The best team in Korea no more; Where have RunAway gone in OWL Season Two?
This offseason, the most dominant team hailing from the Korean Overwatch Contenders scene have officially been picked up by a mysterious Overwatch League team that has yet to reveal their identity. Many sources within the league have claimed that Vancouver OWL is the most logical option given the rather mute announcements they’ve had towards player signings.
With recent rumours of the organization possibly holding player tryouts it seemed like the dream of RunAway being signed as a full roster would not be possible but their former manager Flowervin has now confirmed on stream that all players from RunAway have been signed, but could not say whether it was each player individually or all players in a lump sum, package deal.
Fans of the Overwatch League may not be too privy on just who the highly coveted RunAway starlets are, but make no mistake their qualities as a group are to be feared at any level of play. For years, the RunAway roster has always been a group of excellent mechanical players that have always come just short of winning the ultimate prize.
Last year, RunAway had their most intense face off yet with another fabled opponent in Team KongDoo Panthera as their back and forth series ended in a seven game classic in favour of RunAway. Many fans have this Finals series pegged as the best Overwatch action you will see in 2018, and with good reason.
Given the layered tournament system of Contenders: Korea, the competition in their region has been up to par with that of the Overwatch League, and because of that every single player from RunAway comes into their free agent signing with massive leverage. There is a case to be made for every player on this roster being one of the best in their position overall.
Starting with Haksal, the 20 year old projectile DPS main has wreaked havoc all over the OW Contenders: Korea scene since his debut with RunAway back in 2016. At the age of 18, he was understandably outclassed by more experienced players such as SBB and Pine in his role, and in their absence Haksal and co. have become a force to be reckoned with now that RunAway have been crowned number one in their country.
Following in his footsteps is none other than Bumper, another lifetime RunAway player that has found success in every single role the organization has put him on, as his versatility on the main stage continues to push past any other players in his role. Bumper’s high level of mechanics on heroes as varied as Lucio, Reinhardt, Winston and D.Va have all been highlight worthy performances.
In every sense, Bumper continues to redefine the role of the typical Overwatch pro and his value in experience alone will need to be compensated accordingly.
Prospects for Overwatch League Season Two
With a team so stacked with talent from top to bottom, it’s understandable to see why RunAway have had a tough time finding a team that is willing to bankroll their entire star studded roster from beginning to end. Their wage demands would be high right out of the gate and even with the best investors in the league, the payment you would need to compensate 11 hot prospects that are fresh to the OWL is no small price to pay.
Sources close to the Vancouver OWL organization have previously claimed they were close to making a deal with the entirety of RunAway, but the news started changing with the revelation that Vancouver was holding tryouts for players elsewhere. This news has led many to believe that maybe RunAway aren’t being signed together at all, and only 4-5 players from the original lineup will keep their place amongst the new teams within the league.
From a fiscal standpoint, this makes sense for all the players who are more interested in getting paid what they are worth rather than staying together as a unit for possibly less pay. For a typical RunAway role player such as Hooreg or SLIME, signing prospects for OWL Season Two will hinder much more on what each team is willing to give rather than what the collective can bring to all players involved in the signing process.
In the statement made by RunAway Team Manager, Flowervin, they could not say whether or not every player was signed together, but they could confirm that RunAway as their fans know it would be no longer now that all players have found new horizons within the Overwatch League.
Within the coming weeks, we will know for sure whether or not the Overwatch League have found a new super team to cheer for or if the disbursement of talent from Korea will be big enough to tip the scales for all teams in a major way.