SPA’V’ GOLD MEDALIST KIM KWAN-WOO, A FORMER OFFICE WORKER, ‘THE BEST OF THE BEST’
Kim Kwan-woo, 44, who represented South Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) in Street Fighter V (SPARV) and won the sport’s first gold medal on Monday, is the only athlete in his 40s and the oldest member of an eSports team that is largely comprised of teens and 20-somethings.Kim is one of the so-called “old-timers” (a gaming slang term for old-timers) who rose to prominence in the late 1990s by winning local and international tournaments for the fighting game “The King of Fighters” series .Kim switched to the Street Fighter series in the 2000s and competed in the Evolution Championship Series (EVO), an international fighting game tournament held in the United States .Earlier this year, he reached the round of 16 at Capcom Cup IX, a tournament organized by Capcom, the company behind Street Fighter, and won the Korean regional title at Capcom Pro Tour World Warrior 2022. Kim Kwan-woo won the second Hangzhou AG Representative Selection, joining first-time winner Yeon Jegil (36) on the national team roster. After winning his first match against Kazakhstan to earn a spot in the winners’ bracket, Kim went on to defeat Singapore and Japan, as well as Chinese Taipei’s Hsiang-Yu Lin and Lin Liwei, to reach the final on an ‘undefeated’ run. His teammate, Yeon Je-gil, ended his AG campaign on June 26 with a disappointing 2:1 loss to Japan’s Kenryo Hayashi in straight sets. Unlike other events such as League of Legends (LoL) and Battlegrounds Mobile, where professional gamers belonging to specialized esports teams competed, Kim Kwan-woo has been combining his professional life with his work life. He usually interacts with his fans as a game streamer on the internet broadcasting platform Twitch. Fighting games are a genre of games in which players control various characters and try to be the first to reduce their opponent’s health to zero. “Street Fighter” is the most famous fighting game brand, celebrating its 36th anniversary this year. The original “Street Fighter” was released in 1987 by Japanese game company Capcom, and it was popularized in Korea through the 1990s arcade game “Street Fighter 2”.The latest installment is Street Fighter 6, which was released in June, but this AG was held for its predecessor, Street Fighter V, 바카라사이트 which came out in 2016.