Fresh off their Heroes of the Storm Global Championship victory at BlizzCon, KSV Black (formerly MVP Black) traveled to Beijing for the Gold Club World Championship where they made short-order of the competition en-route to a 3-1 victory over Team Fnatic.
Regardless of the opposing region, roster or game patch, KSV Black has proven themselves time and again as one of the most dominant teams to ever play Heroes of the Storm. Their current lineup, consisting of Won Ho “KyoCha” Jeong, Jin Woo “Reset” Im, Jae Won “Rich” Lee, Jung Hyuk “Sake” Lee and Oon Sung “Ttsst” Kang racked up $650,000 in tournament winnings in the second half of 2017.
Unfortunately for the rest of the playing field, Sake doesn’t see their domination coming to an end anytime soon.
“I don’t think anything is going to stop us because I am feeling very positive vibes,” said Sake.
Sake attributes the team’s success to their rigorous training regiment and coach, Do Jun “Noblesse” Chae, pushing all the right buttons when it counts.
“Coach Noblesse gives great feedback after every practice match, really helpful.” said Sake. “I learn a lot.” When stress is high in matches, every team needs that one player who helps release the tension and act as the “glue” when times get tough.
For Sake, Rich is that person. “He’s always happy and likes to joke around. Really lightens up the team,” said Sake. When not messing around with his teammates, Rich’s greatest strength within the game itself is his Reddit-gold, Twitch-clip-worthy, mind-numbingly precise mechanical genius. The combination of Rich’s hyper-aggressive melee-assassin play in conjunction with his team’s follow-up support is truly a sight to behold as it is the antithesis of teamwork.
“Just do we as practiced, as we trained and listen to what coach said,” is what Sake says goes through their minds when on-stage in tight moments.
Eyes set on future
With 2018 Heroes Global Championship rosters needing to be locked-in prior to the GCWC tournament, teams were able to get their first taste of what’s to come when HGC kicks off in January. KSV Black cruised to a 3-0 victory over new-look Team Dignitas in the grand finals but Sake took note of a re-vamped roster and new, potentially up-and-coming stud.
“Team Dignitas definitely stood out, Vilhelm ‘POILK’ Flennmark especially, really showed everything he’s got and it was only his first global competition,” said Sake.
Sake noted the improvements of Team Fnatic as well from a roster standpoint but is more focused on KSV Black’s own 2017 success and how they can continue to grow.
“We did great in 2017, we won both Blizzcon and GCWC…unfortunately, for Midseason Brawl we finished second, for Easton Clash we didn’t win. That really motivated us to become what we are now at the end of 2017, made us work even harder,” said Sake. “Midseason allowed us to see for ourselves how strong European teams are, Easton Clash allowed us to realize how undermotivated we had been. To change this we recruited coach Noblesse, stretched training time, and that’s how we spent the second half of the season. This is how we eventually won Blizzcon and GCWC. We plan to do that for the next year as well. We are going to win Blizzcon, GCWC and Midseason. But, in order to accomplish all this, first we need to improve our stamina, that’s for sure. Also improve the teamwork.”
HGC league play kicks off January 14 and for KSV Black to repeat as global champions, they will need to not only watch out for improved European threats but continue to grow internally.
Disclaimer: The following article was written freely based on the author's opinion, and it may not necessarily represent Inven Global's editorial stance.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.