London Spitfire cut four players from main squad in major roster overhaul
London Spitfire announced this week the release of four contracted players in their squad as Hooreg, HaGoPeun, WooHyal, and TiZi are set to leave the London team at the end of the season. This seemingly drastic roster change comes at the height of a dismal last few weeks for London as multiple players have suffered a dip in form.
Cleaning house? Or acting too soon?
The timing of this announcement for London Spitfire is peculiar given the late stage they are at in the season. With the transfer window closed until Season Two, this announcement has zero benefit to the London organization. Given the stipulations of contracts, and how the now ex-Spitfire players can’t leave the organization until Season Two, this announcement simply green lighted player negotiations from other Overwatch League teams and possible expansion teams as contracts expire in the summer.
As the London Spitfire management ‘trim the fat’ on a fourth of their roster, the players that are left will see steadier playing time as Profit and Gesture continue to carry the load. The release of Hooreg is quite puzzling given the lack of value shown from Birdring since his wrist injury. Even though the injury occured at the start of Stage Three, Birdring has not looked the same since, and his team’s performance has suffered in the process.
With Hooreg out of the picture, London Spitfire are putting all their chips on their current DPS duo in an effort to rekindle the synergy they showed at the end of Stage One. If London Spitfire are firing on all cylinders, they have the capabilities to take a series off any team and this drastic roster change is a doubling down on that philosophy.
Lying in wait
With four new free agents on the market, where does the talent go from here? Obviously the most sought after player from the London Spitfire exiles will be Hooreg as Rascal also sits on the sidelines in the search for a new environment. The possibilities for DPS duo’s are endless for OWL teams and expansion hopefuls alike as multiple high level DPS free agents are looking for greener pastures.
For teams not in the market for strong DPS players, WooHyal and HaGoPeun will make strong acquisitions for any OWL team looking for a solid competitor in the off-tank and main tank roles. WooHyal’s lack of consistency at times made him less of a standout than Fury on the London roster, but given the adequate amount of time to shine, he may impress some expansion teams enough to sign on the dotted line.
When HaGoPeun was used in Stage Three, his play was particularly consistent even when London Spitfire were at their absolute worst performance wise. His inclusion to any OWL team will be a benefit if given the right opportunity. Even though TiZi never got much (if any) playing time throughout the season, the problem with London was never a talent issue but rather a difficulty in distributing playing time.
Now the table is cleared for the most important London players to get time on each map as the final preparations before playoffs are taking place. In order to not lose ground to teams like Houston Outlaws and LA Gladiators, London need to put all their resources on their most important personnel and they are doing just that with their latest roster change. In the OWL, sometimes less is more if you have the right flexibility of players and London are confident in their rosters ability to defy the odds and massively improve their form before the playoff stage.