The King stood, his hands and back crippled from the sheer effort of fighting off so many foes. But still he stood proud, his sword in one hand and his 4 GSL trophies, which formed a shield, in the other. This was his final stand against the coming swarm; he knew he could not do this any longer. One last foe faced him, a player he barely knew that came from another kingdom. He wore a helmet that bore the name ‘Soo’ on it and commanded an army of acid spitting, vile creatures. Mvp looked Soo straight in the eye, but his enemy did not flinch once. Soo had a flicker of a smile playing about on his lips, and commanded in his foreign tongue for his army to attack. Mvp shut his eyes. This was the end of his reign.
Like many Starcraft 2 players, Mvp has his roots in Brood War. He was a lowly Terran recruit on Woonjin Stars, and while he never showed too many results in offline tournaments, he was allegedly a complete monster in practice. His biggest run was in the 2010 Hana Daetoo Securities MSL, where he took down renowned A-teamers such as Jangbi, Best and Baby (twice). Eventually he was eliminated by God himself, Flash in the quarterfinals, but the fans who were following him closely would never forget his run.
Really, this was Mvp's last big hurrah in Brood War. He participated in a few more Starleagues, but was normally knocked out early. As he stated in an interview, he was getting tired of BW and actually considered retiring, but it was his father who convinced him to try out Starcraft 2 first. With some reluctance, Mvp agreed and thus started the career of the greatest player ever to grace the shoulders of Starcraft 2. Mvp was one of the founding members of Incredible Miracle, and undoubtedly one of the best BW players to switch at the time. Despite this, his first tournament run was rather underwhelming as he was knocked out by Zenio in the Ro32 of GSL Open Season 2. He had showcased fantastic micro and mechanics, but his clear weakness was his lack of scouting, which led to be his downfall.
Mvp became known for his dominance on the ladder, as not long after this defeat he was the first player to reach 3000 points on the Korean server. Two weeks after this recognition, Mvp reached the Ro16 of the GSL Open Season 3, knocking out BanBans and foreign superstar Idra. At this point, many people were getting confident in Mvp's ability to take the title, but an upset by Choya knocked him out of the tournament, and shattered his hopes. Not to be deterred. Mvp played in the first GSL of 2011, and stormed his way through the group stages without dropping a single map. Mvp smacked down Trickster in the quarterfinals 3-0, and met his team mate, and the player who would come to be his arch nemesis, in the semifinals. The Creater of the Universe himself, Nestea. But the King cared not for his creator, and won the series 3-1, dropping the first game in the entire tournament.
His opponent in the finals would be MarineKing himself, acclaimed for his bio play and still hungry for a championship. The trouble was, Mvp's TvT at the time was absolutely phenomenal with a 92% win rate and he went into the match a clear favourite. Mvp delivered on all expectations, showing a perfect understanding of MarineKing's style and displaying just a glimpse of how he would come to abuse the metagame and his opponents' tendencies in the future.
From there, things went on a bit of a downhill for Mvp. While he showed good performances in the first GSTL he was knocked out of GSL March by July and then lost in the Up&Downs, making him the first GSL champion unable to retain his spot in Code S in the season following his victory. However, being Mvp he cared little about a normal GSL and decided to go and win a GSL World Championship. After blitzing through Huk, July and San, the Game Genie met his rival, Marineking, once again in the finals. While this time the series was more back and forth, Mvp eventually took home his second GSL with a 4-2 victory.
As expected, Mvp easily made his way through Code A, losing to Bomber in the finals. As the runner up, he was allowed to pick this opponents in the Up&Downs, and chose two Terrans, Rainbow and Rain who he then proceeded to crush earning him back his righteous place in Code S. Before GSL July could begin, GomTV organised a 64 man GSL Super Tournament, in which Mvp was seeded quite highly. His performance was disappointing compared to what he usually displayed, as he lost in the second round to Ganzi.
In GSL July, Mvp once again failed to live up to expectations as he was knocked out in the group stage of Code S. Luckily, he retained his seed after he beat sC to take third place in the Round of 32.
A week after Mvp was eliminated, it was announced that due to the GSL-MLG exchange program he would attend his first foreign tournament, MLG Anaheim. Despite his recent lacklustre performances, Mvp crushed his pool 5-0, going on to face ZvT mastermind Dongraegu in the Championship Bracket. Mvp claimed a 2-1 victory over the lowly Zerg opponent and went onto face Boxer, who was swept aside with ease. In the finals, he faced MMA, the current MLG champion and known for insane multitasking as well as being the son of Boxer, who would no doubt be looking for redemption. The King had no time for the troubles of mortals and won his first foreign championship with a 2-1 victory.
Fresh off the back of his victory, Mvp returned to Korea to play in Code S of GSL August, where he took first place in the Ro32 after beating Polt and MC. Even though he chose to give up his MLG Raleigh spot to focus on the GSL, Blizzard announced that he had a spot in the Blizzcon 2011 tournament, giving him a chance to show off once again on the foreign stage. In the Ro16 of Code S, Mvp faced the one player even close to him at the time in terms of championships won and raw skill, Nestea. Though thought of as the underdog, Mvp got a clean 2-0 win and proceeded to the quarterfinals, where he beat fan favourite Huk, and then Golden Mouse winner July. Now in the third GSL finals of his life, having had to take quite possibly the hardest path possible to get there, Mvp was up against relative unknown TOP. In contrast to half a year ago, Mvp's TvT was by far his weakest match up. TOP could not take advantage of this though, and Mvp won in a dominating fashion, 4-1 while establishing himself as the best player in the world.
Part 2 coming soon...