An announcement came out yesterday that Valiant main tank Dae-kuk “KuKi” Kim would be not only leaving the team, but completely retiring from competitive Overwatch. Truly, it was only a matter of time before this happened, and the clearing out of the LA Valiant bench doesn’t look like it will stop there.
Why did KuKi go?
It’s hard to say why KuKi completely retired from the scene, but there’s little doubt that the Los Angeles Valiant would have wanted to keep him on anyways. They haven’t played him since very early into the season, and when he was in, the results were lackluster. Part of this was due to the fact that he wasn’t even playing his actual role.
It wasn’t until Stage 3 that the Valiant really got going, and they now have a solid group of six players that they aren’t looking to switch up for the remainder of the stage. Even when the 2-2-2 role lock comes into play in Stage 4, KuKi will still not be needed, as Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell has shown himself to be a capable main tank in both 3-3 and 2-2-2.
Although it was KuKi’s decision to retire, with the current situation for the LA Valiant, he wasn’t looking to be put back in any time soon.
What about Izayaki?
The case remains the same for Valiant support Min-chul “IZaYaKI” Kim. With newfound vitality in Los Angeles’ thanks in part to Scott “Custa” Kennedy’s leadership and Young-seo “KariV” Park’s stellar performance on Ana, there’s no reason to bring IZaYaKI in.
The same goes in a 2-2-2 situation, with Custa and KariV together having a vast enough hero pool to sustain the team’s support roles in just about any situation. IZaYaKI simply doesn’t fit on the roster as of now.
It is likely that he will either leave on his own volition or be dropped from the team before the end of Season 2. However, he is by no means a bad player, and could certainly find a home on a new team looking for a skilled Zenyatta player who just needs a little coaching in order to really shine.
Does This Mean Anything for the Team?
In all honesty, the loss of KuKi will not change anything for the Los Angeles Valiant. As mentioned before, he hasn’t been seen in a match since the early days of the season. KuKi will also not be making an impact on any other teams, as he is indefinitely out of the scene. If IZaYaKI eventually parts ways the team, which is very likely, that will not shake things up either for the same reasons.
The Valiant will continue to run their current starting lineup until 2-2-2 is enforced, and when the time comes to finally switch, they will still have a strong roster to fight with.
Featured image courtesy of the Los Angeles Valiant on Twitter