The End of an Era: MMA Retires

The End of an Era: MMA Retires


The third major retirement announced for the end of 2015/ beginning of 2016 was the Terran player MMA. In late December 2015, it was announced that MMA would be retiring to go into his mandatory military service. It was said that he would compete in one last event, being Homestory cup, and then he would be done with competitive Starcraft. MMA was truly a world class Terran. Throughout the entirety of his gaming career from 2011 – 2015 he won multiple big name tournaments including, but not limited to, IEM, IGN, GSL, MLG, WCS, DreamHack(DRAMHACK), and Homestory Cup. He was also the only player I know to have won a Big title in each version of Starcraft 2.

(The only Dramhack champion, also he did get a replacement trophy)



In 2012 MMA opted to join a foreign team by joining team Acer. Upon doing this he also decided to try playing in WCS Europe during the 2013 season. This would prove to be a rollercoaster of emotions for his fans as he was actually upset by Feast in his first game 2-1, however he would get out of his group. After securing his place in the round of 16 he would fall to Strelok, and ForGG to be pushed down into challenger for the next season. This was the beginning of MMA’s dominating runs of WCS Europe; in season two he would come back to finish top four, and then come back in season three and win WCS season three. Leading into 2014 everyone was still hyped about some of the top players playing in Europe such as MC, MMA, and others which were leading to very tough round of 16 groups each season. Despite this fact MMA would still make his way into the finals of WCS Europe 2014 season 1 in which he would fall 4-2 against MC.


After this showing fans and players alike knew that MMA would be a mainstay in the WCS system and he was more than expected to finish top four every season beyond this. Sadly in the second season of WCS Europe, MMA would be massively upset by LiveZerg and ForGG in the round of 32, being eliminated way earlier than anyone could have expected after his showing in the previous season. In season three MMA made it through to the playoff stages pretty easily, where he would meet with ForGG in the quarterfinals, this time it was a different story as MMA would take the series 3-1 over ForGG. Next he would go on to play San and also show him that he was not a force to be reckoned with taking that series 3-1 as well. MMA once again found himself in the finals however this time he was playing a TvT vs Yoda who was an up and coming Korean pro in the foreign scene for some time, but MMA would show Yoda that he was no match for him by beating Yoda 4-2.


MMA recently returned to Korea after competing in the WCS Europe system for a couple of years.  A lot of people questioned if he would be able to do so successfully, but he would quickly put those questions to rest by making it to the semifinals, by taking out TY in the quarterfinals before being stopped in his tracks by Parting. After his performance he let the fans know he belonged.


I am sure I am not alone when I say seeing a fan favorite like MMA leave the scene, is always a sad time. MC and MMA definitely seemed to enjoy themselves at Homestory cup with MC referring to MMA as an “old man” – he was just simply “too old” for starcraft now and that is why MC said that he could still play because he was young but MMA was too old. This would spawn into MMA referring to MC as “Fatty Toss”.


The ending of MMA’s professional career was a bittersweet one as he went out with a bang winning Homestory Cup XII taking the finals 4:1 over Firecake. MMA left me with many good memories and exciting moments in my Starcraft viewing history, all that is left is my farewell until he hopefully comes back into the world of Starcraft. It was announced via Twitter that MMA will be joining the service on January 25th so I would like to wish him the best of luck in this new chapter of his life. GL HF MMA!



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