Fuel management talks playoff crash, season hits, struggles

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The Dallas Fuel players were deliberately in denial after their season-ending loss to reigning Atlanta on Friday night. It was a coping mechanism, because anything but a world championship was always going to be bittersweet.

The morning news from Dallas met with Fuel head coach Yun “RUSH” Hee-Won and Helen “Dear” Jang to talk about a historic season for Dallas, what went wrong in the playoffs and what could happen to the future.

Answers have been edited for length and brevity.

What do you think went wrong in the game against Atlanta?

Yun, via the interpreter: “I feel like yesterday we definitely didn’t play the way we prepared and played. So since we weren’t able to resolve the issues that were presented to us, I feel like we were a little late to the point where we really couldn’t accomplish anything else at this point.

What motivated the decision to choose King’s Row and Dorado?

Yun: “These cards are very suited to the style of our players. Basically I think we’re pretty confident on King’s Row. And Dorado was basically just a choice between the three cards with Havana and Route 66. And Havana and 66 aren’t really good cards. And that’s what left us with Dorado and we chose him. In the end, the enemy played it very differently from what we expected. So we looked pretty pissed off from there.

I know your season just ended, but do you think this group could use being so close to a championship as a learning experience before another season?

Yun: “It really depends on the state of mind of each player. Yes, from a baseline you can say it’s a very good experience, getting closer to a championship. And yes, maybe some players will have learned enough that they can do better next year.

“I expect some players to forget about it by next year, but it’s all about individual state of mind. There were also players in this team who were very close to a championship last year. Maybe this experience will serve as a good motivation for everyone.

Would you like to revive him with that team for 2022 with Overwatch 2?

Yun: “Before I can make this decision, we need to find out more. We need to see more footage from Overwatch 2 before we can make that kind of decision, so it’s really hard to answer that question.

How did the players take the loss yesterday? Was it particularly difficult or were they able to benefit from the achievements of the season?

Jang: “It was quite moving. Everyone really wanted to win as much as everyone else. Considering that we made it this far despite all the challenges we encountered, it just meant a lot more to us. Because we got close to it, it must have felt so empty at the end. Everything they worked for is finally over. I would say the best word to describe it is bittersweet, but I think it’s something all teams would agree on.

“The players were pretty much in denial they started joking about how they were going to lose that the memory of an hour ago is not real. And it was just a dream. And even though they’re still in the tournament, you know, they’re joking, but it’s like I could just as easily tell that they’re really trying to hang out together.

How hard has the team struggled to go the entire season without having a dedicated hitscan player available?

Jang: “Whatever challenge you are given in life, you must find a solution. And that’s what we’ve done. Nothing more, I feel like at some point we just said to ourselves, “Don’t even think of this as a limitation, that’s just what we’re going to have to work with.” So it’s not even worth thinking about all this, it’s unfair to us, because we don’t even really have time to do this, we just have to move forward, you really have to find a way to make it work and then keep moving. “

How has this year been for you, the transition to a role of Assistant General Manager within a high-performance team?

Jang: “It was really nice. I think I said it before, but I feel like I was carried by my team. We have undeniably the best coach in the league. They’ve been able to lead and lead such amazing players, all talented individuals, so well. And they’ve grown so strong throughout the season. This experience was for a job, obviously. But it’s also another factor that almost made everyone’s friendship even more strong.

Find more fuel coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

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