maknae (youngest) in his family. He has one older sibling, a sister whom he says he is afraid of, less so now than when he was young.
[Jaehoon once posted on his sister’s cyworld: “noona, please give me some pocket money… your one and only sibling.” Cute. His sister is 3 years older than him. They look somewhat alike but seem to have very different personalities.]
- some time back he was really feeling down but had a serious conversation with his sister and that lifted his spirits.
- said that his performance this season has increased his confidence “tremendously”.
- his most memorable fan is the manager of his fan café, who has been a supporter of his since his debut game.
[Her user name is Laurentia. She’s also the present manager of the MBCGame café.]
- the gold necklace that Jaehoon wears was given to him by his parents for his birthday in 2008, that’s why he always wears it.
- is thankful to MBC fans for choosing him as the best looking MBC progamer but Jaehoon isn’t really concerned with his looks.
[Btw, he got his scar from falling down a flight of stairs when he was playing with his childhood friends. After surgery he didn’t apply the ointment regularly so it left a deep scar on his face. He later got laser surgery for it in 2008 but I don’t think it helped much. In any case, the scar doesn’t bother Jaehoon.]
- says MBC players largely don’t go out to play that often.
[I guess he wasn’t thinking of Sea and Shark when he said this.]
- talked about this girl he liked but she couldn’t be his girlfriend because he had no free time.
[This is the same girl Jaehoon talked about on the Sungchoon Show. They did go out in the past but they are no longer in contact.]
- likes reading comics/manga.
- wants to do lots of exercise during the off-season as he felt that he hadn’t been very healthy during the PL season.
- wants to appear on Bnet Attack more often. So Park Sanghyun told him that if he gets into the MSL Ro16, he can do so. To which Jaehoon replied that his target is the Ro8, not the Ro16.
HSL: Season 2 of the “Wish Cup He-Gal Starleague”
Season 1 was held in April where the winner took home a 10,000Won Baskin Robbins coupon and participants got coupons for burgers from Burger Kings. This time they won’t be giving out consolation prizes but prizes will go to the winner, the player involved in the OME (oh my eyes) game and the player with the best "chat-rush". The prizes this time round were: an annyeong bada mini album, a 5000Won gift cert and a hamburger set gifticon (like a coupon). They streamed it live on Daum as well.
The opening video: http://gall.dcinside.com/list.php?id=hero&no=28997&page=1&bbs=
What have the HERO players been up to recently?
Cyworld and Twitter updates:
To reassure fans that he hasn't disappeared off the face of the planet, Hyun tweets this picture of his roommate (Tyson) sleeping, with the phrase "beom-glasses".
In response, a Korean fangirl posted this on He-Gal:
It was Wow’s birthday on 7th August and his fans gave him a cake on the day of their match on the 8th. No pictures of that but Lazy was seen giving Wow a big hug after the match:
Wow also changed his twitter profile picture to the picture below.
SEA AND RUBY
Sea and Ruby went on Sungchoon Show a couple weeks back. Sea must have appeared on the show at least 3 times this season alone. Here are some pictures. It makes me sad that MBCGame channel might shut down. Sea and Saint would have made really funny gaming show hosts.
Sea also went to Jejudo for a couple days on 9th August. With whom he did not say. But he went fishing on a yacht!
Not an MBC player anymore but he did go to MBC house to visit after his last match in the STX Cup.
TINY AND TYSON
On 12th August, Tyson went to watch a movie with his hyungs. Some hours later Tiny commented on his diary that the movie “Arrow, The Ultimate Weapon” was fun, his kind of movie. So I guess they went together. Sounds like Sang also went to see the movie because he responded to Tyson’s tweet.
Tiny uploaded a bunch of pictures to his cyworld last week. They’re from earlier in the season. The second picture of Light was taken on the night before his transfer to Woongjin.
Former MBC rookie Moon Se Il/Bassen:
Former MBC player Koala:
SANG, GWAK AND ZERG[KAL]
Sang posted these pictures of Zerg[kal], Gwak and himself. On 16th August, the trio climbed to the peak of Seoraksan, which is the third highest mountain in Korea. It was raining at the peak. The players have been doing a lot of exercise lately. Sang also went jogging at dawn on the 19th.
Sang went to Macau for a holiday, presumably with his family. He returned to Korea on 23rd August and went back to the hostel the next day with some food he bought for his hyungs. Here are some pictures from his Macau holiday:
+ Show Spoiler +
Zerg[kal] treated some of his dongsaeng teammates to Mcdonalds, the fourth time he’s done so recently.
Lazy has joined twitter @gihoonizzang. His previous profile picture:
Lazy went with 2 other teammates to sing karaoke on the night of 6th August. He also went shopping with Pusan two weeks ago... or rather Pusan went shopping and Lazy tagged along. Lazy got really bored during the shopping trip so he tweeted these pictures below.
“A date with fashion king Jiorilla” (Jiho is often pronounced as Jio) he called it...
2 days ago Lazy went shopping with Pusan again. No pictures this time.
Some other pictures Lazy has tweeted recently...
Lazy playing the guitar in his room at MBC house:
And finally a picture of Zerg[kal] that Lazy tweeted just yesterday morning:
That's all for now.
Hopefully there will be good news soon. Will there ever be good news?