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London Spitfire Cut Seven Players

Aaron Alford  | 
Spitfire

London Spitfire is cleaning house and taking their roster back to the drawing board in preparation for the OWL 2021 season. (Photo courtesy Robert Paul - Blizzard)

After teasing big changes to their team for over a month, London Spitfire announced that seven of their active players are departing the roster to make room for a new team. Spitfire cut Sang-jun “Babel” Park, Gun-hee “Clestyn” Cho, Hyun-wook “ALTHOUGH” Jung, Ji-hun “Jihun” Kim, Sung-hyeok “Highly” Lee, Dong-jae “Schwi” Lee, and Young-hoon “Krillin” Jeong. The player cuts followed the release of London’s entire coaching staff on October 1st. In short, London is cleaning house and starting fresh.

Spitfire had a very difficult 2020 season. They switched Overwatch League divisions part way through the year, moving to South Korea in March. The relocation was in response to the ongoing global pandemic and driven by the fact that Spitfire’s team was made up entirely of South Korean coaches and players. While competing in the APAC region, they struggled to find any amount of success, ultimately placing #17 out of 20 total teams with a 6-15 season record. During the playoffs, they were eliminated by the Chengdu Hunters in the very first round, thus earning the lowest possible playoff placement of 7th out of 7 teams in the APAC region. For a team who won the inaugural season championship, Spitfire’s pitiful 2020 season was a bitter disappointment to say the least.

Now that the team has released the majority of their players, they will look to sign new talent. There have been some rumors that they plan to sign the active squad of their European Contenders team, British Hurricane, though this has not yet been confirmed. The move would make sense though. Hurricane didn’t lose a single match during the Contenders 2020 EU Season 1, and managed to win every single major and minor event they competed in throughout 2020. Plus Hurricane is already owned by Spitfire Owner Jack Etienne, so organizationally they would be sticking with players they already have a relationship with. If the team did decide to sign Hurricane, they would no longer be an all Korean roster since Hurricane features team members from Sweden, Germany, Denmark, and Finland.

As for the players who were cut, they are all free agents who will be available to sign on October 24th. Most of the released players only competed with Spitfire during the 2020 Overwatch League season. Nearly all of the players who departed on Thursday were also OWL rookies, with the exception of Highly, who previously played for Seoul Dynasty. It is likely we will see some of the young players picked up by other OWL teams looking to shake things up, while others may be signed to Korean Contenders teams like RunAway and XL2 Academy, who have a history of picking up former Spitfire players in the past.

London was the fourth team to announce big roster cuts in the past week. L.A. Gladiators, Florida Mayhem, and Houston Outlaws all cut at least four players in preparation to retool their rosters for the 2021 season. In the near future, we can expect further sweeping roster changes from OWL teams that struggled this past year.

Aaron Alford
Aaron Alford
Aaron is a 25 year old esports journalist who has worked with dotesports.com, upcomer.com, qrank.gg, among others. Aaron completed a Master's degree in Communication from the University of Dayton in 2018 (Go Flyers). Aaron has also worked as a national circuit debate coach and communication manager for emerging technology companies.