It wasn’t meant to be a gift to Tiger Nation, the interview that Jehong ‘Ryujehong’ Ryu and Byungsun ‘Fleta’ Kim did for the Korean Overwatch League YouTube channel; but it felt that way. There was an ease to the conversation that can be attributed to old teammates just chatting. Fleta during his time with the Seoul Dynasty was quiet and reserved. At the end of Season 2 there was an openness that Fleta started to show. The tone was set when Ryujehong asked whether he could speak informally to Fleta and right away Fleta agreed. This open dialogue gave way to many answers and insights that had been questions for a long time.
At the beginning of Season 3 there were a lot of questions about Fleta and why he changed team. Was it that Seoul didn’t want him or that he wanted a different team. That was never cleared up, but the narrative that pit Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park and Fleta was always floating around. This was intensified as the Seoul Dynasty and the Shanghai Dragons met during the regular seasons many times.
During the interview Changhyung ‘Fissure’ Baek’s vod reviews were brought up. Many times during his streams he has mentioned that he got Fleta into the Dragons. It was mentioned in post season of Season 2 that Coach Moon was interested in acquiring Fissure for the Dragons. Fleta and Fissure during Season 2 were roommates at the Seoul Dynasty apartments and close. It was revealed when Fleta mentioned that it was ultimately his decision of where he would go, no matter the conflicting stories that Fissure and Coach Moon had about him becoming a part of the team. It seems as if Fleta wanted to spread his wings and join the Dragons, which with 20:20 vision the community can see was the best choice for him.
Though neither of these two are a part of Seoul as of now, they share that experience. That being said the Seoul Dynasty popped up in the interview a lot. It wouldn’t be surprising if there was even more footage that was cut of them talking about the Dynasty. The photo behind Fleta in his Seoul Dynasty jersey made many feel that pang of nostalgia.
The nicknames that are now popularized for Fleta came mostly from the Dynasty era, and a few even before that when he was on Flash Lux. It was not only the nicknames but Ryujehong having Fleta compare himself and Minchul ‘Izayaki’ Kim when it comes to Ana and healing. Ironically Fleta mentioned that they have similar styles of play, which probably helped at the beginning adjusting to a new team for Fleta.
When it comes to the Seoul Dynasty, food had to be brought up. In a head to head of which team had best food it was the Dynasty who came out on top, which isn’t surprising. Big props to the Seoul Dynasty’s chef for making amazing food for the players while in LA.
NA vs APAC
The community learned that of the time this was being recorded the Shanghai Dragons had not scrimmed the Shock yet. Fleta views the strength of the two regions to be based off of the meta. Last meta was slightly in favor of the APAC region, but this meta he believes is more NA leaning. Fleta does want to show the power of APAC and wants to pull out a win against the Fusion. Though they want to win, as teams go on break who they can scrim also goes down. They want to practice Hog, but many teams don’t play that so there needs to be more preparation done.
An interested fact was that Fleta didn’t think that Shanghai was an unstoppable force this whole season, but a lot of it had to do with their opponents mental. The desk and teams build this narrative of the Dragons being this huge wall of a team that then teams played as if such. If this is true, teams may have boomed themselves going into matches. Whether or not NA teams will go in with the same mentality could impact the Dragons’ run in the final 4.
Fleta is the Meta
It was fun to see old memes of Ryujehong, the sexiest man in the Overwatch League, classic Fleta one liners and of course food being brought up. For the Tiger Nation Fleta being named MVP, though not on Seoul, was a momentous event. The fans had watched Fleta seemingly grow up into this confident gamer. Fleta is the meta and his deadlift days paid off. There is no better interviewer to help Fleta relax than his old captain, as surely the banter flew back and forth just like the old days. The Overwatch League provides great esports, but moments like these remind many that it was that one team or player that pulled them into the League and though it isn’t an anime, so many of these players are trying to achieve the Fleta Fairytale from dead-lifter to MVP.
*Sorry if there is any inaccuracies, the author isn’t fluent in Korean. There is also much more within this interview and this article only covers a small bit of it.
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