Retired CS:GO Player Xeta Reveals Why Counter-Strike Failed in South Korea

Aditya Singh Rawat
Published On: 
  • Retired South Korean player Xeta talks about the reason behind Counter-Strike's failure in South Korea.
  • He mentions the infamous 'PC Bang Incident' from 2004 which let to the demise of Counter-Strike in the country.
  • Despite all this MVP PK turned out to be quite a successful Asian CS:GO team.

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.

Xeta Talks About CS:GO’s Failure In South Korea

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.”

Retired CS:GO Player Xeta Reveals Why Counter-Strike Failed in South Korea
Xeta at StarLadder Berlin Major 2019The incident led to all the PC Bangs banning Valve games including Counter-Strike, and that was pretty much the end for the game in the country as “No one has been playing Counter-Strike in PC Bangs since then.” This was also the turning point for the Korean esports scene which underwent a massive shift, with games like ‘Sudden Attack’ and ‘Special Force’ becoming popular and effectively replacing Counter-Strike.

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.

Retired CS:GO Player Xeta Reveals Why Counter-Strike Failed in South Korea
MVP PK at eXTREMESLAND 2018Xeta discussed a lot of other things like his time in Tyloo, how he pursued a career in CS:GO despite the setbacks, his decision to turn towards VALORANT, his thoughts on the game, and more.

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.

Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.

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