The Vancouver Titans announced Thursday that they have agreed to “mutually part ways” with their Head Coach PaJion, and starting flex tank JJANU. Both have been with the team since the start of their expansion season in 2019. Last year, the Titans had the best record in the Overwatch League and finished runner-up to the San Francisco Shock in the Grand Finals.
The Vancouver Titans announce today that HyunWoo "JJANU" Choi has agreed to mutually part ways with the team. From all of us at the Vancouver Titans organization, thank you JJANU for everything you have done for the team.
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) April 30, 2020
The Titans have been the subject of widespread speculation since several of the players and coaches removed all mentions and branding of the team from their social media profiles. That action, which did not include JJANU, followed a bizarre showing from Vancouver in their first action in the Asian region after moving the players home to Korea in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In those two matches, the Titans were soundly beaten by both Guangzhou and Chengdu. While the team floundered, their star DPS Haksal sat on the bench, fueling theories about behind the scenes issues within the organization. The following week, Anthony Muraco, the GM for both the Titans and the CDL’s Seattle Surge, announced that he was leaving the organization.
Right now, it is unclear if these departures are an isolated incident or if they signal a larger fallout coming in the near future. Vancouver has not yet commented on the situation. Their only communication in recent weeks has been the announcement that the team will be competing in North America again starting May 9th.
Without JJANU, the Titans no longer have a flex tank on their roster, and they lose an MVP candidate from last year. They now either have to find a new player to fill that void – difficult considering the state of the world and Vancouver’s all-Korean roster – or make do with someone playing off-role.
JJANU now marks the third key player from last year’s team to leave the Titans. First, it was the release of both main tanks, Bumper and TiZi, in the offseason. All three had previously played for the Korean organization Runaway along with the rest of Vancouver’s 2019 roster. Since the end of last year, the Titans have moved away from that core by signing both Fissure and Ryujehong.
The Titans return to action in Week 14 against the Washington Justice and Florida Mayhem.