Cho "Maru" Seong Ju is a Terran player from South Korea, who is currently playing for Jin Air Green Wings. He is well known for being the youngest GSL player of all time, winning his first televised game at the age of 13.
Wings of Liberty
Maru made his professional debut in the very first GSL, the 2010 TG Sambo Intel Starcraft II Open Season 1. There, he defeated fan favorite Cella 2-1  to advance to the Ro32, where he lost 0-2 to San. The series against San would be Maru's last games in the GSL for almost a year; he did not qualify for Code A until GSL August, where he fell 0-2 to Fruitdealer in the Round of 32. Maru's attempts to qualify for GSL October and GSL November also failed, though the single game he took off of Curious during the October preliminaries was Curious's only loss that season.
2012 proved a much better year for Maru. He started out the year strong, qualifying for Code A in the 2012 GSL Season 1 preliminaries and defeating Noblesse and Yeah in the process. His first match in the Ro48 was a 2-0 win against favored opponent MorroW. Then, in the Ro32, he managed to beat Happy 2-1 before dropping to NaDa 2-0 in the Ro24. The loss sent him to the Up and Down matches, where he showed that he had the skill of a Code S player by defeating sC, Terius, Alicia, and JYP to earn a Code S spot.
Maru entered his first Code S tournament, 2012 GSL Season 2, in a group with GuMiho, Curious, and HerO. Despite low expectations, he defeated GuMiho and HerO to earn first in the group and move on to the Ro16. There, he defeated MC 2-1, but then lost to Squirtle 0-2 and Oz 1-2 to finish third in his group. He now faces Creator in the Ro24 of Code A. Maru lost 0-2 and fell into Up and Downs, finishing second in his group with only one loss to Curious and securing his Season 3 Code S spot. There he ultimately lost in Ro32, after losing to DongRaeGu and viOlet, and despite beating Oz. In Ro32 of Code A, he lost to Polt, falling into Up and Downs again. He was able to beat only aLive there and after losing to HerO, SuHoSin and Shine, he fell to Code A.
In GSL Season 4 Code A, he beat EffOrt, asd and JYP to come back into Code S for Season 5. However, Code S was not pleasant to Maru, and he was swept in his Ro32 group by Curious and Soulkey and fell into Code A again, where he lost 1-2 to Losira in the Ro48 and got eliminated out of GSL.
In the last Wings of Liberty GSL, Maru qualified through the Preliminaries to Code A, where he was able to beat Dream, but lost to Sniper in Ro32. He was able to win his group in Up and Down though and participated in the first WCS GSL.
Maru has played in one offline foreign tournament so far: the IPL 4 on April 6, 2012. IGN awarded him a spot in the Open Bracket because his team, Prime, was playing in the GSTL finals, which were also hosted at IPL 4. Maru's performance was not especially strong, however; he only defeated CatZ and Illusion before falling 0-2 to TaeJa and 1-2 to Virus.
Maru competed in the online Asia Starcraft League from August 7, 2012, to February 7, 2013. He easily reached the bracket stage, going 4-1 in each of the group stages. In the winner's bracket, he defeated notable Chinese players F91 and MacSed 2-0 each in the second and third rounds of the bracket stage and defeated the Taiwanese player Sen 3-1 in the fourth round. He faced fellow Korean BboongBboong twice, in the semi-finals and the grand finals, defeating him 3-2 both times to win the tournament.
Heart of the Swarm
Rise to Championship
Maru was able to qualify for WCS Korea 2013 Season 2 Premier League, hosted by OGN, through the Up and Down matches by losing to Leenock and winning against Ruin, Bunny and DongRaeGu. He defeated sOs twice in the round of 32, and Trap and SuperNova 2-1 each in the round of 16 to reach the bracket stage of the tournament. After handily defeating perennial Code S/Premier League player Symbol, he was matched against the WCS Season 1 Finals champion INnoVation. According to the TeamLiquid Power Rank and Aligulac rating website, INnoVation was rated the best player in the world at the time, and was the heavy favorite in the matchup. However, by using highly varying, cheesy, and aggressive builds, Maru was able to take the first three games without difficulty, and took advantage of a shaken up INnoVation to close the series 4-0 in a fairly standard game. This brought him to the first finals of his career against Rain, where after dropping the initial two games, Maru took the third game with a proxy 11/11 which gave him the momentum to end up winning the championship 4-2.
"Marine Prince" near the top
After winning the last OSL, Maru flew to Cologne, to participate in WCS Season 2 Finals at GamesCom. He was placed in a group with Team Acer duo in Scarlett and MMA and Evil Geniuses' aLive. After unexpectedly losing to aLive, Maru beat fellow Terran player MMA. But the next day, he fell after a failed proxy to Scarlett, finishing the tournament at 9th-12th place, getting 750 WCS points and $5,000.
Soon after it, Maru entered Season 3 WCS GSL as a relative favourite, still not being considered as a top contender, especially after a tough loss at Season Finals. He took first place of his Ro32 group after beating Sleep and Bbyong, moving into Ro16. There, he met Flash, PartinG and KangHo. An initial loss to PartinG did not throw him off and after winning against KangHo and Flash, "Marine Prince" moved into his second playoff bracket in a row, and his first ever GSL top 8.
In the top 8, he met the former GSL champion jjakji and beat him 3-1, but soon after, Maru lost 1-3 to the future Royal Roader Dear, finishing this season at 3rd-4th place, securing a place at WCS Season 3 Finals and a seed for the next season of GSL.
When Season 3 Finals started, Maru was considered as one of main favourites this time. After beating soO and duckdeok, Maru moved into the playoff bracket where he met MMA once again, this time with the latter being WCS Europe champion. Despite dropping the first map, Maru prevailed 3-1 and moved into the top 4 where he met Dear again. Maru lost 1-3 again, and finished with another semifinal appearance. Two games of this series are featured in TeamLiquid.net's list of the Best Games of 2013, as #27 and #6.
However, Maru accumulated enough points to enter the final stage of the season - WCS Global Finals in Anaheim. Being 7th seed, he dropped MC 3-1 in first round with relative ease, and moved on to play another Protoss player, duckdeok, who just eliminated INnoVation. In a long-fighting series, Maru prevailed 3-2 and moved into his third consecutive top 4, where he met another fan favourite, Jaedong. In an exciting series, causing huge cheers from the crowd, Maru ultimately lost 1-3 and fell in another semifinal.
Because of his OSL championship, Maru was invited to play in the Hot6ix Cup. He met soO in first round, eliminating SK Telecom T1's player from tournament with 3-0 score. Then, he faced Soulkey, the "Iron Wall" Zerg player, who outplayed Maru, and sent the "Marine Prince" to prepare for the following season with a 3-1 score, eliminating him in his fourth semifinal in a row.
Maru entered new season of Code S being one of three remaining Terran players, after jjakji moved to WCS Europe. In the Ro32, he lost his initial match against Classic, but after a series of comebacks, he won against Zerg players Symbol and Hydra to move into the Ro16.
After groups were announced, many thought that Maru was done.[who?] Maru had his two main nemeses, Soulkey and Dear, and KT Rolster's ace Zest in his group. Despite losing the then-fastest game in GSL history to Zest after a scouted proxy rax on Daedalus Point, Maru was able to beat Dear this time in winners match, therefore avoiding Soulkey and moving into the Ro8 as first place. However, there he met Startale's Life and lost 2-3, stopping his series of semifinals appearances but securing his seed for next GSL anyway.
In the next GSL Code S, Maru was one of the four Terran players. He swept his Ro32 group, 4-0'ing MyuNgSiK and DongRaeGu. After losing a macro game to SK Telecom T1's Zerg Dark, Maru cheesed his way into the Ro8 after destroying Zerg's defences and abusing Stork for not scouting properly, securing his sixth playoffs appearance in a row.
In the quarterfinals, the young Terran met Soulkey, who was at 13-3 winning record against Maru. However, Maru prevailed 3-1 and moved into the semifinals. There, he met Classic and lost 2-4 in a back-and-forth series, to finish in another semifinal and watch Classic ultimately winning the championship.
Being already qualified for Season 3, Maru got placed into the same group as Reality, Trap and Hush, where he took first place taking down the two Protoss players. Now in the Ro16, he was placed to be in a group with INnoVation, PartinG and Stats, losing to both PartinG and Stats, and taking last place in his group and getting eliminated from the GSL Season 3 Code S.
One of the Best Terran Players in the World
In December 2014, Maru qualified for the newly introduced StarCraft II StarLeague, defeating DeParture, Check and Solar and thus qualifying for the Challenge Series. Only a few days later, he attended the GSL Season 1 Qualifier, where he got byes for the first two rounds, before dropping to the lower bracket due to a loss to TY. In the bottom bracket however, he defeated both Impact and Shine (Lee Young Han) 2 to nothing to eventually move into GSL Code S. He was then seeded to play the international seed Jim in the SSL Challenge series, whom he beat 3-1 in a rather quick series, to move through to the Main Event. In the GSL Code S Round of 32, he was put into a group with PartinG, First and Hack. While being able to beat Hack 2-1, he then lost to PartinG 0-2, to face First in the deciders match, who he ended up beating 2-0 moving through to the Round of 16. Only a week after, he was playing at the IEM Taipei to which he qualified, by beating Sorry, Rogue, Dream and DeParture. Being one of the strongest players at the time, he was regarded as one of the favorites to win the entire tournament, with only Life given top priority, due to recent results. In the group stage, Maru was once again seeded into the same group as PartinG, as well as Hydra and TRUE. He beat the two Zergs 2-0 each, but once again lost his series against PartinG, advancing to the Ro8 in second place. There, he met herO, whom he beat convincingly 3-1, and moved through to face Soulkey next, whom he beat 3-1 as well. From there on, he went to the final, now facing Life. He started the series off by losing a single game, before winning the next three. However he was not able to close the series out, as Life took one map after another and in the end took the series, leaving Maru finishing as the second place.
Back in Korea, Maru was going to play his SSL Round of 16 group after that, where he was facing the group of Death in Dream, Dark and TY. Although losing to Dream in his first series of the day, he managed to come back from the losers match, beating both TY and Dark 2-0 to move through in second place. In his Round of 8 match, he was facing Leenock. He dominated the series 3-0 going to the Round of 4, where he was going to meet Stats. Before that however, he was supposed to play his GSL Round of 16 group, where he was once again matched in the same group as PartinG, as well as herO and MC. Although managing to defeat Parting 2-1 in their first series of the day, he then lost to herO in the Winner's match, once again putting him against PartinG in the decider, to whom he once again lost 0-2, kicking him out of Season 1 Code S and placing him into Season 2 Code A. Shortly after he faced Stats in the SSL Semifinals, beating him 4-2, as he moved on to the grand finals.
Due to his second place at the Intel Extreme Masters Taipei, Maru was qualified for the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice. There, he met Patience in the first round. He absolutely dominated the Protoss, leaving no chance and beating him 3-0, to advance to the Round of 8, where he then met Dark and lost to him 0-3. With a disappointing run in Katowice, Maru had to go back to Korea to play out the SSL finals a week later, in which he beat Dream 4-1, claiming his second Premier League title, as well as being the first ever StarCraft II StarLeague Champion.
Being automatically qualified for the Starcraft 2 Starleague Season 2 due to being placed in the top 4 of the last season, Maru only had to go through GSL Code A this season, where he met Billowy whom he beat in rather dominant fashion 3-0, once again qualifying for Code S. Being already qualified for SSL, Maru was placed into a group with Zest, Hurricane and Leenock, where he beat Zest and Hurricane convincingly in his at the time strongest match-up TvP, only dropping a single map to Hurricane, once again moving through to the Round of 8.
Only shortly later, Maru was able to lead his team, the Jin Air Green Wings to victory against KT Rolster in the 2015 Proleague 2nd Round Semifinals, taking out Zest once again as well as Life and Stats. While he was fielded in the finals against CJ Entus, just as the series was tied 3-3, he was crushed by ByuL, ending the series with a 3-4 defeat and a second place for his team.
A few days after, Maru was once again matched against ByuL, this time in a Best of 5 series during the KeSPA Cup Season 1 RO16. The series was much closer than his defeat in Proleague, but still ended with a 2-3 defeat for the Jin Air Terran, signaling the early end of his run at this tournament. Shortly after, his GSL group was played out, where he one more time met ByuL in his first match. Once again the series was close, but this time Maru won 2-1, and moved on to the winners match against KT Rolster's TY. He beat him 2-1 in another close TvT series, and moved on to the Round of 16.
On May 21, Maru participated in the Starcraft 2 Starleague Season 2 Round of 8 against herO. He lost the match 3-2, ending his defense of his title from the previous season. His performance in the Season 2 Code S Round of 16 was more positive. Maru placed first in Group A which consisted of Life, Bomber and MyuNgSiK who took second place. By taking first place in the group, Maru advanced to the Round of 8. He would find himself paired against Rain. For the second time, Maru found himself ousted by a Protoss as Rain claimed a 3-1 victory. Although these results were disappointing, his top 8 performance in Season 2 Code S seeded him directly past the 2015 GSL Season 3 Code A into 2015 GSL Season 3 Code S. In the Starcraft 2 Starleague Season 3, Maru had to play against Sora in the 2015 Starcraft II StarLeague Season 3 Challenge event. He prevailed 3-1, once more qualifying him for both of the major Starleagues. Meanwhile, Maru had continued his success in 2015 Proleague. He posted an impressive 6-2 record, only losing to ByuL twice and going 5-0 versus Protoss, including victories against Stats and Dear. Jin Air Green Wings would finish with a 4-3 record and the third seed going into the playoffs. In the first series versus CJ Entus, sOs would claim an all-kill, but in the subsequent round, against KT Rolster, it would be Maru who would claim four straight wins. By beating Zest, Life, Stats, and Flash consecutively, Maru propelled the Jin Air Green Wings into the Proleague Round 3 Finals where they would face SK Telecom T1. Maru would defeat INnoVation and Classic in that match, but he would eventually fall to Dark as SK Telecom T1 claimed the 2015 Proleague Round 3 title.
In the individual leagues, Maru would find mixed results. Placed in Group Stats of 2015 Starcraft 2 StarLeague Season 3, Maru and the group's namesake would find themselves eliminated by ByuL and Zest with Maru losing to Zest in the fifth match.
Qualified into the KeSPA Cup Season 2 by virtue of his performance in 2015 Proleague Round 3, Maru would face off against Impact in the round of 16. Despite his struggles against Zerg, Maru managed a 3-1 victory. He would be eliminated in the next round by Dream who successfully avenged his loss in the StarCraft II StarLeague earlier in the year.
Season 3 Code S started more successfully. Maru topped Group B which contained Classic, Bomber and Trust. All the while, the Jin Air Green Wings were struggling in Proleague Round 4. Maru posted a 0-5 record, a clear indication that the form displayed during Starcraft 2 Starleague Season 1 eluded him. Jin Air Green Wings would miss the Proleague Round 4 playoffs, which, when concluded, placed them in fourth place overall going into the 2015 Proleague Playoffs.
Despite his dip in Best-of-1 matches, Maru continued to experience success in individual leagues. In the Round of 16 of Season 3 Code S, Maru was placed into an idyllic group with 3 Protoss players. Maru would finish the group in first with Classic claiming second place, and herO and sOs finding themselves eliminated. Maru's results placed him against his teammate Rogue in the round of 8. He would effortlessly dispatch Rogue 3-1. This landed him in a semifinal against long time nemesis INnoVation. Innovation was enjoying great success due to his usage of the resurgent Mech style. Maru was clearly the inferior player in the series, which he lost 4-1.
With the individual leagues completed for the year, Maru found himself in second place in the WCS Series Standings. Once again he found himself paired against Rogue a player he had displayed dominance over during Season 3 Code S.
Maru had little impact in the first round of the 2015 Proleague Playoffs. Paired against KT Rolster he won his match against Life in the Proleague format match. sOs then recorded a reverse all-kill after Flash defeated Trap, Rogue and Maru in that order. Against CJ Entus, Maru defeated RagnaroK in the Proleague format, but was not fielded in the all-kill format. Cure and Rogue would each notch a victory before sOs took the final two maps to give the Jin Air Green Wings a 4-2 victory.
In the last major event for Maru before the WCS Global Finals, he and his team faced off against SK Telecom T1 in the 2015 Proleague Grand Finals. Maru was defeated by Dream which contributed to a 4-2 defeat of the Jin Air Green Wings.
Maru's displays had been inconsistent in the latter portion of 2015. He had shown brilliance versus Protoss, but had experienced great difficulty versus Zerg and an inability to combat Mech in the TvT match-up. Maru's downward trend concluded in a 3-0 defeat to Rogue at the 2015 WCS Global Finals. As Heart of the Swarm concluded, it appeared as if Maru's supposed wrists problems were heavily taxing him. He would not compete in any of the Legacy of the Void online events that were held by various organizers throughout the end of the year.
Legacy of the Void
Continuing with his disappointing results from BlizzCon 2015, Maru's initial forays into Legacy of the Void were largely unsuccessful. On December 17, 2015 Maru was a participant in Group B of the StarLeague Season 1 Qualifier. Despite receiving a bye and winning his subsequent match, he then lost to Soulkey. After defeating Bomber, he lost to ByuL in the decisive match. As a result of finishing third in his group Maru did not qualify for the 16-man 2016 StarCraft II StarLeague Season 1.
Maru did not appear in another televised match until February 2, 2016. The day after claiming a victory against Blaze in Week 1 of Round 1 of the Proleague Round 1, Maru faced off against Zest in 2016 GSL Season 1 Code A. He lost 3-0 and was eliminated from both individual leagues.
With GSL and SSL no longer priorities, Maru focused solely on 2016 Proleague. He finished Round 1 with a perfect record of 5-0. Not only was this the second highest number of victories of any player, but soO was the only other player with more than one win to post an undefeated record. Maru's victories in Round 1 included wins over Dear and INnoVation in consecutive weeks. In the Gold Challenger Match of the Round 1 Playoffs, Maru defeated Stats, TY and Leenock before losing to Zest. This performance catapulted the Jin Air Green Wings to the Round Final. It was there that Maru would defeat MyuNgSiK before falling to soO. Jin Air Green Wings went on to lose the match 4-2.
Maru continued his undefeated streak during Round 2. He went 6-0, leading Jin Air Green Wings to a first place record going into the Playoffs. Wins over Solar, aLive, Stats, Gumiho and Dark made Maru's performance one of the most impressive in recent Proleague history at the time. In the Round 2 Final against KT Rolster, Maru came out in the Ace Match and defeated Zest to break Jin Air Green Wings's mark of finishing second during four of the last five rounds of Proleague.
Meanwhile, Maru competed in the GSL Season 2 Qualifier on May 11, 2016. He won his group and advanced to Code A. The next day he participated in the StarLeague Season 2 Qualifier. He was placed into Group 5. He won his group placing him into Challenge. For the first time in Legacy of the Void, Maru would participate in both individual leagues as well as Proleague at the same time.
Maru's dominance continued in Round 3. He defeated Dear, TY and Classic, but suffered his first losses of the year against Super and Hush. Despite that, Jin Air Green Wings once again finished first and was seeded into the Finals of the Round 3 Playoffs. Maru did not participate in the match as Cure and sOs each recorded two victories to grant Jin Air Green Wings the victory. Maru finished Proleague with a 16-2 record (20-4 including Playoffs). His contributions to Jin Air Green Wings during all three rounds of Proleague gave them the first overall seed going into the Grand Playoffs.
At the same time, Maru played in the GSL Code A and SSL Challenge, once again on consecutive days. On June 22, Maru defeated TvT specialist Reality to advance to Code S. Maru's six-man group in SSL Season 2 Challenge contained Reality, Zest, Super, Losira and herO. He finished with a 4-6 record, eliminated from the competition. Nearly a month later, on July 15, Maru played in Code S. After beating soO 2-1 and RagnaroK 2-0, Maru advanced from Group D in first place. During the Round of 16 Group Nomination, Maru was the second to last player selected, placing him into Group C with Dear, ByuL and MyuNgSiK. These matches were played on August 17, 2016. They would prove to be Maru's last in either of the two major Starleagues in 2016.
Maru's first match was against MyuNgSiK. He lost 2-1. Paired up against ByuL in the loser's match, Maru managed a 2-0 victory. He would end up playing long time rival Dear in the final match. Dear claimed a decisive 2-0 victory to eliminate Maru from the competition. This left Maru with 900 WCS Points, rendering him ineligible for the 2016 WCS Global Finals.
On September 3, 2016 Maru participated in the Proleague Grand Finals alongside his team, the Jin Air Green Wings. Facing off against KT Rolster in the Proleague best of seven format, Maru was paired against TY on King Sejong Station in the second match. After Cure won the initial game of the series, Maru claimed victory with masterful Tank/Medivac play to put the Jin Air Green Wings ahead 2-0. After victories by Trap and sOs, the Jin Air Green Wings were crowned Champions of 2016 Proleague by a score of 4-0. Maru was named MVP of Proleague Grand Finals. His record at season's end, including playoffs, was 22-4. His 85% win rate far exceeded anyone else in Proleague. The most wins by a player with equal or less losses was MC with a 4-3 mark and only Stats posted more total victories (27).
On September 30, Maru played in Group D along with Patience, Classic and Nerchio of the 2016 KeSPA Cup. He fell to Patience in the first match by a score of 2-0. Paired up against Classic in the Loser's match, Maru would win 2-1, placing him in the Final Match of Group D. It was in this match against Nerchio, a player who had reportedly labeled Maru as "overrated" in an interview prior to the Group being played, that Maru would claim a 2-1 victory. This win had him advance out of his group in second place. In the Round of 8 of the KeSPA Cup, Maru was seeded to face Stats, who Maru has posted an 11-2 record against since 2015, including 9 consecutive game wins. Maru would take a 2-1 lead against Stats in their Best of 5 match before losing games 4 and 5 to fall by a score of 3-2, eliminating him from the tournament.
- Was described as a "Little teddy bear" by Lani during IGN ProLeague Season 4.
- Is the youngest Royal Roader in OSL history and the first eSF OSL champion.
- When Maru won his OSL title, he was one of two remaining players (alongside KangHo) from the 2010 GSL Open Season 1 still in Code S/Premier League.
- Was listed on Greatest Players of All Time list on TL as 13th.
- Is the first double Royal Roader in Starcraft 2 and second double Royal Roader after Boxer in Starcraft's history after he won 2015 StarCraft II StarLeague Season 1.
- Maru is one of the Four Horsemen of Terran, alongside INnoVation, TY, and ByuN.
|In Premier Tournaments|
|2017-06-14||3 - 4th||2017 Global StarCraft II League Season 2||2 : 4||GuMiho||$8,066|
|2017-01-15||2nd||World Electronic Sports Games 2016||3 : 4||TY||$100,000|
|2015-09-25||3 - 4th||2015 Global StarCraft II League Season 3||1 : 4||INnoVation||$3,610|
|2015-03-21||1st||2015 StarCraft II StarLeague Season 1||4 : 1||Dream||$36,068|
|2015-02-01||2nd||IEM Season IX - Taipei||3 : 4||Life||$4,000|
|2014-06-18||3 - 4th||2014 Global StarCraft II League Season 2||2 : 4||Classic||$7,612|
|2013-12-06||3 - 4th||2013 Hot6ix Cup||1 : 3||Soulkey||$3,764|
|2013-11-09||3 - 4th||2013 WCS Global Finals||1 : 3||Jaedong||$17,500|
|2013-10-27||3 - 4th||2013 WCS Season 3||1 : 3||Dear||$10,000|
|2013-10-09||3 - 4th||2013 WCS Season 3 Korea GSL||1 : 3||Dear||$7,000|
|2013-08-10||1st||2013 WCS Season 2 Korea OSL||4 : 2||Rain||$20,000|
|In Major Tournaments|
|2016-11-12||2nd||WESG 2016 - Asia-Pacific Qualifier||0 : 3||TY||$6,029|
|2013-09-27||3 - 4th||StarsWar League Season 3||2 : 3||HerO||$1,000|
|2013-02-07||1st||Asia Starcraft League||3 : 2||BboongBboong||$1,666|
|In Minor Tournaments|
|2016-07-04||2nd||Leifeng Cup 149|| 1 : 2
0 : 2
|2014-10-21||1st||Leifeng Cup Monthly #1||2 : 1||Solar||$1,000|
|In Premier Team Leagues|