Damwon KIA head coach Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun has resigned as the head coach of the Korean national League of Legends team ahead of the upcoming Asian Games.
The Asian Games are an international sports competition based in Asia that has been expanded to include esports. The attending Korean team is assembled from South Korean nationals and competes against other Asian nations in both traditional sports and esports. This year’s Asian Games offer Korean winners the opportunity of having their mandatory military service radically shortened, a standard set by the Korean government for winners in the Olympics and Asian Games in traditional sports.
kkOma held a press conference early on April 22 announcing his resignation from the South Korean Asian Games League of Legends team, where he had been serving as its head coach. In kkOma’s press conference, he said he felt that he had very little input on the roster for the Asian Games and had been taking the blame for national esports association KeSPA’s mistakes. One of his key objections was the use of public exhibition matches to finalize the team’s roster, giving competing teams information ahead of the games themselves.
kkOma noted that even if the Asian Games roster ends up being composed entirely of this split’s undefeated T1, the logistics around the creation of the ten-man roster only added to his worries. kkOma said that he was not able to adequately care for his players with KeSPA’s continued interference, and as a result, he would be stepping down.
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has recently commented on the harrowing schedule he was undergoing ahead of the Asian Games, and kkOma’s resignation only serves as further proof that the experience has been less than ideal for competitors and staff alike. The event was not live-streamed but was recorded and translated by Korean media teams, including KORIZON Esports.
kkOma’s press conference was stern and his vocal disapproval of KeSPA’s conduct is a clear gesture of defiance against what he views as mismanagement at the country’s highest level of esports governance.