The Dallas Fuel have officially released coach Kyle “KyKy” Souder and DPS player Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun, according to a statement released by the team Sunday night.
Coach Souder has been with the team since its earliest days, including Korea’s APEX tournament where they first made a name for themselves as Team Envy. “While we recognize many of the challenges Kyle faced with the Dallas Fuel were beyond his control, there comes a time when change is necessary for the team to move forward and we felt that time is now,” owner Mike Rufail said in the team’s statement.
Souder will be replaced by Dallas Fuel assistant coach Emanuel “Peak” Uzoni, who has been named interim head coach. The Fuel also used this statement to formally announce the hiring of Korean coach, Kang “Vol’Jin” Min-Gyu as the new assistant coach. The team is actively looking for a replacement head coach and will make an announcement as soon as one is found.
Kim, who was also released on Sunday, has been with the Dallas Fuel for just two stages of Overwatch League play, after he was acquired from the London Spitfire in late February. In the team’s statement, Rufail had this to say about Kim: “unfortunately, his commitment to the team did not meet our expectations and his unwillingness to communicate with the team while playing in recent matches became a large distraction.”
The team’s statement does not detail what exactly these expectations were, but Kim was one of the few Korean players on Dallas Fuel’s otherwise mostly English-speaking roster. On his previous team, the London Spitfire, the primary language of communication was Korean — thanks to the team’s all-Korean roster — making language and communication issues a hurdle the Fuel were likely well aware they had to face when signing Kim in the first place.