Toronto Defiant releases head coach Bishop effective immediately

The nature and wording of the announcement led to speculation.

Overwatch's Icon Sascha Heinisch · 8 Aug 2019


Photo via Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Toronto Defiant have released head coach Beom-joon "Bishop" Lee. Matthew “Optidox” Sims, Sungbo “Mobydik” Shim, and Dennis “Barroi” Matz will be sharing coaching duties until the end of the season.

Bishop had come into the Overwatch scene as a professional player for Kongdoo Panthera during 2016 and turned to coaching the following year. During his career he coached Cloud9 EU and was later named head coach for the London Spitfire. Due to family complications, Bishop left the Spitfire after stage 1 of the inaugural season.

After a strong start to the season and a stage score of 5-2, the team’s win record dropped considerably. In stage 3 they didn’t manage to win a single match. Due to a 2-3 loss against the Philadelphia Fusion, the team was eliminated last weekend.

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The Defiant had a large turn over of players during the season, switching from an all Korean roster to a mostly Western starting line-up. The also went separate ways with two other coaching staff members before Bishop in Dong-wook "Don" Kim and Yoon-ho "Bubbly" Cho.

In a statement, Bishop thanked the team for the opportunity and shared that he’ll likely be eyeing alternate career opportunities. The timing was unfortunate for Bishop, as he turned 30 on the day of his release.

The abrupt nature of the departure of Bishop and the wording of the announcement was received skeptically by the community. Especially the nature of the release, being that it was worded as “effective immediately”, led the community to speculate on the reasons of this decision. Neither Bishop nor the Defiant have elaborated on the reasons for his sudden departure and it is currently not known why Bishop has been let go.

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