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Coaching the Second Generation: Introducing the new assistant coach for Gen.G Overwatch, MMA

Volamel 2018-11-07 01:09:43
  Recently Gen.G unveiled their new academy team for the Seoul Dynasty. Within the announcement holds a very interesting choice in their coaching staff. The roster of players consists of Agnes, former DPS player for EXL Esports, Stalk3r, former DPS player from the South Korean Contenders Trials team WildCat, LUKE, main tank from Monster Shield KR, Shubil, former KongDoo Panthera and Seven flex tank, LVLZ, former Armament support in Contenders Trials Season 2, and DNCE, former KongDoo Uncia support— Although he most recently played with Samsung Morning Stars Blue in Contenders Trials Europe. This team will also have a direct seed into Contenders Season 3 as the only invited team. While the amateur talent looks somewhat promising what really should catch your eye is the coaching staff. Former StarCraft 2 legend, Mun "MMA" Seong Won has joined the team as a member of the teams coaching staff heading into Contenders Season 3. MMA brings nearly 5 years of world-class competitive experience. From 2011 to 2015 he had an incredibly successful StarCraft 2 career under teams like SlayerS, SK Telecom, and Team Acer. This would play a pivotal role in his rise in StarCraft 2. While playing under SK Telecom in StarCraft: Brood War he would form a relationship with esports icon and legend Lim “BoxeR” Yo-Hwan. As BoxeR would transition to StarCraft 2, he would draft MMA as one of his first recruits. Under BoxeR’s watchful eye, MMA would defeat MVP, whom many consider one of the best StarCraft 2 players to ever touch the game, during the 2011 Global StarCraft II League October: Code S. He would later win event like the GSL Blizzard Cup 2011, Iron Squid: Chapter I, and multiple Dreamhack titles. One thing to keep in mind is that MMA will be acting as an assistant coach under head coach Lee Si-Woo, a former journalist with DailyEsports. We rarely know exactly what goes on behind the scenes and there is a lot of variables we have to consider when we judge coaches. This acquisition of MMA somewhat mimics the Seoul Dynasty’s approach to their main roster as well. Head coach of the Seoul Dynasty is Donggun “KDG” Kim, whom you may better know as “FrOzen” from StarCraft: Brood War. The theme here being that they value former experience as a professional gamer quite highly when it comes to both developing and leading the new age of esports. Use this to temper your opinion of him as he continues forward. From his experience in the industry and working alongside such legendary names in StarCraft, one can then assume that he’s picked up some teaching methods my osmosis. By simply studying under someone you can pick up biases from their own tendencies and translate that into your own way of teaching or coaching. While MMA might have had legendary tutelage, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t racked up his own accolades as well. Another moniker he was given was the “Legend Killer.” This name was given to him early on in his career for being able to take matches off of some of the best players at the time in team league matches. On his rise to the top, there were legends to be usurped, and MMA had a tendency to unwavering in the face of champions. As much as people drone on and on about Overwatch and whether or not it’s an FPS, we can all agree it is a game of resources. Where are our ultimates being used and when? Where are we using or abilities? Who has our attention? These are all questions real-time strategy games force you to ask yourself and this. This marks another former professional player in older esports that is now transitioning in a supporting role. We tend to forget that esports has a timeline. Its participants are actual people. There are no severance packages, no retirement plans. And their skills don’t always translate into other fields. If Overwatch is going to stand the test of time and continue to be successful for the next 5-10 years, who would be the best role models and teachers for the next generation of esports professionals? People close to the scene have an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to become successful, what needs to be done, what needs to be sacrificed to reach your goals. And while people and study the practice and look at the numbers, we’ll never know what it means to be a player. We can’t know what their shoes feel like, what hills they’ve had to climb that undoubtedly other players have had to face as well. We don’t have those same biases. We don’t share in their experiences. No matter the genre, I believe they can relate on a very deep level. People like MMA, KDG, Kkoma,  and MC are leading the charge of their esports generation into the future of esports. They’ll hold many of the coaching positions both at the top level and below. They’ll establish a precedent to allow retired esports athletes to transition into coaching roles. With this in mind, all of the Seoul Dynasty fans, all of the Gen.G fans, should be ecstatic. You and the future of these brands are in very capable hands. _____ Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would to follow his thoughts you can follow him at @Volamel. Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and Dreamhack.

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