|NC Dinos players celebrate with a giant sword after winning the 2020 Korean Series against the Doosan Bears in Game 6 at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Yonhap|
After clinching their first-ever South Korean baseball championship Tuesday night, the NC Dinos celebrated their victory with ... a sword?
No, it wasn't the actual trophy for the Korean Series champions. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) doesn't hand out swords or any form of replica weapons.
You see, the Dinos are owned by NCSOFT, one of South Korea's top game developers. The sword that was brought onto the mound at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, after the Dinos' 4-2 victory over the Doosan Bears in Game 6, was the real-life replica of the "Execution Sword," a highly coveted item from "Lineage," one of NC's signature games.
Team captain and Korean Series MVP Yang Eui-ji pulled the sword out of its case and held it up high, and teammates surrounding him raised their arms in one of the truly unique championship celebrations in league history.
The actual trophy was presented later in the ceremony, and it looked rather lame in comparison to the sword.
Yang said afterward that second baseman Park Min-woo broached the idea during the regular season.
"'Lineage' has basically kept us afloat," Yang quipped. "We wanted our ownership to feel proud of our championship. Min-woo said we should do something game-related because NC is so closely associated with games. The company made an awesome replica for us."
NCSOFT CEO Kim Taek-jin, a baseball enthusiast who attended every Korean Series game, unveiled the sword himself and bumped fists with players in celebration.
The sword fit in nicely with the Dinos' postseason motto, "All for One, One for All," inspired by "The Three Musketeers." The players all wore the "All for One" patch on their jerseys. In the background of those letters on the patch are three baseball bats, representing swords from the Three Musketeers, the club explained. (Yonhap)