Kyoung Ey Molly “Avalla” Kim is joining the Overwatch League’s Washington, D.C. team as an assistant coach, making her the first woman coach in the professional esports organization.
Kim is a high-level “Overwatch” player who peaked at 78th rank on the Korean ladder, according to a press release. She previously served as head coach of Frescia Gaming, finishing in the top 16 in season one and qualifying for Contenders Trials Korea season two. She also worked as an assistant coach with OpTic Academy and Meta Bellum.
Mikael “mkL” Skjønhaug is also joining the D.C. team’s coaching staff. He worked alongside Kim at OpTic Academy and was an analyst for Last Night’s Leftovers in their playoff run. Before that, he was a player and coach for European teams.
“I’m happy to have Avalla and mkL join the coaching staff. They bring international experience and a great work ethic. Together, we’re well on our way to building the best coaching staff in the league,” said Washington, DC’s team’s head coach Hyeong-seok “WizardHyeong” Kim.
Washington, D.C. is one of eight new teams recently added to the Overwatch League ahead of the 2019 season. The others are Chengdu, Hangzhou, Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, Atlanta, and Guangzhou. That brings the league’s total roster up to 20.
The Overwatch League has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity, especially after signing only one woman in its inaugural season. South Korean player Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon joined the Shanghai Dragons as the first female player in February. She’s one of only a few women competing in esports at a professional level and is one of only three players left on the Dragons team after its disastrous 0-40 debut.