Last week, the London Spitfire formally parted ways with their head coach, Beom-joon “Bishop” Lee. Bishop helped lead the London Spitfire to the Stage 1 championship against the New York Excelsior in a spectacular 5-game set. Prior to being brought in by the Cloud9 organization, he along with current London Spitfire players Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim and Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi achieved 2nd place at APEX Season 3 as Team Kongdoo Panthera. Although the London Spitfire achieved success thus far in the Overwatch League, it did not equate to a positive morale within the team. From Rod “Slasher” Breslau’s tweet, players requested Bishop’s release from the team.
Bishop's removal from the London Spitfire as Coach is at least in part on the request from the players, sources said.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 7, 2018
The London Spitfire/Cloud9 organization did not release any statement regarding his release and looking to announce a new coaching structure in due time. We reached out to Bishop regarding his thoughts about working with the London Spitfire, his release from the organization, and his future endeavors.
Did you leave on good terms from the organization?
Bishop: Of course! It was a mutual agreement, and I thank Cloud9 for the amazing experience and opportunity they gave me. If anything, there was a difference in coaching philosophy which leads me to decide that it would be best to step down as head coach. I felt that the London Spitfire were already on a solid trajectory for greatness without me, and that eased in making the decision.
— Bishop (@BishopOW) March 7, 2018
Was there some sort of disconnect or miscommunication between you and the players? If so, do you think it contributed to your release?
Bishop: I sincerely feel that there was no disconnect or miscommunication with the lads. They are all a tight-knit group of great players with great professional minds — Fissure and Rascal included — hence my decision to bring them into the OWL as a group. In hindsight, my decisions regarding the roster in respect to getting results for the org may have contributed towards creating some interpersonal disconnection, but I believe this is something that is inevitable as a coach for any team with a roster size larger than six.
What are your next steps moving forward? Are you currently in talks with another OWL team?
Bishop: I am currently in talks with other teams and hope to work again by Stage 3, as I will need a new visa to permit entry into the U.S. once again.
If you do not get an offer with another OWL team, are you open to other opportunities with other esports? If so, what other esports comes to mind?
Bishop: Supporting an Overwatch Contenders team as a coach comes to mind, but really, any opportunity that has a highly competitive environment would be welcome. It is a privilege to work with talented players and bring the best out of them. I’ve gone from being a professional player, to coach, to head coach in the span of a short time. I strongly believe that there is much for me to experience and learn.
Photo source via Blizzard Entertainment