Crowned as Overwatch League champions in the inaugural 2018 season, the London Spitfire followed up with a shaky second season throughout 2019.
Failing to recapture the spark they once had, with one of the most inconsistent performances across 2019, placing as high as 3rd in Stage 2 and as low as 14th in Stage 3, Spitfire have announced a massive roster shuffle early into the off-season.
In an October 3 Tweet, the London Spitfire announced that it would be parting ways with three of its players and one coach. Guard, NUS, birdring, and Jfeel were all let go.
This huge roster shakeup now leaves London Spitfire with only six active players on the roster, and no substitutes whatsoever for the time being following the departure of their three tremendously experienced South Korean stars.
Today we part ways with @NUS_OW, @Guard, @Birdring, & @JfeelOW.
Thank you for all your hard work and efforts during your time with us! We wish you all the best in your careers moving forward :blue_heart: :orange_heart: pic.twitter.com/VyvhOLNuBa
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) October 3, 2019
Known for his phenomenal DPS play, birdring is a hitscan veteran who has competed at the very highest level since the inception of the Overwatch APEX tournaments in Korea. The star player recently took an extended break from competition, missing the final few playoff games for the Spitfire, leading to cryptic posts that potentially hinted at retirement.
This is further reinforced by esports writer Arran “Halo” Brown, who revealed that birdring has been considering retirement “after not performing to the level he expected this season and losing interest in the game.”
Mulitple sources have stated that former London Spitfire DPS Ji-Hyeok "Bridring" Kim is considering retirement after not performing to the level he expected this season and losing interest in the game.
— Arran “Halo” Brown (@haloofthoughts) October 3, 2019
Another experienced hitscan DPS player, Guard shared his feelings on Twitter following the announcement, stating that he was “so happy to be with the best team and coaches for a year,” but that he will “work harder and try to show you good looks."
NUS was the final player let go from the lineup. A support player having competed under the Spitfire banners since the launch of the franchise, it remains to be seen who will be filling these shoes moving into the 2020 season.
Hello, this is guard! The contract with London Spitfire has been terminated since October 1. I was so happy to be with the best team and coaches for a year. I will work harder and try to show you good looks. Thank you for always cheering!! pic.twitter.com/B1rqADFFNx
— Guard (@Guard) October 3, 2019
Spitfire’s best Stage finish throughout the entire season came in Stage 2 with a third-place finish and a positive 6-1 win/loss record. The team finished seventh overall in 2019.
As the off-season develops, it’s likely we’ll see many of these names on different organizations in the near future. You can keep on top of all the latest announcements thanks to our dedicated roster tracker.