From StarCraft Pros to TV Stars

Illustration for article titled From emStarCraft/em Pros to TV Stars
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Pro-gaming is hard. You gotta be good. You gotta train hard. But, like for any sport, it doesn't last forever. A handful of StarCraft pros have taken a rather unusual post pro-gaming career path in South Korea: The entertainment industry.

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For years now, StarCraft has been incredibly popular in the region—not just playing it, but watching incredibly talented folks play it.

As noted by tipster Sang, many eSports athletes try to go into coaching or take jobs in the private sector that are completely unrelated to gaming. However, there are a couple of former StarCraft pros who have parlayed their gaming success into second acts as TV and music celebs.

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Illustration for article titled From emStarCraft/em Pros to TV Stars

Guillaume Patry (aka Grrrr...): Hailing from Canada, he once retired to take up professional gambling like former StarCraft pro Bertrand Grospellier, but apparently he ended up taking a corporate job. Recently, however, he's began appearing on Korean program Non-Summit, which features Non-Koreans talking about life in the country. As you can see in this clip, Patry speaks quite good Korean.

Illustration for article titled From emStarCraft/em Pros to TV Stars

Hong Jin Ho (aka YellOw): Hong made quite a leap from eSports to Korean TV and even showed a knack for comedy. Currently, Hong is appearing on three different variety shows as well as a radio program—there's also this bit about him coming out of gaming retirement. He's also founded his own production company. [Photo: FNN]

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Illustration for article titled From emStarCraft/em Pros to TV Stars

Lim-Yo-hwan (aka BoxeR): As far as eSports players go, they don't get much bigger than BoxeR. In recent years, he's popped up on Korean variety television and has also made the move to professional gambling. Of course, both BoxeR and YellOw were very well-known during their pro-gaming days.

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Illustration for article titled From emStarCraft/em Pros to TV Stars

Min Chan Ki (aka RuBY): Min initially left pro-gaming to become an actor and appeared on a sitcom that ended last year. It's recently been revealed that he is in a Korean pop group called "ShelRock" that will debut next year. [Photo: ShelRock@Facebook]

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Photo: Przemek Tokar | Shutterstock Thanks, Spacegy!

Thanks, Sang!

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

ohthatsadorable
ohthatsadorable

Well it may be unusual for professional gamers but that's only because professional gaming is still in its infancy. This is actually very common for other professional athletes. I expect we'll see more and more of this going forward.