State of Play

2013 / Belgium, South Korea / 96min

Every year thousands of South-Koreans flock to the game stadiums in Seoul to watch the Pro League, a live sports event where professional gamers compete to be the best at one single video game: Starcraft. It’s a title many young South Koreans dream of. The game itself is more than a decade old, almost ancient in the fast developing world of video games, but in South Korea it has become a national past-time. Like most specator sports, this world of eSports rapidly evolved in a multi-million dollar business.
The stars of the Starcraft league are national celebrities, participating on all levels of popular culture. 24hr TV networks devote entire theme shows to a single player, while teenage girls from Seoul devote their entire teenage life to the fan club of their favourite gaming star. As top players earn hundreds of thousands of euros, being a Starcraft player isn’t only a wise career move, it is also the path to respect and credibility in the highly competitive society of South Korea.They are envied and admired because they do what they love and make a lot of money doing so. Unfortunately few people realise these gamers live a spartan life of training and competition - just as any other professional athlete.
However, a series of radical events has broken the status quo of the Korean eSports scene. First there was the match-fixing scandal, where several high profile players were caught losing games in exchange for money. Soon after that, Starcraft II, a follow-up to the game was released. New players entered the scene and brand new tournaments were established. As eSports finally became global, the South-Korean professional gaming scene faced a clear-cut choice: adapt or perish.
In this story, we follow 3 characters in different stages of their career as a Pro-Gamer in South Korea. For some it will be a struggle to stay on top of their game, for others it might be the turning point of their lives.



  • Original title
    State of Play
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Steven Dhoedt
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Steven Dhoedt
  • Editing
    Gert Van Berckelaer
  • Music
    Regina Lok Yan To
  • Sound
    Raf Enckels
  • Duration
    96 min
  • Year
  • Country
    • Belgium
    • South Korea
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Audio Tracks
  • Subtitles
  • Production
    Rue Bara 173-177
    B-1070 Brussels
    tel: (+32) (0)2 560 21 27
    fax: (+32) (0)70 41 60 95
  • Distribution
  • Awards


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