Around the OWL: Neptuno quits the World Cup Spain squad, Australia getting Overwatch League team?
With the Overwatch World Cup still a few months away, Philadelphia Fusion Support Alberto ‘Neptuno’ Gonzalez Molinillo announced recently on his Twitter that he will be stepping down from participating for his native Spain in order to recover from the grueling Overwatch League season he endured this past year. Also in the news, Busan becomes the next top contender for a second Korean Overwatch League team, as rumor spreads of a possible acquisition of an OWL expansion spot by Melbourne, Australia.
After a cinderella playoffs run for Neptuno and the Philadelphia Fusion, it’s understandable why Neptuno would be looking to take a break after the arduous months he’s dedicated to getting better as a player for his team. The Overwatch League season is taxing to say the least as all teams play 40 league games not including the playoff bracket and Stage Playoffs in between stages.
For a consummate professional like Neptuno, rest is as necessary as hard practice when you’re constantly looking to improve, and he and the Spanish Overwatch team have agreed to let him take a break as he looks to recharge his batteries for the upcoming season. With Neptuno coming out publicly with this announcement, are more Overwatch pros waiting in the lurch to possibly make the same kind of move given the stress of the first season of Overwatch League?
There’s no doubt the league format was a hindrance to the long-term success of some pros as Seagull, Taimou, and many others have spoken openly about the way in which it has affected their mental and physical health. Neptuno also suffered from tonsillitis and other adverse health ailments that were making his ability to perform on gameday increasingly difficult. Although the Overwatch e-Sports scene is new, there are clear signs of overexertion on the side of the pro players, and continuing a demanding schedule of this magnitude will not bode well for the long term health of the league.
In time, something will have to give in terms of what makes an overall better atmosphere for pro players to practice, rest and enjoy leisure activities at a pace that still gives them maximum results on stage.
Overwatch League Down Under? Busan all but confirmed for OWL
The Overwatch League expansion frenzy continues to be a topic on all insiders’ lips as the buying and selling of league spots is only heating up heading into Season Two of the Overwatch League. In recent weeks, Busan has risen to be the top contender for a second Korean Overwatch League team and the rumblings have risen since then.
Busan is no doubt an excellent location and city to field another Overwatch League team, and they may have an easily accessible roster to field when the time comes for Season Two. After an amazing run in Overwatch Contenders Korea, RunAway are an all Korean roster that are poised for success in any league, including the Overwatch League after finally overcoming KongDoo Panthera in the finals.
Elsewhere in the Overwatch League rumor mill, an esports blogger and content editor for the Overwatch U.K. team named Arran Brown has dished out some news regarding a possible acquisition of an Overwatch League expansion spot by Melbourne, Australia. This news is more reliable than most given the sources closeness to the situation, but Arran Brown made it clear that this announcement is still considered speculation at this time.
If the announcement of an Overwatch League Australian team is true, then there is a high chance that OWL will expand past their suggested six team expansion for Season Two, much to the delight of international Overwatch fans looking for a team or region that fits their interest.