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Per their official Twitter, ex-London Spitfire coach Lee “Bishop” Beom-joon will be joining Toronto’s upcoming Overwatch League team. Also, this is three days after the team would announce the addition of Won Jae-sun as General Manager. Won was the formerly apart of North American Player Management & Partnership Relations for Splyce. Splyce is the organization who would end up buying the Toronto slot.
— Toronto Defiant 🖤 #RiseTogether (@TorontoDefiant) September 10, 2018
Previously, Bishop was playing for the Korean team Kongdoo Panthera, as a support. On March 7, 2017, he would join Cloud9’s Overwatch team as a coach. However, after Cloud9 would acquire the entire Kongdoo Panthera team, Bishop would transfer over as their coach. This would then lead to him coaching for the London Spitfire after Cloud9 would announce their venture into the Overwatch League.
He would then coach the London Spitfire for Stage One of the OWL, where they would finish in third place with a 7-3 record. In the Stage One playoffs, they would end up taking down the second-seeded Houston Outlaws in four games. In the title match against the New York Excelsior, they would have a harder time. However, they would still defeat the favored team in an exciting five-game series. However, after the first stage, Bishop would leave the organization as its coach. There weren’t any details that would release at the time. Rumors were circulating that the London Spitfire players themselves were the reason for the organization dropping him. He would not join another team for the rest of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season.
Some Toronto fans and Overwatch League fans are skeptical of Bishop’s addition to the team. The main reason being, it seems that his reputation as a coach has affected the public’s perception of him. For example, his release from the London Spitfire right after they won the Stage One title. There were multiple rumors stating that there was a falling out between him and the players on the roster. However, as the first coach to win a stage championship, it is great to see that he will have another chance with a brand new team.
With the acquisition of Bishop, many signs are now pointing towards Toronto having a full Korean lineup. Many successful teams have been fielding all-Korean lineups, such as Season One champs, London Spitfire. Even the dominant New York Excelsior boasts a full Korean lineup and has sent multiple members to the Overwatch World Cup. Many Splyce and the Toronto management wish to replicate the successes they have seen through the first season of the league?
One option that many people have speculated for the roster may be off the table, with Bishop joining the team. The Korean Overwatch Contenders Season Two champs, RunAway, may not be a target for Toronto after all. It has been noted that many teams wish to sign the entire RunAway organization, from the players to the staff. With Bishop as head coach, they may not look to sign only the RunAway players, as it would probably affect team synergy.
There are still multiple options for Toronto to choose from, such as the current Kongdoo Panthera roster. They could also look towards the Korean Overwatch Contenders third-place team Element Mystic for players as well. Finally, there are multiple free agents who are looking for a new team to join, such as ex-New York Excelsior main tank Song “Janus” Joon-hwa.
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