One of the very first, and very best, pro StarCraft players called it quits this week, ending his nine-year run in the game’s eSports circuit. And while he’s still only 23 years old, he’s been competing in StarCraft tournaments since he was fourteen.
Lee “Flash” Young Ho first made a name for himself in StarCraft’s competitive scene when playing Brood War, the 1998 expansion to the original PC game that helped cement Blizzard’s title as the defining eSport basically until League of Legends showed up. After cutting his teeth in South Korea’s famously strong and ultra-competitive StarCraft ecosystem as a young teenager, he was recruited by KT Rolster, one of the country’s most prominent eSports companies. He quickly became known as a rockstar Terran player, earning himself the nickname “God” from his fans. A documentary from last year examined his relationship with longstanding rival Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong, who countered Flash’s Terran with many a Zerg play:
Flash managed to make the jump from Brood War to StarCraft II after Blizzard finally released its long-awaited sequel in 2010 and continued to play for KT Rolster to much acclaim. He also successfully memed himself in 2013 when he was caught on camera at a Major League Gaming measuring the placement of his keyboard in the gaming booth with a clear plastic ruler:
Who knew that rolling up your sleeves in front of your PC could be such a formidable gesture?
One fan on the StarCraft subreddit put it perfectly when he said, “raise your rulers in respect.”
Flash told Korean news outlets (found and translated by TeamLiquid) that it was “about time” for him to “retire from the scene.” He mentioned plans to enter the army, which is mandatory for all men between the ages of 18 and 35 in South Korea, though he also said that his “ultimate goal” is to become the head coach for KT Rolster, “making it the mightiest team in the world.”
Regardless of where he goes or what he does next, Lee Young Ho will always be known to a huge swath of gamers the world over as Flash, the Terran God of StarCraft.