South Korea despite being a huge esports driven country in the East has never had a big fan following when it comes to the twenty-year-old competitive shooter Counter-Strike. The game could never develop a proper fan following within the country, especially due to the ‘PC Bang Incident’ which took place in 2004. Former CS:GO player Seon-ho "xeta" Son was able to shed some more light on the incident showcasing how Valve themselves was responsible for killing the game’s popularity in the country.
Note: A ‘PC Bang’ is a type of LAN gaming centre popular in South Korea, where patrons can play multiplayer computer games for an hourly fee.
In a recent interview with DBLTAP, retired Korean CS:GO player xeta revealed the reason behind the demise of Counter-Strike in South Korea. How a game which is hugely popular all over Asia failed to find a stable footing within the country.
Xeta while answering the question touches upon the ‘PC Bang Incident’ which took place in the early years of the game way back in 2004. Apparently, Valve had taken a decision to charge $15 a month for each PC that ran the game across all the PC Bangs in Korea, this was a huge factor that killed the Korean CS scene.
Recollecting an old conversation he had with his former teammates Keun-chul "solo" Kang, Min-soo "glow" Kim, and their coach Seon-ho "termi" Pyeon, xeta shared the story saying that “The tactical FPS was very dominant and popular. Back then, half of the people would play Starcraft and the other half would either play Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six before the PC Bang incident in 2004.”
Despite all these setbacks the Korean CS:GO team of MVP PK found immense success both within Asia and on an international stage as well. Though the team never won a top-tier international tournament, they were often witnessed securing a slot for these competitions mostly through the regional qualifiers.
After running a CS:GO team successfully for almost four years, MVP PK is currently left without a CS:GO team as their lineup disbanded to focus their efforts and seek a future in VALORANT.