Source Thread - Translated by FireBlast!, originally from FiFo
Clon (Jo Hyung Geun) announced his retirement from progaming after his defeat in the MBCMovies Survivor League this week. He may not have had the success, the following and the name as some of the bigger players but it's always sad to see a familiar face leave the progaming scene, towards an uncertain future.
Here's an article on his departure.
Typing GG, a moment of sadness was seen across Jo Hyung Geun's face. A handful of fans were seen shedding tears as he gathered up his mouse and keyboard for the last time.
Losing to Jin Young Soo (Hwasin) 2:0 meant that his last and final shot at advancing into a Starleague had gone; as a result it also ended up being his last and final match to end his 7 year career as a progamer. His name was even withdrawn from the Hanbitstars Proleague line-up.
Despite his reasonably young age, he is considered to be of the older generation of progamers. He had been there with Hanbit from the very start. Having started gaming at an early age he was met with fierce opposition from his parents. He was forced to leave the game temporarily but he hald always been a crucial member of Hanbitstars. I went to meet him, as he set about on a new path, leaving his life as a progamer. Despite his calm appearance one could always sense from his voice he was a rather nervy character.
"I just wanted to play Starcraft."
The reasons for his decision to become a progamer is as simple as that. He just merely wanted to play the game he loved. He didn't give a second thought when entering the world of progaming. Even when he was forced by his studies to a sabbatical after the 2001 Sky OSL, he returned two years after. His reasons? He just "really wanted to play".
Jo Hyung Geun started Starcraft at the beginning of high school. He quickly became immersed in the game. He frequently borrowed money to play at PC Bangs and used a slow modem to desparately join his friends on battle.net. One of those friends would soon become his Hanbitstars teammate Kang Do Gyung (HOT Forever). This friendship would give him his break to become a progamer. At the time, HOT had already gained fame as runner-up of the Hanaro Starleague, he even came to celebrate Clon's graduation from High School. "I learnt so much from Do Gyung, he's the one person I thank most" he states.
Back in 2000, when the progaming team SM were formed (future Hanbitstars), Kang Do Kyung asked to come along for the trials. Result was an easy passage into the team. However even then his career as a progamer had not fully kicked off. Along with other young players, Clon was forced to attend school, only being called up by his manager for major events. However his big break would come soon enough after his qualification into the 2001 Sky OnGameNet Starleague.
-The two year break
Not unlike other gamers, he faced strong opposition from his parents. He was still attending school by the time he qualified for his first Starleague. He promised his parents he would return to his studies if he failed in the qualifiers of the Nate Starleague and as a result he returned to his studies for a year.
He studied engineering at Pusan University, but he always wished he could return to play the game again. He was forced to take a break for two years in total- a year for his studies and another year to health-related issues. In that time the whole progaming industry had grown enormously. Especially watching his friend and teammate Park Jung Suk (Reach) become a Starleague champion made him aspire to play in front of a large audience.
Upon his return, Clon was accepted back into the squad straight away by the Hanbit coach Lee Jae Gyun. His colleagues gave the advide "make a fresh start." He took this advice seriously however faltered several times at the peliminaries of big tournaments. He became frustrated at the fact that he could never truly show his potential. He wanted to prove to himself he could make something big, and as a result decided to speak to his manager one day to let him on the big stage.
"It was just before a Proleague match with GO. I told him I wanted to play." It was his first broadcasted game after his return. His manager kept his faith and Jo Hyung Geun won his game, against Lee Joo Young (Oversky). Following on from this he became an important part of the Hanbit Proleague line-up as well as making it into the Iops Starleague.
-A day he could not forget
Jo Hyung Geun picks his most memorable game to be the one duing the Gamevil Dual Tournament that earned him his place in the Iops Starleague. He even remembers the date and the exact events of that day- 05/12/2004. "I remember everything that happened from that day, from the moment I woke up." This day, he faced Xellos twice, beating him on both occasions to gain passage into his second and last Starleague.
Jo Hyung Geun never really articulated his feelings during his games, regardless of outcome. However on this special day he says that he could not stop himself from smiling with immense joy. Especially during the last game when his opponent typed GG, he felt a sense of achievement like he had never felt before.
-After another 2 years, retirement.
He returned after 2 years in the winter of 2003. Two years later, here he is now, facing retirement in the winter of 2005. "I've been in a Starleague, being drawn into the group of death alongside some of the biggest players. I have also stood at the winning platform when my team won the grand final in the Proleague. I've nothing to regret." His feelings on retirement were evidently straight forward.
He had many second thoughts on retiring. Aside from his individual performance, Hanbitstars were facing a difficult period in the bottom half of the Proleague table. His absence would certainly be felt within the team. On top of this, this was the end of it all. Needless to say he was full of sorrow.
His manager Lee Jae Gyun told him to make his own decision. Park Yong Wook (Kingdom) advised him to "think deep and decide fast". Soon enough, he had decided to retire on the grounds that he would give himself enough time to restart his studies after his national service before it was too late.
-Despite his devotion to those around him, there are no real regrets.
This match against Hwasin would be the final farewell to his friends, fans and lifestyle. When he sat to play he felt a great urge to win. Unfortunately it was a dissapointing 2-0 defeat that marked the end of his road.
"I never really set out to achieve anything big, I never had the ambition or drive. I just wanted to play the game because I loved it so much. So in retrospect I think I lacked too much motivation." However he insists he has no regrets whatsoever on his decision. There is no set back, he has merely switched from the path of a gamer to the path of an academic. "I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me all this time."
When I asked him whether he had any thoughts on returning to the Progaming scene, he left these final words; "Perhaps I will have changed my mind, I don't know. If there is a place for me again somewhere, and I am wanted, I probably couldn't resist. Who knows?"
His optimism indicates his chapter perhaps isn't finished after all.
-Translated from FiFo-