It is truly amazing to see what “pros” can do. They get better and better, even after giving the best performance in their lives. It is incredible how even the best players have continued to progress and grow.
Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim of the Seoul Dynasty is one such player. He was a prominent Overwatch pro since his days in the Overwatch APEX and in the Overwatch League, and now he is one of the players that represents team Korea in the Overwatch World Cup. Being part of a national team is not an easy task; there are heavier responsibilities and a tighter schedule, and as a pro, being part of the national team could mean sacrificing a lot of time unless you know you are going to win.
But Fleta did a great job as a member of team Korea, even though it was his first time. He didn’t just show the world he could win; he showed the world that is continuing to grow. Even the commentator Yongbongtang praised how Fleta adapted to the new match environment. How much has Fleta progressed during the Overwatch World Cup? Below is our interview with Fleta, a promising pro who still has a lot more to give.
Q. How are you spending your vacation after the Overwatch World Cup?
I could not hang out with my friends in Korea after I became a pro. I stayed in Korea for 4 days and I went out to eat and watch movies with my friends. It was sad that I could not go outside more because of the microdust.
Q. You went to eat grilled pork belly after the Overwatch World Cup. All the team members wanted to eat grilled pork belly, right?
We had to stay in the practice room all day when we were in the States. There was only American and Japanese food there, and we didn’t like it that much. We had to eat the same food again and again, and eventually we missed Korean food. We promised to go eat Korean food after the Overwatch World Cup, so we went to a barbecue restaurant in Koreatown in LA.
Q. This is your first time playing on the national team. How does it feel to play on the main stage as a member of the national team?
Actually, I thought it would be hard for me to make it to the main stage because of the team schedule for Seoul Dynasty. There wasn’t enough time for the test, so I was just going to follow Seoul Dynasty’s schedule. But Saebyeolbe could not go to the Overwatch World Cup due to some personal problems, so I joined the national team instead of him. When I heard the news, I decided to do my best because I might never get a chance like this again. It was a short time, but I tried to learn how to play as a team with the others.
Q. This is your first time winning the championship as a pro. How does it feel to have the very first victory in your career?
I’ve never played on a big stage like that and if felt even more exciting since I won. Also, I got to meet pros from many different countries and saw a lot of people cheering for me. It was an unforgettable experience. I especially remember this one fan who was cheering for team Korea really passionately. It really cheered me up.
Q. There are many members on your team who have been in the Overwatch World Cup. What did they tell you before and after you went to America?
They told me that I have to win, and other countries are getting stronger every year so I have to deal with the pressure well. They said congratulations for winning after I came back.
Q. Unlike others, you have not played in the World Cup preliminaries. Did you feel any pressure, going to the main stage right away?
I was more excited than worried because I could learn to play as a team with new team members. There were a lot of new things that I learned. I usually don’t get nervous.
Q. You joined the national team last due to your team schedule and because there wasn’t enough time. What did you focus on to quickly adapt to the new environment?
The others already played as a team in the preliminaries or are from the same team. I was the only one who hadn’t. Each one of us has a different play style so I shared my opinions with them as much as possible. I’ve never been on the same team with any of them except for Fury who used to be in the same team when we were amateurs. We didn’t know how the other plays, so we focused on communicating a lot. A lot of things have improved through communication.
Q. Yongbongtang, the leader of the National Team Committee, gave you kudos for showing a better performance every time. Do you feel like you have improved?
Yes. I learned a lot from other players in Team Korea and from other countries. I think I was able to improve by communicating with my teammates a lot on how to deal with something or what to do in certain situations.
Also, the way I play and the team plays is different. I tried to change my gameplay style to create better teamplay with the national team.
Q. There were a lot of different team comps in this year’s Overwatch World Cup. The DPS players must play differently in a triple tank or triple healer comp. Wasn’t it hard for you?
Playing a new hero for a new team comp is not that hard. The hard part is teamplay, as tanks and healers have different roles in a team. The “shotcall” must work out smoothly. We had some difficulty against Team Britain, but we talked about what we learned from the match against Britain a lot, and were able to fix the problem before the match against China.
I can’t play every hero well. The hero should match my gameplay style for me to quickly learn to play the hero. I tend to play more defensively, so I play defensive heroes a lot when I’m not playing DPS. I played heroes like Brigitte - who can play defensively and can stay with the team - a lot in this year’s Overwatch World Cup. I think I found the hero that matches both my play style and the team’s play style.
Q. You played with the best players in the league on the national team. Who gave you the biggest impression?
For sure, JJoNak was really memorable. Simply put, he’s just really good. Since I’m a player that fights up front because of my role, when I play with him, I don’t need to worry about the back line. He survives on his own and is very good. As the back line is reliable, I can comfortably concentrate more on my own actions.
I also remember Fury, who contributed a lot to the victory. He is really quick to respond, and he was great at supporting the back line and the front line depending on the situation. Both JJoNak and Fury make their teammates feel more comfortable.
Q. You said there were a lot of things to learn from the national team. What are the things you learned from them?
Coach Yu helped me a lot outside of the game. He was always there saying “it’s gonna be ok” whenever we were having a hard time. I got a lot of positive energy from him. Gameplay-wise, I learned a lot from Carpe since he and I are in the same position. He is really good at changing the game via aggressive gameplay. He knows what he has to do at the right moment. He’s good at leading the game during the early part of the match.
Q. There was no end to the outstanding plays from this year’s Overwatch World Cup. If you were to pick the most impressive moment from OWWC, what would that be?
First thing that comes to mind would be the last Rialto map when we were playing against the United Kingdom. Our team was falling behind, and it was hard to know how the flow would change if we lost a set. Then, when everyone was in danger, Anamo used his ult as Lucio and saved all of us, which let us put up a hard defense. We didn’t do that great as a whole team, but I think that was the moment I thought was the most impressive out of all.
Q. Your enemy team picked Bastion, Rheinhardt, and Orisa suddenly in the last set when you were playing against China. That is not the most common strategy nowadays; didn’t that take your team by surprise?
We didn’t expect to come across such a team comp, but everyone quickly changed their positions once they saw it. Fortunately, everyone on the team didn’t seem to panic. There were dangerous moments where we didn’t stick to the payload, but everyone responded sensibly to it.
▲ Team South Korea’s fantastic D.Va bomb (From Dallas Fuel Seagull’s Twitch Channel)
Q. The reaction in the West to the D.Va bomb combo of Fury, Fleta, and Anamo was great. Lucio's Boop and Brigitte’s Shield Bash during D.Va’s Self-Destruct were especially amazing; how were you able to pull it off?
We didn’t go into details with the shot calls. It happened so fast. Fury just said, ‘Let’s go with one D.Va bomb,’ and the others just played along with it. It was the obvious choice for Brigitte to push Rheinhardt. Our opponent couldn’t help but lose their positions when they saw D.Va’s ult. It was up to the rest of the team members, including Lucio, to push the enemies who made it out back in. We trusted each other and let each decide the time to push.
We didn’t talk over the shot calls with Anamo back then, but Brigitte and Lucio’s shot calls usually need to work out well with each other when you are playing 3 tanks & 3 supports. When we watched United Kingdom team playing, Kruise’s Lucio had strictly planned movements when he regrouped with his team. We talked over what we would do beforehand when we saw that.
Q. Now, let’s talk about Seoul Dynasty. I heard that you quickly went into training quicker than other teams did after you finished rebuilding the team. What kind of things are you preparing now?
Right now, we are at the stage of getting to know the new players and adjusting to each others’ play styles. Each has a different play style so we are checking out who works well with whom and how we can work it out with each other.
Q. There are many new faces in the team, from the coaches all the way to players. Could you briefly introduce your new teammates and coaches?
First, Coach KDG tends to be more immersed in the game than the players are. He doesn’t play any other games at all, only practices playing Overwatch and watching replays. When you are watching a game, it isn’t easy to find a player’s mistakes unless you replay them. However, he finds out what you did wrong at just one glance. Even my teammates were surprised.
Fissure is a player who can lead the team well. That is a role the main tank needs to play. However, his playing style from his previous team, LA Gladiators, stuck with him, so he is working on integrating into our team. Nevertheless, everyone is getting along with him due to his carefree personality and him expressing his opinions well.
Lastly, we had Michelle, Jecse, and Marve1 joining us. I used to be the youngest on the team until the last season, but now it’s Marve1. There are many players the same age as me now, so the team atmosphere feels a whole lot newer.
Q. You must have felt many regrets for Season 1, personally.
The whole team was going through a difficult time due to an internal thing I can’t talk about here. There were many areas we would get confused about with each other and with that piling up, there would be repeat cases where things would be working well at one point and then suddenly not.
I was sorry I couldn’t play as many heroes as I was supposed to on my team. After the League started, Widowmaker became the center of the whole thing, and at one point I was in charge of playing her. It wasn’t long until I started playing Widowmaker so I had to focus all my attention on that and not on other heroes. So I want to pay attention to a wider variety of things for the next season.
Q. Is there anything you strongly want to change for Season 2?
There were many times we would win due to individual outplays rather than as a team during the League. This time, we would like to give something strong through team play. We want to try something new even if that means we lose. There are still many things we need to work on, but we plan to finish working on our teamwork before Season 2.
Q. You know how Widowmaker fights were crucial in the first season, right? You also have a good record of playing as Widowmaker. What hero do you think will play the most critical role in the next season?
I think that could change since we still have time until the next season. However, I think Sombra will certainly be the most important if we have the same patch until then. I expect Doomfist will not be the main pick since he can be countered as a team. If we get the same version of the patch, then the 3-tanks/3-supports team comp will definitely remain strong. There was news about Brigitte’s Shield Bash nerf so I think Winston will take Reinhardt’s place, while Reinhardt will be picked to counter that; I think something similar to what we had before will eventually happen.
Q. Is there any particular hero you would like to be good at playing for the new season?
At first, when I started out as a pro for Overwatch, the projectile heroes were my mains. However, there were many cases where I couldn’t play heroes like Genji and Pharah last season; I would like to show my plays on them by practicing them even more than I did in the previous season.
Q. Lastly, would you like to say anything to your fans and the fans of Seoul Dynasty?
It must have been just as difficult for the fans as it was for our team during Season 1. We will show you our winning performance as often as we can by practicing with the new coaches and teammates for the new season. You can look forward to it since we will be trying very hard.
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