EVERMORE taught Overwatch that from one thing we can learn many.
Koo "EVERMORE" Kyo-min was a Roadhog god. Not only was he the first Overwatch player to hit the max rating of 5000 on Overwatch’s competitive ladder, but he also gave us all a timeless lesson; the ideas and principals we learn in one area can be applied elsewhere, even if we think they can’t.
EVERMORE’s short but historic stint in Overwatch shows us that just because we miss in one area, doesn’t mean we can’t hit in others.
While his name reaches back into the dusty history books of the pre-Overwatch League era, EVERMORE found his debut on a budding South Korean team called KongDoo Panthera. Now that name might sound familiar, but the awards and accolades you might want to give this team do not apply to the iteration EVERMORE played on.
Initially, Panthera was the weaker of the two KongDoo sister teams. It wasn’t until APEX Season 3 that the organisation pushed Panthera into the driver’s seat. The two seasons prior were marred by potential never realised. During APEX Season 1, EVERMORE and KongDoo Panthera ended their run at a 9th-12th place finish. Their second season together resulted in improvements, advancing out of the initial group stage, but dropping just short of the playoffs and ending in 5th-8th place.
This was partly due to the fact that EVERMORE’s style was overly enabled. Often times he’d be allowed to take dangerous flanks, especially during season one. This led to early death and resulted in Panthera never lifting off the ground. Season two stymied this trend slightly, but then it became an issue of his hero pool effectively only containing his signature pick of Roadhog. As the meta developed more from the triple-tank compositions featuring Soldier: 76, into more traditional Dive frameworks, EVERMORE’s Roadhog quickly would be phased out. However, just months later, his name would quickly capture the world’s attention in a game that was just catching fire; PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).
That’s right; most people forget that KongDoo Panthera’s flanking Roadhog specialist moved to PUBG in 2017 and has had quite the run winning Gamescom’s PUBG Invitational 2017 - Solo event, PUBG’s Asia Invitational G-Star 2017 - Duo tournament, and won the Seoul Cup OGN Supermatch 2018 alongside KongDoo Reddot. Past making a name for himself, either consciously or subconsciously, EVERMORE undoubtedly took the lessons he had learned through his journey in Overwatch and life in general and applied them to his newest passion.
That’s it. While it’s incredibly general, the point is that the things we learn in one area can be applied to multiple. That is part of the reason why an overly aggressive Roadhog one-trick became a name to recognise in a brand new battle-royale. And to further this point, we look towards a man that has gone from chasing Bobby Fischer into a black-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Martial artist, author, and International Chess Master, Josh Waitzkin, wrote in “The Art Of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence” that “mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously.” This wisdom echoes itself through EVERMORE’s career.
He found his way to the top of the Overwatch ladder, the first person to ever do so. EVERMORE then landed on a legendary South Korean team. Their successful outings were few and far between, but that did not deter him. And then he found his way to PUBG and had a fairly successful career for a number of years. It was equal parts of this sense of tenacity that drove him to succeed in a new esport and the lesions he had learned throughout his life.
Waitzkin also furthers this point by saying “Since childhood I had treasured the sublime study of chess, the swim through ever-deepening layers of complexity. I could spend hours at a chessboard and stand up from the experience on fire with insight about chess, basketball, the ocean, psychology, love, art. The game was exhilarating and also spiritually calming. It [centred] me. Chess was my friend.”
From one thing, we can learn many. From Overwatch, EVERMORE took those lessons and applied them to PUBG, and he isn’t the only one in esports doing something like this.
Similarly enough, former League of Legends professional player, Stephen "Snoopeh" Ellis, has shared this same kind of career trajectory—just outside of competitive gaming. After travelling the world over on teams like SK Gaming, CLG Europe, and Evil Geniuses, Snoopeh now has been apart of Facebook and now is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pipeline, a program aimed at enabling and mentoring streamers all across the world. There are aspects of his gaming career that he’s undoubtedly utilised throughout his business ventures.
The famed author and lecturer, Terence McKenna, once said, “as the bonfires of knowledge grow brighter, the more the darkness is revealed to our startled eyes.” And if we assume our bonfires are also tied to our disciplines or things we want to learn, then having multiple fires lit helps us see the path towards all kinds of possibilities.
To apply this more to everyday gaming, consider yourself losing on a competitive ladder. Before our egos get in the way, let’s out ourselves now; we’ve all been there, no reason to hide it. More often than not, we say that losing should be viewed as a “learning experience” and, at the risk of sounding vomit-inducingly-cliche, there is some truth to the claim. However, we never add the context of explaining how it can be used, not that it just is useful.
We need to shift our goalposts and find creative ways to learn. Perhaps it’s practising a new character or limiting yourself to minigames that change your perspective. This way, you always come out the other end with some sense of value, some form of lesson or experience. The real trick is making those adjustments so that it increases your enjoyment of the game. If you invent your own gamified chain-reaction, creating games within games, then you truly do “win” every time you play.
After some time, those lessons that you’ve learned through that practice begin to compound, like a little snowball travelling down a powdery hill. After a while, that snow-boulder of knowledge becomes so massive that you begin to touch bedrock and hit the fundamentals of your cause. These wise but often general teaching can be then applied to not only other aspects of the game but other games entirely, even reaching into other aspects of life.
From one thing we can learn many.
EVERMORE, Snoopeh, Waitzkin, McKenna - they all carry the same throughline; learning how to learn isn’t solitary, it is multiplicative. It gives lessons that we store in our toolbelt that be applied almost anywhere if you try hard enough. Adapt these approaches to the next game you so desperately want to climb in or a new skill you want to master. Use yesterday’s lessons as today’s blueprint, take each loss as fuel, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You might just find yourself countering Pharah with Roadhog and running towards the circle instead of away from it.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment | OGN