Lim "BoxeR" Yo Hwan, one of the most famous players in e-sports history, might not make his return to Starcraft II until the release of Heart of the Swarm. BoxeR has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since May 1, forcing him to forfeit his GSL games and drop out of competition temporarily.
In a new interview conducted by gamechosun.co.kr's Siwoo Lee, SlayerS founder and captain BoxeR discusses his current state and when we might see The Terran Emperor--so named for his innovative and dominating play as the human faction--return to action. "This is the longest break that I've had since my debut as a Starcraft player; it's been nice," said BoxeR, who has been competing professionally since 2000. "I might return at Heart of Swarm's release, or possibly sooner than that."
SlayerS coach Hong "Cella" Seung Pyo feels the Heart of the Swarm launch time frame might be the more appropriate one for a return. "Lately, he doesn't even play the game at all. I think that he will probably return with Heart of the Swarm." BoxeR has been undergoing treatment for his shoulder, but has not had surgery.
Earlier this month it was reported that Blizzard is "99 percent done" with Heart of the Swarm, but that company is still on "Blizzard time," and it will be done when it's done. Heart of the Swarm lead designer Dustin Browder talked to GameSpot about putting the finishing touches on the last 1 percent, stating the process was more difficult and meticulous than the first 99 percent.
Blizzard has not committed to a 2012 launch for Heart of the Swarm, so BoxeR might be sidelined until sometime next year. With such a long break, he was asked if he was worried about losing his game sense and general skill level.
"The release of Heart of the Swarm would make the game completely new again, having everyone start from the beginning. Plus, having a convenient interface in Starcraft II, I am not so worried about it," BoxeR said. "Unlike Starcraft 1, which had almost no updated patches at all, Starcraft II is divided into three games and multiple patches, which gives less pressure."
The longtime Terran player may not be as satisfied with the game itself, which has been seen by some as helping out Protoss and Zerg more than the race that he has used throughout his entire Starcraft 1 and Starcraft II career. That may force BoxeR into a position he has never been in before: a different race.
"It seems like things are continuously getting worse for Terran. I might switch to either Protoss or Zerg," BoxeR said. When asked if he was serious in switching races, he said, "Actually I am half joking and half serious, but there is no law requiring me to play only Terran forever. I think that being able to embrace other races easily is one of the pros of Starcraft II."
No matter when BoxeR returns, his fans worldwide will be waiting for him. He'll have his chance with OnGameNet StarLeague switching to Starcraft II for the first time, giving him the opportunity to win the Golden Mouse, which is awarded to any player who has won three OSL championships. Only four players in history have ever won the Golden Mouse: Lee "NaDa" Yoon Yeol, Park "July" Sung Joon, Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong, and Lee "Flash" Young Ho. BoxeR's last title win came over a decade ago in 2001.
"Of course, I'd love to stand on the stage I've always dreamed of," said BoxeR. "When you're on a winning streak, winning isn't inspiring anymore, but when you lose continuously, winning once gives you all the excitement you need."