The Los Angeles Valiant have dropped their entire roster before the team moves to China for the 2021 Overwatch League season.
Before the Overwatch League announced that the 2021 Season would be split between two divisions. The East competing in China and Korea, and the West competing in North America and Europe.
The Valiant were put in the east division along with fellow NA teams NYXL and Philadelphia Fusion. This comes just a few weeks after rumors swirled that the team had been sold by Immortals to an unknown Chinese organization. Immortals and the OWL team denied this, but have now released all of their players and staff ahead of the move.
2021 Roster Update: pic.twitter.com/wLegf51MAI
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) January 29, 2021
On Jan. 29 the Valiant posted a tweet simply reading “2021 Roster Update” along with a press release explaining that some changes were happening while the team was getting ready to move.
“We want to thank all the players and staff moving on today from the LA Valiant due to COVID-related visa issues, as we compare to compete in China next season,” the team said, without specifying exactly who would be leaving.
Now-former Valiant head coach Mike ‘Packing10’ Szklanny confirmed in a twitlonger just after the announcement that the entire team and coaching staff had been released.
“I want to say thank you for all of the support and love that will be/has been given to all of my staff and players through this trying time,” Packing10 wrote, before confirming the entire team had been let go. “As you all know now neither my staff, my players, or myself will be involved with the LA Valiant Overwatch team in 2021.”
— Michael Szklanny Sr. (@Packing_10) January 29, 2021
For Overwatch League fans, this roster nuking sadly doesn’t come as a surprise. The Valiant are far from the first team to drop all their players and coaches in one fell swoop, but it remains to be seen how things will work out for them.
Besides making another batch of OWL jerseys obsolete, this also means every player from the team will be looking for a new home before next season as well if they don’t retire to play Valorant.
That, and we haven’t even gotten into who will be on the new Valiant team for 2021, but we’re guessing it will probably be a lot of Chinese players since Visa issues to compete there were why this happened in the first place.