The sweeping changes coming to the Overwatch League in 2020 have begun to take their toll. Earlier today, former Overwatch League Champions the London Spitfire announced that they have released three players and a coach. Roster changes were to be expected with the increase in costs to run an Overwatch League team, but no one expected them this soon.
In a tweet, the London Spitfire announced that they would be parting ways with Kim “Birdring” Ji-hyuk, support Kim “NUS” Jong-seok, and alternate DPS Lee “Guard” Hee-dong. Earlier this week Spitfire coach, Kim “JFeel” Jeong-min openly discussed that he was looking for other opportunities. Birdring is a legendary DPS player with a history in the League that most players dream of. To see him go is a big statement that the stakes are higher than ever for players who want to remain in the League.
Was it good enough?
The London Spitfire faltered throughout Season 2 of the Overwatch League and Birdring failed to find footing in the tank dominant meta. Guard flexed over to Brigitte during the prominence of GOATS, whereas NUS played on and off all season. The evolution of the Overwatch League will make it more difficult for teams to keep a 12 man roster around at all times. The need for less players will therefore create more competition among them. Each team strives to be the best, and that means maintaining a lean roster of elite yet versatile players.
Many Overwatch League teams have quietly made roster changes as the Grand Finals took place. On September 30th, the Washington Justice released their entire coaching staff. The same day, main support player Hong “ArK” Yeon-joon made it known that his contract with the Justice had ended. Days later, Nikola “sleepy” Andrews shared similar news, leaving many wondering about the fate of their favourite Overwatch League players.