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Overwatch • May 03, 2018

Florida Mayhem Coach Announces He’s Temporarily Stepping Down

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Florida Mayhem Coach Announces He’s Temporarily Stepping Down
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Florida Mayhem head coach Vytis ‘Mineral’ Lasaitis has announced he’s taking a break from the team.

Mineral has been with the team since they were known as Misfits, prior to taking up the mantle of Florida Mayhem.

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In the final week of Stage 3 of the Overwatch League, Mineral has announced that he will be taking a break from the team. He did not state when he will return, although if his absence is long enough to warrant a statement it seems likely that he will miss some if not all of Stage 4.

In the statement Mineral released on the matter, he cites burn-out and both physical and mental health strains as the cause for taking a step back.

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Florida Mayhem is already mathematically eliminated from the end-of-season playoffs, currently sitting in eleventh place in the overall standings at a 6-23 record. The team has looked distinctly improved with the roster additions for Stage 3, but other teams improving at a commensurate rate has left Florida still struggling for series wins.

It is expected that assistant coach Choi ‘r2der’ Hyun-jin will take over Mineral’s responsibilities for however long he is absent.

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Mineral’s full statement can be read below:

I want to preface this statement by saying that I love all the Florida Mayhem players, staff and fans. Working alongside all of you is nothing but a pleasure, and you're all fantastic. It's no secret we've had a tough run so far, but the collective group has remained gritty and hungry, persevering through adversity. I firmly believe brighter days are ahead for all of us.

The last six months represent the most educational period of my life. Thanks to the privilege of leading an OWL franchise, I've learned an incredible amount about myself, people, competition, emotions and, of course, Overwatch. It's something I truly appreciate and never dare to take for granted.

Unfortunately, OWL is a frantic marathon. While it's mostly an exhilarating journey, it also pushes all competitors to the limit and brings a heavy burden. Figuratively speaking, I've had to wear a lot of different hats since the regular season began, and it has now caught up to me. I've been experiencing burnout and various health issues since stage 2, but it's something I chose to neglect for a long time.

Even when I was offered a break by management, I didn't want to take one under any circumstances. I felt like I had to be there for the guys, especially as we struggled and worked to integrate our new additions. I reasoned that I wouldn't be able to relax anyway, not until the season was over. But I've also felt physically and mentally unable to be as efficient as I know I can be, and the guys deserve nothing but the best.

It's extremely tough to be a role model and leadership figure under these circumstances, and I've learned the hard way that it's essential to take care of oneself before taking care of others.

Because of this, I've asked the Mayhem to allow me to temporarily step aside in order to recharge my batteries, catch my breath and take care of my health. Words can't explain how much it breaks my heart to do it before the conclusion of the season, and it's an incredibly tough decision.

I'm sorry to everyone for having to do this, but I promise to come back stronger than ever. Meanwhile, I have full faith in r2der, yeHHH and every single one of our players. You are all extremely talented and deserve the best.