On June 24th, we bid farewell once more to one of StarCraft Brood War's most iconic players of all time, Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong, as he leaves to fulfill his Korean military service requirements. Jaedong has been playing StarCraft since the early 2000s, winning countless tournaments across multiple formats and organizers, playing both Brood War and StarCraft II.
In 2012, Jaedong switched to StarCraft II, playing professionally with Evil Geniuses for four years. He eventually returned to Brood War, streaming for Afreeca at the end of 2016, playing in a couple tournaments during his time with them. His most recent tournament was the Korea StarCraft League Season 1 event, which was Blizzard's celebration tournament honoring the game's 20th anniversary.
Today, he signs off again, to fulfill his compulsory military service in Korea. Every male Korean citizen must fulfill 21 months of required service by the age of 35. Exemptions have been made in the past, but they're very rare, only given to members who truly represent Korea on a much larger scale. Maybe in a few more years, esports will garner enough attention that renowed pros like Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok may receive a waiver, but in the year 2020, that is not the case. Not even BTS will avoid conscription.
So Jaedong will soon begin his military service, stepping away from Brood War one last time.
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