Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong is a Zerg player in StarCraft: Brood War and its sequel StarCraft II. He is GeneRaLly considered the greatest Zerg player in StarCraft: Brood War's 13 year long history of professional play. He is also one of a handful of top tier StarCraft: Brood War professionals who managed to achieve great success in its sequel, StarCraft II, as well. His success earned him the nicknames "The Tyrant", "Legend Killer", and "God of Destruction". Jaedong made his debut as a licensed progamer in 2006, playing for the team Lecaf Oz. He immediately impressed, winning the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award at the 2nd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards. In December of 2007 Jaedong won his first major tournament, the 2007 Ever OSL (OnGameNet StarLeague). Jaedong would go on to win this title twice more in his career, becoming the third player to win the prestigious "Golden Mouse" award for winning three OSL titles, and the second after SlayerS_'BoxeR' to win two OSL titles back-to-back. In addition Jaedong won two MSL (MBCGame StarCraft League) titles, various smaller tournaments, and spend a total of 16 months as the number one ranked player in Korea. Jaedong switched to playing StarCraft II in 2012, along with the majority of Korea's StarCraft: Brood War professionals. While his initial results where poor, Jaedong steadily improved. On December 12, 2015, Evil Geniuses announced Jaedong would be joining their StarCraft II division. In the second half of 2013, Jaedong returned to the ranks of the world's top StarCraft players, having numerous high tournament finishes, a first place finish in the ASUS ROG: NorthCon 2013 tournament, and a second place finish in that year's premier tournament, the WCS 2013 Global Finals at Blizzcon 2013; awarding enough prize money to dethrone Fatal1ty, who had held the top position of the prize money won in esports for years. On November 1, 2016, Evil Geniuses announced Jaedong would retire at the end of Blizzcon 2016.Overall RankingJaedong is currently ranked #88 in highest overall earnings, and #5 in highest earnings for players from Korea, Republic of.Prize Money Earned Under 18 Years of AgeBefore his 18th birthday, Jaedong was awarded $65,458.22 in cash prizes from 5 tournaments. 10.42% of his total prize money was earned before January 9, 2008.Largest Prize from a Single TournamentOut of the 104 tournaments where Jaedong received a cash prize, the largest was $52,203.51 from GOMTV MSL #4 2008 on March 8, 2008. He placed 1st, making up 8.31% of his total prize money won.$100,000 MilestoneOn March 8, 2008, Jaedong reached $100,000 in total prize money won with a $52,203.51 cash prize from his 1st place finish at GOMTV MSL #4 2008. Prize money from 8 tournaments got him to that point.
After switching to StarCraft II and playing for Evil Geniuses for 4 years, he retired on November 1, 2016. Jaedong started streaming BW on Afreeca on November 12, 2016.
Lee Jae Dong joined team Plus (오영종-Plus) in 2005, which in early 2006 (March 23) became Lecaf OZ.
He made his progamer’s debut on 13 February 2006 and his big stage debut in SKY Proleague 2006 Round 1, on the 30th of April. He achieved his first win in Proleague about a week later, against JiHyun (Hul at the time). Although 2006 was Jaedong’s first year in the professional StarCraft scene, he was already doing extremely well, having an overall record of 51 wins and 27 losses (65.4% win rate). This was the second best Zerg win rate of 2006, right behind sAviOr (GGPlay was third with 63.5%). His early wins against notable players included sAviOr, Reach, NaDa, GoRush, July, and iloveoov. It was clear early on in Jaedong’s career that his Zerg vs. Protoss and Zerg vs. Zerg were outstanding, being both above 70% (vs. Protoss 75% and vs. Zerg 71.4%). After the 2006 Season Lee Jae Dong was prized on 2nd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards with the Rookie of the Year Award.
It was Jaedong’s massive streak against Terran in mid-late 2007 that brought him into the mainstream spotlight. During this run he went 12–0 against Terran, which included scalps against NaDa and Hwasin. Jaedong’s rise during 2007 coincided with the demise of sAviOr. He finished off his brilliant 2007 by capturing his first Starleague title. Finally in January 2008 Jaedong captured the throne of No.1 Zerg according to the KeSPA Ranking, a title that he has held on for more than two years and a half, and still counting. After the 2007 Season Lee Jae Dong was prized on 3rd Annual Korea e-Sports Awards with the Best Winning Percentage, the Best Zerg, and the Player of the Year Awards. 2008 proved another successful for Jaedong claiming an MSL gold (technically in the 2007 Season) and a silver. He also managed to claim the No.1 overall KeSPA Rank for four straight months.
Later on in his career, Lee Jae Dong demonstrated that his monstrous Zerg vs. Zerg wasn’t just a chain of lucky games. Even though Jaedong was extremely successful at Zerg vs. Zerg in his early career, he later said that he didn’t feel confident at all playing it. However, his great success in televised games, eSpecial">Specially in Zerg vs. Zerg, allowed him to get even better at it (see also). Soon, Zerg vs. Zerg became Jaedong’s trademark match-up with a winning rate of over 81% in the middle of 2009, allowing him to become the most successful Zerg vs. Zerg player in history. Indeed, Jaedong’s ZvZ mastery allowed him to reach the highest vs. Z Elo rating ever recorded, edging out previous bonjwa and TvZ Monster iloveoov. After the 2008–09 Season Lee Jae Dong was prized on 4th Annual Korea e-Sports Awards with the Best Zerg Award, and the Player of the Year Award.
After his win in the Bacchus Starleague 2009 and the resolution of the Free Agency Controversy (see below), Lee Jae Dong announced that he would undergo Lasik eye surgery to repair his rapidly deteriorating vision. His surgery is scheduled for September 28. On 26 January 2009 Daily eSports announced: accepted to Seoul Cyber University School of Multimedia Design Lee Jae Dong will be a freshman in university this March. He applied for the regular admission which had its deadline on the last December 29. Overcoming a low admission rate, he received the acceptance letter.
Lee Jae Dong was the WCG 2009 Champion and has won five major league titles: the EVER Starleague 2007, the 2008 GOMTV MSL Season 4, the Batoo Starleague, the Bacchus Starleague 2009, and the NATE MSL. Jaedong took out YellOw[ArnC] in the Bacchus Starleague 2009 in a 3–0 sweep, becoming the third Golden Mouse holder and the second progamer (after SlayerS_`BoxeR`) to win back-to-back Starleagues. In addition to his major league titles, Jaedong also won titles at the Seoul IESF 2007, the WCG 2008 Korea Championship, the WCG 2010 Korea Championship, and the TG-Intel Classic Season 1, a surprisingly one-sided series where he defeated Lee Yong Ho (Flash) 3–0 in the Final. He was No.1 overall KeSPA Rank from April 2009 till February 2010 (for eleven straight months).
2010 was the year defined by the rivalry between Jaedong and Flash. The two progamers faced each other in no less than 5 finals: WCG Korea, NATE MSL, 2010 Hana Daetoo Securities MSL, 2010 Bigfile MSL consecutively, and the Korean Air OSL 2. In these finals Flash came ahead 3-2, though Jaedong held a slight edge in their head-to-head record, an incredible feat considering Flash's domination at the time. Jaedong finished the year with a monstrous 70% win rate, behind only Flash, and yet again received the KeSPA Award for Best Zerg.
In 2011 Jaedong fell into a relative slump, with a win percentage lower than his rookie year (though he reached the round of four in the 2011 PDPop MSL and 2011 ABC Mart MSL). Peculiarly, his best match-up ZvZ and favored match-up ZvP fell to the 50% range, whereas his ZvT rose to an all-time high of 81.1% for the year (TLPD). After the disbandment of Hwaseung OZ, WeMade FOX, and MBCGame HERO, KeSPA formed an eighth team to allow the players of the former teams to continue to play. Though the Eighth Team has struggled in Proleague, Jaedong has remained their top-performing player.
In 2009, Jaedong applied for KeSPA’s Free Agency Policy due to disagreement between Hwaseung OZ and Jaedong’s parents over his new contract with Hwaseung OZ. Under KeSPA policy, the parents of progamers who are under 20 years old are required to approve any contract of their son/daughter. Jaedong’s parents felt that Jaedong shouldered too much of Hwaseung OZ’s burden and thus could not come to terms with Hwaseung OZ in terms of pay. Under KeSPA’s free agency rules, any progaming team that bids for a free agent progamer with a salary of over 50 million won (which includes any top progamer right now), must compensate that player’s original team with either 200% of his original annual salary or 100% of his original annual salary and one nonessential player from their roster. Combined with already tight budgets, this restriction for buying a high name player meant that Jaedong was unlikely to be bidded on by any team. After not receiving any bids during the free agency period, Jaedong was required to either renegotiate with Hwaseung OZ, to give up his progaming license for a year and become a semi-pro until the next season, or to retire. Jaedong’s parents, in addition to their criticism of OZ, had expressed willingness to have Jaedong retire and attend college, but on August 31, 2009, Korean news source Fomos announced that Jaedong had successfully renegotiated with Hwaseung OZ, and therefore, he will be playing with them for the 09–10 Season.
On November 1st, 2016, Jaedong was released from his contract with Evil Geniuses. Many had speculated Jaedong would return to Brood War, and had been playing under the ID "424" on the Fish servers. The account of 424 had amassed an unusual amount of games against FlaSh and Brood War professionals had said 424 played like a player who was rusty and an ex-pro. On November 8th, AfreecaTV announced that Jaedong would become a BJ and stream Brood War full-time.
Jaedong's first official return to the tournament scene was displayed at the KT Giga Showmatch. Here, Jaedong defeated Stork in the semifinals but lost to Bisu, 1-2, in the finals. His first off-line tournament will be the Afreeca Starleague Season 2. Jaedong showed signs of rust when he failed to qualify through the Seoul qualifiers but managed to rebound in the Busan qualifiers the next day to enter the Round of 24. He will play in Group E against Mong, Best, and Hint.
Lee Jae Dong proved that a focus on mechanics and execution could solve problems in the StarCraft game strategy. The reason 75% of Starleague and MSL semifinalists are Zerg in late 08–09 Season and 50% in early 09–10 Season is Jaedong. As a leader of Zerg race who varied his gameplay from low-econ builds to macro intensive builds, Lee Jae Dong taught how to beat the toughest opponents even on imbalanced maps. He has evolved the way the Zerg race plays the different match-ups greatly.
I remembered something that Park Myung Soo said. It’s been a while, so it’s a bit fuzzy, but it was something like “Mech should be saved for Protoss.” I feel the same way, and I’m fully confident. Good management and macro is the key.
Jaedong’s ZvT used to be extremely dominant back in the second half of 2007 and early 2008. Jaedong’s Defiler and Ultraling play was almost unbeatable for a long time. His first well-known revolutionary approach to ZvT was the 2 Hatch Muta build vs. Flash, after which 2 Hatch Muta became immensely popular and a standard build in the ZvT match-up, whereas before that it was considered to be an all-in build. Regression to a 2 Hatch opening vs. Terran has also had a great influence on the way the game is played. Jaedong’s use of Queens and 2 control Groups of Mutalisks was not just a spectacular reception in the expectation of public favor, but also showed a different way to approach the match-up.
Kim Yoon Hwan (Calm): —After losing to Jaedong, I lost a lot of games strangely. I always felt like the opponent prepared better than me. …I realized I don’t know how to play ZvZ anymore.
[Q]: You had completely opposite openings in games 1 and 5 (12 Hatch vs. 9 Pool), but the winner remained Jaedong, how does that work out? [A]: I’m not sure. I didn’t prepare that much, but simply played according to the most comfortable style in the game, so I was able to fully exhibit my potential just like in practice. I’ve been viewing this as an emphasis recently, and I’ve been striving to make no mistakes in televised games. Usually, during practice, if the opening puts me behind, it would put pressure on me and I would feel bad, and it’d be hard to stage a comeback. It’s important to be able to overcome this in live games. …I’ve said this before for ZvZ, no matter what the opponent opens with, I still think “I’m the winner,” so I don’t think I will lose.
Jaedong has also revolutionized ZvZ. The precision, timing attacks, careful unit counting, Zergling run-by plays (often in the midst of Mutalisk attacks) and methodical concave exploitation have advanced tremendously since Jaedong has showcased his ZvZ, showing that every Build Order has advantages against the other Build Orders, and you can overcome any difficulties with proper micro and game sense. No one understands ZvZ better than Jaedong does, and it’s the single most dominant match-up statistics in the history of StarCraft over a large sample size, 85.7% wins since December 2007 up to June 2009.
Lee Jae Dong in ZvP innovated with the 3 Hatch Spire into 5 Hatch with Scourge play and popularized the build which made it the standard for ZvP. With this build, he made a counter-revolution against Forge FE that’s reversed nearly all the advantages in strategy and morale that Bisu earned when he defeated sAviOr in the GOMTV MBCGame StarCraft League Season 1 Finals. He made an invaluable contribution to the development of Sim-City defense, an important part of ZvP.
In addition to standard play, Lee Jae Dong has innovated a lot of creative cheesy builds and refined July’s aggression to another level while still possessing a world-class standard macro game. His micro is considered his greatest strength.
Kim Jung Woo (EffOrt): —Before, I thought Bisu’s nickname ‘Revolutionist’ is pretty cool, but now I think my favorite is Jaedong’s ‘Tyrant’. Very awe-inspiring. As a Zerg player I kind of wish I can steal it.