The Vancouver Titans announced it had parted ways with its entire Overwatch League roster Wednesday, including coaches, in the middle of Overwatch League Season 3. The team now has a game to play Saturday and not a single player to field.
DPS players Hyojong “Haksal” Kim, Minsoo “SeoMinSoo” Seo, and Chunguie “Stitch” Lee, support players Sungjun “SLIME” Kim, Juseok “Twilight” Lee, and Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu, and coaches Yangwon “Yang1” Kwon and Jaehong “Andante” Hwang all agreed to mutually part ways with the team, per a blog post on the Overwatch League website written by Titans management.
Vancouver Titans Drops Entire Overwatch League Roster Mid-Season
The team also released tank player Chanhyung "Fissure" Baek.
The decision came as a result of the myriad challenges of running a global competition such as the Overwatch League amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
At the outset of the pandemic, the Titans' players were flown home to South Korea under the initial understanding they would compete in the league's Asia division. Things quickly changed when the reality of intercontinental co-working became apparent.
"The time difference made it difficult for management and the home fanbase to connect with the team and technical challenges for the players playing from home further exacerbated the situation," the Titans management wrote in its blog post.
Ultimately the team opted to move back to North America, but leave its players behind, preferring to sever ties and start anew.
The Titans' decision to dump its team in the middle not just of the season, but also of the COVID-19 pandemic makes it very difficult for those players to salvage their seasons by joining another team.
The news comes a week after tank player Hyeonwoo "JJANU" Choi and head coach Hwang "PaJion" Jisub departed the team.