Korean DJ: The Comeback Kid

ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / FRANK FILIPPAZZO – STAFF WRITER / JULY 22ND, 2021 /

If at first, you don’t succeed, try again, again and again… That’s the motto from a former retired Korean American Smash player Daniel Jung otherwise known as gaming alias, Korean DJ. He shocked the smash community in 2006 by being unknown then working his way up to becoming one of the greatest smashers of all time.

Although this story seems like a happy one, it is not without its suffering. Korean DJ knows pain. When he was little, in 2002, his father was in a horrible traffic accident with only a 10 percent chance of living. In the hospital, his father didn’t care about the odds, he was just planning to get better. This persistence and overwhelming attitude to move forward were an inspiration for DJ as a kid. To see how someone can be so determined to get through the most unfortunate circumstance transitioned to DJ well while growing up. This unpredictability changed DJ from being a kid to someone who understood the fragilities of life.

Money matches became synonymous with Korean DJ. Every time he would go to these events he would challenge top players to a money match. He would challenge anyone better than him; he knew they would probably win, but it was still an investment for the future. This unorthodox route to the top did not seemingly head in that direction when KDJ started. He would always lose and then challenge them again for next week. This persistence in coming back again and again after failure not only didn’t discourage him but made him stronger.

Although the return on investment wasn’t clear at the time, it was most definitely a return in the end. He expected a lot of monetary losses from his investment but would gain something of intrinsic worth. For only 5 dollars, KDJ gained the knowledge and experience of what it was like to play against some of the best players in the world. This knowledge was later used to improve KDJ skills drastically in such a short amount of time, making him one of the best gamers out there.

After all these losses he became the comeback kid beating everyone drastically who used to always beat him. He learned a lot from his losses. He learned how professionals play compared to amateurs. He had a front-row seat to some of the biggest gamers around, and he only had to pay 5 bucks.

He started defeating some of the best gamers out there such as Hungrybox, PC Chris, Mew2King, and Ken. Other players would go from being very sorry for him to respecting him for getting beat so many times until he started to beat them. He would say getting beat was worth it in regards to the knowledge he’s gained from top players.

In addition to Smash, he is also a very accomplished musician. He went from being a musician who couldn’t even read sheet music to a concertmaster in 4 years. He covers old songs and composes new ones. He would play for hours and hours until he got good enough. This ability to keep trying and be the best transitioned well to smash.

KDJ would start his career competing in the Major League Gaming series of tournaments. His first was 9th at MLG New York in 2006, then MLG Dallas 2006, and then MLG Anaheim 2006. His first most notable tournament was at MLG Orlando 2006 when he defeated Ken and Mew2king in winners brackets but then lost to Aizen and Chu, finishing in 3rd place.

In 2007 during a tournament when he defeated the greatest smasher of all times. KDJ went from nothing to one of the greatest smashers of all time in less than a year. On March 18th, 2014, he joined Team Liquid with his inspiration Ken where they would partner up in 2v2s for some of the biggest tournaments such as SKTAR 3, SSS Lock-In, MLG Anaheim 2014, CEO 2014, and Apex 2015. Although the two didn’t win, they did very well in all of them.

As a part of Team Liquid he will get 17th at Apex 2014, 29th at MLG Anaheim 2014, 17th at CEO 2014, and 65th at EVO 2014.

Legacy

On September 28th, 2015 due to severe wrist and hand pain he was forced to retire from eSports but came back temporarily for one last tournament a year later at Shine 2016. To this day Korean DJ serves as a beacon of hope. If he can do something so incredible in such a short amount of time then why can’t I? Despite all the hardships, in the end, it only made him stronger.

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