New teams, new faces, and new rosters for Overwatch League
With eight new expansion teams joining the OWL 2019 season, players and organizations have a lot of reshuffling to do, and free agents are up for grabs.
The inaugural season of Overwatch League saw the rise of London Spitfire, as well as formidable players across the league. And now players and coaches must figure out if they stay with their current teams, or if they venture off for a fresh start.
Throughout August, organizations were negotiating contracts with players. But anyone who didn’t sign a fresh contract are now free agents -- up for any new team to woo them into joining.
There are eight new expansion teams in the league as well, and they just wrapped up their exclusive window to sign those players.
Now starting Monday, all 20 teams are able to sign free agents. May the bidding wars begin!
First, here’s a quick look at the new expansion teams joining OWL Season Two.
Chengdu - Operated by livestreaming platform HUYA.
Guangzhou - Owned and operated by Nenking Group, who also owns the Guangzhou Long-Lions basketball team.
Hangzhou - Owned by Bilibili, China’s biggest video sharing site.
Paris - Operated by DM Esports, with ties to McCourt Global.
Washington D.C. - Operated by Washington Esports Ventures.
Atlanta - Owned by Cox Enterprises, who’s partnering with Atlanta Esports Ventures to operate the franchise.
Vancouver - Owned by Aquilini Investment Group, who also owns the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL.
Toronto - Funded by OverActive Media who’s partnering with esports organization Splyce.
Now, what do we know about the roster changes? There are TONS of rumors flying around, but here’s a look at what’s been confirmed so far in the off-season.
Picked up sephy as Head Coach, Silence as Assistant Coach, Casores as Player Development Coach, Danny as Data Analyst, Dongming as Translator.
Dropped Kalios, Avast, Snow, and Mistakes.
Seagull retired. Dropped Chipshajen. Dropped Analyst and Assistant Coach Peak. Switched Cocco from player to Assistant Coach. Picked up Jayne and Tikatee as Assistant Coaches.
Dropped Logix, Manneten, zappis, CWoosH, Zebbosai and Zuppeh. Acquired xepheR from Seoul Dynasty. Promoted HaGoPeun and Apply to main roster.
Released their coach KyKy. Acquired Danteh in a trade with San Francisco Shock. Dropped FCTFCTN. Switched Clockwork to non-player role. Switched Mendokusaii to Content Creator.
Dropped their coach changgon. Picked up Coach815 as Head Coach
Los Angeles Gladiators:
Transferred Fissure to Seoul Dynasty. Dropped iRemiix, Asher, and silkthread.
Los Angeles Valiant:
Released Finnsi, numlocked, Verbo and Assistant Coach GrimReality. Acquired Kuki from Seoul Dynasty.
New York Excelsior:
Released their coach WizardHyeong. Dropped Janus.
Promoted Elk to main roster. Named Hayez and NamedHwi as Co-Head Coaches. Dropped ShaDowBurn, Joemeister, and DayFly.
San Francisco Shock:
Picked up Rascal from NRG Esports Contenders. Acquired smurf in trade with Houston Outlaws. Dropped nomy, “dhaK, and iddqd. Analyst harsha leaves.
Transferred away xepheR and KuKi. Acquired KDG as Head Coach and Changgoon as Assistant Coach. Dropped Miro, Gido, Wekeed. Acquired Fissure from Los Angeles Gladiators.
Dropped Ado, Sky, Daemin, Altering, Freefeel, Fiveking, Roshan, and Xushu. Dropped Head Coach Kong and analyst Nai8.
Acquired Bishop as Head Coach.
Picked up Janus. Picked up WizardHyeong as Head Coach, AVALLA as Assistant Coach, mkL as Analyst.
(As of October 9, 2018)
But the changes go beyond building a good roster. The eight new teams need catchy names, cool logos, and colors that look great on a T-shirt.
OWL says the teams will be revealing those important details later, some teams have started asking fans for name ideas.
Hangzhou’s owner Bilibili also appeared to have applied for the word “Railgun” to be trademarked, following their poll for team names.