Hong Jin-ho

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Hong Jin-ho
Hong Jin-ho in 2014
Personal information
Born (1982-10-31) 31 October 1982 (age 37)
NationalitySouth Korean
Nickname(s)[NC]...YellOw, YellOw, Kong, Kong Jin-ho
Career information
Current teamXenics Storm
Career history
???? – 2002-12Ideal Space
2002-12 – 2003-12KTF MagicNs
2003-12 – 2004-04Toona S.G
2004-04 – 2008-11KTF MagicNs
2009-01 – 2010-01Air Force ACE
2010-12 – 2011-06KT Rolster
2011 - 2012teamless
Hong Jin-ho
Revised RomanizationHong Jin-ho
McCune–ReischauerHong Chin-ho

Hong Jin-ho (born 31 October 1982) is a South Korean television personality and former professional StarCraft player who plays under the alias [NC]...YellOw or simply YellOw. In 2012, he became the coach of the Xenics Storm League of Legends pro gaming team. As a television personality, he is most known for his appearances in the reality survival show The Genius and the variety show Crime Scene.

StarCraft career[edit]

Hong, nicknamed the "Storm Zerg"[1] and "Kong (means bean in Korean) Jin-ho", is known for his aggressive and harass-style play, and for his rivalry with BoxeR.

He is famous for never having won first place in major StarCraft tournaments despite his strong performances. Hong managed to finish second place six times in events which earned him the title "King of Silver". While there are some tournaments in which he finished first, these records were invalidated when the KeSPA announced that it would accept only OnGameNet Starleague (OSL) and MSL records. His notable victories include first place in the 2003 ITV 5th Starleague, the Snickers All-Star league in 2005,[1] and the first BlizzCon invitational tournament.

Hong suffered his last major defeat against Han "Casy" Dong-wook in the semi-finals of the Shinhan Bank Season 1 OSL in 2006, and claimed 3rd place. Due to his poor performance in the following OSL, Hong has fallen into a slump from which he has not recovered. Hong reached the round of 32 in the GOMTV Averatech Classic, but was eliminated by oDin(Joo Young-Dal). He enlisted in the Korean Air Force in November 2008 in the StarCraft team Air Force ACE.[1]

Jin-ho during the second season of the Shinhan Bank Starleague

After being a member of ROKAF ACE, Hong recovered his form slowly but steadily. The trigger was an old-fashioned 'storm-like' victory against Bisu[Shield] on 20 June 2009 in the Shinhan Bank ProLeague 08-09, after 735 days of silence. He could not qualify for either OSL nor MSL since the Shinhan Bank OSL season 2 in 2006, but at the end of Shinhan Bank ProLeague 09-10 season, Hong ended the season securing a 3-game winning streak, including a dramatic victory against Jaedong.

Hong officially announced his retirement from professional gaming on his website on 16 June 2011. At his retirement ceremony, BoxeR jokingly handed him an empty StarCraft 2 box. BoxeR said that the box was empty, but the account was at the SlayerS clan house, and if Hong ever considered transitioning into StarCraft 2, he knew where to go.

In August 2011 he appeared on a reality TV series entitled Project A on GOMtv. The series follows Hong as he attempts to qualify for the GOMTV Global StarCraft II League and relaunch his pro gaming career in StarCraft 2. The series premiered on 12 August 2011.[2]

Post retirement[edit]

On 16 June 2011, Hong announced his retirement from his StarCraft career. He is now currently a coach for League of Legends.

In 2013, he was cast along with thirteen contestants in the first season of the Korean reality television game show, The Genius: Rules of the Game. The series debuted on tvN starting on 26 April 2013. It featured weekly game challenges involving team politics and individual tactical play. Hong quickly became a fan favourite as he demonstrated his mental fortitude in strategic game play. He finished the series as the final champion, beating out other participants including celebrities, Harvard graduate and politician Lee Jun Seok, Mensa member Choi Jung Moon, and legendary pro gambler Jimmy Cha. The prize money was KRW 79,000,000 (approx. USD 70,000). With this achievement, he received positive comments that he had enhanced the image of pro gamers, not to speak of his own recognition as a genius.

In November 2013, the second season of the programme, which was named The Genius: Rule Breaker, began broadcasting. Hong was recast as a returning contestant, along with Lim Yo-Hwan (SlayerS_`BoxeR`), his longtime StarCraft rival. He was eliminated in Episode 7. He was eventually invited as a guest to appear on a new spin-off programme Genius Behind. This programme focuses on analyzing the episode that transpired in the previous week, and is meant as a lead-up to the airing of each new episode.

In 2014, Hong appeared on popular TV programmes such as Radio Star and I Live Alone on MBC TV; Happy Together on KBS 2TV; and was recruited as a cast member of Crime Scene on JTBC.

He also collaborated with other veteran Starcraft players to organise tournaments featuring former pro gamers, with the eventual goal of setting up a league for veteran Starcraft players and reviving the fortunes of Starcraft. The first activity was the inaugural "Star Final Four" event match held on 5 February 2014. Hong competed with Kang Min (Nal_rA), Park Jun-Suk (Reach) and Lee Byung-Min (GoodFriend). He eventually won the event.

YellOw came out of retirement after he was one of eight players invited to the GOMtv classic in February 2014, one of the first televised Brood War tournaments in years.[3][4] His final placement is unknown.[5]

In 2015, Hong returned for the fourth season of The Genius entitled The Genius : Grand Final and the second season of Crime Scene, getting 4th on The Genius: Grand Final and 1st on Crime Scene 2.

Major achievements[edit]

Title Notes
World Cyber Games 2002 Grand Final Runner-up
BlizzCon 2005 First place
KTEC KPGA Winner's Championship
2005 Snickers All-Star League
TG Sambo MSL Runner-up
KPGA 1st Tour (MSL)
KPGA 2nd Tour (MSL)
Olympus OnGameNet Starleague
Coca-Cola OnGameNet Star League

Television appearances[edit]

Year Channel Title Notes
2013 tvN The Genius: Rules Of The Game Winner
The Genius: Rule Breaker Cast member (Episode 1-7)
2014 Kim Jiyeon's Sweet 19 Cast member
Shared TV
Need More Romance
JTBC Crime Scene
tvN First Day Of Work Season 2
MBC TV I Live Alone Guest (Episode 43)
Radio Star Guest (Episode 369)
KBS 2TV Happy Together Guest (Episode 344 & 361)
tvN The Genius: Black Garnet Guest (Episode 10)
JTBC Please Take Care of My Refrigerator Guest (Episode 5 & 6)
2015 JTBC Crime Scene 2 Cast member
tvN The Genius: Grand Final
JTBC Off to School Guest (Episode 59-62)
tvN Problematic Men Guest (Episode 30)
JTBC Non-Summit Guest (Episode 37)
JTBC 5 Days of Summer (Prague) with Lady Jane
2016 JTBC Knowing Bros Guest (Episode 8)
2016-2017 SBS TV Game Show MC
2017 JTBC Crime Scene 3 Cast member (Episode 8 onwards)
2018 MBC TV Radio Star Guest (Episode 563)
2019 MBC TV King of Masked Singer Contestant (Episode 193)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "TLPD - Player Information - YellOw". Teamliquid.net. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Project A: Witness the resurrection of the Storm Zerg". GOMtv.net.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Feb. 9 to March 9
  5. ^ "스타1 리그 'GOM 클래식 시즌 4' 16일 개막 - 게임톡" (in Korean). Retrieved 10 December 2017.

External links[edit]