MVP.Hot6’s Lee “Heen” Seung Gon is one of the Korean rising stars that has graced the Dota 2 scene in recent years. Big in esports in general, Korea has recently become more invested in Dota 2. In his TI5 player profile, Heen opens up about the impact his military service had on his professional gaming career and the opportunities that came his way afterwards.
Coming from Korea – a country that has one of the biggest esports scenes in the world, Heen started playing video games in his childhood, around the age of eight or nine.
It wasn’t uncommon for him to see many professional gamers around, making a lot of money and becoming famous.
The more he saw it, the more it appealed to him. Furthermore, the more he tried, the more he felt that he could become one as well.
By the time he was 22 years old, he was playing competitively and felt that his career was finally going to take off.
In an industry where those in their late teens and early twenties seem to dominate the top spots, Heen was just on the edge of breaking in. And then he didn’t.
Within moments, his dream would have to be put on hold for some time. He was called to complete his mandatory military service at the age of 24.
With dismay, Heen admits that the military service was a difficult time for him. He thought he was playing his best Dota just before he had to abruptly be removed from the scene, after years of striving towards his goal.
He spent the following years after his military service, trying to put the pieces back together and recover from his absence.
It was kind of like recovering from an injury, it happened and you can’t really do much about it. I just tried my best to get back in shape again.
Towards the end of Heen’s service, Park “March” Tae-won recruited him to play for the Korean organization MVP. Even though Heen had not been part of the competitive scene for two years, March had faith in his talent and abilities and didn’t hesitate to reach out. It was then, in November 2013, that Heen would start his professional Dota 2 career, playing for MVP’s maid squad.
In his time there, the team was able to grasp several championship titles for national and regional tournaments. They also had the opportunity to compete in some international events, with commendable finishes. Heen played together with March for over a year before the MVP organization decided to split up their core players into two teams. Heen was transferred to MVP.Hot6 in March 2015.
The move to MVP.Hot6ix put Heen in the captain’s role – a great responsibility that he had earned. Heen takes his role seriously and realizes that being a captain is not only about giving orders or making strategies.
My role on the team, as a captain, is to make sure that everyone on my team is given a chance to play their A game, so I want to give them confidence. I think that’s my biggest job as a captain.
Only two months after the team was reformed, MVP.Hot6 won the MPGL Season 7 LAN finals – their first LAN tournament together. Shortly afterwards, they would leave Dota 2 fans in awe with their spectacular performances during the TI5 Sea Qualifiers.
The journey to come this far and make a professional career out of Dota 2 took many years, more than expected due to Heen’s setbacks. However, through it all, he never stopped trying and he never gave up.
I hope that TI5 will be the tournament that proves to me that my team can be one of the best. But, it would basically be a statement for myself that I can achieve anything as long as I don’t give up.
Watch Lee “Heen” Seung Gon’s player profile:
Read an in-depth profile feature about Heen’s team – MVP.Hot6: Korea’s wonder kids set course for TI5 main event