Ark discusses leading the Washington Justice, shotcalling with sleepy, and re-uniting with NYXL at All-Stars

Hong "Ark" Yeon-joon had the illustrious honor of starting in the Overwatch League All-Star game for the Atlantic Division. The Korean Support was the sole representative of the Washington Justice at the OWL 2019 All-Star Event, where he was re-united with former NYXL teammates Kim "Pine" Do-hyeon and Bang "JjoNak" Sung-hyeon. 

Ark sat down with Inven Global during All-Stars to talk about the reunion with his former teammates, his new sense of leadership in the Justice, and synergizing with his new backline partner Nikola "sleepy" Andrews. 

▲ photo by Robert Paul


I'm joined by Ark at the Overwatch League All Star Game. How have you been enjoying the event?

I think it's quite fun. Last year, we couldn't stand behind the players during Widowmaker 1v1s, but now we can. I stood behind Jjonak and Pine when they were facing off and it was really fun.

You and the other Atlantic members were keeping Nenne relaxed and massaging his shoulders in between rounds. What's it like to be able to see your old teammates from NYXL and compete with them again?

The Washington Justice has already played all of our games against NYXL for the regular season, so maybe we can meet them in Stage Playoffs. Personally, I'd love to play against them because they all have really good personalities and were good teammates to me. It's really fun to play with them again here.

What does it mean for you to the representing the Washington Justice on the Atlantic Division Team?

This year, I don't think I have given an all-star level performance, but since my fans love me, I really appreciate being here. I also think it's because I played in the 2018 Overwatch World Cup.

▲ photo by Robert Paul

The Washington Justice recently signed a new Support in sleepy, formerly of the San Francisco Shock. He's only been a part of the team for a bit, but how has your backline synergy been forming thus far?

Sleepy actually helps me a lot with shotcalling. I'm the main shotcaller, and before, I was making all of the calls 90% of the time. Now, Sleepy is helping me a lot, so I'd say there's a lot less burden on me individually. 

Your team already looks better with him in the lineup, but I'm interested in what changes to the game you think would benefit the Washington Justice from a playstyle perspective.

I think a meta with lots of viable compositions would be really fun. Right now, GOATS is so dominant, but I think it's really hard to change the meta from GOATS while encouraging diversity. In the past, nerfing a dominant meta would sometimes lead to a different meta becoming equally as dominant.

Balancing is really hard, and I know that, so I think it's hard to expect the game to have everything that everyone likes at one time. Still, if the meta changed from GOATS, I think people would like it.

Is there a certain meta you prefer playing?

I'm not sure, since I am confident in my play in all metas.

That's a good thing! What's the main difference between playing on Washington Justice when compared to being a part of New York Excelsior?

When I was on NYXL, I was more of a follower. I was trying to manage my playstyle, and while I was still shotcalling, many teammates were helping me. Now, I feel more like the leader of the Justice in game, so I feel more responsible. If we improve, it brings me more happiness on the Justice than when I was on NYXL because I'm more directly responsible for those improvements.

As far as stepping into a leadership role, is there anyone you've taken influence from?

I learned a lot from my ex-teammate Saebyeolbe on NYXL, as well as my former Head Coach Pavane. They're both really good leaders and helped me a lot when I was part of NYXL.

▲ photo by Robert Paul

As far as my mentality approach, I just try to look at many people and try to pick up the good things they are doing and combine them. Some things I learn and implement may come from professional gamers, but others might come from something else, like a writer. If it's a good idea, I just pick it up.

That's a great scope of awareness you have there, Ark. Thanks so much for this interview, is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?

Thank you very much for selecting me as an All-Star and for giving me lots of love. I want to do more interviews for the fans as things continue to ramp up in Stage 3 and Stage 4.

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