On Wednesday, October 12, the StarCraft 2 community felt a great loss as Choi “Polt” Seong Hun (AKA “Captain America”) had to hang up his spurs to fulfill his mandatory military service in South Korea. As a result, Polt has to end his new contract with Team EnVyUs.
Korea has dominated the StarCraft (SC) community for many years now. The country, regarding competitive esports, operates differently than its North American counterparts. Among the list of differences, one is that Koreans have a course dedicated to StarCraft in their schools. Another is their complete dedication toward the game in every aspect of their lives.
However, perhaps one of the most interesting customs is how all citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 must serve a mandatory term in their military. Unfortunately, it means the length of time to compete has its own limit. Usually, the only restriction in professional gaming is their age because of reaction time. In the case of Korea, the military service is the other, decreasing the odds of becoming a renowned player. Polt is one of those players, carrying the status and respect of the community.
Polt has been a professional SC2 player for some years. The status of being one of the best players comes from the fact that he has lived in the USA for schooling. Polt was one of the first Koreans to speak English during interviews. By residing in Texas for school and playing competitively, many indoctrinated him with the nickname “Captain America.” Many North American players look up to him from a competitive perspective. After other foreign players retired or took time off, Polt became the “hope” that NA players would crush their Korean counterparts. But it’s not just because of his location that earned him the title. It’s his proven track record that tells the real tale.
Honestly, his list of achievements in the scene is highly extensive. The included list only covers the major titles that he’s won.
- GSL Super Tournament 2011
- ASUS Rog Winter 2012
- MLG Pro Circuit Champion 2013-2014
- WCS Season 2 (America) 2013
- WCS Season 3 (America) 2013
- Red Bull Battle Grounds: Detroit 2014
- WCS Season 1 2015
- WCS Circuit Winter 2016
Not only has he won several first-place prizes in tournaments, but he achieved high enough ranking for financial compensation in 134 tournaments entered. All told, over six years, these have accrued him $451,433.03 in winnings!
- He made certain styles of play famous, notably his Raven/Banshee timing strategy against Jang “MC” Min Chul (AKA BossToss) in GOMTV StarCraft II Open 1 in 2010.
- Polt also earned the accolade as the first player to have won three WCS titles – two of them were back to back – equally being the first to achieve such a victory.
- CNN Money Tech featured him with a special report and interview.
These are just a couple of things in his list of major successes completed over five years.
Polt signed a contract with Team EnVyUs in May of 2016 and was expecting to compete live at BlizzCon on November 4-5. But due to his military service, he will have to forgo the competition and missing out on potentially $500,000. Being 28 years old, Polt likely will not return to competitive play when his military service ends. That’s not to say that he couldn’t be part of the professional scene in other capacities as either a coach or a caster.
Providing a statement to Team EnVyUs, Polt said the following:
“I have been really happy for the past 6 years. Playing StarCraft II and meeting a lot of people in the world gave me plenty of unforgettable memories. I have been able to make a great achievement and I appreciate all of the support from Andrew and Team EnVyUs. Unfortunately, the time has come to say goodbye. However, remember that every ending is a new beginning. I am looking forward to seeing you again soon.”
In the end, we must say “GG” to our Captain America. He ran an excellent term in StarCraft 2. Fans will surely miss him as a professional player. Though, based on what he said, we might see him in the future.
You can follow his Twitter @nV_Polt as most professional players don’t drop off the planet, even if they retire.
Until next time.