LA Gladiators' Bischu opens up about chronic illness

The Los Angeles Gladiator’s Aaron “Bischu” Kim was unable to participate in the first week of the Overwatch League’s second season due to chronic illness.

A few weeks before the Gladiator’s first match of the season versus Seoul Dynasty, Bischu tweeted out that he was having ulcerative colitis flare-ups. He later opened up to GINX Esports TV’s Amanda Stevens about the symptoms he’s had for the past four years and how it affects his professional gaming career.

“Last year was particularly bad, and I was out for about a month,” Bischu said. “The cramps were insanely painful.”

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease characterized by the inflammation of the colon lining, causing open sores to develop in the large intestine. Flare-ups can occur when the individual is stressed, causing fatigue, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. On February 22, Bischu tweeted that he’d lost 10 pounds since a flare-up at the beginning of February.

Bischu said that this year has been more manageable for him, although he still has to take a lot of bathroom trips and carefully watch what he eats. For this reason, he admitted he likes to stay home where he knows he’ll be near a bathroom, but being away from his team has started to take a toll on him mentally.

“I feel like I’m not contributing enough to the team and that I’m falling behind,” Bischu admitted.

This feeling was especially prevalent when he had to watch from the sidelines as the Los Angeles Gladiators lost to Seoul Dynasty. Luckily, his team defeated San Francisco Shock 3-2 later that weekend. It was still painful for him to sit out of two matches he was looking forward to.

The match Bischu is looking forward to most is versus Hangzhou Spark, an expansion team that has been making an impression on the Overwatch League community. He recalled the team using interesting compositions during practice games, and is hoping he will be back in fighting form come their match on March 3.

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