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After a long, quiet off-season for the Vancouver Overwatch League team, it just announced three new players. The Vancouver Titans signed Nathan “frd” Goebel, Anthony “Fire” King and Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin. All three players were in the league last season, but entered free agency this off-season. Both frd and Fire were formerly of the Atlanta Reign, and Linkzr was formerly of the Houston Outlaws. Even though the Vancouver Titans are expected to sign more players, they have signed a DPS player, an off-tank, and a support to their roster.
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) December 1, 2020
Three in one
Having the guts to announce three players at once is admirable, especially three known ones. To start, let’s go over the two former Atlanta Reign players, frd and Fire. Frd was a long time contenders player, most notably for Second Wind. However, at the start of the 2019 season, the Atlanta Reign acquired him to add some depth to the tankline. Primarily a D.Va player, frd showed potential when played, but was rarely used in the 2020 season. When it comes to Fire, he is a newer player to the league. He played for Team Envy until the start of 2020, and joined the Atlanta Reign afterwards. However, his playtime was also limited, and the Reign saw fit to release both players over this past off-season.
However, the tale of Linkzr is much more interesting. A true veteran in this league, Linkzr has been a mainstay on the Houston Outlaws until this past off-season. This Finnish phenom tore up the league on his Widowmaker, but also was known for his inconsistency. It has improved over the seasons he’s played, but the Outlaws saw fit to release him this off-season. Even winning the Widowmaker 1v1 tournament in All-Stars didn’t keep him from the release. However, considering every player who has won that tournament didn’t stay with their team, it wasn’t a big surprise.
The Titans rebuilding
After their mid-season destruction last year, they had to rebuild quickly during the pandemic. It did introduce some great new talent into the league, but nobody expected them to do well. After the season ended, they released a portion of their roster, hoping to rebuild for next year with more time and planning. This must be the start of that, adding one player to each role, making a potential starting six. With the players available and a desire to make a western roster, these signings make sense. FRD and Fire for the potential, and Linkzr for the experience and upside. I do expect the Titans to announce more signings, but this might be the start of a good underdog team.
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.