After weeks of speculation, the Vancouver Titans have officially announced they have released their entire roster.
The announcement has been met with backlash from all sides of the community in part due to allegations on how everything was handled. It’s been said that the team and the parent organization Luminosity Gaming butted heads on many things with the handling of the team during COVID-19 being the tipping point. The organization said that the original plan was for the team to have their own facility at Adamas Esports Training + Performance in Vancouver while the roster says that they were suppose to have a facility when they were sent back to Korea, but the organization were not able to accommodate them.
The other reason is because many of these players came from RunAway who are one of the most beloved teams in all of Overwatch. That and their story is one that major Hollywood sport movies are made of. It’s a rags to riches story about a player and his wife sacrificing everything to achieve success within Overwatch. Even going as far as to have all the players move in together in a rundown apartment in Korea just so they could survive and devote their lives to the game.
You can view their full statement down below:
We would like to thank Titans fans for your patience during this difficult period. The organization and the team have been dealing with a very complicated situation which included sensitive information and player confidentiality made even more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic. We as an organization want to ensure we communicate effectively and will continue to try to get better in this regard as we grow as an esports team and an esports organization.
At the start of the season the team and the organization’s spirits were at an all-time high. The team was ready to avenge their Grand Finals loss and contend once again for an Overwatch League championship. We were excited for the players to experience Vancouver as their new home, and we were ready to introduce them to you through content and events throughout the season as they settled into their new home away from home at Adamas Esports Training + Performance.
The partnership with Adamas Esports Training + Performance gave the team a world class facility to call home located in one of the top human performance centres in the country, Fortius Sport & Health. Adamas also provided them with a built-in esports training centre that came with chef prepared meals, top end equipment for both gaming and fitness, and access to physical training and mental health resources. We were set up for success and were ready for the first season of home and away matches, including two homestands here in Vancouver.
The team started the season with two convincing wins but meanwhile the impact of COVID-19 was being felt across the globe and all businesses were being affected, including ours. With cancelled homestands and travel increasingly limited, the players were bound to their training facility home. Once it became apparent this would be an extended situation, and out of an abundance of caution, the players were flown to their homes in South Korea to be with their families.
Our initial plan was for the team to join the Asian division and continue to play the new schedule from the comfort of players’ homes, but it was quickly apparent that this created a whole new set of challenges. The time difference made it difficult for management and the home fanbase to connect with the team and technical challenges for the players playing from home further exacerbated the situation.
With the organization unable to meet the players expectations in Korea, and after much deliberation and conversation with the players, the difficult decision was made to move the team back to the North American division and both the players and management agreed that finding a new home for the players would be in everyone’s best interest.
The following players/staff have since agreed to mutually part ways with the team:
HyoJong “HakSal” Kim
Minsoo “Seominsoo” Seo
Seongjun “Slime” Kim
Chunghee “Stitch” Lee
Juseok “Twilight” Lee
JeHong “RyuJeHong” Yu
Yangwon “Yang1” Kweon (coach)
Jae Hong “Andante” Hwang (coach)
The team has also released Chan Hyeong “Fissure” Baek.
From all of us at the Vancouver Titans organization, we would like to thank these players and coaches for the positive memories we’ve had, of course highlighted with an appearance in the Overwatch League Grand Finals in our first season. These players were able to leave a lasting impression on fans from around the world. We wish them all the best as they move on in their careers.
There are so many young, talented, and passionate Overwatch players who dream of playing at the pinnacle of competitive play. We are excited to tell you that we will be supporting that path to pro, and in future announcements will share our plan which will include introducing our new core of Vancouver Titans players along with how we will help aspiring young players make the leap into professional play.
Our goal from the beginning has been to create an environment that can embody what competitive Overwatch means for those in Vancouver. Aligning with our core values we will always aspire to be a team that believes in community and engaging with the fans that love watching them every minute of every game and beyond. We recognize that we have a lot to learn and want to make sure we do all we can to improve and deliver a great team for our fans and Vancouver.
A force of nature is a collective one, and we know that we need to step up our game in order to truly make that force felt across the league for years to come. We look forward to announcing our new roster of Titans in the coming days. We hope that you join us as we move into this new chapter of Vancouver esports.
Tim Holloway, Esports Director, Aquilini Entertainment