The #LondonSpitfire made history this past season by exceeding all #Overwatch League fans’ original predictions to advance to the postseason. Even a winning squad can experience the offseason blues.
Today, London made the announcement that it was saying goodbye to damage dealer Johannes #Shax Nielsen, support Emir #Kaan Okumus, and tank Gael #Poko Gouzerch. DPS William #SparkR Andersson announced earlier in the week that he was looking for offers after his contract ended.
Meanwhile, the New York Excelsior today made all six players on their roster available for free agency. Fans shouldn’t be too surprised given the team’s 2022 record, but the quick and unexpected announcement surprised everyone.
London Spitfire Situation
Speaking of their former players, Shax played damage for the squad for two seasons, and is the Spitfire player with the longest tenure among those entering the free agent pool. The former Los Angeles Valiant player assisted the Spitfire in making progress throughout the team’s highly challenging 2021 season, and he was able to enjoy the results of his effort in 2022.
Flex support Kaan moved to the friendly skies of the Spitfire after the Paris Eternal disbanded their lineup in the middle of the season. Kaan made a few appearances and probably had an experienced presence behind the scenes even though the team’s established backline was frequently visible in the starting position.
Because the majority of his core heroes weren’t used this season, veteran tank Poko didn’t succeed in 2022’s meta roulette and didn’t get the opportunity to demonstrate his abilities. Despite this, it is obvious that his seasoned leadership had a favorable impact on the Spitfire.
In 2022, London experienced the most amazing Overwatch League glow-up. Few pundits and fans had any hope for the Spitfire to succeed this season after they clocked a dismal 1-15 regular season record in 2021. London made it to the postseason and finished 2022 with a 14-10 record under the direction of coach Christopher #ChrisTFer Graham, who won the Coach of the Year title.
The New York Release
Now that all of New York’s players are unrestricted free agents, they can accept offers from any league team. The Excelsior underwent another total team makeover prior to the 2022 season, keeping only DPS Lim #Flora Young-woo from the previous year. The club strengthened themselves with rookies from multiple Overwatch Contenders divisions and seasoned talent from other league divisions.
After being released by the Florida Mayhem, DPS prodigy Kim #Yaki Junki and support Kang #Gangnamjin Namjin were acquired by New York. From the Toronto Defiant, Support An #ANSOONJAE Soon-jae also joined.
The Excelsior depended on Talon Esports player Kim #Kellan Min-jae to play the position of tank. Jeon #Ho1 Ho-won, a former O2 Blast supporter, also joined the group in the middle of the campaign.
With all the seasoned talent New York had acquired, expectations for the club were high. However, the Excelsior struggled to find its footing as it dealt with a number of odd roster changes and social problems.
With a 4-20 record at the end of the 2022 season, New York was the team with the second-worst record in the Overwatch League this season, trailing only the 1-23 Paris Eternal.