With the collapse of storied franchise Incredible Miracle earlier this month, MVP will be one of the last original StarCraft 2 teams left in Korea following the migration of the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) StarCraft: Brood War squads to the newer title in May 2012.
After finishing last place in the final two segments of the Pro League regular season, MVP desperately needed an infusion of talent. While the team has lost two star players, including the face of the franchise Park “DongRaeGu” Soo Ho, they’ve added four solid players. MVP has also secured partnerships with Dignitas, Team Liquid, and the Yoe Flash Wolves to use their stars in the upcoming Pro League season.
Veteran Zerg Kang “Symbol” Dong Hyun and Terran player Choi “Center” Jae Sung, both formerly members of Azubu until February of this year, will join the team. Incredible Miracle’s collapse also contributed two players, Protoss player Choi Yong Hwa and Zerg player Hwang KangHo.
Lee “Choya” Hyung Seop, veteran of teams like For Our Utopia and most recently Prime, will take over as coach.
The team will also feature a number of talented ringers. Protoss players Ahn “Seed” Sahng Won of Dignitas and Song “HerO” Hyeon Deok of Team Liquid will join Flash Wolves’ Zerg star Lee “Leenock” Dong Nyoung as part of MVP’s pro league lineup.
The upshot is that MVP has seven new players to throw at Pro League, and an experienced coach to lead them. The downside is the loss of long-time MVP staples Park “DongRaeGu” SooHo and likely Hwang “KeeN” Kyo Seok.
Park’s departure from the team leaves a gaping hole, as he was the face of MVP and the team’s most successful player through their history. He’s the only MVP player left in the Global Starcraft League Code S competition, one of Korea’s top individual events. Park became a GSL champion early in 2012 when he beat teammate and close friend Jeong “Genius” Min Soo to take the title, and would take the MLG Spring Championships a few months later.
The Flash Wolves star Lee seems the most likely prospect to replace him as a potential ace player, as Lee himself is an MLG champion and talented Zerg, but he has big shoes to fill.
Hwang’s departure is not yet confirmed, but the player took the MVP tag off his Twitter account, similar to Park before he confirmed he was leaving. A fan favorite due to his cavalier attitude and impressive celebrations, Hwang’s never had individual success but was a key factor in MVP’s team success in the Wings of Liberty era, like his all-kill of Slayers in the IGN Pro league Team Arena Challenge. While he hasn’t had the same success in Heart of the Swarm, Hwang was still a vital cog.
All in all it’s hard to say the effect the changes will have on MVP as a team, but it’s great to see one of StarCraft 2’s oldest franchises making moves to stay afloat, when so many of their contemporaries have gone under.