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Choi Yeon-Sung in the MSL
|Revised Romanization||Choe Yeonseong|
Choi Yeon-Sung (born November 5, 1983), also known as iloveoov, is a professional Korean StarCraft player who uses the Terran race. He is known for his excellent macromanagement, leading to his nickname "Cheater Terran". However he is better known as "Monster Terran" (Gweh_Mool Terran) because of his ability to produce a massive amount of units. He sees Lim Yo-Hwan, who was on the same team as him (SKTelecomT1), as an older brother or mentor. It's been known that Lim scouted Choi through a match in battlenet after losing to Choi's Terran, Zerg and Protoss. Choi beat Lim 3:2 in 2004 during the Ongamenet Ever Starleague finals. The 'oov' in his nickname is believed to be the ASCII emotion icon of a face and 2 fingers forming letter 'V' which stands for victory. He announced his retirement as a progamer as a result of a wrist injury, to become a coach for his team. Since then, Choi returned to the active roster as a "player coach".
Unstoppable: The Streak
Iloveoov rocked the Brood War progaming world as soon as he joined Boxer’s pro team. He entered the 2003 TriGem MSL where YellOw had thought that by dispatching NaDa 2-0 in the winner’s finals he would finally be able to take home a Starleague victory. Instead, iloveoov clawed his way through the loser’s bracket after a first round loss to NaDa himself to overwhelm him 3-1 in the loser’s bracket finals and then the perennial punching bag YellOw 3-0 in the Grand Finals. He followed this initial splash with two more MSL championships much in the same way as Nada before him had conquered 3 KPGA Tour in a row, powering over Nada 3-2 in the finals for 2004 HanaFOS CENGAME MSL (having only dropped one other game the entire tournament) and Kingdom 3-2 in the finals for 2004 SPRIS MSL. At this point in iloveoov’s career one should look to how game-breaking his play style was in order to reach win percentages unachievable even by Nada. Early in his career iloveoov had a ridiculous 25-0 TvZ streak. It’s important to remember that iloveoov is named bonjwa not just by a magical run through a single tournament but by dominating his opponents thoroughly for a significant period of time and sweeping Starleague caliber players 2-0, 3-1, and 3-0 in sets. Iloveoov’s play could be characterized as devastating macro backed up by some of the best defense in the history of StarCraft. With a distinctively “low” APM of around 250, iloveoov used his superior game sense to outmacro each and every opponent if undisturbed. Earning nicknames of “Cheater Terran” for having impossibly large armies and “Bus Driver” for taking his opponents "on a trip", perhaps the scariest part of iloveoov at the time was that he also seemed uncheeseable. Adversaries who feared iloveoov’s unstoppable macro also failed in early gambits to pierce his ironclad armor. While cruising through SPRIS MSL in mid-2004, iloveoov landed himself into both the Gillette OSL and the short-lived iTV Ranking League. This was somewhat accidental because the preliminaries for the OSL had proven very difficult to work through and he had instead focused his practice on MSL maps where he found great success. In the Gilette OSL, iloveoov found himself the target of the previous OSL Champion Nal_rA who picked him in his group as the deadliest player he could find. Nal_rA had torn through the previous OSL with high level strategy and perfectly timed builds. For the first game of the Starleague iloveoov faced rA down on Requiem, a virtual TvP nightmare, and showed off his excellent defense anyhow as he first deflected early zealot+cannon cheese followed by dark templar drops and then artfully uses dropships to strike at rA’s main for the GG. Meanwhile iloveoov was performing unspectacularly in the regular iTV tournament (ranking 9th before the final round) only to display his why he was the scariest player in the world at the time and win 9 straight matches (against the players ranked 2 through 8) to advance to the finals against new sensation JulyZerg. JulyZerg would live up to his hype by pounding iloveoov in early July 2004 in the iTV finals to stop him at his first finals and then again a week later in the OSL semifinals which JulyZerg would win, giving it renown as the "Game That Broke the Streak".
In April 2008, Choi announced his engagement to his girlfriend. Choi and his fiancee had been together for 6 years, even when he was training to become a professional gamer.
- TriGem MSL Champion – September – November 2003
- HanaFOS MSL Champion – January – March 2004
- Gillette OnGameNet Starleague 3rd place – April – July 2004
- Spris MSL Champion – May – August 2004
- Ever OSL Champion – August – November 2004
- UZOO MSL 4th place – June – August 2005
- So1 OSL 3rd place – August – November 2005
- CKCG China-Korea Cyber Games Champion – October 2005
- CYON MSL 3rd place – October – January 2006
- Shinhan OSL Champion – December 2005 – March 2006
- WCG 2006 Champion – October 2006
- Second player to win 3 MSLs, along with NaDa.
His streaks versus Zerg are particularly notable.
Record: 79 wins – 37 losses (68.10%)
Best Streak: 27 wins Worst Streak: 4 losses Current Streak: 1 win
- All: 228–143 (61.46%)
- vT: 82–62 (56.94%)
- vZ: 79–37 (68.10%)
- vP: 67–44 (60.36%)