Tuesday, December 6, 2022

What Happened in OWL Last Week? Offseason Edition: Week of 11/14

Welcome back to the newest installment of “OWL Offseason Recap Article That still Needs a Name”. This past week was a but front-loaded with the biggest news of the week, making the week of November 14 a bit calmer than the previous week. Plenty of rosters are completely dropped, more players are LFT and there is even some news surrounding the Chinese OWL teams and their ability to maybe not play next year.

If you’re looking for some players that might be LFT, make sure to check out the previous entry into this series, and look out for the upcoming OWL Offseason Tracker here on TGH.

[In case you Missed it: OWL Offseason Headlines Recap – Week of 11/7]

Free agency window pushed back to 12/2

As teams enter into the first full month of the offseason, there are a few dates that fans will want to watch. The main one, when teams may sign free agents, has been pushed back until December. The deadline adjustment comes off the back of a fascinating new development with Blizzard and it’s licensing of games in China.

In an investor communication released on November 16, Blizzard announced that it will be suspending their game services in mainland China. The halting of game services is due to the current licensing agreement with NetEast coming to a close in January. As a league with multiple teams based in China, the Overwatch League has a massive task ahead of them in order to keep these teams in the League.

Toronto Cleans House, Welcomes New Head Coach Casores

The Toronto Defiant were the embodiment of “middle of the pack” in 2023. They finished the season 12-12 with a -1 map differential. They beat teams who could beat them, and lost to the teams that were favored. While they did find themselves in the Grand Finals bracket, they failed to win a match and promptly found themselves done for the year. The Defiant showed glimpses of greatness, but just couldn’t put it all together to reach that ceiling. On November 18, the Defiant announced the release of each player from their 2022 roster.

However it isn’t all doom and gloom for the eastern Canadian team. Earlier in the week the Defiant welcomed in their first piece of the new 2023 roster. On November 15, the Toronto Defiant announced that former San Francisco Shock assistant coach Cas “Casores” Andel will become the next Head Coach for the franchise. Casores will be working with a fresh new roster as he looks to bring success to Toronto in his first HC stint.

Titans, Excelsior, Justice all Starting Fresh in 2023

When a team performs below expectations, it is tough to justify bringing back the same roster that failed the first go around. This is the reason why many fans have to watch their favorite team drop their entire roster in one fell swoop. Vancouver, Washington and New York were the latest teams to move on from their 2022 roster.

All three of these teams will look to rebuild everything from the ground up. Expect to see coaching signings before any player signings for these teams as the offseason progresses.

Free Agency in Full Swing: Rundown of Who is LFT

For better or for worse, there are a ton of free agents hitting the market after the 2022 season. Teams want to maximize their chances of finding the right pieces, and players want to participate in tryouts early and often to secure their spot for 2023. Below are the players and staff members that publicly mentioned they are exploring the market last week. Some players are still in contract discussions with their current team, but still have the option to pursue other opportunities.

Atlanta Reign

  • Coach: Dimitri “Silence” Couturet

Houston Outlaws

  • Coach: Dong-young “HoChiLee” Lee

Los Angeles Valiant

  • Weird “Diya” Lu
  • Haotian “Haker” Zhong
  • Chengzi “Molly” Hey
  • Jingyi “Lengsa” Hey
  • Coach: Xingyou “Haru” Chen

New York Excelsior

  • Young-woo “Flora” Yim
  • Junki “Yaki” Kim
  • Min-jae “Kellan” Kim
  • Namjin “Gangnamjin” Kang
  • Ho-won “Ho1” Jeon
  • Soon-jae “Ansoonjae” An
  • Coach: Youngwoo “Undine” Son
  • Jaehee “Gesture” Kong
  • Min-ho “Artist” Cho

Seoul Dynasty

  • Dong-eun “Fits” Kim
  • Myeong-hwan “Smurf” Yoo
  • Jun-woo “Vindaim” Park
  • Seung-hyun “Ir1s” Kim
  • Coach: Bong-gu “Bongwoori” Lee

Shanghai Dragons

  • Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim

Toronto Defiant

  • Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi
  • Yoo-min “CH0R0NG” Sung
  • Jung-woo “Finale” Lim
  • Hyun-wook “ALTHOUHT” Jung
  • Young-hun “Muze” Kim
  • Juseok “Twilight” Lee
  • Heesu “Heesu” Jeong

Vancouver Titans

  • Jeong-su “Aztac” Park
  • Robert “Skairipa” Lupsa
  • Nick “False” Wiseman”
  • Rene “K1ng” Rangel
  • Petya “Masaa” Cantanen

Washington Justice

  • Sung-won “Assassin” Kim
  • Woo-yeol “Kalios” Shin
  • Yung-hoon “Krillin” Jung
  • Coach: Seungjun “Sup7eme” Han

stay connected

Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League

You can like The Game Haus on Facebook! And make sure to follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other TGH writers.Follow Bryan on Twitter @esportsbrock for more updates on Overwatch, VALORANT, and the LCS

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