Forgive my absence, folks.
I had a hell of a few weeks, so much so that I write this with literally no voice and sheer willpower. My time at California Cup was interesting, to say the least, and one of the highlights of my experience there was being able to talk to Jun-Hyeok “Bunny” Chae from the Los Angeles Valiant. Once known for being a Tracer one-trick, Bunny has been spending his offseason practicing other hitscan heroes and hoping to truly make his mark once again in Overwatch League. And from what I’ve seen from his streams, I’ve no doubt this will be the case. I was joined by Bunny and translator Andrew Kim for this interview.
Becoming an Overwatch DPS Star
In an interview in June, you mentioned that SoOn really stepped up into a mentorship role with you during his time with the Valiant. With SoOn leaving for Paris, it looks like you, Agilities, and KSF will have a chance to step up in the DPS role. How prepared are you for that? What does losing SoOn mean to you as a player, and as a teammate?
Bunny: Personally, I’m prepared and ready to play at any point and at any time and in anyone’s stead. On the same side of that, though, SoOn was a player that really looked after me for a really long time. He really took care of me. Seeing him go is a little bit disappointing, and a little bit sad. But I also understand that part of saying goodbye and parting with teammates is what comes with pro gaming. So I’m sad and disappointed, but I’ll move on from that.
[At this point, Bunny’s teammate Izayaki stepped into the room, opting to listen quietly to our conversation.]
OWS: Oh, hello!
OWS: Do you want to come in?
Izayaki: Oh no, no. I just want to listen!
So, Bunny. Going into OWL 2019, I wanted to know how you think you’ll be utilized within the Valiant’s structure alongside KSF and Izayaki. There are a lot of different metas and opportunities for a flexible DPS player – how do you fit in to the Valiant’s plans?
Bunny: We’ve been starting our scrims early, and I personally think that’s a really good thing; practicing a lot earlier and getting as much practice in before the season starts. Another part of it is that I know that I had the reputation of being a Tracer one-trick. In season two, I want to get past that reputation. I don’t want to just be a Tracer one-trick, but someone who can play anything at any time, and from beginning to end be known as the best – not just the best Tracer, but THE best.
OWS: I believe it. I have actually watched your streams and saw you actually slay as Widowmaker.
Bunny (shocked): You watch my stream?
OWS: Yes! I do watch your stream!
Bunny: Thank you!
OWS: I’m quiet though, I lurk. And while watching, I did see your Widowmaker play and it was great. Do you think that’s where you want to keep your focus, or do you want to expand that into all of the DPS roles?
[Izayaki continues to listen.]
Bunny: I’m planning to master every hitscan hero in the game. Going into season two, I want to be able to play any hitscan hero that I need to.
Tattoos and Music
OWS: So you may have noticed, I’m definitely a tattoo person. I saw that you had Carpe Diem on your wrist…
Bunny: Yeah, I have two tattoos.
OWS: Would you mind telling me about them?
Bunny: So, Carpe Diem was something that actually has a connection to my career. Up until stage 4, I’ve been able to play in the Overwatch League, I’ve been able to do this job, but in stage 4, it was the first time where I wasn’t getting enough play time in the league, and also the first time thought to myself, “I may not be able to play for the rest of the season.” And it was a really hard time for me mentally because I went from a rising star to someone who wasn’t even being played. So I was spending my time playing video games, going on the internet and stuff, and I found the phrase Carpe Diem. It came across to me as being very beautiful, very meaningful, and had a lot of connection to what I was going through at the moment. So I thought it was something that I wanted to put on myself as a constant reminder of that time and to be better, to do better, and to move on from what I was dealing with.
OWS: That’s awesome. My aunt has the same tattoo on her ribs. I also noticed you have musical notes on there too?
Bunny: Yeah, I studied music for three years.
OWS: Oh, wow! What kind of music? That’s awesome!
Bunny: Ballads. Mostly ballads.
OWS: That’s so cool!
Bunny: Yeah, I put my music career on hold in the hopes to become a pro gamer. At first, I didn’t really think much about going back to his music career, but as my career progressed, I kept thinking about how much I want to go back and to do more music, so I got that tattoo on my wrist as a reminder to myself as well about how passionate I am about music and how I want to go back to it at some point.
OWS: Do you play any instruments?
Bunny: I’m a vocalist, actually.
OWS: Oh, my God! Okay, don’t worry, I won’t embarrass you, I won’t ask you to sing. But that’s awesome!
Bunny: Thank you!
Thank you so much, Bunny! And thank you, Andrew!