A day after announcing the signing of ChanHyoeng “Fissure” Baek, the Vancouver Titans made another splash in free agency by bringing in his former Seoul Dynasty teammate Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu. On top of their new additions, they also released Sangbeom “Bumper” Park from the team. After such a successful first season, the shake-ups to the Titans’ roster might come as a surprise to many fans. Bumper’s departure is odd given his place as an emotional leader and strategic fulcrum for Vancouver. With Jang Hyeon “TiZi” Hwang’s release earlier this month, Fissure is now they only main tank on the Titans’ roster heading into 2020.
Thank you Bumper! 💚💙
“Bumper was an important part of our inaugural season and helped us establish our team identity early on. He is passionate, fun-loving and confident and we wish him nothing but success in the future.”
-Tim Holloway, Esports Director pic.twitter.com/fVNp5NbMDj
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) November 27, 2019
Ryujehong joins the Titans after two seasons with Seoul, who decided to move on from the legendary flex support in a bid to shake off their lackluster finishes to this point. After entering the OWL as a highly touted player, ryujehong struggled in his first year outside of Korea. With a resurgence last season, he proved he can still compete.
In many ways, both Bumper’s and ryujehong’s exits mirror each other. Both are beloved amongst fans and teammates. The two share long histories in Overwatch, dating back to the first seasons of APEX in South Korea. Neither really underperformed during the 2019 season – through two stages Bumper was a potential MVP candidate. However, both of their teams felt they had upgrades available, Fissure for the Titans and their in-house prospect from Gen.G Young-wan “Creative” Kim for Seoul.
Ryujehong and Fissure join an already stacked lineup, a team that dominated the regular season and came within spitting distance of winning it all. Despite several offseason departures, most of that elite roster remains intact. With Fissure stepping into the main tank role, the Titans hope they can improve on their already excellent results.
For ryujehong, this represents a new chapter in his storied career. Until now, he has always played on the premier Korean Overwatch organization, first with Lunatic-Hai and then with Seoul. Now he steps into an unfamiliar situation, a new team and for the first time, likely a backup role. With Juseok “Twilight” Lee firmly entrenched as the starter, ryujehong will probably find his value as a leader for the Titans. His legendary status should allow him to lead from the bench, but whether he contributes in-game remains to be seen.
Featured image courtesy of the Vancouver Titans via Twitter.
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