Rostermania. The time that spikes fear into the hearts of fans everywhere. The sibling League, Call of Duty League (CDL), of the Overwatch League (OWL) has already ended its season. Their entrance into the Rostermania is seeing huge team upsets as well as large names retiring. This brings to light the differences between the two leagues as well as the possible future for the OWL rostermania in this coming offseason.
Uncertain Future of Players?
Hey, read if you're H4F
— OpTic FormaL (@FormaL) August 28, 2021
For the CDL Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper retirement announcement caught the community off guard. He is considered one of the greats, and his stepping down from competitive play was shocking to many. This brings about the question for the Overwatch League, who might be the legends that retire this coming offseason?
Jongryeol ‘Saebyeolbe’ Park
Saebyeolbe has to be a name that is brought up. He was an addition to the Seoul Dynasty in the Season 3 offseason along with Taesung ‘Anamo’ Jung. The fact that his competition is Junyoung ‘Profit’ Park and Dongeon ‘FITS’ Kim would make it hard for him to start. But after his scandal with the One China Policy on stream, fans have not seen him in the line-up or in the Seoul Dynasty Content. It would be possible to see him move to a more official coaching position as he is surely helping the team behind the scenes.
Dongjun ‘Rascal’ Kim
Rascal is another name that is legendary in the Overwatch community. He joined late into the Philadelphia Fusion roster after they had issues with visas of their other non-Korean players. He was a mainstay on the starting roster until Josue ‘EQO’ Corona was able to join. Since then he has been sitting on the bench.
Jihyuk ‘Birdring’ Kim and Junwoo ‘Void’ Kim are the only original Kongdoo members that are active in the Overwatch League apart from himself. He said on stream the last off-season that he wasn’t interested in talking to other teams in recruitment, but when he came on and saw his fans that he felt bad. It sounded as if he wasn’t as passionate about the game, but hopefully, this season helped renewed some of the fire in him. It would not be unreasonable to foresee Rascal stepping back and going to become a Twitch streamer as he gets good numbers whenever he does stream.
The CDL is mostly NA and European players. This means that they do not have to even worry about other factors such as the mandatory military service Korean males have to do before the Korean age of 28. The Overwatch League is built on more Korean players than non-Korean players. The mandatory military might force some players to leave the professional play earlier than the community expected.
Another large factor is the fact that there is no solid news about Overwatch 2 or how that may impact the league is also an unknown reality for some players. This uncertainty may also have some players rethinking their careers in Overwatch. Valorant is still a big pull as other ex-Overwatch League talents such as Sangbeom ‘Munchkin’ Byeon and Joonhyuk ‘Zunba’ Kim have found success in the Valorant scene.
The budget could also be a big factor in this coming OWL rostermania. Many CDL teams such as Seattle Surge and the LA Guerrillas have completely been wiped clean. This has been seen a couple of times such as the Paris Eternal and London Spitfire going all European at the end of Season 3. Without the revenue of the homestands as well as other costs that the Covid-19 may have impacted teams might be looking to downsize. This could come through as smaller rosters with only one substitute or players with lower salaries.
With no word on expansion teams, this will put many players in a strange limbo, fighting for limited spots or having to take offers at lower salaries. This was seen in Season 4 with the LA Valiant when Immortal sent the team over to China to compete
With teams being wipes out and retirements that aren’t even bringing in the player trades and LFT players in the CDL, which is also occur the Overwatch League goes into the off-season. Though the CDL and the OWL are different, it is interesting to see the trends that appear in the CDL during the off-season. Fans can only hope that their favorite players will find a home in the ever-rotating ecosystem that is the blizzard esport community.
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