The overwatch league is currently facing a great rostermania wave, with at least 11 organizations doing roster moves ahead of the start of the new season.
Of course, many wonder what’s next for all the free agents now, because there seem to be many more unsigned players than Overwatch teams. It’s also shocking to see that not even the most successful teams, such as Dallas Fuel, who just won the Overwatch League championship, have the guarantee of a permanent position in the 2023 season.
Los Angeles Valiant releases entire lineup
Los Angeles Valiant said goodbye to all of its players. The first to leave were Hwang “Marve1” Min-seo, Oh “Innovation” Seok-hyeon, Lee “Ezhan” Ji-han, Kim “Becky” Il-ha, Song “SASIN” Sang-hyun, followed by Chengzhi “Molly” He, Weida “Diya” Lu, Zhong “Haker” Haotian, and Chen “Lengsa” Jingyi.
Los Angeles Valiant barely stayed afloat in 2022, ending the regular season with a 7-17 record, so a line-up change makes sense.
New York Excelsior lets all players go
New York Excelsior is the next org let all six Overwatch players go, as their record this year wasn’t exactly glorious either. The lineup consisted of Lim “Flora” Young-woo, Kang “Gangnamjin” Namjin, Kim “Yaki” Junki, An “ANSOONJAE” Soon-jae, Jeon “Ho1” Ho-won and Kim “Kellan” Min-jae.
New York finished the 2022 season with a record of 4-20, making it the second-worst team in the Overwatch League.
Today we say goodbye to the current Excelsior roster.
We want to thank them all for their continued hard work throughout the season, and we wish them the best in their future; they will always be a part of the NYXL family. pic.twitter.com/dBvys0JfDO
— NY Excelsior (@NYExcelsior) November 14, 2022
London Spitfire says goodbye to four players
Although the team was actually quite successful this year, London Spitfire parts ways with four players, namely Emir “Kaan” Okumus, William “SparkR” Andersson, Johannes “Shax” Nielsen, and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch.
London had the most impressive Overwatch League upswing of 2022. After a miserable 1-15 record in the 2021 regular season, things were looking bleak, but under the supervision of Coach Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham, things have been a lot better this year.
Florida Mayhem parts ways with four players
The team announced today that they will part ways with four of their players ahead of the 2023 season. Jung “Xzi” Ki-hyo, Majed “SirMajed” Alrashied, Isaiah “Hydron” Rodriguez, and Jung “Anamo” Taesung will no longer be part of Florida Mayhem next season.
Thank you @Anamo_ow and @SirMajed9 for joining us on this wild OW2 journey together. We’re going to miss your leadership and positivity and we hope you both find success in whatever comes next. pic.twitter.com/n5Y6cgTyUj
— Florida Mayhem (@FLMayhem) November 12, 2022
Boston Uprising without players
Boston Uprising officially released Kim “Faith” Hong-gyu, Lee “MCD” Jeong-ho and Kim “ITSAL” Chang-hee from their 9-man lineup on November 12. Moreover, Leyton “Punk” Gilchrist’s and Kim “Valentine” Byeong-ju’s contracts are both expiring, leaving no one in the line-up.
Boston Uprising were relatively successful last season and the news that the organization was letting its line-up go came as a surprise to many fans.
Dallas Fuel releases players despite success
Even the successful Dallas Fuel players entered free agency in the 2023 Overwatch League offseason. The Fuel team of eight recently won the 2022 Overwatch League Championship, beating the San Francisco Shock 4-3.
Regarding our @DallasFuel roster in 2023:
There are quite a few Fuel players who became unrestricted free agents after winning the 2022 @overwatchleague season. We understand this team is a unit and have decided to let the entire team explore their options for 2023. +
— Mike Rufail (@hastr0) November 12, 2022
Shanghai Dragons retain three players for 2023
Shanghai Dragons won the Overwatch League championship last year and the 2022 season was quite successful for them as well. Lee “LIP” Jae-won, Kim “IZaYaKI” Minchul and Lee “LeeJaeGon” Jae-gon will remain a part of the Shanghai lineup in 2023, while Koo “Fate” Panseung, Kang “Void” Jun-woo, Yoon “BeBe” Huichang, Lee “WhoRU” Seung-jun and Kim “Fleta” Byungsun- will all be looking for a new team.
Philadelphia Fusion sacks five players
Philadelphia Fusion has announced the release of five players including Hwang “Belosrea” Gyu-tae, Kwon “FiXa” Yeong-hun, Kwon “AimGod” Minseok, Lee “Carpe” Jaehyeok and Kim “Fury” Junho.
Carpe has already found a new home with the T1 VALORANT team.
As a legendary DPS and a true leader, he has been an integral part of our team since the first season.
Thank you for all your hard work captain. We wish you the best of luck. pic.twitter.com/Z8gekWf5L9
— Philadelphia Fusion (@Fusion) November 12, 2022
Atlanta Reign parts ways with six players
Atlanta Reign released six players including Christian “Ojee” Han, Lee “Venom” Dong-keun, Charlie “nero” Zwarg, Nicholas “Speedily” Zou, Benjamin “UltraViolet” David, and Blake “Gator” Scott. Two-thirds of Atlanta’s nine-man lineup are out and are currently looking for new jobs.
San Francisco Shock lets four players go
San Francisco Shock announced they are releasing four players, namely Samuel “s9mm” Santos, Michael “mikeyy” Konicki, Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo and Colin “Coluge” Arai. With this change, the San Francisco Shocks removed all western players from their roster. That’s likely an indication that the team is looking to field an all-Korean team for 2023.
Thank you for joining us on our journey this year, and all of the passion and hard work you have put in. Thank you for an amazing season.
Shock Fam forever 🧡 pic.twitter.com/EK48OTuBHI
— San Francisco Shock (@SFShock) November 11, 2022
Houston Outlaws are parting ways with three players
Houston Outlaws have announced that Kim “Creative” Young-wan, Tomas “Doge” Kongsøre and Joseph “Lep” Cambriani will be parting ways with the organization. Houston finished third in the Overwatch League postseason round. With that result and a 16-8 record in the regular season, this year was the team’s most successful year in history.
What’s next for the free agents?
At the moment, there are a lot of free agents looking for a new OWL team and so far it’s not entirely clear where all these pros will be staying next year. It’s probably a pretty frustrating situation for these Overwatch players because many were let go of by their organizations despite their top performances.
The whole situation reflects the poor state of the Overwatch League, where organizations are seemingly losing their fight to financially survive the untenable conditions that Blizzard had set for the franchised teams.