Dallas Fuel will compete in the East region in the upcoming Overwatch League season, co-owner Mike ‘hastr0’ Rufail has announced.
In a video posted on Twitter, hastr0 explained that the move will allow Fuel to provide more support to their players as they will now compete closer to home all season.
“We had our players here in Dallas for the last two years,” hastr0 says. “As most of you know, they’re South Korean nationals. They live in South Korea, so they were really away from home for a couple of years.”
Dallas Fuel brings the number of teams in the East Region to seven, joining Seoul Infernal (previously known as Philadelphia Fusion), Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Chengdu Hunters, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons.
Last month, LA Valiant announced a move in the opposite direction as their team will compete in the West division in 2023.
Fuel’s move was borne out of necessity
hastr0 admitted that, coming into 2023, there “was a lot of uncertainty” about the future of the Overwatch League. At the same time, he noted, some of the team’s players were in high demand after the 2022 world title.
Shortly after the win, Fuel’s management announced that it was giving players the opportunity to entertain offers during the off-season. Tank Lee ‘Fearless’ Euiseok moved to Houston Outlaws, while supports Kwon ‘Fielder’ Joon and Han ‘ChiYo’ Hyeon-seok linked up with Atlanta Reign. DPC duo Kim ‘Doha’ Dong-ha and Kang ‘guriyo’ Min-seo were both released by Fuel.
On January 1, Fuel announced the signings of support duo Lee ‘MCD’ Jeong-ho and Kim ‘Bliss’ So-myung. The former played for Boston Uprising in the 2022 season, while the latter represented Contenders side O2 Blast.
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On Twitter, hastr0 provided more context to the decision to switch regions ahead of the 2023 season. He noted that Fuel “would have had to completely rebuild” the roster had they stayed in the West division and that the location of the team was discussed during the contract negotiations.
“Playing in the Eastern division allowed us to keep a good bit of our World Championship team and look to the future,” he said.
The 2023 Overwatch League season will kick off on April 27 in both regions. (In the West, there will be a Pro-Am tournament with OWL and Contenders teams). The seven East Region OWL teams will be joined by five Contenders teams as part of the recent changes to the league’s format.
hastr0 ended the video by stating that the organization “fully plans” to bring the team back to Dallas and continue to run events there in the future.
“We’re playing there [East] this season,” he said. “That’s all we have planned at the moment.”
Keep up to date with all the transfer activity in the Overwatch scene with our off-season roster tracker.