The Vancouver Titans have apparently done a bit of a number on the former legendary Team RunAway, the goosebump-story of underdogs that scrapped their way to the top of the competition in Korea to be signed by the Vancouver Titans.
And then everything promptly fell apart with a bizarre implosion that offers many conflicting accounts with a heft of NDAs being tossed about for good measure.
If there’s anything accurate, however, it’s that the Titans management, or alleged mismanagement thereof, has dashed the love of Overwatch for the beloved international team.
Yesterday on stream, Choi ‘JJANU‘ Hyeon-Woo stated that he may very well be retiring from competitive play, and go back to only playing the title as a hobbyist. The off-tank that has garnered a monumental following from his former showings states that without finding a team where he can play with his former brothers, it’s difficult to be particularly interested in the scene as a whole.
He states that it appears that Lee ‘Stitch’ Chung-hee is also looking to quit from professional play after a tumultuous 2020 season, and that there is effectively no reason for him to try to get into teams for the upcoming season.
"and joining WAS was to just to be able to be on a team with Stitch, and I think Stitch is going to quit too, so without him there's no one I'd play with." /2
— 아나탈 (@gatamchun) December 12, 2020
While some are pointing fingers at the Vancouver Titans, others are readily pointing to Blizzard themselves for mismanaging the seasons and teams that have resulted in a general level of upheaval; it should be noted, however, that Blizzard readily cut League fees for the organizations that were attempting to save money during a rough season.
What is an absolute, however, is that we’re seeing legends leave the esport scene en-masse and there’s little organizations or Blizzard themselves can do to stymie it.
i feel so sad about him 🙁 but i hope he find a joy and succes in his streamer life!
— I hear soft things (@unnieXal) December 12, 2020
Counter-Strike is in a similar situation thanks to the pandemic and general upheaval following: over 200 professional Counter-Strike players have left the professional scene in 2020 alone, compared to a typical dozen or two leaving the esport on an annual basis.
The esport scenes will stabilize given time with a proper environment; we’ve experienced dips that could be compared to this, although without an international pandemic, and the scenes tend to stabilize over time rather than collapse into a black hole of bankruptcy and frustrations.
It’s still a monumental blow to the Overwatch League, whenever large names end up leaving the scene whether due to frustrations or a loss of interest: the big names are what tends to draw crowds (like CS:GO’s MIBR), and a loss of which should be viewed apprehensively at best.