On August 22nd (KST), ‘Team Seoul’ of Overwatch League hosted their first press conference in Four Seasons Hotel Seoul. The press conference revealed the roster of first six players of the team and future plans of the team, and after a cake-cutting ceremony, it ended with a Q&A session.
Kevin Chu, CEO of KSV eSports and the owner of Team Seoul, made an introductory speech by sharing his dream of future of esports. “It’s my dream for esports athletes to be as respected as Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Brady - equally - as the most respected athletes in the world.”
He continued, by bridging the best of Korea and the best of Silicon Valley, he believes that the players - the greatest asset of Team Seoul - will be given the best in training, living conditions, and diet to increase their abilities and make them compete against teams around the world with the best of their abilities.
After the introductory speech, the six initial players of Team Seoul were officially announced, and they were all part of Lunatic-Hai: Inje ”EscA” Kim, Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu, Jinmo “tobi” Yang, Jinhyuk “Miro” Gong, Junhyuk “zunba” Kim and Gido “Gido” Moon.
Inje "EscA" Kim, the team captain for Lunatic-Hai, first went up to the stage and shared how much he was looking forward to his new team. “I expect a lot from Team Seoul and how the team will have first-class infrastructure. I hope Team Seoul of OWL will have a good brand like prestigious clubs of traditional sports. I’ll do my best.”
Next was Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu, who shared how honored he was to be in the team. “I’m grateful for being given the chance to compete against the world. I’ll do my best to show the fans what I can do for the team.” When asked about his goals with the team, he answered “I want to contribute to the team so that we can win the Overwatch League, and I’ll do my best to make Overwatch more popular than being just an esports but as much as traditional sports.”
The third player to be introduced was Jinmo “tobi” Yang. After showing appreciation of how happy he was to be with Team Seoul, he shared excitement for the new team’s player welfare. “Pros need to take good care of themselves, whether it be health, performance and mentality. I’ve heard that the team is going to take care of all three and give us a chance to learn English and improve ourselves.”
When Jinhyuk “Miro” Gong was introduced on stage, he expressed confidence on how he thinks they’ll win the Overwatch League because the team is made of “best players, best coaching staffs and best infrastructure”. Junhyuk “Zunba” Kim was also aiming to be the champion of Season 1 of OWL, and he expected good things with teammates and the coaching staffs.
The final and sixth member was Gido “Gido” Moon. He acknowledged how ‘lucky’ he was to win APEX and be a part of Team Seoul as soon as he joined Lunatic-Hai. However, he expressed how much responsibility that he feels as the youngest and newest player on the team, and promised how he won’t play like a rookie. “I’ll do my best as the representative of Seoul.” He concluded with a vow.
After the introduction of six players, two of coaching staffs were introduced on stage as well: Lunatic-Hai’s Director Gwangjin Baek, and Lead Coach Hojung "alwaysoov" Chae. Coach alwaysoov appreciated how he was tasked to be the lead coach of the team. “I agree with what Kevin Chou has said about the vision of Team Seoul, and I’ll do my best to make our players play to the best of their abilities with good playing environment and infrastructure.”
The roster introduction concluded with Director Park. He said, “I’d like to thank Kevin Chou for allowing the players and the coaching staffs who managed to achieve two consecutive wins in APEX. As the two-time champion of APEX, we'll lift up the trophy for Overwatch League just as we did for APEX.” He ended with a comment about finding the additional six players to add to the roster as soon as possible.
The official name of Team Seoul will be revealed “soon”, while additional six players for the team will be announced before October 30th. The press conference concluded with a short Q&A session as written below.
(To Owner) Can you give us an estimate of players’ salary?
We believe in paying our players a competitive salary. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to share the details of actual salary right now.
(To Owner) Why did you decide to sign the entire Lunatic-Hai roster as Team Seoul?
I believe that a great championship team of any sports really focuses on teamwork. I’ve found many talented players in Korea, but it takes a long time and a very specific chemistry for a group of very talented players to play together as a team. I was really impressed with Lunatic-Hai both based on their teamwork and their individual talent of the roster that we are seeing on the stage today.
(To Director) Why did you decide to accept Kevin Chou’s offer?
I gave it a lot of thoughts, but eventually I was grateful that Kevin, who had the right to operate the OWL team in Seoul, gave us a chance to play for city as we are Koreans. Our players spent at least a year together, and I eventually accepted the offer after a lot of thoughts since I believed that he understood Overwatch very well and respected the important of teamwork by offering to sign the entire roster. So, I accepted the offer thinking that we should adjust ourselves to this new league system as soon as possible.
(To Director) Lunatic-Hai also had LEETAEJUN and Whoru on roster. Will these players be signed as the next 6 players?
First, it will be difficult for us to sign Whoru due to Blizzard’s regulations. As for LEETAEJUN, we are open to any possibilities, but the details should be announced later on with additional roster. We’ll be sure to have it announced it soon as possible.