I'm sorry to my fans that I'm retiring so abruptly. But this is a decision I've made after giving it lot of thought, so I hope you will understand. There's a lot of things to say, but it's hard for me to put them down as words, so I'll keep it brief.
It was a short time, but I'm so thankful to my fans who cheered me on, and it makes me sad thinking about what could have been if I had met you sooner. Thanks to all of my teammates on POS, MBCGame, the 8th Team, and TeamLiquid who I spent my time as a progamer with. I'm very thankful to the TeamLiquid staff who took such good care of me, and I'll never forget them.
If there's a beginning, there's an end. My progaming life ends, but for my bond with Liquid, it's just starting. I'll always cheer for Liquid as an honorary member.
From the beginning, we didn't know exactly what to expect when Sea joined Liquid. He started off by surprising us, exceeding our expectations. He was extremely enthusiastic about interacting with fans, and he improved his StarCraft II skills at an amazing pace. In many ways, he was the perfect new recruit.
Unfortunately for us, it couldn't last. Though Sea enjoyed his time on Liquid, especially getting to experience IPL5, he couldn't rediscover his passion and enjoyment for gaming. One of the main reasons Sea had for joining Liquid was that he felt he would regain a joy for gaming that had worn away after having played professionally for seven years. And while the experience of being on a new team and traveling abroad gave Sea some new motivation, it was not enough. As one of the Brood War greats, Sea has high standards, and he wasn't enjoying the game as much as he needed to, in order to reach the level of success he was asking from himself. After a lot of thought and discussion with Liquid and those around him, Sea made the difficult decision to retire.
Sea is a legend to anyone who has been around TeamLiquid for a long time. Having him join our team itself was immensely meaningful to us. From the get-go Sea showed a greater desire to reach out to his fans than I've ever seen from a player. We talked about this to great lengths in the lead up to his signing, but I never expected him to put in such a huge effort, with 156 hours streamed in October. That's more than any other Liquid player in one month, which says a lot with TLO as part of our team. Whenever I would tune into his stream I'd feel proud seeing a new member of the team having so much fun with his viewers. He was received in an overwhelmingly positive way, and we were off to a good start.
Sea was proving to be a great addition in terms of skill as well. After an initial loss in his MCSL debut, he went on a seven series winning streak in the same tournament. Sea was even on the brink of making it into Code A, just barely losing 1 – 2 in the final round of the qualifiers, an incredible achievement for a player who was still developing his game.
With Sea setting team records for streaming, fitting in with the rest of the team, and becoming a key team league player within months, it would be an understatement for me to say that I felt great about having him as a part of Liquid. I'm not sure I could have asked for anything more.
The blow of hearing he was having doubts came all the harder for it. It seemed my experience wasn't being shared by Sea himself. After talking about his motivation as a progamer, we convinced Sea to come to IPL5. We felt that he should experience a Western SC2 event at least once, so he could have a better view of the international SC2 scene before making a decision. Sea really enjoyed his time at IPL, and after a long talk in person, he said he needed some more time to think. After he had returned to Korea and had a few days to think things through, the final word came: IPL had been his last tournament.
Previously, when HayprO and Jinro retired, I shared their opinion that it was the right choice for them. With Sea, I'm more conflicted, knowing that all the factors were still in place for him to have a very good, successful StarCraft II career. It doesn't feel good, but I'm going to have to accept it. What's good for the team isn't always best for the player, and only Sea can decide what he wants from progaming, and whether or not it's worth pursuing it.
Sea has informed us that he would like to retire as a professional gamer on Liquid. It has truly been a pleasure to have had him on our team, and it is a great honor to have him end his professional career with us.