Dallas Fuel unexpectedly announced changes in their line-up and coaching staff.
Head coach Kyle ‘KyKy’ Souder and DPS player Dong-jun ‘Rascal’ Kim are no longer part of the blue flame. The news came from the Dallas camp itself.
KyKy has been with the players throughout the whole inaugural season ever since they were playing as Team Envy in the Contenders and APEX series. He is considered by many an exceptionally capable coach and valuable member of the team. His role will temporarily be taken by assistant coach Emanuel ‘Peak’ Uzoni, and the next head coach will be announced as soon as all negotiations are completed. The Fuel have also signed a brand new member to the coaching staff – Kang ‘Vol’Jin’ Min-Gyu, of the Korean organisation Meta Gaming. He will join the team in California as soon as his Visa is approved.
Team owner Mike Rufail had this to say:
We will always appreciate Kyle’s commitment to this organization. He is a true competitor who coached our team through a great run and a Contenders championship; unfortunately, we have not replicated that championship level of success in the Overwatch League this season. While we recognize many of the challenges Kyle faced with the Dallas Fuel were beyond his control, there comes a time when change is necessary for the team to move forward and we felt that time is now.
Korean DPS player Rascal was acquired earlier in the season from his previous team, the London Spitfire. He played a handful of matches for the Fuel during Stages two and three. Rufai gave this explanation as to the release of the player:
We had hoped that Rascal could add flexibility to our DPS lineup on the team this season. Unfortunately, his commitment to the team did not meet our expectations and his unwillingness to communicate with the team while playing in recent matches became a large distraction.
These complications came as a surprise to some but given the team’s suboptimal performance lately and the inner turmoil hinted by some of the players, it could easily be explained. The whole affair is reminiscent of the Shanghai Dragons situation last season, who also switched their head coach and part of the roster mid-season.