The Atlanta Reign announced on Thursday, March 28 that Danial ‘Dafran’ Francesca was officially retiring from the Overwatch League as a player, but would still be involved with the Reign organization.
Dafran appeared to quit before Season 2 even got going, but in the end he decided to stick around and ended up helping Atlanta reach the Stage One playoffs.
After some big time Zarya plays, he became one of the breakout stars in Stage One, so Dafran and the Reign seemed poised for a strong Stage 2 before the news of his retirement broke.
According to a statement from the Reign, Dafran informed the team of his decision to retire a week before the Stage One playoffs, but didn’t want to draw attention away from his team during playoffs by making such a big decision public.
When the announcement was made public, Reign and Overwatch League fans reacted with a mix of sadness and disbelief that one of the League’s newest stars was leaving the team.
This is probably the biggest roster change of the Overwatch League season so far, and it will be interesting to see how Atlanta works to replace Dafran going forward into the rest of the season.
Dafran, who got his start as a Twitch streamer, seems ready to get back to streaming full time, a choice that several former Overwatch League players have made.
Dafran won’t be leaving the Overwatch League entirely, he will stay on with the Atlanta Reign as the newest member of the organization's stream team on Twitch.
“Professional gaming was always the biggest dream of mine since I was very young and you gave me a shot. Sadly it is not anymore,” Dafran wrote shortly after the announcement. “I would rather be a streamer at this point in life and chill.”
Now Dafran will join the ever-growing list of former OWL players turned full-time Twitch streamers, like Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned and Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, who just announced he would be joining the Gladiator’s parent organization Sentinels as a streamer.
Even though he won’t be with the team on stage, Dafran reassured fans the Reign would have no trouble finding success without him.
“Don’t worry, the Atlanta Reign are gonna pop the fuck off with or without me,” he wrote. “They are all fucking insane players and the coaching team is always working hard.”