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Overwatch – Vancouver Titans release entire roster and staff

Vancouver Titans were once a blazing new star across Overwatch. Now they have burned out as the management released the entire team and staff on May 6th.

Once the dominant force in Overwatch, the Titans started out as as small Korean team before coming to dominate the entire Overwatch League (OW).

Starting their rise to western prominence the roster started among the eight new teams added to the OWL in it’s second season. As part of the Vancouver Titans they had a solid foundation to build upon as the Vancouver franchise was backed by the famous Vancouver Canucks.

The eternal duel against SF Shock

With 19 wins in a row the Titans broke records in the OWL and established a dominance that was only challenged by untiring rival San Francisco Shock. The rivalry between the two teams came to define the stages in the OWL.

Although the Titans lost the Grand Finals 2019 in a 0-4 landslide the Korean roster had still wrote one of the most compelling stories of Overwatch. Starting from Contenders to rise all the way to the greatest stage of all in Overwatch their rise inspired the fans and players.

Back then in the Contenders-series the team was exceptional in it’s chemistry. Their teamwork was a well-oiled machine supporting their stars like Sang-beom “Bumper” Park.

Trapped in franchising?

But under the banner of the Titans cracks began to show in their armor. After their first season Bumper left the team and said to ESPN that although the team still consisted of the players of “RunAway” the identity had changed.

The stars had become “trapped” in the American franchise. Starting the 2020 season the Titans were in for a bumpy ride. Two wins and two losses before the Corona pandemic interrupted regular play was all the Titans had to show for after several changes.

As Covid19 hit the Overwatch scene in full force the Titans have come to the decision to release the entire roster including the staff. In their “letter to the fans” the organisation stressed that the performance of the lineup had nothing to do with the decision. Furthermore the decision to separate was mutual.

“I am free!”

After the release several players took to Twitter to share their take on the situation. Hyeonwoo “JJANU” Choi and Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu both shared relief over the issue as they tweeted “I am free!” A first hint that not everything was as well as the organisation had claimed in their statement.

According to a report by Kotaku there was a long list of grievances between management and players: Insufficient housing arrangements and unfavorable contracts with lack of communication were apparently widespread. The argument is said to have turned so bad that the players even contemplated going on strike before the pandemic introduced a new dynamic into the situation.

A rather bleak capstone to one of Overwatch’s cinderella stories.

With several players on the roster taking a break from Overwatch in the wake of the release it remains to be seen if they will stage a return to the scene. For the OWL the implosion of the Titans roster is the next blow after last season’s MVP sinatraa left the game to pursue a career in VALORANT.

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Pictures via Stewart Volland/Blizzard Entertainment