After a thrilling conclusion to the Overwatch League 2020 season, the off-season has arrived. That means it’s rebuilding time once again for the Overwatch League teams. Over the next couple of months, many teams will make changes to their rosters for the 2021 season, cutting players and signing others, all in an attempt to improve their odds at winning next season’s championship. On the player side of things, many players will change teams or, in some cases, retire from the game completely.
Here is the full rundown of the roster adjustments for the Overwatch League as we prepare for the 2021 competitive season.
Los Angeles Gladiators
The Los Angeles Gladiators had a disappointing 2020 season. After finishing in the top five ranked teams for OWL Season 1 and Season 2, they finished the 2020 season in ninth. On top of that, they were eliminated from the playoffs without picking up a single map. They certainly were not the worst team in the Overwatch League this year, but their end of the year performance definitely left something to be desired.
Who’s out: On October 6th, Gladiators cut Off-Tank player Aaron “Bischu” Kim, DPS player Jason “Jaru” White, Flex Support player Benjamin “BigG00se” Isohanni, and Main Support player Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara. Of those players, the most notable departure was the Finnish support duo of Shaz and BigG00se. Both players were inaugural members of the team and were well loved by fans. Shortly after being released, BigG00se announced his retirement from Overwatch. On October 23rd, Shaz announced his retirement and on October 24th Jaru announced he too was retiring from Overwatch.
On October 12th, they released Main Tank player Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen, who did not see a significant amount of playtime for the team in 2020. On October 16th, Los Angeles announced they were mutually parting ways with Main Tank player Min-seok “OGE” Son. OGE was Gladiators starting tank throughout the 2020 season. He formerly played with Dallas Fuel before joining Gladiators in late 2019.
Gladiators also saw the departure of Assistant Coach James “Faustus” Fryer on October 16th.
Who’s in: Gladiators brought on Seung-min “Tydolla” Jung as an Assistant Coach on October 27th. Tydolla formerly coached for Guangzhou Change. A few days later, Gladiators announced that they promoted L.A. Director of Operations Brenda Suh, who was also the former competitive manager for Guangzhou, to be their new General Manager for the 2021 season.
On November 8th, the team picked up Main Tank player Young-hun “MuZe” Kim. On November 9th, Flex Support player Jin-seo “Shu” Kim was transferred from Guangzhou Charge to the L.A. Gladiators. Then, on November 12th, the team announced that they had acquired Grant “moth” Espe from the San Francisco Shock. Moth is a star Main Support player and his acquisition is a very big deal for the Gladiators.
Florida Mayhem put on a surprisingly solid performance during the OWL 2020 season. They defied relatively low expectations during the May Melee, where they made a run to the Grand Finals, ultimately coming in second place to San Francisco Shock. Mayhem finished the regular season with a 17-7 record and ranked sixth out of 20 total teams. Despite 2020 being their best season yet, the team is still making some changes in the off-season.
Who’s out: On October 14th, Florida cut four players:
- DPS Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha,
- Main Support Junsu “Kris” Choe,
- Main Tank San-ha “Karayan” Choi
- Flex Support player Seong-ju “Byrem” Lee.
Of those four, only Kris saw consistent playtime for the team in 2020. Sayaplayer left the active roster in May, after announcing that he had to return home to Korea to deal with a health issue. After Florida’s announcement of his departure, Sayaplayer announced that he was retiring from Overwatch to join T1’s VALORANT team and that he changed his gamertag to Spyder.
A few days after dropping the first four players, Florida also dropped Main Tank player San-ha “Karayan” Choi. With Pan-seung “Fate” Koo on the team, Karayan ended up finding very little playtime, since his specialities crossed with Fate, who was the preferred starting Main Tank for Florida throughout 2020.
Who’s in: TBA
On November 12th, Pan-seung “Fate” Koo was transferred to the Shanghai Dragons.
Houston Outlaws had a very poor 2020 season. They were plagued with poor teamwork and badly conceived strategy, which led to a disappointing season finish. The team ended their regular season with a 6-15 record and were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round by the lowly Boston Uprising. Going into 2021, Houston is looking to make core changes to their roster in hopes of fundamentally transforming their team.
Who’s out: On October 14th, Outlaws announced the release of starting Main Tank player Austin “Muma” Wilmot, Hitscan DPS player Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin, Flex DPS player Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang, and Flex Support player Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee. All of these players saw a good deal of playtime in the regular season. Jecse had a particular challenge this year, trying to fill in for Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty, who retired from Overwatch midseason to play VALORANT.
Houston Assistant Coach Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee announced his departure from the team on October 16th.
Who’s in: Houston announced on October 16th that they had signed former Shock Assistant Coach Jae “Junkbuck” Choi to be their new Co-Head Coach. After Shock’s amazing championship performances two years in a row, their coaching staff was in high demand going into the 2021 season. Junkbuck capitalized on that demand and landed his first head coaching position in the Overwatch League.
— Houston Outlaws (@Outlaws) October 16, 2020
On October 19th, Houston announced they had promoted former Overwatch pro Matt “coolmatt” Iorio from Logistics manager to be their General Manager.
On November 24th, Outlaws signed Flex Support player William “Crimzo” Hernandez, who most recently was playing with Dallas Fuel.
London Spitfire performed very poorly in the 2020 season. They fielded a roster which featured many rookies and they just couldn’t seem to build any amount of momentum throughout the season. These struggles were only made worse when the all Korean roster was forced to relocate to Korea because of the pandemic. While playing in the APAC region, Spitfire ended up 6-15 and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Chengdu Hunters. After such a dismal performance, the team is looking to make sweeping changes to their coaching staff and roster.
Who’s out: London announced on October 15th that they cut seven players from their roster.
It is with heavy hearts that we must announce that we must bid farewell to our players. We have offered free agency to most of our players to ensure that they can find a new team to thrive in with the least amount of resistance. #AcesHigh pic.twitter.com/PqRIKHGAEn
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) October 15, 2020
Most of the players who were released were rookie players who were signed to Spitfire in the lead up to the 2020 season.
A few days after their initial purge of players, Spitfire also released rookie Main Tank player Dae-han “JMAC” Choi. JMAC served as the starting Main Tank for London throughout the 2020 season. His performances, especially in the second half of the season, left something to be desired.
Today we have another very tough announcement, we are releasing @JeungMac_ow from the Spitfire. We all thank him for the dedication and effort he has put into the team over the past year and wish him all the best for the 2021 season.#AcesHigh pic.twitter.com/xgc1VDxxlF
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) October 17, 2020
In addition to cutting the players, Spitfire also cut their entire coaching staff, including Head Coach Cheolyong “Agape” Hong, Assistant Coaches Hyeon-sang “Pavane” Yu and Young-bin “Twinkl” Lim, and Strategic Coach Kim “Sqix” Geon-yong. Pavane retired a few weeks after being released.
On November 17th, the team released two further players, cutting Off-Tank player Se-won “BERNAR” Shin and Main Support player Gyu-min “SanGuiNar” Lim. BERNAR was signed by Hangzhou a few days later.
On November 21, London released star Hitscan DPS player Gil-seong “Glister” Lim, leaving them with only Tae-hoon “Fuze” Kim left on the active roster.
After cutting seven players and four coaches, it’s clear that Spitfire is not messing around when it comes to building their 2021 roster.
Who’s in: On October 16th, London announced that they had acquired Ysabel “Noukky” Müller to be their new General Manager for the 2021 season. Noukky is a German player who was most recently serving as the GM of British Hurricane. Her promotion to Spitfire comes after an unprecedented year for Hurricane, who managed to win every single Contenders Europe event in 2020, and went undefeated in the 2020 Contenders Europe Season 1 stage.
On November 12th, London announced that they had signed the owner of Revival, Justin “reprize” Hand, to be their head coach for the 2021 season.
San Francisco Shock
During the 2020 season, San Francisco Shock won their second consecutive season championship, won two NA regional titles, and finished the regular season with an incredible 25-3 record. After such a historic season, most of their players are expected to stay on for the 2021 season. We may see some minor adjustments here and there, but overall there is no compelling reason for Shock to make sweeping changes to a team that has now won two championships in a row.
Who’s out: Although most players will be looking to stay with the team, Shock coaches are in high demand for head coaching positions in the league. On October 15th, Assistant Coach Jae “Junkbuck” Choi announced that he was leaving the Shock. The next day, Outlaws announced that Junkbuck would be joining their organization as their new Co-Head Coach. On October 16th, Shock Assistant Coach Ji-won “Arachne” Lee also left the team in pursuit of a promotion with another OWL team. Arachne ended up being signed to Charge as their new Head Coach a couple of weeks later.
On November 12th, Grant “moth” Espe was transferred from San Francisco to Los Angeles Gladiators. Moth played with Shock throughout the first three seasons and won two championships with the team.
Who’s in: San Francisco kicked off their off-season pick ups by signing Cheol-yong “Agape” Hong and Cas “Casores” van Andel to be Assistant Coaches. Casores was formerly serving as an Analyst for Shock during the playoffs, while Agape was recently released by London Spitfire, where he served as an Assistant Coach.
On November 12th, Shock announced that they had signed Main Support player Brice “FDGod” Monsçavoir from the Paris Eternal. FDGod was a pillar of Eternal’s success in 2020 and won a 2020 Support Role Star award. He is a valuable pick up for San Francisco in the wake of Moth’s departure.
Seoul Dynasty really turned around their season at the very end. After completing an overall middling season, they entered the playoffs intent on earning their redemption. They managed to make it through the losers brackets in both the APAC playoffs and Grand Finals weekend to earn their place in the championship match, which they lost to Shock in a 4-2 series. Seoul will likely make some changes in the off season to strengthen their team for 2021. They will, at the very least, likely be looking for a strong Main Tank player to pick up.
Who’s out: The first staff change wasn’t a player or a coach, but instead Seoul’s General Manager. Seoul announced the departure of GM Ho-cheol “Hocury” Lee on October 15th. Hocury was the head coach of Dynasty in the first OWL season, and was promoted to GM during Seoul’s restructuring following the first OWL season. On November 2nd, the team announced the departure of Strategic Coach Hyeong-seok “WizardHyeong” Kim.
On November 20th, Seoul announced that they had released Main Support player Sung-jun “SLIME” Kim, Flex Support player Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi, Off Tank player Min-hyuk “Michelle” Choi, and Flex DPS player Je-min “ILLICIT” Park.
Who’s in: TBA
Guangzhou Charge had a decent season that ended on a bit of a low note. Throughout the 2020 season, they emerged as one of the top teams in the APAC region. They finished their season with an 18-7 record, ranked #5 out of 20 OWL teams, and even won the APAC Summer Showdown against the deadly Shanghai Dragons. They were eliminated by Seoul during the APAC playoff Losers Bracket Final, which meant they did not advance to the Grand Finals weekend.
Who’s out: On October 16th, Charge announced that they would not renew the contracts of Main Support player Alberto “neptuNo” González and Main Support player Jung-yeon “Chara” Kim. NeptuNo was only part of the Charge active roster for a few months. The former Fusion player was signed by Charge in the lead up to the 2020 season, however due to the coronavirus the Spanish pro ended up spending most of the second half of the OWL season traveling and quarantined, rather than competing. Chara, on the other hand, played with the team during both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He served as the team captain and was a key performer in their Summer Showdown victory over Dragons.
Later on October 16th, The team announced that they released Flex DPS player Cai “Krystal” Shillong and Flex Support player Qi “Wya” Haomiao. Krystal was signed to a two-way contract with Charge partway through the 2020 season, after Hangzhou Spark cut and filed a lawsuit against the Chinese player because he went MIA in the summer of 2019. WYA was signed to a two-way contract in late 2019, but left Gaungzhou’s active roster in April. Neither player saw significant amounts of playtime for Charge’s OWL team, though both players competed with Charge’s Chinese Contenders team Ultra Prime Academy.
[Offical] Today we say goodbye to neptuNo and Chara. Thank you both for being great leaders in and outside the game, and we wish you all the best in the future pic.twitter.com/sS9MNyC1ue
— GuangzhouCharge (@GZCharge) October 16, 2020
Charge also removed several of their coaching staff on October 5th. They released Head Coach Hyo-jin “J1N” Cho and Assistant coaches Seung-min “Tydolla” Jung and Sung-woo “Sungwoo” Hong. Tydolla was signed to L.A. Gladiators on October 27th.
On November 9th, Charge announced the release of Hitscan DPS player Jung-woo “Happy” Lee and Flex DPS player Charlie “nero” Zwarg, as well as the transfer of Flex Support player Jin-seo “Shu” Kim to the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Today we say goodbye to 3 founding members of our team. Thank you Shu, nero, and Happy for all your hard work and dedication throughout our first two seasons, you were great players and even better people. We are honored to watch you grow and succeed and wish you all the best. pic.twitter.com/UDm5awJgvX
— GuangzhouCharge (@GZCharge) November 10, 2020
On November 18th, Charge traded Flex Support player Yan “creed” Xiao to Chengdu Hunters for the 2021 season.
Who’s in?: On October 29th, Charge signed Ji-won “Arachne” Lee to be their Head Coach for the 2021 season. Arachne was formerly an Assistant Coach for the 2020 champions, the San Francisco Shock. On November 10th, Charge signed their first new player of the year, picking up Young-seo “KariV” Park who formerly played fro L.A. Valiant and Toronto Defiant.
On November 11th, Charge announced that they had signed Main Support player Chan-hee “Mandu” Kim, who formerly competed with NYXL through part of the 2020 season. On November 13th, they signed Flex DPS Zou “MYKaylee” Zijie, who formerly competed with Bilibili gaming. Then on November 14th, Guangzhou picked up Se-hwan “ChoiSehwan” Choi from Element Mystic.
Chengdu has another off year. The team finished the 2020 season with an 8-14 record, positioned #14 out of 20 in the overall season rankings. Despite being generally outgunned though, Hunters still managed to pull in 8 wins in the very competitive APAC region. We can expect some significant shifts for the team in the off-season, as they continue to work toward building a championship capable squad.
Who’s out: On October 16th, Chengdu announced the departure of Taiwanese Flex DPS player Lo “Baconjack” Tzu-Heng and Taiwanese Main Tank Chen “ATing” Shao-Hua. ATing was a rookie player this year. While he saw playtime in several matches, Ding “Ameng” Menghan claimed the vast majority of playtime on the Main Tank role. Baconjack played for Hunters during the past two seasons. Baconjack saw occasional play on the DPS role throughout that time, especially when Hunters needed two hitscan players at the same time or needed a good Sombra. According to Chengdu, the player decided to retire from Overwatch and for his next step he will be pursuing the completion of his higher education.
On November 18th, Chen “Lengsa” Jingyi and Kong “Kyo” Chunting were demoted from Chengdu’s main roster down to Team Chase, the Hunter’s academy team.
Who’s in?: On November 20th, Hunters announced the signing of DPS players Liu “Kaneki” Nian and Lei “Jimmy” Yujia. Both players will be OWL rookies in 2021. On November 22nd, Hunters signed Chinese support player Tan “Nisha” Li, who formerly competed with Bili Bili gaming.
On the organizational side, Chengdu announced they had signed Yan “creed” Xiao and Zhang “yaoxie” Jihang to serve as Assistant Coaches for next season.
Dallas Fuel had a disappointing Overwatch League year. After a very rocky start during the first few weeks, they managed to turn things around somewhat, but they still finished their season with a 9-12 record. Although the team had good moments, mostly when Gui-un “Decay” Jang managed to clutch out games on Tracer, their overall performance was unimpressive. They made sweeping changes to their organization going into the 2021 season.
Who’s out: Dallas started weeding out their coaching staff before the end of the season, releasing Assistant Coach Louis “Tikatee” Lebel-Wong, Head Coach Aaron “Aero” Atkins, and released Assistant Coach Min-gyu “Vol’Jin” Kang.
On the player side of things, Dallas cut eleven team members in total during the off season. When all was said and done, only Dong-ha “Doha” Kim remained standing.
We want to thank them for all of their hard work, passion, dedication and time on the Fuel. We wish them the absolute best in their future endeavors. pic.twitter.com/efF9UWv5dQ
— Dallas Fuel (@DallasFuel) October 17, 2020
Several of the players who were released have announced their retirements. Both Trill and aKm announced they will be looking to transition over to VALORANT, while Gamsu retired and is looking to compete in League of Legends next.
I’m very grateful for the past three years of playing Overwatch, but I have made the decision to retire and pursue League of Legends again. Please continue to cheer for me as I go into this next part of the journey.
— Gamsu (@GamsuOW) October 17, 2020
Who’s in: Dallas Fuel kicked off their 2021 recruitment by signing former Paris Eternal Head Coach Hee-won “RUSH” Yun to serve as their new Head Coach. On the same day, they also announced that they had signed OWL phenom Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim. SP9RK1E helped lead Paris to their first ever Overwatch League title at the North American Summer Showdown regional tournament in July.
Dallas Signed Main Support player Jun “Fielder” Kwon and Flex Support player Jun-Keun “Rapel” Kim to their team on October 27th. Fielder formerly competed with Busan Wave before being signed to Paris Eternal partway through the 2020 season. Despite playing on a NA team from Korea, he still managed to perform well. Rapel formerly competed with Vancouver Titans and the Houston Outlaws before joining Dallas.
On November 7th, the team signed Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, who was formerly the starting maintank for Shanghai Dragons.
On November 10th, Dallas Fuel announced that Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee, yet another former Element Mystic player, had joined the team. Jecse played for Seoul Dynasty and Houston Outlaws before joining Fuel.
On November 14th, the team signed Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung from the Paris Eternal.
Vancouver Titans had one of the most tumultuous years in Overwatch League history. In the early part of the 2020 season, they relocated their team and operations to Korea in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May the team released their entire roster and coaching staff. Part way through the Overwatch League season they signed seven Contenders players, several of whom had played together on Second Wind. After placing 18th in the league with a 6-15 record, it is not surprising to see that Titans are now looking to make some adjustments to their lineup in the off-season.
Who’s out: On October 16th, Titans announced the release of Off Tank player Alhumaidi “KSAA” Alruwaili, Flex DPS player Samir “Tsuna” Ikram, and Flex Support player Carson “CarCar” First. All three rookie players saw a significant amount of playtime in the second half of the season, due to the Titan’s stripped down roster size. It is a bit surprising to see the departure of KSAA. The Saudi player put on some spectacular performances while playing Sigma during several matches this season and showed some real potential.
On November 23rd, Danish DPS player Niclas “sHockWave” Jensen left Titans to join Philadelphia Fusion.
On the staff side of things, Titan’s Assistant Coach Eric “Wheats” Perez departed on September 25th.
Who’s in: TBA
Los Angeles Valiant
Los Angeles Valiant had a better Overwatch League year than most analysts expected. The team featured a lot of young rookies, and many questioned whether they would be able to find any level of success in the 2020 season. However, they ended up putting on a decent season performance, placing 8th overall and ending the season with a 12-10 record. They even managed to reach the semifinals of the May Melee before being eliminated by the eventual winners of the tournament, San Francisco. Valiant will now look to step up their roster for the 2021 season.
Who’s out: On October 16th, Valiant announced the departure of Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey, Damon “Apply” Conti, Rick “GiG” Salazar. Apply only saw limited playtime this year, since Valiant ended up preferring Kai “KSP” Collins and Johannes “Shax” Nielsen as their DPS line. GiG was in a similar boat. Sanglok “Dreamer” Song ended up securing the Main Tank slot over GiG, leaving him on the bench throughout most of the season.
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) October 17, 2020
McGravy was a surprising release for the team. Not only was McGravy an excellent starting Off Tank throughout the year, he was also a key figure in the team’s personality. He was always the first to throw out some friendly banter and was outspoken about a number of social issues, including fighting against sexism in gaming and advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement. His positive attitude and team leadership even earned him the 2020 Dennis Hawelka award. His presence will be sorely missed by his teammates and Valiant fans.
Who’s in: On November 19th, Valiant signed Australian Off-Tank player Adam “Adam” Soong. Adam formerly played in AU Contenders for the likes of ORDER and Ground Zero Gaming.
Atlanta Reign had another disappointingly average Overwatch League season. They finished the season in a mediocre 12th place and finished with a losing record at 10-11. Part of their struggle in the second half of the season stemmed from the departure of Andrej “babybay” Francisty, who left the team to pursue a career in VALORANT. Going into next year, it is pretty clear that Altanta needs to make some serious adjustments if they are going to move up in the standings.
Who’s out: The first player to not be invited back to Reigns 2021 roster was Support player Anthony “Fire” King. Fire saw a decent amount of playtime when the meta called for Lucio and Brigitte.
I’d like to thank Atlanta for letting me be a part of them this past season, however my contract will not be extended making me a F/A for 2021. Was fun, but a lot to learn from for the upcoming grind this offseason.
Fire#9443 on discord, or firstname.lastname@example.org for any opportunities.
— Fire (@Fire_OW) October 17, 2020
On October 22nd, Atlanta cut Garrett “Saucy” Roland, Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park, Joon “Erster” Jeong, Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman, Nathan “frd” Goebel. Pokpo, Dogman, and Erster all saw significant playtime this season. Dogman served as the starting Main Support player throughout most of 2020.
On October 24th, the team released Assistant Coach Dimitri “Silence” Couturet, Chung-in “Mentalist” Kim, and former player turned Assistant Coach Steven “Kodak” Rosenberger. Both Silence and Mentalist served with the team for two years, and Kodak competed with Reign as player throughout the first half of the 2020 season before moving over to a coaching role in July.
Who’s in: On November 13th, Atlanta acquired Se-hyun “Pelican” Oh, who was formerly playing in Korean Contenders for O2 Blast. 2021 will be his rookie year in the Overwatch League.
Hangzhou Spark had a decent Overwatch League year, but it could have been better. They ended up ranking 10th in the regular season, and came in second at the APAC Countdown Cup tournament in August. They were eliminated from the playoffs by Seoul, who went on to attend the OWL 2020 Season Championship match against Shock. Spark made several off season moves in preparation for 2021.
Who’s out: The team released five players on October 17th. They cut Flex DPS player Gihyeon “Ado” Chon, Flex DPS player Jaehwan “Adora” Kang, Off Tank player Seong-Wook “Ria” Park, Flex DPS player Sang-hyeon “SASIN” Song, and Flex Support player Hui-chang “BeBe” Yoon.
Today we say goodbye to @Ria_970922 @bebezzangv @ow_adora @OW_Ado & @sasin_ow. We thank them for all the contributions to our team and wish them the best of luck! You'll always be a part of the Spark family. pic.twitter.com/I3cghqJ4hN
— Hangzhou Spark (@Hangzhou_Spark) October 18, 2020
Bebe was the most relevant player to be cut. He was a starting healer for Spark throughout most of 2020, and played a number of heroes including Moira and Zenyatta. He is also a notable departure because he has been win Spark since the inaugural season.
Ado, Adora, and Sasin are all DPS players who saw limited playtime in 2020, since Spark primarily utilized Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim and Minho “Architect” Park for DPS. Although Sasin saw almost no DPS time, he was brought into matches on occasion to play the Off Tank role as Zarya.
On November 13th, Sung-jun “QoQ” Yu left the team, after competing with Spark for less than six months.
Who’s in: The first new player to be added to Spark was Zheng “Shy” Yangjie. Shy was promoted from Spark’s Korean Contenders team Bilibili gaming. In addition to his experience playing in Contenders, Shy also competed with the Chinese Overwatch World Cup teams in both 2017 and 2018.
On November 16th, Spark signed Chinese Off Tank player Jia “LiGe” Chengjie. LiGe was formerly playing for Team CC in Chinese Contenders, which is Shanghai’s academy team. 2021 will be LiGe’s rookie year in the Overwatch League. The next day, the team announced that they had picked up Korean Main Support player Jeong-ho “MCD” Lee, who formerly competed with Element Mystic. They followed that up on November 18th by signing Young-hyun “Takoyaki” Lee, who most recently was competing for Team Diamond.
On November 19th, Hangzhou signed BERNAR, who formerly competed with Spitfire during the 2020 season. Later that same day, the team announced the addition of Flex DPS player Min-soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo, who formerly competed for Vancouver Titans in their meteoric 2019 season.
Philadelphia Fusion is coming off a great season, but they came up short in the postseason yet again. Fusion proved to be excellent all year, securing an excellent 24-2 record, and holding the best record in North America at the end of the season. They were able to earn their spot in the Grand Final weekend, but they were eliminated from the losers bracket by Seoul Dynasty in a 0-3 sweep to end an otherwise excellent season. They won’t be looking to change too many core aspects of their team, but they will make some adjustments to shore up the places they fell short in the playoffs.
Who’s out: On October 20th, Fusion released British Flex Support player Isaac “Boombox” Charles. Boombox was an inaugural member of Fusion’s Overwatch League team. In 2020, Boombox saw occasional playtime when Lucio was needed, but in most matches Fusion gave the nod to Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway and Kyung-bo “Alarm” Kim.
The team announced on October 21st that they had parted ways with Doomfist specialist Philip “ChipSa” Graham. ChipSa became a bit of a meme in the Overwatch League this year. Although his skills weren’t particularly valuable to the team most of the time, fans insisted that he get playtime as a kind of joke. Eventually their wish was granted, if only for a single match.
We only spent one season @ChipSa_OW, but we can't thank him enough for the hard work and laughter he brought to all of Fusion.
We wish you luck in wherever your career takes you next, and we are proud to have had you as a member of the team this year.
Thank you, ChipSa! pic.twitter.com/WY0zVLo7TX
— Philadelphia Fusion (@Fusion) October 21, 2020
Also on October 21st, the team announced the departure of Head Coach Dong-gun “KDG” Kim. KDG was signed by Defiant to be their new Head Coach on October 24th.
On November 11th, Fusion announced the departure of Off-Tank player Jun-ho “Fury” Kim, Flex DPS player Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee, and Main Tank player Su-min “SADO” Kim. SADO served as the main tank for Fusion throughout the 2020 season, and was a founding member of Fusion. He was signed by Toronto Defiant a couple weeks later. On November 23rd, Hee-su “Heesu” Jeong left Fusion to join SADO on the Toronto Defiant.
Who’s in: On November 11th, Fusion signed Main Tank Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim to replace SADO. Mano played with NYXL for the first three OWL seasons. On November 24th, the team signed Niclas “sHockWave” Jensen from the Vancouver Titans. Despite joining the league partway through 2020, sHockWave stood out as particularly exceptional throughout the 2020 season.
On October 23rd, Fusion signed former Paris Eternal GM Bumhoon “NineK” Kim to be their Head Coach for 2021.
New York Excelsior
New York Excelsior had a decent but unexceptional 2020 season. Their first few matches were played in the NA region, but only a few weeks into the regular season the team relocated to South Korea due to the coronavirus pandemic. NYXL playing reasponably well in the APAC division, ultimately finishing with a 16-8 record. After a couple of unexceptional seasons in a row, the team is looking to mix things up for 2021.
Who’s out: On October 20th, NYXL announced that Hyojong “Haksal” Kim had retired. They signed the players in June after he was released by Vancouver Titans, along with the rest of his team, in May. He won rookie of the year in 2019 and helped lead Vancouver to the 2019 Grand Final match, which they lost to Shock.
On October 21st, NYXL cut four players. They released DPS player Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong, Off Tank player Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi, Off Tank player Dong-wook “BiaNcA” Kim, and DPS player Seung-jun “WhoRU” Lee. The most notable of those four releases was HOTBA, since he was a starting Off Tank for the team throughout the 2020 season and have been in the Overwatch League since its first season.
We want to wish @nenne_chu, @HOTBA_OW, @BiaNcA_ow and @Whoru all the best as our journey together comes to an end. On behalf of all of us, and our fans, thank you for all your hard work and dedication. You will always be a part of the NYXL family. #EverUpward pic.twitter.com/295tZPKfMP
— NYXL (@NYXL) October 21, 2020
On November 18th, NYXL released Flex DPS Hae-seong “Libero” Kim, Hitscan DPS Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park, and Main Support Taesung “Anamo” Jung.
Toronto Defiant has a pretty poor year. They ended the season in 15th place with an 8-14 record. They lost early on in the May Melee, Countdown Cup, and the NA playoffs. The only bright spot in Defiant’s 2020 season was their semifinal finish at the Summer Showdown. After such a disappointing season of Overwatch, Toronto is looking to transform their team for 2021.
Who’s out: On October 21st, Defiant announced they were parting ways with everyone but Andreas “Logix” Berghmans.
In total the team cut:
- Main Tank player Seb “numlocked” Barton
- Main Tank player Adam “Beast” Denton
- Off Tank player Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson,
- Flex DPS player Lane “Surefour” Roberts
- Flex DPS player Brady “Agilities” Girardi
- Flex DPS player Thomas “zYKK” Hosono
- Flex DPS player Liam “Mangachu” Campbell
- Main Support player Harrison “Kruise” Pond
- Main Support player Joo-seong “RoKy” Park
- Flex Support player Young-seo “KariV” Park
The most notable cuts in there were Nevix and Surefour. Nevix won a championship with Shock in 2019 and is one of the best Sigma players in the world. Surefour is an Overwatch League veteran, fan favorite, and star DPS player. His departure from the team may be a sore spot for some Toronto fans, because he is a Canadian player and is very well liked by the Overwatch community.
On the staff side, David “Lilbos” Moschetto left the team in September, after serving as their Interim Head coach for nearly a year.
Who’s in: The Defiant signed the former Head Coach of Philadelphia Dong-gun “KDG” Kim to be their new head coach on October 24th.
Paris Eternal had a pretty decent 2020 season. Despite dealing with the pandemic, and being forced to operate out of North America instead of France, the team managed to land fourth in regular season record with a 19-6 record. On top of that, they also managed to win their first title at the NA regional Summer Showdown tournament in July. They performed well above expectations for the year, though they did struggle in the end of year playoffs. Paris will be making a few adjustments heading into the 2021 season.
Who’s out: On October 22nd, Paris saw the departure of Flex Support player Joon “Fielder” Kwon, Off Tank player Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill, and Main Tank player Da-un “NoSmite” Jeong. All three players were OWL rookies in 2020. While Fielder saw a decent amount of playtime for Eternal in the second half of the season, the other two only received occasional match time, since Paris relied heavily on Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait and Han-been “Hanbin” Choi for their tankline. Fielder was signed to Dallas Fuel on October 27th.
On October 23rd, Paris announced the departure of Head Coach Hee-won “RUSH” Yun, General Manager Bumhoon “NineK” Kim, Assistant Coach Jaeyoon “Aid” Go, Assistant coach Chung-hyeok “Levi” Jeong, and finally 2020 rookie of the year candidate Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim. Both Rush and Sp9rkle were transferred to Dallas Fuel. Levi announced his retirement from Overwatch coaching after being released from the team. On November 2nd, Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait, Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret, and Terence “SoOn” Tarlier also announced their releases from Eternal.
On November 12th, Brice “FDGod” Monsçavoir left the Eternal roster to join the San Francisco Shock. On November 14th, Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung also left the roster, joining Dallas Fuel with many of his former Element Mystic teammates.
Who’s in: TBA
Washington Justice had a very unstable year. In May, the team’s star DPS players Ethan “stratus” Yankel and Corey “Corey” Nigra both left the active roster. Throughout the year, they made a number of organizational and strategic changes, inclduing cutting their GM Analynn “Bawlynn” Dang and head coach Seetoh “JohnGalt” Jian Qing. By the time playoffs rolled around, Justice sported an all Korean roster and coaching staff. They will be making a few more adjustments ahead of the 2021 season.
Who’s Out: On October 22nd, Main Tank player Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye was released from Justice. ROar formerly played with Los Angele Gladiators in 2019. On November 7th, Yeon-joon “ArK” Hong retired from the Overwatch. Ark formerly played with New York Excelsior throughout the first season and a half of the Overwatch League before joining Washington Justice in March of 2019.
On November 18th, Justice released DPS player Chung-hee “Stitch” Lee, Off Tank player Hyeon-Woo “JJANU” Choi, and Flex Support player Minseok “AimGod” Kwon.
Who’s in: Justice signed Tae-sung “Mag” Kim on October 24th. The player was formerly competing in Korean Contenders under the RunAway banner. On October 25th, the team announced they re-signed Gui-un “Decay” Jang. Decay joined the team just before the playoffs on a temporary playoff contract, now he will join the permanent Washington roster.
In mid November, Justice picked up two new members, signing Hitscan DPS player Tae-hee “Jerry” Min who formerly played with Boston Uprising and Hui-chang “BeBe” Yoon who was formerly competing with Hangzhou Spark. Both players competed together at X6-Gaming before joining the Overwatch League at the start of the 2019 season.
On November 19th, the team signed Main Support player Won-sik “Closer” Jung, who won an OWL championship with London Spitfire in the inaugural season.
On November 21st, Justice signed former Spitfire Off-Tank player Jun-ho “Fury” Kim. The very next day the team announced the acquisition of second Off-Tank player Seong-Wook “Ria” Park, who formerly competed with Hangzhou Spark before being released in October.
Shanghai Dragons put on incredible performances throughout the 2020 Overwatch League season. They won both the APAC regional May Melee tournament and the APAC regional Countdown Cup tournament. On top of that, they earned the highest ranked record in the league at 27-2. They were eventually eliminated in the playoffs by Seoul Dynasty at the Grand Finals weekend, after struggling to adapt to the end of season meta. Although Shanghai didn’t need to make any big roster moves going into 2021, they still changed up their line up a bit.
Who’s Out: On October 26th, Shanghai released Off-Tank player Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim, Flex DPS player Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang, Hitscan DPS player Min-seong “diem” Bae, Flex Support player Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang, and Hitscan DPS player Weida “Diya” Lu. Geguri and Diya were both competitors with the team for three seasons, while diem, Luffy, and DDing were crucial to Dragon’s success during the 2019 season. Based on the open letter from Shanghai’s GM, the five players left to pursue Overwatch League teams where they will receive more playtime.
On November 7th, Fearless left the team and was transferred to Dallas Fuel.
Who’s In: On November 11th, Shanghai announced their first new addition of the off-season, acquiring Pan-seung “Fate” Koo from the Florida Mayhem. On November 18th, Dragons announced the acquisition of former Atlanta Reign Flex DPS player Joon “Erster” Jeong.
Boston had a terrible 2020 Overwatch League season. They saw the mid-season departure of four different players, including having to terminate the contract of Walid “Mouffin” Bassal after he came under allegations of sexual misconduct. The team ended up with an abysmal last place record of 2-19, and were eliminated in the playoffs very early on. Suffice it to say, Boston looked abysmal this year and they are in need of some serious rebuilding.
Who’s Out: Boston released Main Tank player Michael “Mikeyy” Konicki and Flex Support player Kobe “Halo” Hamand on October 8th. They followed that up by released Hitscan DPS player Tae-hee “Jerry Min on November 5th.
On the coaching side of things, The team released Analyst Jake “spackle” Connell and Assistant Coach Rollon “Mini” Hamelin on September 23rd, before the season had even officially ended.
Boston announced the release of Min-seob “Axxiom” Park on November 12th. The Main Tank player was inactive from March 2020 until the conclusion of the 2020 season, so his release is not surprising.
Who’s in: Boston signed Hitscan DPS player Jin-ui “im37” Hong on November 12th. Im37 formerly competed for Uprising Academy during the second half of 2020 and showed great promise in his time with the Contenders team.