Twilight’s will manifests itself in everything he does. He is a born champion.
Throughout his entire career, Lee "Twilight" Jooseok has, intentionally or not, always positioned himself to succeed. He was agreeable enough to flex where his team needed him to, creative enough to take niche heroes pioneer how we think of them during OGN's Overwatch APEX, and skilled enough to become arguably the best in the world at what he does in the most competitive environment to date. To think we nearly lost this calibre of star, to be extinguished just after the climax of his journey. Twilight's return is one of the most determined acts of sheer will we've ever seen in Overwatch League history.
To fully understand his outlook, we have to begin at his genesis alongside a popular South Korean streamer. Named after the titular South Korean broadcaster, Kim "Bokyems" Bo-byeom, BK Stars was where Twilight found his start, however, it would be until his second attempt on CONBOX Spirit where we would see him come into his own. With a creative and unorthodox flair about him, Twilight began to stick out more and more. To this day, I wonder how much of a hand he had in his often bizarre picks. During APEX Season 2 he featured odd picks like Torbjorn, Widowmaker, and Pharah. On top of that, he was easily one of the best support Sombra players in the world during the heroes introduction during 2017. I often wonder if he knew he had to be crafty, push the envelope of the metagame to see his team succeed, because—if we're being honest—CONBOX wasn't anything to write home to mom about.
Sure they exported some talent, but historically speaking, CONBOX wasn’t a team known particularly or their success, but Twilight stood out. He was the blue ribbon on a mundane brown uniform. Eventually, Twilight’s skill would be noticed, not only his plucky wit but his genuine skill on the standard flex support heroes like Zenyatta and Ana would shine through and fan favourite team, RunAway would bring him on board. Together they would become one of the best South Korea teams during the APEX Era of Overwatch which transitioned into the Overwatch League once the roster was signed by the Vancouver Titans for the 2019 season of the Overwatch League.
After continued success throughout the 2019 regular season, the Vancouver Titans coasted past the competition and into the playoffs where they were the odds-on favourites for the majority of their run. However, after rivalling them all season, the Titans fell short in their final bout with the San Francisco Shock and were sent home licking their wounds. That said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, they undoubtedly were good enough to take another at-bat next season and compete for the 2020 title—well, that’s what we all wanted to believe.
The cathedral that the RunAway core built for the Vancouver Titans, the team that debuted with a silver spoon in their mouth, slowly began to crumble. One by one all the players and the members of the coaching staff started to wonder where—or if—they would be able to find a place within the Overwatch League this late into the game. Twilight, among them, would field offers from handfuls of teams, but after coming so close to reaching the end of the line, he held his legacy above all else. After being left on the streets of the Overwatch League in the middle of the 2020 season without a team, he had a clear plan in mind; he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
In an interview with esports journalist Duncan "Thorin" Shields, CEO and founder of NRG Esports and the San Francisco Shock, Andy Miller, referenced the process Twilight went through when deciding his eventual team for the remainder of the 2020 Overwatch League season. Twilight reportedly approached the Shock with interest in playing for their team, because they were clearly the most well-structured team in the league. With the Overwatch League's best coaching staff and some of the best players in the world on top of their track record of success which dates to the beginning of 2019, can you blame him? Twilight was not satisfied with reaching the grand finals and losing unceremoniously; he wanted to become a champion.
Twilight, the player, is a fantastically skilled support player.
Twilight, the rival sits among some of the most talented players in the league and battles for your attention day in and day out.
Twilight the foundation is the selfless player willing to do whatever it takes to win.
What about Twilight the person?
What are Lee Jooseok's goals? What are his motivations, his driving forces? What woke him up to practice eight to ten hours a day?
One word; legacy.
With how much time and effort Twilight has sunk into this game, it’s a safe assumption to say that he wants to become a champion. However, this isn’t just the idea of wanting something; this is much more visceral. He wanted to be remembered, he knew he could be remembered, and he had the patience to put his nose to the grindstone and rise to the top.
Twilight’s return to the 2020 grand finals is nearly fated. The second-place star narrowly misses the championship and, during the next attempt at the title, he aligns himself with his once enemies. What this synopsis leaves out are the tragic elements. There is a real possibility that with the COVID-19 pandemic and the budget contrast place on nearly all the Overwatch League franchises, Twilight and the remaining members of the Vancouver Titans would not find homes during the season. Losing a player of his calibre, an MVP level, top three flex support in the world, would be unremarkably disappointing for the league. However, he’s here, on what looks like the best team in the world, a team that will probably never be replicated in Overwatch history.
The Titans’ fall from grace nearly ended his career as it was finally taking off, but oddly, it pushed him forward. He had to make the call to dodge the financial gain, the notoriety that certain franchises might give him for the long term goal of becoming immortal. This will to win manifests itself in nearly everything Twilight has ever done. Whether it’s his creative picks during his debut to finding his way onto RunAway, Twilight does what it takes at every single turn in his career. His will to win burns too bright.
This game of chicken Twilight is playing is inevitable. It isn’t a matter of it, it is when he will become a champion that is worth betting on, and this October has the odds in his favour.
Twilight is, after all, a many-faced god of the game.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment