Overwatch League Free Agency – Various teams make changes for 2022

Some big moves are coming into competitive Overwatch. Plenty of OWL teams are looking to shake things up this season in preparation for Overwatch 2 and building momentum into it.

While we still do not officially have Overwatch 2, and the earliest expected date seems to be November 2022, there is not much going on in the world of Overwatch for casual players. However, when it comes to the professional scene, there are some big changes going on in certain teams.

Overwatch League Free Agency

© Robert Paul | Blizzard Entertainment

NYXL fully revamps

The New York Excelsior revealed an entire new roster paired with a return to the west after a season in the east region. The team finally left South Korea and will compete from their home city in 2022. The entire roster took a big re-shuffle. Yim “Flora” Yong-woo is the only player remaining, and is joined by Kellan, Gangnamjin, Myunb0ng and Yaki.

Kim “Kellan” Min-jae is currently the only tank on the roster. In order to meet the roster requirment, NYXL will have to add some additional players before the season kicks off.

Vancouver Titans Signs Skairipa and Seicoe

If you have been watching the European Overwatch Contenders scene, you are might already be familiar with these two incredible players that have been around for years. We are, of course, talking about Robert “Skairipa” Lupsa and “Maximilian “Seicoe” Otter that is joining the Vancouver Titans roster.

The Romanian support player Skairipa has been in the scene since 2019, and he made a name for himself while playing for teams like Raspberry Racers, Obey Alliance, and Young and Beautiful. Last year, he was playing for the British Hurricane where he won not one but two European Contenders championships.

The Austrian DPS Seico also had quite a lot of experience before his new signup for the Vancouver Titans, as he played for European teams like New Kings, Shu’s Money Crew EU, and Ex Oblivione. Seico was also quite successful, as he managed to win four monthly Contenders while playing for Falcons Esports EU.

With these two players signed up for Vancouver Titans, the team has met the minimum requirement for the Overwatch League. The roster seems to be looking quite hot, as this team now has not only Skairipa and Seico on the team, but also veterans like the DPS Luka “Aspire” Rolovic and support Petja “Masaa” Katanen.

Philadelphia Fusion brings in reinforcements

It can be easily said that 2021 was quite a difficult year for Fusion, but 2022 might give them different results after signing up one of the best flex support players that the Overwatch competitive scene has to offer, which is Kim “AimGod” Min-seok.

AimGod should be a name that many OWL fans already know as he was around since the beginning in 2018. The first team he played for was Boston Uprising, and he made quite a name for himself with incredible support. Later on, he joined Washington Justice in 2020, but he was dropped as the season concluded. In 2021, he played for the academy team of Shanghai Dragons, Team CC.

Another change that Fusion did for the upcoming season of OWL is bringing back Kim “Fury” Jun-ho, the off-tank player that many would know him from previous performances in this team. While he was not on Fusion, you could have seen him play for Washington Justice during 2021.

Besides this, Fusion also announced that the team is going to be staying in Seoul, South Korea where they competed during most of 2021 due to the pandemic. So far, they revealed only 5 players, and they are keeping the last one and the substitute as a surprise, since they had to be signed up by Jan. 3, 2022, anyway.

Chengdu Hunters’ Coach RUI Steps Down

After coaching the team since 2018, Xingrui “RUI” Wang decided that he will not be the coach for Chengdu Hunters during the fifth Overwatch League season that kicks off in April. While he is indeed not being the coach, he is still going to stay in the organization as an honorary advisor. The main reason behind RUI stepping down as coach are health issues and the need to spend more time with his family.

While Hunters did not announce who is going to be replacing RUI as the coach for the upcoming season, they did announce a new assistant coach Jeong-min “Jfeel” Kim who was previously the coach of Shanghai Dragons as well as London Spitfire.

These are some quite interesting changes to the roster of some of our favorite teams, and the year has only just begun. We cannot wait for new announcements to come, and what we are all waiting for even more is to see all of the players in their new teams in action.

OWL Free Agency 2019

With the Free Agency period officially underway for the Overwatch League off-season, several big name players are searching for their best options as established teams look to make wholesale renovations of their roster. Among the top tier free agents in the class of 2019; Nevix, MekO and Ryujehong are some of the most prominent names looking for greener pastures heading into season three of OWL.

Around the league, Washington Justice, LA Gladiators and Houston Outlaws have jumped out of the gate early already making ambitious moves for both player and coaching staff personnel in order to boost their chances in 2020.

Outlook for Season Three

With the shift into global Overwatch League taking root next competitive season, the upfront cost and new expenses for teams have made this years free agent market more volatile than in years past. Rumblings around the league have led many to suggest that several organizations will be blowing up their roster and overhauling their team with a ‘moneyball’ approach in mind in order to keep costs down.

This change of behavior from teams in comparison to the star hungry actions in free agency last year may lead to an interesting disbursement of talent throughout the league as more teams opt for the Boston Uprising initiative in finding competent players abroad that can fulfill an Overwatch League roll while avoiding paying the cost of a seasoned veteran.

Because of this, players like Ryu “ryujehong” Je-Hong could be out of sorts for an Overwatch League team that is willing to pay him what he’s worth as a multi-year professional within the esport. Over the course of the next few weeks, teams will be ramping up their pursuit for their new look rosters in 2020 as the deadline for season agreements isn’t until November 11.

If the rumors end up being true, we will see the most meteoric shift of players on a wide scale within the league since its inception. Now that the Overwatch league is trying to step into an era of stability, the objective for teams is to conserve, consolidate and execute instead of forcing themselves to a complete overhaul.

Read also: Overwatch World Cup 2019 Power Rankings

Teams making changes with the Overwatch League Free Agency

Washington Justice

The Washington Justice have cut several ties with their old identity as a team last season, and the new additions they’ve made so far have been a step in the right direction. Justice made no qualms this year by parting ways with their entire coaching staff from a year prior and dropping their former franchise player Janus in the process.

On the rebound, Washington Justice have two major building blocks now with Corey “Corey” Nigra and Gye “rOar” Chang-hoon at the forefront. Both of these players epitomize the new school talent that the Overwatch League had to offer last season and the potent pair these two can potentially make will be a storyline to watch all of 2020.

Dallas Fuel

Dallas Fuel have opted to stick with their long-term head coach once again this offseason as Aaron “Aero” Atkins is eyeing just his second full year in charge of the organization, even though the first year didn’t go exactly as planned. Dallas’ familiar tropes as a troubled organization returned last season as Aero was afflicted by a number of team chemistry issues that plagued their hopes at success in the OWL before it began.

While the roster moves haven’t been made official yet, Dallas Fuel are expected to be one of those rosters that completely implode in an effort to start new. All options are on the table as every member is on the chopping block and Aero has full reign over which direction the team goes in this new chapter of Dallas Fuel history.

Houston Outlaws

The Houston Outlaws haven’t sat around the bush hoping to make new moves this offseason, they have gotten the ball rolling at a blistering pace. After announcing the arrival of Head Coach Harsha Bandi to the team, Houston Outlaws have already started putting together compatible players and answering the problems they never actually fixed last season.

Picking up Harsha from SF Shock and Vancouver Titans stock and also signing Joaõ “Hydration” Telles from the LA Gladiators are definitive starting points that outline the ambitious direction Houston Outlaws are gunning for this offseason. Expect Houston to quickly compound on these moves as they look to clamp down a few more high impact players to round out the squad.

OWL Free Agency 2020