Not too long ago, when a certain Overwatch team started to draw attention, the name ‘Kevin Chou’ began to float around the internet. This business man, unfamiliar to gamers, soon became one of the hottest icons for the eSports scene. He was none other than the co-founder and CEO of the mobile game company ‘Kabam’ and earned 400 million dollars in annual sales. In july, Kevin acquired the Overwatch pro team ‘Lunatic-Hai’ and revealed his striking passion towards eSports. Eventually, this team became ‘Seoul Dynasty’. Seoul Dynasty is a team representing Seoul in conjunction with the local region.
After 3 months, Kevin Chou acquired the professional teams MVP Black/Miracle for Blizzard’s MOBA (Heroes Of The Storm) and increased his presence within the eSports scene. And now, KSV is busy creating yet another team for the recent upcoming game called PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds).
Because Kevin is often busy during the day, we did not have the opportunity to have a chat with him. However, after many attempts, we got a chance to talk with KSV’s CGO (Chief Growth Officer), Arnold Hur. Although we could not meet in person, we had the opportunity to plan an online meeting. Through the meeting, we got to learn about how KSV is slowly making their way onto the Korean eSports scene.
The conversation is mostly covering the recently announced PUBG team. Although it was difficult to get everything we wanted to know about their team, as time was not on our side.
¤ It is a pleasure to have a chance to interview you. Firstly, could you introduce KSV briefly?
We got the name ‘KSV’ from combining Korea’s and Silicon Valley’s first letters. We are a team that has been established fairly recently (almost a year old). Inside KSV, Kevin Chou’s Overwatch Pro Team, Seoul Dynasty, and Heroes Of The Storm Pro Brother Teams, MVP Black/Miracle, all reside. Before this December, KSV is also planning to establish a PUBG Pro Team.
In order to grow and maintain an eSports team, we believe Korea is the best place to do it. We rated Korea extremely high in regards to the eSports market. This is the reason why we decided to move into Korea’s eSports scene.
¤ There are some PUBG professional teams, but they’re not as prevalent as with other games in the scene. What is the reason for creating a PUBG professional team?
We have talked to a lot of the community of PUBG, and to the fans. We came to the conclusion that for eSports, PUBG has extraordinary potential. Because of this, we really want to push and make one of the first official PUBG eSports teams to lead the competitive scene. Although we do not have a complete roster for the team at this moment, KSV is planning to recruit more talented players by this December. For now, we have former members of the professional Overwatch team Lunatic-Hai, EscA and LEETAEJUN, on our PUBG team.
We do not have an official PUBG team name yet. For now, we are just going with KSV. If there are any talented players out there who want to join our team, we are more than happy to accept applicants. Just contact us. Overall, we are looking to make 2 teams, with each team consisting of 4 players each (8 members in total).
¤ It is clear that PUBG’s eSports scene is still at its early stages of development. What aspects of PUBG eSports is different from other eSports?
The biggest difference PUBG has compared to other eSports scenes is the immense amount of player feedback. Unlike other eSports scenes, PUBG puts emphasis on not only tournaments and professional players but also amateurs. Helping the vast community of streamers and players alike, PUBG has opened a new doorway into strategy and ideas. Because of this new and vast appeal, PUBG is able to present a much more varied form of competition compared to that of any other eSports. This aspect allows every game to be interesting to watch.
¤ How are you going to decide on the remaining spots for your PUBG team?
Whether you are an amateur or a current professional in another eSport, all we look into is talent. We are using a variety of sources to get data from our potential players. We also look at streamer’s gameplay footages and their ability to make enjoyable content.
In other words, there is no strict criteria to be a professional PUBG player for KSV. We believe Korea hosts some of the best players in the world. To be frank, Korean players have not yet had the opportunity to venture out internationally to showcase their talent. No one knows of the true gap of skill between Korea vs other regions. KSV aims to provide players, such as Koreans, an opportunity to showcase their skill on an international stage.
¤ Does this mean you have already set up and prepared facilities for your players?
Of course. We (KSV) have already prepared all the necessities to provide a healthy environment for our players. This includes training schedules and gaming houses. We want our players to feel like 'So this is what it really feels like to be a pro player'.
KSV has not only been focusing on PUBG but other eSports scenes as well. We have our mind set out on making sure our players are taken care of. In fact, our business is solely focused on eSports and nothing else (laughs).
¤ You have said you plan to finalize the team by the end of this year. What are some of your goals that have been set for your upcoming PUBG team?
Our first goal is to show the world our talent as a team on the international stage and to also face against the strongest PUBG teams. In preparation for this, we are already talking with international tournament supervisors. Overall, our goal is to verify our skills on a worldwide stage.
In addition, a pro PUBG player is not yet accurately defined in Korea. Even if some players are described as professional PUBG players, they are not as well recognized due to the relatively small scale of the professional PUBG scene. We want to change this. It is also one of our goals to help the Korean PUBG players get recognized as professional players and be proud of it.
¤ Does the developer of PUBG (Bluehole) give feedback to KSV as well?
Yes. We have consistently been communicating with the developers of PUBG. We have discussed back to back how we can attempt to help create a better eSports scene in Korea as well.
¤ Lastly, could you say a few words to players out there who may want to become a professional PUBG player?
We aim to create the best Korean PUBG team. You can be a streamer, professional player, and/or an amateur. Just contact us! For example, EscA left his former Overwatch team to join our KSV PUBG team. We were lucky enough to have him on our team. Lastly, and above all else, if you have confidence in your own potential/skill, we are more than welcome to have you join the team. Furthermore, I will try my very best to create an extraordinary eSports team.