Three years and six months is a long time. It’s over a thousand days. If a person stumbles and can’t get back up for a thousand days, then there’s little chance he will ever achieve success again. At least in ESPORTS, there are few to no such cases. That’s why all eyes are on one player’s revival. After winning the 2007 GOMTV MSL S3 and reaching the Ro4 in GOMTV MSL S4, Mind has unquestionably been in a deep slump. However, in the 2011 ABCMart MSL, Mind finally returned to the Ro8. Even though he was knocked out by CJ’s Hydra, Mind has definitely broken out of his slump.
A debut as a 2nd year in middle school
Mind was originally scouted by the junior talent division of WeMade FOX’s predecessor, Pantech EX. In 2005, Mind entered the team’s training program for young players, and after two to three years of intense training, he was deemed a shining star of potential. At the time, besides Mind, the team also had Flash and Baby.
“In November 2005, I entered the team. About two to three months before, I had played against my senior, Nada, and he made a deep impression on my playstyle. Thanks to him, I was able to pass the test to become a trainee. And that’s how my career began.”
Others agree that, watching the young Mind, it was tough to believe he was only a 2nd year in middle school. One coach who watched his game against Nada said, “He can develop into a star player.”
In the 2006 team greenhorn ranking tournament, Mind proved himself with a first place finish. There were those who said Mind would be the person to revitalize Pantech. With FireFist and Hero_V, they were called the “Triple Foundation.”
However, back then, Mind was still a middle school student, and he had to complete his formal schooling. From Monday to Friday, he attended classes, and only on the weekends could he travel to Seoul to train. This became a major obstacle for Mind’s growth.
The first champion of the newly formed FOX
In Mind’s peak year of 2007, he entered his first individual league, the GOMTV MSL S3. His path on the Royal Road was closely watched. To get an individual league for FOX, the new Pantech EX, would be glory for not just himself, but also the team.
Once he finished with his middle school, Mind traveled to Seoul to start life in the practice house. His strategies developed quickly. He became confident that he could be unmatched in FOX , the best player, and this mentality also allowed him to become the youngest ever champion.
“Even though I won the MSL, I wasn’t too happy. I felt like nobody could stand up to me, and winning was natural. Even though the opponent was two-time reigning champ Bisu, I wasn’t anxious, and I just hoped to show my true skill. I won without really feeling it. That’s because I was confident in my ability.”
Afterward, as the defending champion, Mind made it to the Ro4. His career was flourishing already. But nobody can stay at the top forever.
Losing sight of his goals
Mind reached the summit at the tender age of 15. From there, he couldn’t pin down a higher goal. And he didn’t have a rival. His team didn’t hold any ambition for the SPL crown. Even Flash and Fantasy posed no threat to Mind’s dominance. But in the end, Mind was dethroned as the Terran poster child.
“Because the championship came easily, I became self-satisfied. After I reached the Ro4 in the MSL two times in a row, I fell into a nosedive. But I was numb to the danger. I kept losing and losing, and my condition was horrible. The days passed this way, and I fell off the map.
Mind certainly knows what it means to be in a slump.
“I didn’t know what I had done to play like this. In the progamer world, those who win are the kings, but I kept on losing, and I became enraged. My emotions didn’t change, and I didn’t reveal my feelings, but inside I was on fire. It goes to show just how disastrous my state was.”
Baby’s growth and Midas’s transfer gave Mind a new chance. Seeing his juniors becoming stronger and stronger by the day, Mind felt the pressure. At the same time, he saw his seniors fired with passion, and training without slacking in the slightest. Mind was inspired. He had been a progamer for 5 years, but he still wasn’t 21. Mind, who now saw things more clearly than ever, turned over a new leaf.
Awaiting the return to 2007 form
Mind, who had prepared poison [T/N literal translation, meaning unknown], found his confidence again in the ABCMart MSL. In the Ro32, Mind trumped PvT masters free and Stork, and he started to grasp his Achilles heel matchup, TvP. Mind then defeated Light to return to the MSL Ro8 after three years and six months. Even though Hydra denied him a semifinal run, Mind earned a seed.
“Right now, there’s still a lot I’m not satisfied with, but I’ve changed my style, and I’ll recover my tactics. I’ve shown everyone that Mind has timing pushes and cheese in his repertoire as well.”
Mind has two nicknames, Scholar Terran and Viper. In Mind’s games, his playstyle is always flat, giving him the nickname Scholar. When he can shake up the opponent, he will always remain still and take it to the lategame. So this is Mind’s less preferred nickname.
Mind prefers the nickname Viper. With one startling motion, he can crush the enemy, like a poisonous snake. After the formation of FOX, Mind’s play was unusually ferocious for a new player, and he earned this nickname then. Mind says he really wishes to return to that time.
“Like a viper, always putting the enemy in danger, that type of style. I’m working hard to move forward. Contemplating timings and trying various cheeses is part of this. I’m eager to return to the glory days of the 2007 MSL; I want to revive myself.”
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