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The Perfect Terran

An in-depth look at the career of Seo "xellOs_kr" Ji Hoon

Jiro Pineda

During the peak of the competitive life of StarCraft: Brood War, there were legends that climbed up the ladder and became infamous among all professional players. Only the pros that were able to outwit and outplay their opponents and cement their legacy at the top. One of them is the "Perfect Terran” Seo Ji Hoon. Otherwise known as "xellOs_kr".

XellOs' father died when he was 12 years old, leaving him to grow up with his mother and sister. His mother wanted him to grow up like any other Korean at that time; finish college and have a nine-to-five job as his career.

XellOs didn't want any of that. He decided to become a professional player. Unsurprisingly, his mother didn't agree with that decision. She went ahead and moved his computer to the living room. XellOs, being the determined teenager that he is, snuck out at night and waited for his family to fall asleep before he could start playing.

He started his career in 2003, appearing almost out of nowhere, and gained the heart of the fans from then on. It was at Olympus OSL where XellOs got a surprising win rate of 70% across all races, something that hasn’t been seen during the time. He was also undefeated on Bifrost, a tournament map used during that time, which in turn gave him his nickname Perfect Terran.

As he made his way through the bracket, he knocked out the biggest name in the game. XellOs went up against Im "BoxeR" Yo Hwan, considered to be the top terran at that time. In a shocking upset, XellOs, the underdog of the match, secured a 3-0 win over BoxeR, vaulting him to the finals. He faced off against Hong "YellOw" Jin Ho where he ultimately secured the first OSL title after a five-game series.

He later on cemented his legacy during the World Cyber Games 2004 where he was crowned the grand champion.

It wasn't until WCG 2005 came before the Perfect Terran came to a slump. During the elimination round, he lost to Na "Silent_Control" Doh Hyun. National Geographic was able to follow XellOs' journey in the World Cyber Games in their documentary "World Cyber Games"

His slump continued from 2005 to 2009 and has never managed to secure a major win since WCG 2005. During the MyCube OSL ro8 matches, he lost to Park "Reach" Jung Suk and was seen mouthing obscenities in frustration.

He eventually joined the South Korean Air Force and joined the Air Force ACEs, the department's StarCraft team, before he retired in December of 2011.

After he announced his retirement, XellOs joined his long time team CJ Entus’ parent company CJ Group as a regular employee. Not much is known on what his job description is but one thing is for sure: his ten-year decorated career will be part of the StarCraft: Brood War's history.