One of the World Cyber Games (WCG) heroes for Starcraft 2 was Won “PartinG” Lee-sak. PartinG has won two medals in the two WCGs in which it has participated. A gold medal in 2012 and a bronze medal in 2013. To him WCG meant a lot – PartinG represented his country and he wanted to carry on the legacy of Korean successful players at Starcraft.
How did participating in WCG go?
WCG was great. I remember it was in China. I had been there twice and won gold and bronze. In 2012, I was the only Korean who won a medal, so I remember that a superior came to thank me. It was an extremely happy moment.
It seems like things were going well for you at the time.
Yeah, I was so happy. Everything was going so well. I didn’t even think about the prize money. There were so many fans who came to ask for my autograph. As it was such a good memory for me, I went back the following year and won the bronze.
What did WCG mean to you as a player?
When I went to WCG that year there was also another tournament called IPL held in Las Vegas. I chose WCG because I remembered watching Starcraft 1 players win WCGs when I was younger, and they looked so cool. Because of this, WCG meant so much more to me. In all WCGs, Korea has won at Starcraft every year. I wanted to be part of that, part of the story, another relay runner passing the baton. Winning at WCG meant more than winning at other international competitions.
The second time around, you got bronze.
The following year I won bronze and still had a good time. At the time, there were Korean players from other games as well. One day we all gathered in the lobby, hanging out together and communicating with each other. As gamers, we rarely get the chance to talk to players from other games, and this was one of them. It was so interesting to me. I’ve talked to Warcraft players, Dota players, all of them. We really didn’t know each other, and it wasn’t that we met often afterwards, but we outright cheered each other on. It was a great experience.
There had to be this atmosphere of international competition, representing Korea.
For me, WCG was the Olympic Games of esports. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more competitions like this – in the future I hope more esports tournaments will be hosted with several different games like WCG. Next year, esports will be an official event at the Asian Games. I think the experience will be similar to what I experienced in ’12 and ’13.
For a while, Starcraft was not in WCG. In 2019, the game was an invite-only event, and Maru won it. Did you watch it?
I didn’t watch him, but heard he won. I hope Starcraft and Starcraft 2 will be included in future WCGs. If they say it’s not popular enough, well, they’ll be right. [Laughs] WCG is like the only competition that looks like the Olympics. We carry the weight of the national flag because we represent our country.
It will be much more competitive now than before. Maybe Korean players have excelled before, but there are so many players in the world who are really good right now, like Serral from Finland or Reynor from Italy. If Korea has dominated so far, I think it will be much closer now. Warcraft is still there as a mainstay of WCG. Hope they add Starcraft 2 again.
I thank WCG and Inven Global for remembering me and calling me for an interview. I was deeply moved. You made me feel like I had a good career. Participating in WCG has been a great memory for me, and if I get the chance, I would love to participate again.