Vision Strikers' MaKo isn't an 'idiot that can only shoot heads' anymore
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Original Reporting

Vision Strikers player Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan was like a lot of other VALORANT players when he began his professional career. The 19-year-old didn’t know that VALORANT would change his life and send him on two trips to Berlin to compete on the international stage. He’s come a long way from using his original gamer tag, Babo.

“When it’s actually translated, literally it kind of means stupid or idiot. It’s not the nicest of words,” MaKo said through a translator. “I didn’t have anything else to use at the time. It’s kind of used in the sense that I’m an idiot that can only shoot heads.”

MaKo originally played for South Korean organization TUBEPLE Gaming before signing with Vision Strikers in May. He changed his name after Vision Strikers founder Can Yang asked him to use something more appropriate.

Vision Strikers
Vision Strikers were one of the favorites headed into Champions | Photo by Lance Skundrich for Riot Games

“I used my initial of my first and last name instead of the two B’s in Babo,” he said.

MaKo said he also believes he’s grown a lot since referring to himself in such a derogatory way.

“I can confidently tell you that I’ve grown, but in the past I used to play a lot with the Vandal,” MaKo said. “Playing with the Phantom, I do have less headshots now.”

MaKo and the rest of Vision Strikers will face Anthony “vanity” Malaspina and the rest of Cloud9 on Dec. 7 at 9 a.m. ET. He said he knows the team will have a lot of work to do after losing to Fnatic in a three map series that ended with Fracture.

“I think for the rest of time, we’ll be spending most of our time in front of our practice PCs,” MaKo said. “I think we have to make sure we are prepared well. We don’t want to be overconfident.”

Aron Garst looks at esports from a different point of view by tackling the ways games are molded and broken by players around the world. He covers Call of Duty, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros, and everything else for Upcomer. You can read his previous work at WIRED, Rolling Stone, ESPN and elsewhere. Rise up red sea.
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