Los Angeles Valiant announced that substitute main tank Dae-kuk "KuKi" Kim has retired from professional Overwatch.
KuKi started his career at MVP Space in 2016 and remained with the team until the Seoul Dynasty picked him up in late 2017. During the last off-season, the 27-year-old South Korean main tank moved to the Los Angeles Valiant, where he struggled to find a starting spot over his teammate Pan-seung "Fate" Koo and later Russell "FCTFCTN" Campbell.
KuKi was brought on as a strong shot-caller who could transcend language barriers. During the first season, he shared playtime with Jin-hyuk "Miro" Gong and often conducted stage interviews in English. This season, he made news when former Valiant head coach Byung-chul "Moon" Moon played him in the main support role for a match over starter Scott "Custa" Kennedy.
Match notifications, latest esports news, and more. Get the Upcomer app now.
The Valiant were reevaluating their roster-building approach after a 0-7 record in Stage 1 of the second season of the Overwatch League. Counting on a mostly North American and European roster, the team has found new success under interim head coach Mike "Packing10" Szklanny and are currently eyeing a spot in this season’s play-in tournament.
KuKi has not yet said whether he will stay near the Overwatch community as a coach or streamer, though the Valiant’s press release does hint at it.
“No matter what path he chooses, I have no doubt KuKi will excel in the next phase of his career," General Manager Mike Schwartz wrote. "The game is better with him in it.”