Florida Mayhem set to continue their downward trend in OWL Season Two
Florida Mayhem have made roster changes once again this offseason. On January 20, Florida Mayhem announced a coaching staff change with their Mayhem Academy Assistant Coach Marvin “Promise” Schröder being promoted to the main roster. In addition to the change in the same announcement, Florida Mayhem announced the departure of their current Head Coach Hyun-jin “r2der” Choi with no real reasoning or explanation for the sudden move. This coaching staff change is noticeably late, considering the Overwatch League season is just three weeks away from ramping up again.
With this latest change, Florida Mayhem claim they are ‘consistently looking for ways to improve’ but is this abrupt change to the roster the right one considering the makeup of this team? And how will this change affect players over the course of the season if results start to dip?
The Mayhem continues
Overwatch is a game that relies so heavily on communication at the highest levels. If players aren’t adequately stepping up to the plate in order to fix those issues, Florida Mayhem could very well continue their slump depending on form. Of course, star players like Jeong-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha will remain constant sources of pressure, but the heavy lifting needs to come from somewhere else if Florida Mayhem have any ambitions for a mid table finish.
With seven of nine players on their current roster being of Korean descent, getting rid of the only Korean coaching member on their staff seems like a bad business move on multiple fronts. With all coaching critiques of r2der aside, having a buffer between the Western players and coaches and their Korean teammates is essential for day-to-day productivity for any bilingual team.
For those reasons, the departure of r2der is extremely questionable considering their high ambitions for greatness in the next season. Former players on the team have criticized his coaching tactics in the past, and there is a chance that a former Heroes of the Storm pro player has no real credibility to insert himself as a Head Coach for a professional Overwatch team, but the alternative that Mayhem have picked to supplement his departure also doesn’t help the situation.
The underdog mentality
Promise has had little success as an Assistant Coach in multiple regions in the past two years. To be fair, the 21 year old is most likely not at fault for most of his team’s poor performances as a whole, but there is little on his resume to qualify him for this new role he is about to take at the Overwatch League level. At the moment, the current FL Mayhem Head Coach seems to be Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis as he continues his role from the former Misfits Gaming organization that owns Mayhem.
In all honesty, the expectations were already rather low for Florida Mayhem considering the top half of OWL teams are only getting better. With the lack of expectations on this team, there is a chance that FL Mayhem go on a run after getting some coordination between players. If Mayhem look to make that dream a reality, the first step to success starts with building a solid foundation between coaches and players.
With the lack of funds and less than ideal living conditions that followed some embarrassing stories for Florida Mayhem management last year, the prospect of a full-time translator is likely not on the docket for their team. This seems like a major red flag for a team that already had tough times communicating between their European and Korean players last year.