April 4, 2019 - Coming into the 2019 OWL season, we made a series of changes to the Mayhem roster in order to start the year strong. We’re here to win and we’ve not lost sight of that. We’re disappointed with our competitive performance to date and are committed to iterating and evolving until we can compete with the best teams in OWL, and bring home a championship.
We have faced multiple issues with communication and overall team synergy, in part due to the lack of a common language among players and coaching staff. We’ve spent a lot of time developing better communication together as a team, but when it comes down to playing on stage, even the slightest miscommunication can result in a loss. It’s important that our players are able to focus on improving strategy, effective communication, and teamwork. To that end, we’re laying the groundwork for a different direction for Mayhem. With this new direction, we have mutually agreed to part ways with Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis, our head coach since the beginning of the Overwatch League, as well as Youngsu “Yeah” Jung. We appreciate their hard work and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Scott “BEARHANDS” Tester - Assistant GM, said :
I'm really excited about the changes you'll see starting in Stage 2, and continuing throughout the 2019 season. We are laying a stronger foundation that will allow us to improve in the short term, but more importantly, will prepare us to build a successful organization in perpetuity. Immediately, Florida Mayhem will move to a Korean speaking roster and coaching staff.
This will allow the team to communicate in their native language during games and practice. It is my belief that this change alone will have a tremendous impact on the team's ability to coordinate, plan and execute those plans. Overwatch is a game that requires an incredible amount of teamwork and cooperation. It's very difficult to achieve an acceptable level of coordination while also struggling with language and cultural barriers.
Among the first additions to Florida Mayhem will be Coach Sang Min “Insight” Oh, who joins us from O2 Blast - one of the top teams in Contenders Korea. Last season, Insight also led StormQuake on a strong playoff run before the team merged with O2. We look forward to adding Insight's vast knowledge, experience and expertise to our staff.
We have also added Andrew “Korean Mulan” Kim, previously of the Los Angeles Valiant, as our Assistant Team Manager. He will be working with David “MDS” Suh, our full time Translator who was recently promoted to Team Manager. Both Korean Mulan and MDS have already provided tremendous value to our daily operations, and we will look to further empower them and the rest of our staff to ensure that the needs of our players are consistently met.
We will continue to build out our staff over the coming weeks. We are also working diligently to recruit talented players at every role, and we will be aggressive in improving every aspect of our organization. This change of direction also means that we will be parting ways with our Western core of players and competitive staff. We are currently in talks with several other Overwatch League teams to find new homes for these players and coaches. We believe that these players and coaches are talented, driven and deserving of positions in the highest levels of competitive Overwatch. Despite our struggles as a team, the constant dedication and passion of these members of Florida Mayhem has been on constant display. We would like to thank them for their contributions and wish them luck in the future.
Albert “yeHHH” Yeh - Assistant GM, added:
I wish to offer up some parting words to each of the departing coaches.
I've worked with Mineral for almost an entire year. Seeing him go definitely hurts but is understandable given our roster direction. Vytis definitely would've been an integral part of the coaching staff on a mixed roster had we gone that route. He is the hardest working coach I have ever worked with and always has the best speeches on game days. There is no doubt in my mind that he will find another coaching gig in OWL should he want to. I do hope our paths cross again in the future and I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to pursue.
Coach Yeah was only with us briefly but we parted ways mutually. I think he has an extremely strong track record of coaching top T2 teams in China and Korea; I don't think his brief stint with us should mar his stellar record.
To the fans of Florida - we truly value your continued support through these changes.
We play our first game of Stage 2 tomorrow vs London Spitfire, April 5th at 7PM EDT.