History is made as Maru wins 3 GSLs in a row

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Record-breaking win in StarCraft II’s longest running league

Cho ‘Maru’ Seong Ju, a South Korean StarCraft II progamer has just obtained his third consecutive Global StarCraft II League title, making him the first person in history to do so. The Jin Air Green Wings player has made over $670,000 during his 8 year-long career, almost half of which was earned this year alone. 

Maru’s journey began during the very first GSL ever to be held (August - October 2010). At the tender age of 13, Cho Seong Ju won his debut match and to this day holds the record for being the youngest participant of the iconic league. 

Playing for Prime, the youngster was known for his unorthodox style, often utilising ‘cheap’ and ‘cheesy’ strategies to surprise his opponents. When Maru entered the second season of the 2013 OSL (which also happens to be the last OnGameNet StarLeague ever held), the general consensus was that he’d yet again pull out a mediocre performance, failing to progress past the opening stages of the tournament. Maru, however, chose to reestablish himself as a player, bringing out a style he’d not used before. Playing textbook StarCraft II, Cho Seong Ju started eliminating contenders to the championship title left and right. One by one they fell, astounded by Maru’s ability to hold his own against some the scariest players of all time. The Terran eventually reached the finals only to face off against the defending champion Jung ‘Rain’ Yoon Jong. Taking the series 4:2, Maru proved himself as a progamer, winning a premier Korean StarCraft II championship at the age of 16. 

Maru wins Auction OSL in 2013

It would take Maru almost two years to win another individual title. Starting 2015 with a bang, the Terran player took down Cho ‘Dream’ Joong Hyuk in the first season of the 2015 SSL to become the first two-time Royal Roader (winning any Korean StarLeague on his first appearance) in the history of StarCraft II

Focusing on team-based tournaments in 2016, Maru carried the Jin Air Green Wings to victory in Proleague, setting yet another performance record in the regular season. With a 22:4 map score, Maru surpassed the competition and was named the MVP of the 2016 season. The league was discontinued in October 2016.

2018, however, has by and large become the highlight of Cho Seong Ju’s career. Winning the World Electronic Sports Games 2017 with a 4:3 score over Park ‘Dark’ Ryung Woo, Maru returned to Korea to continue his winning streak, taking down Splyce’s Kim ‘Stats’ Dae Yeob in the 2018 GSL Season 1 a mere fortnight later. The Terran player managed to defend the title three months later with a 4:0 victory over Joo ‘Zest’ Sung Wook

Meanwhile, a similar story of dominance was taking place in the ‘Foreigner’ part of the WCS Circuit. ENCE e-sports’ Joona ‘Serral’ Sotala, having won WCS Leipzig, WCS Austin, and WCS Valencia, arrived in Korea for the GSL vs. the World tournament, which pitted the best competitors of WCS Korea and the foreign WCS Circuit against each other. Although 16 progamers participated in the competition, the fanbase focused on the storylines of two individuals - Maru and Serral, believing only they could eliminate each other. Unfortunately, the showdown never came to pass, as Maru fell in the semi-finals against Stats, who went on to lose to Serral in the grand final with a 3:4 score. 

The upset did not stop Maru from continuing to dominate, however, as the third season of the 2018 GSL carried on. Time and time again, the Terran player proved too hard a nut to crack for any opponent, reaching the finals for the third time in a row. His adversary was none other than Splyce’s own Jun ‘TY’ Tae Yang, who had taken Maru down in the finals of the 2017 WESG. Dropping the first two maps, it seemed the Jin Air Green Wings player had met his match. The lead slipped out of TY’s hands, as Maru managed to come back on map three and then subsequently tie the series with a prolonged macro game on map four. Jun Tae Yang fought back, putting himself on match point in game #5, only to lose the sixth map of the series, as Maru forced out the Ace Match. Cho Seong Ju managed to find a chink in TY’s armour, closing the game out with a well-orchestrated timing attack, becoming the first person in StarCraft II’s history ever to win three GSL championships in a row. 

The 2018 regular season is all but over and all that remains is the World Championship at BlizzCon in November. Will Maru rise to the challenge and go down in history as the best StarCraft II player ever, or will someone (we haven’t forgot about Serral) stop the Korean’s win streak? 

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