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Player to Watch: Will DRG Return as the GOAT of Zerg?

Is DRG on his way to become “the best Zerg in StarCraft 2” again? DRG was a monster Zerg player in the early days of StarCraft 2 and is now making a comeback in the summer of 2020. DRG was also the first player to reach 4000 ranked ladder points on in StarCraft 2.

DRG kissing his trophy in GSL Season 1 in 2012.

Park Soo Ho, aka “DRG,” is a former pro player from South Korea who plays as Zerg, the villainous race of the series. The StarCraft universe revolves around the human Terran race encountering the insectoid Zerg alien race infesting their settlements and taking over planets. The Terrans eventually team up with the high-tech slightly humanoid Protoss alien race to exterminate the threat of the Zerg from the universe. A Terran vs. Zerg match is the quintessential match up of good vs. evil in StarCraft

In 2011 DRG started to gain attention by winning competitions and matching in various StarCraft 2 leagues. During this time, he was regarded as the best player in the Zerg vs. Terran matchup. DRG kept competing until 2014 before having to fulfill his mandatory military service in Korea, which is usually considered the end of a Korean’s pro gamer career. 

DRG Player Photo courtesy of Arnstein Klevin

But DRG has recently come back into pro gaming after taking a long break. He is now one of the oldest pro gamers in the scene at the age of 29. DRG recently placed into the second GSL season for 2020 with a sweeping 3-0 victory against Terran player INnoVation and a 2-1 victory over Terran player Maru. These matches were major upsets in the GSL that nobody saw coming. DRG was finally eliminated in a Zerg vs. Zerg 0-3 against Rogue and walked with $8,500 for placing in 3rd place in the recent GSL Season. Rogue went on to place first in the series after crushing Protoss player Stats in the final matches, so DRG lost to an extremely tough opponent.

DRG vs Rogue in GSL 2020 Season 2. Courtesy of AfrecaTV

August has been a busy month for DRG competitively. After the GSL matchup, he went 2-0 against Protoss player Nice in the ESL Open Cup #31 in Korea, and then lost 1-2 against Zerg soO in the same ESL Open Cup #31. DRG won 1st place in the recent OlimoLeauge Week #200 without losing a single match in the series, winning 2-0 against TaeJa, NightMare, and Silky before winning 3-0 against Cure in the final match. Then DRG placed 3rd in the Alpha X Series Special #6 and lost 0-3 against Protoss player Zest. DRG also placed 4th in the ITaX Series #14 losing 2-3 in a best of 5 against Cure. Though these are leagues smaller than the GSL, he is still playing top tier players. 

DRG vs SpeCial Attacking with Mutalisks in GSL. Courtesy of GSL

So far 2020 has been hit and miss for DRG. While he has placed in some tournaments and won some significant prize money for a StarCraft 2 player, he has also not been the most consistent player. This has been a running theme with DRG since he first went pro in 2011. It seems that he has his good days where he can go 3-0 against an opponent and bad days where he is the one losing 0-3. Maybe DRG needs to study his opponents’ replays more before matches, I can’t be sure.  On his best days he can rank in the top 4 players in the global league, and then lose to the same opponents later in a smaller tournament. Maybe DRG does better when the stakes are high and thrives off competition. 

DRG’s Esports Earnings from 2011-2020. Courtesy of Team Liquid

Whatever happens with DRG, we can only hope he keeps training and sticks around the pro circuit as new faces are hard to come by in professional StarCraft and we hardly ever see comebacks from older players. We can only hope that some epic Zerg vs. Terran matches are in store. I can say myself that I would love to see DRG go up against all the pro Terrans he beat in the recent GSL 2020 Season 2 like Maru, INnoVation and SpeCial again in the future. 
My only advice for DRG is the classic StarCraft saying: GL;HF. Good luck and have fun.

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