”Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
Been around for a long, long years
Stole many a man's soul and faith"
StarCraft has produced many unique personalities, but few have dominated the scene in ways like MC. While most Koreans' greatest accomplishment in the sport of showboating is to manage a few English phrases at a finals, MC is the undisputed heavyweight champion of showmanship. He is the guy who danced in a Murloc suit at MLG; he is the guy who showed up dressed as an undertaker to a group selection ceremony; he is the guy who jokingly threatened to castrate Yoda.
Winrate62% vs. Terran53% vs. Protoss67% vs. Zerg
Earnings$61,996 USD in 2014
However, popular opinion of the man has changed despite his personality remaining largely the same. Jang Min Chul's transformation into oGs.MC erased his sordid sobriquet, shifted him from heel to hero and changed him from B-teamer to champion in a matter of months. His trademark aggression turned into a shrewd killer instinct which catapulted him to become the highest earner in all of Starcraft 2's history. His bank continues to grow with every tournament he attends and he is now only $20k away from extending his lead on the second highest earner, Mvp, to $100,000.
”I haven't prepared anything in particular. I'm naturally good at everything. I'm good at eating too, so that's why I can't lose weight.”
The quote on the right highlights the persona MC has created for himself. He enjoys life to the fullest and bathes in the attention lauded upon him. He constantly seems to be eating, drinking or chasing women. His success in StarCraft II enables a rockstar life that every would-be teenage progamer dreams of. He travels the world from tournament to tournament, making thousands of dollars at each stop, all while fans scream his name. This year alone MinChul has been a finalist four times — more often than most progamers will in their entire careers.
However, all is not well. As autumn sets in his success has fallen off. Few speak about MC in the most important competition of the year. There's been a constant worry about his form over recent months. Perhaps he has become complacent at last. This image of himself that he has us believing in—the rich, sleazy, spoiled and devil-may-care pro-gamer just looking to have fun—has it finally overtaken him and become his reality? Money and fame have corrupted many before him, and few would blame MC for succumbing to the comforts that his hard work have earned him. He has spent years cultivating his success and image, and it appeared that he was finally taking it easy.
Yet those who have followed his voracious exploits know that his appetite is unending. He has long since cemented his place in SC2's Hall of Fame, but the President Protoss still has more memories to give and more prize money to take. He has given us more entertaining highlights and taken more foreign money than any other player in a style all his own. While the character MC is famous for his ceremonies and outgoing nature (seen in interviews, twitter, and on camera), his ingame persona is renowned for its ruthlessness and precision as the aggressor. No other player in the world can match the killer instinct that MC had at his peak. He had developed a sixth sense for sensing weaknesses in his opponents' play and a seventh for exploiting it with decisive blows.
Ironic, isn't it? A Protoss whose biggest strength is crushing his opponents with deadly timing attacks, adored and worshiped by the same community that loves to complain about exactly that. If any other protoss had made his name the same way that MC did, but didn't have the personality to back it up, they would have been begrudgingly respected but never loved. But MC is different. We would hate him if we could, but it's impossible. He is as fascinating as he is deadly, as charming as he is cheesy. He seduces us with his celebrations and makes us forget the often frustrating way in which he wins. MC is SC2's smooth criminal: a laughing, party-throwing but nevertheless coldblooded killer.
It's this duality that induces many to misunderstand what really defines MC. If he were just a champion, he wouldn't be loved. If he were just a funny person, many would never get to experience his personality on the big stage. He would have never been able to deliver all these moments we cherish if he was stuck back stage or on a community stream. That perhaps is MC's defining quality: the ability to be both at once. He draws us in and shows us a different side of being a professional gamer. It is possible to be an entertainer and a champion, even for those who don't speak English perfectly. Even though he may appear preoccupied by hysterically well planned ceremonies, it is never at the expense of his professional preparations. His ferocity pushed him to climb the mountain; his bravado urged him to plant his flag.
Throughout the years MC has repeatedly fallen from his seat atop the hill, but he has always clawed his way back to the top. This is through hard work, dedication and being open to his own strengths and weaknesses. Few people discuss their own flaws as openly as MC does and few people seem to be so humble about them. He does not blame lag, booths, races or whatever other matter outside of himself that can be pointed to after a loss. MC has more than surpassed these dull and exhausting exercises. This is his main strength, the ability to rise above any difficulty and remain unafraid of any critique. He doesn’t care about what system the WCS uses, he doesn’t get phased by any player he meets, he doesn’t become vindictive. He stands for freedom; freedom from the constraints of our scene and freedom from the fear of embarassing himself. MC knows who and what he is, and he is more than confident to be himself at any given point. If that means using unpopular strategies to beat strong opponents, why not? If it means talking trash or calling out his opponents, fine. MC has long since moved past the point where we might find his antics obnoxious or his trashtalk bothersome, and any changes he might bring upon himself will also be readily accepted. MC, more than any other player, is allowed these debaucheries. But if the need arises and he has to re-evaluate himself, he will do that as well. He's got us all under his spell anyway. We won't be able to feel negative about him for long.
In a way, his personality can be seen as responsible for his success. It existed before he had any accomplishments to his name. With his motivation to enjoy the spotlight, to boast and show off, comes an immense drive to win. They're one and the same thing. MC wants all the money, glory and fame in the world, and he wants to celebrate it with all of us. To achieve that, he has to win. He has to be able to kill in the most swift and coldblooded fashion, a skill that he has mastered to near-perfection. With many greats of their respective races now fallen from grace, MC, the most successful player in StarCraft II's history, remains on top. He hasn’t made all that money by chance; his showmanship is not a cry for attention. With his success, he would have it anyway. But he wants even more than that. He wants to be adored, loved, worshipped while soaking in his accomplishments. The BossToss has made himself one of the game's most iconic players simply by becoming who he wants to be. He has been around far longer than the KeSPA stars of today and the name he has made for himself will ensure that he will be remembered long after most of those fade away, as one of StarCraft's most beloved champions.