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With the off-season starting in the Overwatch League, moves are already being made. The inaugural season champion London Spitfire are releasing Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim, Hee-dong “Guard” Lee, and Jong-seok “NUS” Kim, along with coach Jeong-min “Jfeel” Kim. from their roster. All these members were key to specific moments of victory in both season one and two. Yet these releases seem to indicate London wants season three to be more consistent.
London Spitfire needed a change
The London Spitfire won the first Overwatch season, much to the surprise of everyone, but lost relatively early in the second season playoffs. Inconsistency and incapability to beat the top-tier teams were their major issues. They would easily defeat lower-tier teams like the Defiant and Fuel and then lose to middle-tier teams like the Mayhem and Reign.
After making it into the play-ins, they won a close 4-3 series against the Shanghai Dragons. Unfortunately that was their last win, losing to the New York Excelsior 4-1 after. After having a tumultuous inaugural season and still winning the championship, not reaching the finals clearly hit them hard. So when this exodus of players and a coach was announced on Twitter, it was expected yet still inherently a little surprising.
Thank you for all your hard work and efforts during your time with us! We wish you all the best in your careers moving forward 💙 🧡 pic.twitter.com/VyvhOLNuBa
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) October 3, 2019
How will this affect London?
It won’t affect much in the long run, to be blunt. At season’s end, all three of these players weren’t starting anyway. Birdring, while starting caliber, didn’t have a great year at all in comparison to the inaugural season he had. His inconsistency was an issue then and even more so now. Guard, the backup DPS player, was brought in last off-season to shore up the Sombra role but didn’t have an impact at all in the London Spitfire’s season. And Nus, while one of the players that led to their inaugural championship, was benched by new support Ji-hoon “Quatermain” Song as soon as he arrived.
It can’t be said precisely why coach Jfeel was released, but he seems to be a simple casualty of needed change.
However, I can see this leading to a massive signing for the London Spitfire, as they have only one DPS player currently on their roster. They need to sign a new starting DPS player to play alongside former playoff MVP and All-Star Joon-yeong “Profit” Park. Rumors are swirling around as to whom that might be, from Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim to Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee. If they get a star to truly match Profit’s flexibility or skill, the London Spitfire could be a team to fear in season three.
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.