Staying on the top of your game is hard in the Overwatch League, or any esport for that matter. Not only do you have to hone your skills to the nth degree and keep your head focused on the task ahead, but you also have to deal with internet culture. And that, as we all know, can be a bloody rough one. How does Jecse manage? We sat down with him to find out.
In Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee’s tenure as an elite Overwatch player, he has played for a number of teams including the Houston Outlaws and now, Dallas Fuel. His success has seen him in a meteoric rise since late 2017, when he first joined Element Mystic and won his first couple of awards playing at tournaments like SURGE and Nexus Cup.
We sat down with Jecse to talk about life, Overwatch, and how he handles conflict in the esports community.
Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee was calm and reflective when we spoke to him, careful and precise with his words, and perhaps a bit nervous. He may be a pro, but he is also 21, and during our conversation with him, he exuded the warmth and down-to-earth energy you expect from a good friend.
Jecse is the main Healer for Dallas Fuel, and opened up to us about why he chose to play Support in the first place, taking us way back to when he first started playing Overwatch:
“I liked picking Zarya, and because I started with [her], and that’s how I feel like I ended up on my path to playing support.”
He seemed happy with his position as Support, but was open in his belief that “A good DPS and bad Support is better” than a bad DPS and a good Support, saying that he is a more “situational” player and was always happy to learn new roles.
When asked about his priorities for the new year, he was very open with us, sharing:
“My top priority for 2021 with the team would be to win, and regarding my personal life, I feel like I want to change the potential bad impressions of me in Overwatch League.”
But what were these bad impressions? Why was it that he felt he needed to change people’s impressions of him in Overwatch League? Earlier in the year, Jecse was hit with a barrage of negative publicity and criticisms for his performance. Most came from obvious trolls on the internet, but some came from toxic influencers in the community (who will remain unnamed). See below:
When we asked about the toxic culture in Overwatch League, we knew we had struck a nerve with him. Suddenly, he went quiet and chose his words with more care, expressing his frustration at the situation – politely, but firmly.
“When I looked him up and he turned out to be a youtuber with 460k followers – I really just didn't understand. It is just odd that somebody would do this – especially a person with a big following, who is definitely an influencer. I was wondering how he could say something like that in public.”
He went on to elaborate on toxicity in esports, and explained that he had developed a sort of philosophy on how to deal with these kinds of people. Unfortunately, this habit of public put-downs and nasty behavior is a very modern phenomenon. We feel for the guy!
Jecse spoke of two particular strategies to handling these vibes both on-stage and off:
“The first one is just trying to stay calm by not putting my emotion into the game, and the second one is that if I end up being angry, then I need to find the cause. I am the one who knows best about why I am angry, so I try to get over it as soon as possible, so that it doesn’t affect my game as much.”
This dedication to the game struck us with Jecse: He works hard and deals with a lot of s**t, but has never lost the drive to better his game and stay on top of the work that he loves so much. As he said, “There are toxic people wherever you go”, so he tries not to let it get to him. Still, we felt that it had affected him from the way he talked about it. We’re all only human, after all.
Seung-Soo “Jecse” Lee was very calm when we spoke, but clearly had a lot of passion for what he does. He spoke about the work it takes to become the pro player he is, and the commitment it takes to stay at the top of his game. He clearly takes great pride in this, and his dedication was valiant!
“A lot of people don’t take into consideration how much it takes to be [a pro player], and think that it’s just an easy thing to do. As much as you want to turn something that you like into a career, I hope that you can put more effort in it and try your best. Don’t think it is just an easy thing, [but] do not easily give up!”
The time we spent with Jecse was eye-opening. It was a glimpse into a world that many dream of, but not so many achieve. We appreciated his attitude towards the game, his drive to succeed and win, and his ferocity in fighting back at toxic people who seek to take him down. From humble beginnings in South Korea, to the big stage with Dallas Fuel, we are looking forward to watching Seung-Soo “Jecse” Lee play for years to come.
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Seung-Soo "Jecse" Lee was interviewed by EarlyGame's Ivana Madarevic.