It's been one week since Bora "Yellowstar" Kim announced his retirement from professional League of Legends and then immediately pitched up at Paris Saint-Germain as their new head of esports, but the former Fnatic support has already has an idea of how he wants to build PSG's LoL team and it centres on players from everyone's favourite dominant region.
"When it comes down to players - to be original, I would like to work with two Korean players that would 'lead by example' and young players that are willing to prove themselves and make their own name on the scene," Yellowstar explained in a Reddit AMA. Asked whether only being in Challenger Series would make it hard to attract Korean talent, he replied: "No."
Why not buy an LCS spot, someone asked, rather than try to fight your way up out of Challenger? After all, an organisation of PSG's means - they are bankrolled by Qatar Sports Investments, who had no qualms about dumping hundreds of millions into the football team - could surely just buy out an existing org?
"Being new coming into esports, we would like to build and maintain a strong base from scratch," Yellowstar explained, perhaps thinking about Schalke 04's unfortunate experience buying out Elements and then getting relegated a few months later. "Rushing things is not a part of the plan. Getting our players to know each other, give them the tools to work together in a good atmosphere while soaking the values of the club."
Yellowstar restated that it's PSG's goal "to qualify in LCS this season", which would mean the earliest we could see them in the premier competition would be the 2017 summer split.
Asked what would happen if PSG doesn't make it to the LCS at the first attempt, PSG's head of social, who was chaperoning the AMA and sometimes spoke instead of Yellowstar, confirmed they were in it for the long haul. "We have some experience with sport disappointment, so don't expect us to surrender if things don't go immediately in the good direction," she wrote. However, "for 2017 we would be very happy with a world champion title on FIFA and a qualification to LCS for our League of Legends team."
The players can certainly look forward to a good environment as they strive to reach the LCS. "We can confirm we will have a gaming house in Berlin, starting early December," PSG's head of social wrote. "We want the infrastructure of PSG eSports as close as possible as the ones we have for our football and handball teams. That is why we hired the exact same agency to provide the same quality in term of equipment and living conditions."
Fans were also curious about the practicalities of Yellowstar's role, which won't involve playing or coaching the team, despite his experience.
"Bora is indeed our head of eSports, and we are really happy to have him on board," PSG's head of social wrote. "As you may know we are a bit used to sports, so it wouldn't be very different from traditional sports. Head of eSports duties are to ensure that the players have all the tools to be able to perform without worrying about the external things that come around. Elaborate a plan short and long term, building a stable environment with a team of players and coaching staff. Create a balanced schedule to keep everyone in check and organized. We'll make sure, especially our President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, that Bora get surrounded by Paris Saint-Germain top management to grow as much as possible in his new duties."
Elsewhere in the AMA, there was discussion about why PSG had gone for FIFA and League of Legends as their way into esports, and whether they entertained any other possibilities?
"As for now we will sit on those two games," said PSG's head of social. "We actually had some discussions about other games (Justice rains from above!) but we thought that it'd be more reasonable to understand deeply eSports environment first. Let's ask us this question again in a few months!"
"Justice rains from above," of course, is a reference to Pharah's ultimate ability in Blizzard's wildly successful multiplayer first-person action game Overwatch, which is fast emerging as a compelling esport. Whether that means we'll see the famous colours of PSG gracing Lijiang Tower and King's Row in the near future, that remains to be seen.