The Los Angeles Valiant announced on March 11 that they will be relieving their head coach, Byungchul Moon. In the official announcement, General Manager Michael Schwartz bid Coach Moon farewell:

“We want to thank Coach Moon for his contributions to the Pacific Division and Stage 4 Championships achieved by the team in 2018. We wish him the best in the next stage of his career.”



The brief announcement goes on to report that Mike “Packing10” Szklanny will take over as interim head coach, and that the team’s two assistant coaches will remain on staff.

It’s not surprising that the Valiant are looking to make some staff changes. Despite their strong performance last season, the Valiant are 0-7 this year. They are finishing stage one in twentieth place (of twenty teams), and were the first team to be eliminated from the running for stage playoffs.

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Responses to Moon’s departure are mixed so far. Some resented Coach Moon for his long-term benching of Custa, who mains support roles. In an episode of Inside the Valiant, Moon revealed somewhat confusing reasons for benching Custa, explaining that Custa’s comprehension of the 3-3 meta outstripped that of his teammates. Fans were understandably irate that Custa would be benched for understanding the meta toowell, and have been frustrated at his long absence.

Custa sporting LA’s colors. via Overwatch League official site

Others express gratitude for Moon’s leadership of the Valiant last season. Some lament that a new coach will take too long to develop synergy with the team and worry that this season is effectively over for the LA Valiant.

In a much less publicized move, the Valiant have also parted ways with their assistant manager and English translator, Andrew “KoreanMulan” Kim.

After a difficult first stage, there’s no question that the Valiant needed to make some changes, but only time will tell if removing these members of their team was the right call.

 

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