Excerpt from a June 2016 interview with Taimou, the contents of which were never published. The interview was conducted right after EnVyUs’s victory over X6-Gaming in the APEX Season 3 Quarterfinals.
ME: Does Kyky help you manage your drive?
TAIMOU: I think when Kyle came into the team, back in Season 2, Season 2 he was kind of suffocated because of Dennis, I would say. But now there’s no — people trust Kyle, especially when he made our main strategy, and we tried them, and we — we have always been a really stubborn team, like we especially Cocco, Harry, me, we never really wanted any external help, I thought we could do it better player-managed, and it did work for a while, for the longest while. But then right now, when everybody else has two coaches, an analyst, and a manager, we have this idiot, and he’s doing all of their jobs, and he’s doing a really good job. We — he’s not like pushing us to do anything, he just gives guidance. I think that’s really good.
COCCO: He makes us play our own game.
TAIMOU: And people trust him enough to not really object to anything, which I think for a Western team is a big thing. Because in Korea, especially when coaches are older, players really have to respect them — we don’t have that shit.
KYKY: It’s the complete opposite.
TAIMOU: Yeah we have the complete opposite. The coach is the dog. Like, Kyle’s our water boy. [everyone laughs] I think like, Kyle mostly, he’s a really good friend to everybody, he respects everybody, we respect him, and I think he’s a really big part of our strategy and a really good analyst too. Most of the time the strategies we use is either from him, or we do something random ourselves and he sees if it works or not and he gives feedback, basically. Kyle used to be a…
ME: A pretty good player?
TAIMOU: [smiles] He was an okay player. He was the captain of C9, and I think other coaches, especially in the West, I don’t think any team except ours has a coach that played the game on a pro level himself.
ME: So amongst Western coaches, Kyle is pretty special?
TAIMOU: Yeah, he is, he is. I think he’s by far the best coach in the West. When he came to the team, I think the biggest thing was that we had to let him get some power. At the start he didn’t, but now he has more power in the team, he has learned a lot from us, and after he learns certain patterns, how we do certain stuff, and he watches a lot of game footage, he — his game experience from the past helps him a lot. I think a lot of other coaches in the West, they mostly — I don’t even know what they do. Like, do they even do anything?
KYKY: I’ve talked to every team, and they all tell me their coach does nothing.
KYKY: I asked them, out of general curiosity, like what does your coach do, just to get ideas and get feedback for myself, but usually the response I get is that he doesn’t do shit. That’s what I hear.
COCCO: Well that’s what I’m gonna say when anyone asks what you do, so they think you do nothing. [everyone laughs] You don’t want to give away what your coach is doing.
TAIMOU: Yeah, the other coaches in the west might learn!
ME: A tactical lie.
TAIMOU: A tactical lie.
KYKY: You know, I should write a book on like, just like coming into this team, what it was like in the beginning, earning the respect of the players, becoming their friends, because when I first came in, some of them had the perspective that I was some party kid that was drunk all the time —
TAIMOU: [hushed voice] But he was a yakuza.
KYLE: — so I had to prove them wrong, but also prove my worth and earn their respect, develop relationships, so it’s been a wild six months.
ME: But everyone is in a good place now?
KYLE: I think so, yeah.
TAIMOU: I agree.