OWL Magazine Korea

“Go Crazy Like Me” by Lim Yo-hwan

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of “e-Sports” centered around “StarCraft” was tremendous. While living through the 2020s, the popularity has been carried forward by “League of Legends (LOL),” but if we confine the stage to South Korea, it seems that it is not drawing as much popularity as the past StarCraft.

Of course, compared to the time when StarCraft was popular, the profession of a professional gamer has stabilized, and it is known that they receive salaries several times higher. However, it would be unreasonable to simply compare popularity, as the 1990s and 2000s can be considered the dawn of “e-Sports,” and the current period can be seen as a time when the groundwork laid back then is bearing fruit.

“At one time, Lim Yo-hwan was the icon of e-Sports.”

Currently, “Faker,” who is active as a player in the game “League of Legends (LOL),” is considered an icon of e-Sports, but in the early days of StarCraft, “Lim Yo-hwan” could be counted as the icon of e-Sports.

Of course, before Lim Yo-hwan, there was “Lee Ki-suk,” and before Lee Ki-suk, there was “Shin Jun-young,” known as the first professional gamer in Korea. Lim Yo-hwan can be considered a case that appeared after those players. In reality, Lim Yo-hwan also grew up dreaming of becoming a professional gamer while watching Lee Ki-suk.

Ultimately, Lim Yo-hwan emerged as the icon of e-Sports, surpassing Shin Jun-young and Lee Ki-suk, who appeared and gained popularity before him, making significant contributions to the recognition of aspects such as “professional gamers” and “game competitions” as industries.

“Lim Yo-hwan’s autobiography published in 2004”

“Go Crazy Like Me” is Lim Yo-hwan’s autobiography published in 2004. In the book, you can glimpse Lim Yo-hwan’s experiences and thoughts as he took the road less traveled by others.

The book frequently quotes Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Whether Lim Yo-hwan liked this poem and frequently quoted it or whether the publishing company thought it would be good to include this poem in the book for publication purposes is unknown, but the poem “The Road Not Taken” frequently appears.

Perhaps, this is because Lim Yo-hwan walked a path that others had not walked before, making his situation resonate well with the poem “The Road Not Taken.”

“Lim Yo-hwan’s Selected Classic Matches”

Even after publishing the book, Lim Yo-hwan continued to be active as a player and created numerous classic matches. Especially, the match against Hong Jin-ho in the quarterfinals of the “EVER Starleague 2004” on November 12, 2004, which is remembered as a classic match even today.

Of course, even before the publication of the book in 2004, he had created many classic matches. In the book, Lim Yo-hwan introduces matches that he considers as classic matches and shares his thoughts while preparing for matches.

  • 2001 Hanbitsoft Starleague: Lim Yo-hwan’s debut match
  • 2001 Coca-Cola Starleague: The first Lim Jin-rok (Lim Yo-hwan VS Hong Jin-ho)
  • 2001 WCG (World Cyber Games) 1st: A revenge match against Bertrand in the finals by shooting a nuke
  • 2001 Starleague Finals: Match against Kim Dong-su

Among these matches, the preparation for the final match against Kim Dong-su, where he prepared a tactic called “Tank Drop” on the map called “Incubus,” stands out. However, due to the map changing unexpectedly during the competition, he was unable to properly execute the strategy he had prepared, leading to disappointment at the threshold of the final match, ending up as the runner-up.

“Lim Jin-rok: Lim Yo-hwan VS Hong Jin-ho”

The match referred to as “Lim Jin-rok” refers to the matches between Lim Yo-hwan and Hong Jin-ho. Because they maintained a rivalry relationship and created numerous classic matches while actively competing during the same period, fans gave them this nickname.

The win-loss record between the two players is similar, but Lim Yo-hwan always emerged victorious at crucial moments. Especially, in the final match they played, Lim Yo-hwan always emerged victorious, winning the championship, while Hong Jin-ho recorded only runner-up finishes, never winning a championship, becoming known as the “icon of runner-up.”

“Memories Associated with StarCraft”

The author was not able to become a professional gamer like Lim Yo-hwan and did not pursue that path. However, before and during the time Lim Yo-hwan was active, the author was quite good at the game StarCraft.

Since he was in a provincial area, he could not participate frequently in tournaments held in Seoul, but he achieved good results such as winning, being a runner-up, reaching the quarterfinals, and reaching the round of 8 in offline tournaments held in provincial areas, earning prize money. He participated in the online qualifiers for the final matches held in Seoul only once, but since he was a student, he could not prepare for the offline final qualifiers.

Nevertheless, he decided to experience participating in the offline final qualifiers in Seoul, but due to excessive nervousness, he ended up losing disappointingly. (At that time, the author was a teenager, and he always tended to be excessively nervous in important competitions or matches.)

Although the author, like Lim Yo-hwan, did not give up everything and go all-in to become a “professional gamer,” there remains a lingering question of whether he could have become a professional gamer if he had. Now, those memories have become distant.

“Do your best and expect good results.”

While reading the book, I could indirectly experience Lim Yo-hwan’s efforts to take the road less traveled.

No matter what field it is, if you do your “best,” you may not get the best results, but you can achieve some results. After doing your best in any choice, it is important to have the attitude of expecting good results.

“Go Crazy Like Me”