The End of an Era: Flash Retires

 

To kick off a domino effect of retirements it was recently announced that the kespa legend Lee “Flash” Young Ho is set to retire from competitive starcraft. This is something very saddening for the community to see when a player of his status retires because it truly does mark the end of something great. Flash has many great achievements in his career ranging from tournament titles, being one of the youngest televised players, and having above a 70% winrate in each of his matchups, he even became his own meme once or twice.
flashmeme2

The beginning of Flash’s career takes us back to the Starcraft: Brood War days in which he would become the longest reigning Number 1 ranked Kespa player, and the prize money he ended up claiming in Brood War eclipsed the $400,000 USD mark. When Flash first started playing he was actually known for being a very cheesy player and I can recall a time when Tasteless was talking about the beginning of Flash’s career and saying he was not really expected to stick around long if anything he would live up to his name and burn out like a flash. However he soon changed and started becoming very macro oriented and just started quickly making himself a known terror to play against.

One of Flash’s greatest rivals is one of my favorite players of all time Jaedong. This rivalry had many meetings and usually if these two met in a Ro8 or later the winner would go on to win the entire tournament. Over the course of two years these players met in a few Major finals in 2009 Jaedong would come out on top, however in the year 2010 Flash would end up winning all of these games. Flash was also the only player to ever beat Jaedong on the maps Katrina and Katrina SE. This rivalry was always one of my favorites to see even into Starcraft two, just an odd coincidence Flash’s last professional match would be a loss to Jaedong.

Flash was one of the Brood War players to switch over into Starcraft 2 in the beginning he had actually said he had considered switching to Protoss for Starcraft 2 but opted to remain a Terran player. In 2012 the MLG Pro circuit had a Kespa exhibition which featured Flash, Stork, Bisu, Calm, Leta, Fantasy, Soulkey, and Jaedong. Flash would go on to win this tournament without even dropping a map which really set him up for a bright future in Starcraft 2. If anyone can remember the very first Heart of the Swarm tournament we can remember having Flash vs Life. Flash would go on to lose that tournament and have a very rough start to Heart of the Swarm after that with no real individual tournament results up until IEM Toronto when Flash finally got his first Starcraft 2 Title. This tournament had so many things going for it between Flash being there, as well as Taeja who was winning every tournament during this time.

Flash had a good 9 year run as a pro gamer and not even he knows what is in his next chapter of his life, he has said he could probably go on to be a great coach but is not sure if that is what he wants to pursue so he will be taking some time to himself before making any decisions but once he knows he said he will be sure to inform his fans. Flash also had his retirement ceremony televised, however if you do not speak Korean for now you will just have to infer what is being said. For now we all have to say goodbye to a man who has become a major catalyst to the Starcraft scene he entered as a mere teenager and is walking out as one of the most iconic people of the Esports world, where his road continues no one knows, but all i know for sure is that I wish for the best for his future and the best of luck pursuing whatever his heart desires, Good luck Have fun Flash. The world is at your fingertips.

 

 

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