A Match Made in Heaven: An Exclusive Interview With Cloud9 KongDoo

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As the first-ever preseason of the Overwatch League closes in, we got in touch with the most recently confirmed roster of the tournament – representing London, team Cloud9 KongDoo.

Consisting of members of APEX Season 3 Runners-Up KongDoo Panthera, the move materialised after North American-based Cloud9 signed the full roster to represent London in the inaugural premier tourney.

For the uninitiated, the full Cloud9 KongDoo roster is made up of the following players:

Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun (DPS)
Kim “birdring” Ji-hyuk (DPS)
Lee “Curious” Yeong-min (DPS)
Kang “Void” Jun-woo (Flex)
Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung (Tank)
An “wakawaka” Jee-ho (Support)
Seung “Bdosin” Choi-tae (Support)
Kim Jeong-Min

We got hold of the newly-formed team’s coach Beoumjun “Bishop” Lee, who was the former KongDoo Panthera Support who went on to coach Cloud9 before the acquisition. He shared his thoughts about the merger, his team’s outlook to the upcoming Overwatch League (OWL), and the current meta in Overwatch esports.

On The Acquisition & C9 Esports Body

How did the move happen – who initiated the acquisition of the KongDoo Panthera roster by Cloud9?

Having been a player for KongDoo Panthera [prior to coaching C9], it was natural for me to approach [team] KongDoo after we [C9] had secured a spot in the OWL representing London. It was a very agreeable process once it was clear that KongDoo had the best interest of their players in mind, and that the players wanted to compete in the OWL.

What is it about C9 that made KongDoo go “Yes, we want to be associated with these guys”, out of all the other esports bodies out there in the OWL?

I think the biggest factor would be that there aren’t many esports bodies at the moment that can handle a full Korean roster. Between the previous experiences of Cloud9 staff with Korean players, and the fact that I am bilingual, it was a favourable move for both parties.

We were also pleasantly surprised by how well the Cloud9 brand was received in Korea and how many even knew of [C9 owner] Jack Etienne himself, as he is very public about what he wants to do with his teams and how well he treats his players.

Does the acquisition affect the current APEX S4 approach?

The same for the most part. Our [C9] coaching staff are doing their best to work with the coaching staff of KongDoo to ensure that the players have all the support they need to make a strong finish for Apex.

On The Meta & Upcoming Tournaments

Are you considering of bolstering the team with other players, or will Cloud9 KongDoo essentially be a “reskin” of KongDoo Panthera?

Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but we plan on bolstering our roster with additional players while maintaining the unique team that was KongDoo Panthera.

Overwatch is a game where meta changes occur on a frequent basis, and it is my primary focus to ensure that we are well prepared for all future meta shifts with a well-rounded roster.

Judging by the performance of NA’s best team at APEX S3 – EnVyUs – against other Korean teams and how the Korean team performed at the Overwatch World Cup qualifiers, how do you rate your chances vs NA and EU teams?

Unfortunately, this season of Apex does not have North American and European teams so it is difficult to give an accurate estimation of how we will do. However, as long as we move into the OWL fresh from Korea, our chances look favourable considering that APEX is the pinnacle of OW competitions at the moment.

Which team would be an obstacle for C9 Kongdoo in the OWL, teams-wise and player-wise? And how so?

Lunatic-Hai will always be our rival, players and coaching staff included.

They have been around since day-1 and have a ton of experience under their belts throughout countless meta shifts which shows through their sturdy back line. Player-wise, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen comes to mind due to his clutch potential and… good aim haha.

What do you think of EnVyUs’ recent recruitment of Seagull to the team?

Considering that the lack of a strong Genji/ Pharah flex player on EnVyUs was their greatest weakness, it’s a no-brainer to say that the addition of Seagull was a healthy decision for them.

Seeing as most Overwatch League teams will be securing at least 3 DPS players in respect for meta changes, I expect Team Dallas to show strong results in the first season of the Overwatch League.

The same for the most part. Our [C9] coaching staff are doing their best to work with the coaching staff of KongDoo to ensure that the players have all the support they need to make a strong finish for Apex.

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