On Tuesday the Vancouver Titans announced the signing of main tank ChanHyoeng “Fissure” Baek, who will return from retirement to join the Titans for the 2020 OWL season. Fissure had previously hinted at a comeback on his stream, leaving a trail of bread crumbs that led to Vancouver. After a runner-up finish in their first OWL season, the Titans hope Fissure’s star power can help get them over the hump next year.
— Vancouver Titans (@VancouverTitans) November 26, 2019
The Titans will be Fissure’s fourth OWL team in three seasons. After joining the league with the London Spitfire, he was traded to the Los Angeles Gladiators before leading the team to the playoffs in the inaugural OWL season. He joined the Seoul Dynasty for the 2019 season but retired during Stage 3 after losing playing time to Min Seo “Marve1” Hwang.
Fissure’s OWL career has been marked by turmoil at every stop. In LA, he benched himself during the playoffs against his former team. With the Dynasty, he left halfway through the season and the team went on a playoff run without him. So far in his career, Fissure has struggled to find the right situation – a team that can manage his temperament while also getting the most out of his undeniable talent.
With an established core and top-notch infrastructure, Vancouver are betting they can be that team. Fissure was drawn out of retirement by the allure of the Titans’ talent and stability. His addition will be the ultimate test of that system. Fissure is volatile and, at times, destructive, but if Vancouver can keep him happy, he can raise their ceiling. After coming so close in 2019, a productive Fissure could mean a title in 2020.
The challenge for the Titans might also include keeping the rest of the team happy as well. Fissure will be battling Sangbeom “Bumper” Park for the starting main tank position. Bumper is beloved by his teammates and often serves as a focal point for how Vancouver plays. Inserting Fissure into that spot is easy enough strategically, after all, he plays a similarly aggressive style of main tank. The only question is whether Fissure will disrupt the chemistry the Titans have built.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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