Ever since making it out of the Play-In tournament, Lee “Guard” Hee-dong, a player who did not play much after Stage 1, was started over Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok, a main stay for the London Spitfire since their Season 1 debut. This did not raise any eyebrows to the average fan as players, especially DPS players, are substituted often due hero pools. No, it wasn’t until Cloud9 Social Media Manager Mateus “Portilho” Portilho made a questionable tweet that was promptly deleted.
In case it isn’t clear that Portilho is talking about birdring, he also replied to a tweet from Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles made regarding birdring with a similar “XD”. And speaking of deleted, birdring had also deleted his Twitter account. The last know post from him at the time of writing comes from his Instagram page. Through a quick Google Translate, he writes:
Thank you all for your support, and I'm sorry for the late season, I've lost a lot of motivation, and I'm still confused about my future plans. Sorry (Can someone translate? 😅)
From this, it would stand to reason that birdring may be retiring or looking for a new team at the very least. With the increased pressure from playoffs, a lack of a proper head coach and high expectations for the inaugural champs, it’s understandable that the load was too much to bear. It would be a shame if his tenure in the Overwatch League ended this way, but it is ultimately his choice.
Park “Bumper” Sang-beom
In addition to birdring, Bumper has also deleted both his Instagram and his Facebook accounts. One could see this as a means of frustration since he has been benched for Hwang “Tizi” Jang-hyeon for playoffs. However, it is worth noting that Bumper rarely used either platform and was perhaps cleaning up his clutter online. Still though, Bumper has been one of the more vocal players this Season. So it is peculiar that there hasn’t been much said from him since Tizi arrived.
Deleting social media accounts is nothing new for entertainers. Often, it is used for a publicity stunt and as a means to make a statement. However, no esports athlete has been so avant garde yet and it’s unlikely either Bumper or birdring will be the progenitors. What’s more likely is that both players have found that their need for social media is no longer existent. Now, whether that is because they don’t find it enjoyable or something more serious is unclear. For now, all we can do is wait to hear from either player about their plans going forward. The Game Haus will continue to monitor the story and provide updates whenever they appear.
Follow Brad on Twitter @BradKillion for the latest opinions and musing about the world of esports.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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