News

Toronto Defiant Drop Everyone But Logix

Aaron Alford  | 
Defiant

Defiant are hoping to revive their OWL franchise by rebuilding it from the ground up. (Photo courtesy Defiant)

After a rough season, Toronto Defiant announced on Wednesday that they were parting ways with essentially their entire roster. After the purge of players was all said and done, they kept only Andreas “Logix” Berghmans. Toronto is starting from scratch in hopes of reviving their wavering Overwatch League franchise.

The team released ten players in total:

  • 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

Toronto came into this season touting a star studded roster, but they ended up performing quite poorly. They were one of the weakest teams in the North American division, and ended the regular season ranked 15th with an 8-14 record. On top of that, they failed to find any traction at the May Melee, Countdown Cup, or NA regional playoffs, dropping early at each of those events. It felt like both their strategy and execution were lacking throughout most of the year. The only sign of life in this team was during the Summer Showdown, when they miraculously reached the semifinals on the back of Agilities incredible Genji plays.

Who they dropped

Overwatch veteran Numlocked served as Defiant’s starting Main Tank during his brief tenure on the team. He was promoted to the Defiant roster in June from Toronto’s academy team Montreal Rebellion, after that team shut down in April. The British player was formerly a member of the Los Angeles Valiant in the OWL inaugural season, but he spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons playing for Contenders teams like Team Envy, British Hurricane, and Rebellion. His departure from Toronto’s roster so soon after arriving is disappointing to see.

Defiant also cut their other Main Tank, Beast. He was a OWL rookie in 2020 and formerly played for Contenders teams like Fusion University and Tempo Storm. He turned heads while playing with Fusion University after they won four big Contenders events in a row in 2019. Beast is a young player who has shown a lot of potential, so he has a pretty good chance of being picked up by another team.

Nevix was the starting Off Tank for Defiant throughout the 2020 season. His first two years of Overwatch League competition were with San Francisco Shock and he was part of their championship run in 2019. The OWL champion was a consistent performer for Defiant throughout the year, and his Sigma plays were crucial to Toronto’s impressive semifinals run at the Summer Showdown.

Surefour is the most notable departure on the list. The Canadian DPS player is incredibly popular and one of the most well established DPS players in all of Overwatch. Before the Overwatch League, he competed for Cloud9’s Overwatch team. In late 2017, he was signed by the L.A. Gladiators and quickly became a favorite personality in the Overwatch community during the first season. He showed off both showmanship and insane skills while playing for Gladiators for two years. In 2020, He returned home to Canada to play for Toronto Defiant. Although he hasn’t made it clear yet what his next move will be, Surefour may retire from Overwatch and perhaps look to VALORANT for opportunities.

Agilities was also a notable loss for Toronto. The little success Defiant did achieve this year was largely due to Agilities impressive Genji plays. Before joining Defiant at the start of the 2020 season, he was a star performer for Los Angeles Valiant for two seasons. As an inaugural member of the Overwatch League, he will likely have the opportunity to join another team if he wants to.

Kruise and Zykk were both signed to Toronto’s roster in May. Kruise came from the Paris Eternal roster, where he competed during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. zYKK on the other hand was a rookie who was promoted from the Contenders team Third Impact. Both players saw significant playtime after arriving on the team, despite only being with Toronto a short while.

 

Mangachu was also hired in May, but as a coach. At the end of June, he was added on as an active player, on top of his coaching duties. Much like some other players on this list, Mangachu formerly competed with Rebellion before they shut down in April. He is known for his speciality in “silly” heroes like Torbojorn, Junkrat, and Symmetra.

Roky and Kariv both served as Support players throughout the 2020 season. Roky played with Defiant for two years and served as a two-way player with Rebellion until they shut down. Kariv played for Valiant during the first two OWL seasons before joining Defiant for the 2020 season. Both players saw a decent amount of playtime during their stints with Toronto.

With such drastic cuts, the Defiant organization has a monumental task ahead of them rebuilding their team from the ground up. They will be able to start signing free agents in a few days, but their first task, presumably, will be to name a new head coach for the 2021 season.

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.