In professional Korean gaming, they don't get much bigger than Lim Yo-Hwan, aka "BoxeR". His fan club has a million members, he has big time endorsements, and he is dating famed actress Kim Ga-yeon. He's known as the "The Terran Emperor."
But all that has come with a price: e-sports have taken their toll.
Earlier this month, there were reports that Lim was taking a break from pro-gaming and starting physical therapy. Lim's shoulder was bothering him so much that he could not play more than five games a day.
In a recent interview, Lim added, "The main problem is the spinal pain. There's an inflammation, and there is pain in my wrists, waist, neck, and everywhere."
The pain was so bad that he can't use his right hand (his mouse hand) for extended periods of time. But Lim is optimistic, and previously shot down rumors of his retirement.
He mentioned it was important to continue with his physical therapy and try to maintain good posture.
Other rumors swirling around Lim weren't related to his professional life, but his private one. There has been speculation in the Korean press that he and his longtime girlfriend Kim Ga-yeon are going to tie the knot. It's rare for a couple like this—a pro-gamer and an actress—to capture Korea's attention like this.
"It is an obvious false report," Lim recently said about the wedding rumor. "It's ridiculous to set a wedding date with an unconfirmed information without my knowing! I didn't even propose to her yet."
Kim Ga-yeon, likewise, took to her Twitter account in attempts of dispel the rumor. "There is no wedding plan," she tweeted. "Thanks for your concern but really, you don't have to set a date for us. I haven't even been proposed to yet."
Maybe they're not ready to get married. Maybe they don't want to. But after dating someone for over four years, isn't popping the question as easy as pulling off a 1A?
황제 임요환, "팬들이 박수칠 때 떠나고 싶다" [This Is Game]
(Top photo: 스포츠서울)