There are various Esports organizations in South Korea, and most of them are managed with sponsorships from different companies. Some examples would be SKT T1 and KT Rolster, both of which are LoL teams with a long history. Most big Korean teams like those tend to play one title, so it’s hard to find a team that plays multiple games.
However, Yun-sang Choi, the owner of MVP, was different. He could be considered the most exemplary case in the Korean Esports market. With his own unique way of management, he built a system from which his team could sustain themselves without the help of capital from companies.
MVP has placed its name in the winners list at a total of 449 major tournaments by managing many teams for League of Legends, Starcraft 2, CS:GO, DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and PUBG, for about 8 years.
Unlike most Korean Esports organizations, which support themselves with company sponsorships, MVP instead used the prize money they won along with help from sub-sponsors. MVP, the team owned by Yun-sang Choi, has won about $6 million in prize money, making them 14th in prize earnings across the whole world, and putting them next to SKT T1 among Korean teams.
Yung-sang Choi played a huge role in helping MVP come this far; his priority is to find players with immense potential that can live up to the name of the team: MVP -- ‘Most Valuable Player’. This is where we can take a peek at Choi’s philosophies in management, which eventually led to many star players rising up in various titles: No-chul ‘NoFe’ Jeong (the current coach for EDward Gaming), Se-hyeong ‘Mata’ Cho, and Seung-bin ‘Imp’ Gu for League of Legends, Soo-ho ‘DongRaeGu’ Park for Starcraft 2, Seung-gon ‘Heen’ Lee for DOTA 2, Jae-won ‘Rich’ Lee for Heroes of the Storm, and many more, who are all currently involved in the Esports scene in Korea, China, and NA.
Also, Choi did not stop at just recruiting players - he provided enough time for his players to grow and improve rather than giving them a final evaluation after a short period. He also provided the ideal environment for practicing and had capable coaching staff take care of his players. This reflects Choi’s philosophies in management, which emphasizes trust in everyone within his team.
He also has great capability in the business side of things; he would work hard to make MVP renowned via different social media and streaming platforms, which led to active communication with fans, which is MVP’s biggest strength. Choi would recruit multilingual staff members to share all the news about his team; he made sure that their fans could gain access to news on MVP anywhere at any time. This process of making one’s teams known among the fans like this has become a basic thing for teams nowadays.
Choi moved on forward and joined China’s biggest market. He signed MOU with ImbaTV and produced documentaries about Esports organizations, aiming to create ‘Esports entertainment content’ and creating a favorable image of MVP for global fans and Esports individuals.
His expertise in helping players is also something to be respected. There were a lot of inquiries on transferring players, including Mata, Imp, Deft, Dade, and Dandy, who were all trained by Yun-sang, from several managers of LPL teams. It even got to a point where one of the Chinese teams had Yun-sang Choi join their team as their head coach.
With an exceptional career, many fans, and a substantially independent Esports organization, Yun-sang Choi has achieved what would be the most ideal for an owner of a team. How has Choi been able to train world-famous players and help make MVP renowned to the fans worldwide? Also, what was the motivation that helped him keep his team striving for such a long time in a destitute environment? You can have the opportunity to hear the answers to these questions at the first IGEC - ESPORTS DEEP DIVE on this upcoming May 1st, at UC, Irvine.
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