Soulkey

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ZergSoulkey
Player Information
Name: 김민철
Romanized Name: Kim Min Chul
Birth: December 10, 1991 (1991-12-10) (age 22)
Country: South Korea South Korea
Race: Zerg
Team: SK Telecom T1
WCS Rank (Points): #49 (800 points)
Links
Achievements
2013 WCS Season 1 Korea GSL World Cyber Games 2013
History
2008-09-24 - 2013-12-13

2013-12-13 - Present


Kim "Soulkey" Min Chul is a StarCraft progamer from South Korea, and is currently a member of the SK Telecom T1[1]. Soulkey played his first official StarCraft II match during the hybrid 2011-2012 Proleague Season 2.[2]

Biography[edit]

Soulkey earned fame in 2010 as he achieved an impressive wins streak in the KeSPA Dream League 09–10, with a total record of 13–4.[3] He also all-killed STX SouL in the 2009/10 Shinhan Proleague Winners League Play-Off match.

Wings of Liberty[edit]

Soulkey played his first official StarCraft II match during the hybrid 2011-2012 Proleague Season 2.[2] Soulkey was one of the eight KeSPA-affiliated players to be sent to the KeSPA exhibition match at the 2012 MLG Spring Championship.[4]

OnGameNet Star II League[edit]

2012 OSL KeSPA Preliminaries[edit]

On July 19, 2012, Soulkey participated in the 2012 OSL KeSPA Preliminaries. Soulkey received a BYE in round one and then took down Acacia, Sea, and faced Shuttle in the finals. After taking down Shuttle by a score of 2:1, Soulkey advanced in to the 2012 OSL KeSPA Dual Tournament. He ended his OSL run by going 0-2 in the KeSPA Dual Tournament, losing to both Rain and INnoVation.

Global StarCraft II League[edit]

SoulKey was seeded into Code S of the 2012 GSL Season 5.[5] He lost his first match against HerO, but managed to beat Maru in the losers' match and HerO in the final match to advance to the next round. In his Ro16 group, he defeated defending champion Life twice with a combined 4-0 record, advancing to the playoffs and securing a Code S spot for the next season. In the round of 8, he was defeated 3-0 by Innovation.

In the 2013 GSL Season 1 he proceeded to win his Ro32 group without dropping a map to Noblesse and TaeJa, thus advancing him to Ro16. There he defeated MarineKing and Squirtle with 2-1 records to reach the playoffs for the second season in a row. However, he was stopped again in the Ro8, this time with a 3-2 loss to TaeJa.

Heart of the Swarm[edit]

Heart of a Champion[edit]

With the release of Heart of the Swarm, SoulKey continued playing as a top level Zerg player, often acting as the Zerg ace for his team in Proleague. His first 15 games in Proleague saw him go 12-3, which helped secure Woongjin Stars in the number one position. Prior to the release of the expansion, SoulKey had great consistency in the individual leagues, reaching the round of 8 in the last two GSLs. Going into the first WCS Korea GSL event, he was regarded as one of the better Zerg players in the world. In the first group stage, SoulKey took out Maru before falling to the Brood War legend Flash. However he managed to defeat Maru again later in the night to achieve a second place finish in the group and moving on to the next round. There he managed to win his group, taking out YoDa and teammate Flying to move onto the round of 8 for the third season in the row. He faced PartinG in the round of 8, and managed to defeat the Protoss player 3-2 to move on to the round of 4 to face another Protoss teammate in sOs. With Woongjin Stars guaranteed a player in the finals, the semi-finals round was a very odd series as SoulKey managed to dominate sOs in the first three games, absolutely crushing his teammate. However sOs managed to make a comeback in the following three games in some messy games that showed SoulKey's nerves getting to him. Despite losing three games in a row, SoulKey managed to close out the series in the last map to move onto the finals.

The finals against INnoVation was hyped up incredibly by both fans and casters alike. Both players were seen as the top players of their race going into the series that crushed their opponents with their solid macro. INnoVation started the series off with a proxy 2 Barracks attack which caught SoulKey off guard which quickly ended the game. SoulKey played a heavy Roach style in the following two games, but ultimately could not crack the defenses of the STX player. Falling down 0-3, it looked like SoulKey would be taken out very quickly. But through some clever Roach/Baneling all-ins and timing attacks, SoulKey managed to pull through and secure two back to back wins to bring the score to 2-3. INnoVation attempted to do another proxy 2 Barracks attack in the sixth game, but this time SoulKey scouted it and prepared a solid defense back home and then immediately counterattacked. After busting down a five Supply Depot wall, INnoVation gg'd out and the series was taken to the seventh game. Up until this point, only two previous GSL finals had a player up three games but still be taken to the ace match. However in both those situations, the Terran players (MMA and Mvp) ended up winning the last game to take the championship anyways. However SoulKey broke the trend, going for a macro-based Muta-Ling-Bane style which ended up doing enough damage to INnoVation's economy that he could not get the steam to keep up with the Zerg player. Through two decisive moves, SoulKey secured his position as GSL Champion. As SoulKey was building his Mutalisk army, INnoVation had scouted well, and prepared a three-medivac drop. However, SoulKey did not move his mutas from their defensive position, and killed all three medivacs full of units, granting him a 30 supply lead. This left INnoVation reeling, and SoulKey decided it was time to attack. After damaging the main significantly with Mutas, SoulKey killed the third, crushing the economy of INnovation. After a small skirmish and good widow mine hits, INnoVation conceded the match, and Soulkey became the very first Heart of the Swarm champion; he also became the first player to recover from a 0-3 deficit in a GSL finals to win an emotional series.

Due to Soulkey's performance in the first Season of WCS he would make the Season 1 Finals, he was placed in a group where he would face aLive and TLO he managed to easily defeat both of them, allowing him to advance into the Round of 8 where he faced RorO who was considered to be another strong zerg player despite that however Soulkey showed his dominance by defeating him with a score of 3-1. His opponent would be his team-mate sOs whom defeated Soulkey in a close series 3-2.

The 2nd season of WCS came around, where Soulkey would advance into the Round of 8 only losing one best of 1 to YugiOh. His opponent would be what some considered his 'Rival', INnoVation, the series was hyped however Soulkey would not be able to win the series losing 0-3. Soulkey's tournament would continue in the 5th place decider matches where he faced SuperNova who had quite the strong resurgence in his results, despite most people expecting Soulkey to win he did not and would lose 1-2 meaning Soulkey would not be at the WCS Season 2 Finals.

The next GSL Premier League season saw Soulkey topping his Ro32 Protoss-heavy group, after beating Pigbaby and PartinG, and avoiding a match against Swagger with relative ease. In Ro16, however, things got tricky after Soulkey lost the opening match to Sleep, but after beating DongRaeGu and taking revenge on Sleep, Soulkey earned his fifth consecutive playoff berth in GSL/OSL. He met Rain in Ro8 and dispatched SK Telecom T1's' Protoss player with a 3-0 score. However, he was dismantled by Rain's teammate, soO, 0-3 in the semifinals, getting 3rd-4th place this season and clinching his spot at WCS Season 3 Finals.

Soulkey got placed into a group with MC, Polt and Hack which was quickly called a group of death. Despite losing to MC in the opening set, Soulkey was able to win against Polt and Hack to secure his Ro8 berth. There, he acted like both a Protoss killer and NaNiwa's saviour, by sweeping both Oz and Trap, who were threatening to overtake the Swedish Protoss in the WCS rankings. After getting those sweeps, he was considered a huge favourite against the reigning GSL champion Dear in the finals but was surprisigly swept 0-4 and finished the tournament at 2nd place.

Two weeks after, Soulkey entered the final stage, the WCS Global Finals at Blizzcon, as #1 seed in WCS rankings and one of the biggest favourites to take it. Funnily enough, he was destined to play NaNiwa, a player who he just saved during Season 3 Finals, but after quick set of games, Soulkey took the series 3-1 and eliminated the last foreign hope. However, he got outplayed by Bomber in the Ro8 and finished season at 5th-8th place, watching his Woongjin Stars teammate sOs clinch the title.

Soon after, Soulkey played at WCG 2013, where he was able to go because of INnoVation's forfeit. He topped his group 14-2, dropping maps only to Ian and Clannad and then proceeded to beat Sen 3-0, recovered after being down 1-2 to win 3-2 against Jim, and then dropped first map to Sora just to win three straight maps and secure his second championship.

Few days later, Soulkey was seeded to play in Hot6ix Cup because of his championship in the first WCS GSL of 2013. He took down Bomber 3-2 after being down 0-2, getting little revenge for his loss at WCS Global Finals. He then won against another Terran player, Maru, collecting another win against the youngster from Prime. In an exciting Bo7 series in the finals, Rain's defence proved to be too much for Soulkey, and he conceded the series 2-4 and took another 2nd place.

A new home: SK Telecom T1[edit]

On 13 December 2013, after Woongjin Stars disbanded, Soulkey joined the powerhouse SK Telecom T1.

On February 6, 2014, Soulkey tried to qualify for IEM World Championship through the Asian Qualifier. In a extremely hard run, Soulkey was able to take down INnoVation, EffOrt, Bbyong and PartinG just to lose to Rogue and miss an opportunity.

In his sixth consecutive GSL/OSL appearance, Soulkey started his journey in WCS 2014 by participating in 2014 GSL Season 1 Code S. On February 14, he was able to sweep his Ro32 group with Squirtle, Pet and Sora and clinch his Ro16 spot. However, he dropped series to both Dear and Zest, therefore falling for the first time into Code A.

In Code A, he was able to win against hyvaa and Ruin, even winning a game where Ruin drew a "S" letter with pylons in the middle of Frost, securing his sixth Code S appearance in a row. Ro32 matched Soulkey with his former teammate in Woongjin Stars, sOs and the Zerg player was able to top his group 4-2 after beating YongHwa and sOs. In the Ro16, Iron Wall met another group of death with Zest, INnoVation and his eternal kryptonite Shine. Finally, Soulkey was able to take Shine down, bringing the record to 2-8 but after a loss to Zest, he played another series against INnoVation, winning 2-1 and moved into the Ro8, clinching in the mean time his seed for the next Code S GSL. In the Ro8, he met Maru, who was down 3-13 to Soulkey before this series. However, Maru was able to take Soulkey down 3-1 and drop the Zerg player out of tournament.

Trivia[edit]

  • Lost his first official SC2 match against Trap.
  • Is the first GSL champion to initially fall behind 0-3 in the finals only to sweep the next four games and win 4-3.
  • Is the very first GSL Heart of the Swarm Champion.
  • During 2013 WCS Season 1 he won Bo3 in Rock-Paper-Scissors against Apollo 2-0. As a result, Apollo is supposed to buy dinner for himself, Soulkey, Day9 and Chobra.
  • Starting November 21, 2012, every tournament Soulkey has attended, he has gotten to the quarterfinals or higher. This ended on March 6, 2014, when he finished in the GSL Ro16 after losing to Dear and Zest 2-1 each.
  • Has a very lovely room according to soO.[6][7]

Achievements[edit]

In Premier Tournaments
Date Place Event Result Winnings
2013-12-08 GOMTV Global StarCraft II League A22nd Hot6ix Cup 2 : 4 Protoss Rain $7,569
2013-12-01 World Cyber Games A11st World Cyber Games 2013 3 : 1 Protoss Sora $30,000
2013-10-27 World Championship Series A22nd 2013 WCS Season 3 0 : 4 Protoss Dear $20,000
2013-10-09 World Championship Series A33 - 4th 2013 WCS Season 3 Korea GSL 0 : 3 Zerg soO $7,000
2013-06-09 World Championship Series A33 - 4th 2013 WCS Season 1 2 : 3 Protoss sOs $10,000
2013-06-01 World Championship Series A11st 2013 WCS Season 1 Korea GSL 4 : 3 Terran INnoVation $20,000
In Major Tournaments
Date Place Event Result Winnings
2013-08-18 A44th 2013 WCG Korea National Finals 0 : 2 Terran INnoVation
Complete Results in any Tournament

Championships[edit]

World Cyber Games World Cyber Games Champion
WCG 2012
Preceeded By:
South Korea Protoss PartinG
World Cyber Games 2013
1 December 2013
South Korea Zerg Soulkey

Succeeded By:
None/TBD

Interviews[edit]

2014[edit]

2013[edit]

2012[edit]

Articles[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

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