Song "Stork" Byung Goo is a StarCraft progamer from South Korea who played Protoss for Samsung KHAN.
He returned to Starcraft Brood War with his debut in the KT Giga Showmatch.
Called the Commander in Chief of No Weak Points Stork is known for his macro style and strong control. He was considered one of the "Three Neo-Kings" of Protoss and most notably helped to define modern Protoss vs. Terran play. He was also considered one of the Six Protoss Dragons of 2008 and early 2009 and one of the four members of TaekBangLeeSsang.
Rise to Fame
Stork defeated foru in the 2004 CYON Challenge League final, earning him a fourth seed in the 2005 EVER OSL. The group stages of the EVER OSL put Stork in a very strong group with XellOs, Yellow, and Goodfriend. After upsetting XellOs in their game, Stork forced a tie-breaker between himself, Yellow, and XellOs. Despite losing the tie-breaker to XellOs, who eventually won a podium finish, Stork began to make a name for himself in both the OSL and as a contributor to Samsung KHAN’s team league success.
Following his initial EVER OSL appearance, Stork qualified for the 2005 So1 OSL and the 2005 Shinhan Bank OSL. Both forays ended in quick departures, with Stork going 0-3 and 1-2 at the group stage, respectively. Despite these losses, he was dubbed one of the “Three Neo-Kings” of the Protoss race along with Pusan and Anytime. Each of the three brought a new element of Protoss gameplay to the forefront of progaming; Stork brought a strong focus on macro as well as a high level of mechanics (similar to Kingdom) but most notably turned the scarcely used Arbiter into a necessity for late game PvT.
Along with his consistency in the individual leagues, Stork helped Samsung KHAN win the first KeSPA Cup. Soon thereafter, he achieved the most wins of any Protoss player in the 2005 Proleague Round 2 (going 10-7) and helped to boost Samsung KHAN to a second place finish behind Proleague titans, SK Telecom T1. During the playoffs and finals of the 2005 Sky Proleague Round 2 Stork won two of the most famous games played on the popular map Neo Requiem against sAviOr, relatively unknown at the time, and Gorush.
After suffering a slump in 2006, where he failed to make any individual leagues and saw limited Proleague play, Stork qualified for both the 2007 Daum OSL and the 2007 GOMTV MSL Season 2, reaching the semifinals of both leagues. Similarly, in the 2007 Shinhan Bank Proleague Round 1, Stork attained a 16-4 record overall and Samsung KHAN ended the round in first place.
Stork ultimately took the bronze in the Daum OSL, losing to Iris 0-3 in the semifinals and defeating newcomer Flash 3-0 for third place. In the 2007 GOMTV MSL Season 2, Stork met Bisu in the finals. Both players displayed great games culminating with Stork’s loss in a very close fifth set on Loki. This MSL silver marked the beginning of both an intense rivalry between Stork and Bisu, as well as, a string of individual league silvers for Stork.
Quest for Gold
Despite being consistently high ranked throughout 2007 and 2008, Stork had trouble delivering where it mattered--on the finals stage of an individual league.
Seeded into the 2007 EVER OSL, Stork landed in a group with a quickly rising rookie, Jaedong. After easily winning his group 3-0, Stork advanced through a tough gauntlet, defeating Flash 2-1 in the round of eight and rival Bisu 3-0 in the semifinals, to meet Jaedong again in the finals. Despite having beaten Jaedong during the group phase, Stork lost the final 1-3.
Stork’s chance for OSL gold would come next in the 2008 Bacchus OSL, where he faced off against Flash in the final. Despite convincingly advancing from his group 3-0 again (including a win against Flash), Stork failed to meet expectations in the final match by losing 0-3. Just days before he had already lost 2-3 to Flash in the final of the XNote GOM TV Star Invitational stage. These two events sent him into a slump for the early part of 2008.
Stork’s search for gold left him unfulfilled in other arenas besides just the OSL stage. In the 2007 WCG Korea Finals, Stork lost to Hwasin, but eventually won 2007 WCG Grand Finals. In the 2008 WCG Korea Finals, Stork attained yet another second place finish after losing to Jaedong. After defeating Jaedong in the 2008 WCG round of 8, Stork claimed yet another another silver medal at the 2008 WCG Grand Final in a loss to Luxury.
In the latter half of 2008, Stork’s game picked up in spite of his loss to Jaedong in the WCG Korea Finals, and Stork qualified for both the 2008 ClubDay MSL and the 2008 Incruit OSL. After winning his OSL group 3-0, Stork managed to convincingly defeat Protoss rivals Bisu and Best. In a situation that mirrored both the 2007 EVER OSL and the 2008 Bacchus OSL, Stork met none other than Fantasy in the Incruit OSL finals. The finals all came down to a deciding fifth set on Chupung-Ryeong with Stork finally winning his coveted OSL gold.
After Stork's OSL victory, he lost to Kal in the Ro8 of the ClubDay MSL. He soon after entered a severe slump for several months. He was eliminated by Backho in the GSL Season 2, and his performance in Proleague started to collapse. Stork barely made it out of his Ro16 group in the Batoo OSL, but was then eliminated by eventual champion Jaedong in the Ro8. Stork was eliminated by his teammate JangBi in the semifinals of the Lost Saga MSL. Stork shortly after was upset in the Ro64 of the GSL S3 by MVP, which was considered the greatest upset of the tournament. Stork's Proleague performance then came back to form, but he struggled to succeed in individual leagues, failing to advance from the Ro32 in the Avalon MSL and being eliminated in the Ro16 of the 2009 Bacchus OSL.
In August 2009 Stork showed that he was ready to make a comeback, reaching the finals of the WCG Korea selection by defeating both Fantasy and Jaedong. He eventually lost in the finals to rival Protoss Bisu, thus making it the 3rd WCG Korea in a row that he has finished 2nd place in.
Stork started the 09-10 Proleague season with a strong 5-3 record in round 1. Despite his efforts, his team did not perform to their usual standard and KHAN ended round 1 in last place with a 2-9 record. However, Stork's strong form continued and he qualified for the 2009 Nate MSL, to go along with his seed into the 2009 EVER OSL. In the MSL he made it to the Round of 32 but was knocked out 0-2 with losses to Movie and Canata in what was seen as an upset considering his form at the time. Despite his loss in the MSL, Stork performed strongly in the OSL defeating Ggaemo in the Round of 36 and winning his Round of 16 group 3-0 with victories over Flash, Type-b and Kwanro setting up a game with Shine.
Shine started the series by overwhelming Stork on El Niño with Mass Mutalisks to give him a helpful 1 game lead going into the second day. A long and intense game two on Fighting Spirit saw Stork breaking a strong contain and taking the map with very effective Templar and Reaver play and bringing the series to 1-1. Playing the final game on New Heartbreak Ridge Shine attempted to attack Stork with a ling run-by after mining out the minerals at the back of his base, however it was defended. Shine then attack Stork with Mutalisks doing immense economical damage and slowing stork considerably. Shine finished the match with a swift Hydra break at Stork's cannon line, quickly taking the final game and knocking Stork out of the OSL.
2010 - 2012
In recent years, Stork has continued to show strong play in both the individual and team leagues. In the 2010 Korean Air OSL Season 2, Stork advanced out of the group stage with wins over Fantasy and Kal. He went on to beat Sea in the quarterfinals 2-0 before falling to none other than Jaedong again 2-3 in the semifinals. In the following 2010 Bacchus OSL, Stork succeeded in beating Shine in the group stage tiebreaker, despite losing to him in his regular group game, in order to advance once again to the elimination stage. He went on to win his quarterfinal and semifinal matches before meeting Fantasy once again in a rematch of the 2008 Incruit OSL finals. This time, however, Fantasy would get his revenge in beating Stork 3-0.
In the 2010-2011 Shinhan Bank Proleague and 2011-2012 SK Planet Proleague Season 1, Stork was 5th and 3rd, respectively, in terms of winning percentages among all players. Despite being the best protoss player in the SK Planet Proleague Season 1 regular season, Stork lost a critical ace match against Stats in the first of a Bo3 playoff series, which set up KT Rolster to take the Bo3 series 2-0 and advance to the finals to face SK Telecom T1.
With the hybrid BW-SC2 SK Planet Proleague Season 2, Stork has begun playing StarCraft II.
Stork made his Starcraft Brood War return in the KT Giga Showmatch where he lost to Jaedong in the semifinals and lost to FlaSh in a close game on Destination in the 3rd/4th place match. His off-line tournament return came at the Afreeca Starleague Season 2 where he qualified through the Seoul qualifiers. Stork entered the Round of 24 in a group with Rush, Free, and Force(name). Stork defeated Rush on Benzene and shocked the BW community when he crushed Free with a decisive Reaver attack. He advanced to the Round of 16 after 2-0ing his group.
The left side of the table below shows Storks's overall record as of May 8, 2012, while the right side shows his statistics during the Era of the Six Dragons from July 1, 2008 to November 31, 2008:
|Overall Statistics||Six Dragons Era|
- Song Byung Goo explains his nickname: “The reason why I use the ID stork is because when I was a student, I stumbled upon the word ‘stork’ while doing homework. On battle.net, I noticed that it was available, so that’s why I started using it.” Posted by hipaul.
- Stork won the Starleague title in the Incruit Starleague  after nine qualifications — see “Starcraft Backstage Talk: Stork Interview”, translated by MrHoon.
- Stork actually has accumulated more wins than any other Protoss player, except Reach, to date.
- Stork is the only player to reach No.1 KeSPA without winning any individual league.
- Stork was given a golden Carrier badge by his fans.
- Stork has more 2nd place finishes than any other player with eight 2nd place finishes in KESPA-sanctioned and WCG events. Three of them are from consecutive WCG Korea tournaments in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
|In Premier Tournaments|
|2011-01-29||2nd||2010-2011 Bacchus OSL||0 : 3||Fantasy|
|2010-09-11||3 - 4th||2010 Korean Air Starleague Season 2||2 : 3||Jaedong|
|2009-11-15||2nd||2009 World Cyber Games||1 : 2||Jaedong||$4,000|
|2009-03-20||3 - 4th||2009 Lost Saga MSL||0 : 3||JangBi|
|2008-11-09||2nd||2008 World Cyber Games||2 : 0||Luxury||$6,000|
|2008-11-01||1st||2008 Incruit OSL||3 : 2||Fantasy|
|2008-03-15||2nd||2008 Bacchus OSL||0 : 3||Flash|
|2008-03-01||2nd||2008 XNote GOMTV Star Invitational||2 : 3||Flash|
|2007-12-22||2nd||2007 EVER OSL||1 : 3||Jaedong|
|2007-10-07||1st||2007 World Cyber Games||2 : 0||Pj||$15,000|
|2007-07-21||3rd||2007 Daum OSL||3 : 0||Iris|
|2007-07-14||2nd||2007 GOMTV MSL Season 2||2 : 3||Bisu|
|2nd||2009||WCG Korea Finals|
|1st||2009||International E-sports Festival|
|2nd||2008||International E-sports Festival|
|2nd||2008||WCG Korea Finals|
|1st||2008||Blizzard Worldwide Invitational|
|2nd||2007||WCG Korea Finals|
|1st||2004||CYON OnGameNet Challenge League|
| WCG 2006
| WCG 2007
7th October 2007 - 5th November 2008
| WCG 2008|
| EVER2008 OSL
| 2008 Incruit OSL
1st November 2008-4th April 2009
| 2009 Batoo OSL|
Considering the career-defining nature of Stork and Fantasy's few clashes, their rivalry could hardly be anything but an intense and personal one. Fantasy provided Stork with both his only OSL gold and one of his most humiliating defeats, in the process essentially defining the shape of Stork's career and legacy in professional BW.
However, even before the two met for the first time in-game, their relationship was already defined by the existing rivalry between their two teams, Samsung KHAN and SK Telecom T1--both teams known for their strong Protoss lineups. Further reinforcing this incipient rivalry, by the time Stork reached Fantasy in the 2008 Incruit OSL finals, he had already defeated both Bisu and Best, SKT's two most prominent Protoss players, in two intense, yet clearly dominant performances; even Best, who at the time was considered to be completely unstoppable in PvP, fell to Stork's onslaught, in the process playing the victim to some humiliating tactics on Stork's part, such as his 3-proxy-gate rush in Best's main in their game on Plasma. Thus, for Fantasy, even though he had never met Stork in battle before, a victory over him would be a matter of intense personal and professional pride. As a member of the team founded by Boxer and forged by iloveoov, this final would be a chance for him to avenge the honor of his team and its Protoss line by succeeding where they had failed, and prove himself a true successor to the fabled Terran lineup of Boxer and oov--it was also, most notably, a chance for him to walk the Royal Road, the fabled path traveled by only the very best and most talented progamers, and thus put his name firmly into history as one of those at the very top of professional BW.
For Stork, however, all of these professional concerns would be overshadowed by an intensely personal desire for victory. Already known as the "Silver Surfer" and other such nicknames, Stork had time and time again made it to the final stage of the OSL, and then fallen short of the victory, often losing in a fairly humiliating fashion to an up-and-coming player. Fantasy for him would have thus appeared mostly as the latest in a long line of players to stand between him and the gold, and the latest in a small collection of young, mostly unknown up-and-comers to challenge Stork in the finals--up-and-comers such as Flash and Jaedong, both of whom had proven more than Stork could handle, and had gone on to have the two most successful careers of the era. For Stork and Fantasy alike, the question would be if Fantasy would live up to these examples, or if Stork's undeniable skill would at last find its mark.
In the end, Stork triumphed--though not before coming perilously close to repeating history, losing two games in a row and taking things all the way to game five before closing out the series. However, in the end Stork's historic PvT showed itself to be a match for Fantasy's burgeoning skills, and Stork took his first, and only, OSL gold.
In the aftermath, Stork's win heralded the extremely brief "Age of the Six Dragons," a time of general Protoss dominance, before leading Stork into a long stretch of more average, but still generally strong performance. Fantasy, however, seemed to be taking up Stork's role of Silver Surfer, being beaten in the OSL finals 2-3 by Jaedong the very next season and again 2-3 by Flash in the Bigfile MSL finals. In the meantime, Stork and Fantasy met occasionally in Proleague, where Stork generally showed himself dominant over the Terran player (winning 5-1 in head to head clashes), even while Fantasy and his team achieved a great deal of success otherwise.
In the end, however, the two were destined to meet again on the same stage where they had first clashed--the OSL finals. On the road to the finals of the Bacchus 2010 Starleague, Stork showed a series of dominant performances, showcasing (in his own and others' estimation) some of the best play of his career; Fantasy, meanwhile, successfully reached the finals in a strong, but less dominant fashion, with his play in the semifinals against Calm being especially criticized, and was widely considered an underdog going into the series. At this point, the rivalry was much more personal than ever before; Stork openly joked about being glad to get another gold from Fantasy and showed strong confidence in his ability to dominate their rematch, while Fantasy dreamed of gaining long-desired revenge and ending his streak of Stork-inspired silvers. For Stork, this was another important opportunity to cement his legacy and his career beyond all doubt, placing himself forever in the ranks of the most elite progamers and Protoss players of all time. For Fantasy, it was a chance to demonstrate that his past successes had not been a fluke, and that he was truly the heir to Boxer and iloveoov that SKT fans had long awaited.
In the end, in what was widely regarded as a shocking turn of events, Fantasy dominated the rematch, delivering a quick 3-0 over Stork with innovative tactics designed to completely counter Stork's standard PvT. Stork was driven to shock over the results, seemingly unable to talk to his fans or understand what had happened to him; Fantasy, on the other hand, was openly jubilant at winning his first gold medal and especially at gaining vengeance over the man who had denied him his Royal Road two years before.
However, in a sign that their rivalry was not yet ended, the very next day, Stork delivered a convincing defeat to Fantasy in a Proleague match, helping his team to victory in the process.
In the end, though, this would prove to be the last time the two would meet in the OSL, even as they continued to clash sporadically in Proleague. From then on, the rivalry would be largely continued through Stork's Protoss protege, Jangbi. The very next season, Fantasy returned once again to the finals stage, hungry for more gold, only to be met by a newly resurgent Jangbi. The rematch was widely seen (even by the players themselves) as an opportunity for Jangbi to avenge Stork's humiliating loss in the last finals, as well as an opportunity for Jangbi to (like his mentor Stork) finally escape the curse of the Kong Line, which he had entered through his two consecutive MSL silvers. In the end, in a virtual repeat of Stork and Fantasy's first finals, Jangbi pulled off a narrow victory in game five, delivering Fantasy yet another 2-3 defeat and yet another silver medal, and avenging Stork's loss.
Like the original Stork-Fantasy rivalry, Fantasy and Jangbi's conflict continued into another OSL finals, the last BW OSL for the foreseeable future. In this historic finals, Jangbi and KHAN proved victorious, delivering a fitting end to individual competition in BW.
However, even with these victories, the rivalry between Stork and Fantasy remains unresolved in a way that no victory by a protege can ever hope to change. For now, and seemingly forever, the BW record between Stork and Fantasy will remain 10-8, with each player having claimed one OSL victory over the other.
Whether or not this rivalry will continue into SC2 remains to be seen, but one thing is certain; if it does, it will continue to produce great games and high drama for the enjoyment of fans everywhere.
The term, Sho Ping Rok, is derived from the nicknames of the two players. Stork earned a rather condescending Korean nickname of "Pinggyue" meaning "excuse" after trying to make an excuse about a lost match which was frowned upon by the fans. Kwanro has a nickname of "Shobu" meaning "(to make) a critical move or battle to determine the outcome" as he has a propensity to make all-in moves quite frequently. Sho Ping Rok, hence, was coined in order to exploit the pronunciation of shopping. Rok means record or historical record. So, though it sounds on surface like a shopping record, it is a war record between Stork and Kwanro.
The rivalry has grown out of a Bo3 in Lost Saga MSL 2009. Though known for calm and gentle expression/demeanor, Stork was visibly steamed and frustrated after succumbing to the all out hydra attack of Kwanro in the first set (Feb. 14th 2009). Stork won the subsequent two sets (Feb. 21st 2009) to take the match and was seen smiling -- unusual for him -- after taking control of each set. In the interview after the match, Stork said that his teammates and coach tried to comfort him by saying "all-in moves are not real skills." And, he added that he felt he should win the subsequent matches if not getting surprised by Kwanro's all-in tactics. These remarks and smiles of Stork's obviously did not sit well with Kwanro. Kwanro, in an interview, revealed that he was not happy to lose to Stork on his birthday, Feb. 21st 2009.
There began a rather unpleasant, in the viewpoint of Stork, series of interviews and remarks by Kwanro stating that he would seek revenge on a greater stage (meaning semi-final or final). Stork would be the last person he wanted to lose; he would like to win over Stork even if it meant losing matches to other players, etc. The nuance of some comments was personal and provocative, and comments were made in the interviews that had nothing to do with Stork or his matches. Obviously, Stork took them hard (perhaps since it was a public display of disrespect by someone younger and less experienced than he is).
After getting thoroughly beaten by Kwanro in Avalon MSL 2009 (June 27th 2009), Stork waited for another chance. And, it came in Ever OSL 2009 (Dec. 9th 2009). Winning the match by preventing another all-in hydra rush by Kwanro, Stork made rather explicit comments in the interview before and after the match. A few examples are:
1. "Kwanro wants to get tangled with me. I guess he underestimates me, and I will take him out with one punch" (not in a real fight but in a game). This comment was made in a pregame interview. All others are made after the match.
2. "I was not sure about winning 3 games in the group. However, since there was Kwanro in the group, I gained confidence to win all 3 games to make ro 16"
3. "Kwanro should come in second place at least three times to earn the right to challenge me" (parodying sAviOr's comment on Bisu and making a self-deprecating humor as Stork has finished as a runner-up three times in the major finals -- often called "the grand slam of second finish").
4. "Kwanro may be confused about his identity. He is not Shine whose nickname is Typhoon" (condescending Kwanro's offensive capability)
5. "Kwanro should take out to a good restaurant his friends who helped him for the match. He should not be stingy with money"
6. "The fans may think I am going over the line with these remarks. But, it is obvious that Kwanro has such bad feelings toward me and has made them explicit. So, he deserves them (as a lesson)."
There were other notable comments. But, the idea is self-evident. Stork has never made condescending remarks before or at least not as explicitly with intent. Perhaps, the lack of experience in a war of words has led him to go over the limit. Nevertheless, the personal attack regarding "treating friends" was even more shocking to the fans. Although both players have been criticized by the fans for making negative remarks, Stork has received the heavier load of it due to the personal attack.
Stork recently said that he regretted about the remarks, and the fans think both should behave. Nevertheless, Sho Ping Rok will continue. As of now, they are tied at 3-3. Every coming match will receive attention not only for the content but also for the little saga of personal conflict.
- vs Fantasy, Chupung-Ryeong, 2008 Incruit OSL final - Tied at 2-2, this was the deciding game of the Incruit OSL final, a showcase of Stork's macro heavy PvT
- vs Forgg, Destination, 2009 Lost Saga MSL
- vs Bisu, Loki, 2007 GOMTV MSL Season 2 final - Again a last game of a Starleague, very tight back-and-forth PvP
- vs Bisu, Shinhan Proleague match - In a time when Bisu has an 80% win rate, and seems untouchable, Stork wins in a very dominating fashion.
- vs Best on Return of the King, Incruit OSL Quarterfinals - Stork takes down Best with a 22 probe kill reaver
- vs Best on Plasma, Incruit OSL Quarterfinals - Stork seals the deal by defeating Best soundly on Plasma. Stork starts the game off proxying gateways in Best's base.
- vs GoRush, Neo Requiem, 2005 SKY Proleague Round 2 final - PvZ featuring almost every unit, spell and ability (starts at ~49:00)
- vs GGPlay, Andromeda, 2008 Shinhan Bank Proleague - 80+ minute VOD, extremely close end
- vs Kwanro, Byzantium, 2009 Lost Saga MSL
- TL Final Edits article by Manablue about Stork from July 2007
- Team Acer 'Stork's silver path of courage by Thorin detailing Stork's BW career from 2005-2012.