Two-time Overwatch League champion and star San Francisco Shock DPS Nam-joo ‘Striker’ Kwon stunned the OWL community by announcing he was retiring mid-way through the 2021 season.
One of the Overwatch League’s biggest stars and the MVP of the 2020 Grand Finals, Striker, announced on June 23 that he was retiring – but news of his departure was soon met with Seonchang Ans’ Lee’s return.
Striker’s team, the reigning two-time champions, San Francisco Shock, broke the news on Twitter by posting a video celebrating his plethora of accomplishments in his career.
“Thanks for all the love and encouragement I’ve got when I was playing for SF,” Kwon wrote on Twitter following the announcement. “It was a great 2 and a half years. Also, thanks to all SF members and I believe you guys can win this season! And a special thank you for Crusty, all the support and trust you gave to me.”
Thanks for all the love and encourgment i've got when i was playing for sf. It was so great 2 and a half years. Also, thanks for all sf members and i believe you guys can win this season! And special thank for crusty, all the supports and trust you gave to me.
Also i'm sorry https://t.co/UIT1YSWRpY
— STRIKER (@STRIKER_OW) June 23, 2021
The news caught many in the Overwatch League community off guard, especially with the Shock looking to three-peat and become a “dynasty.”
Now, only ChoiHyoBin, Super, Viol2t and Smurf remain from the team that won back-to-back titles.
Known for his stellar Tracer skills, the DPS player helped lead his team to numerous tournament victories. He retires with the best final blows per 10 minutes stat in the entire league throughout all seasons.
. @STRIKER_OW steps down with the best Final Blow / 10 Minutes in the league EVER.
Across all heroes.
Sad to see talent leave, best of luck on whatever is next! https://t.co/t1IyIezE0r pic.twitter.com/2bNr7oupeK
— DC Justice – PRE (@PRE_owl) June 23, 2021
It’s not clear exactly where Striker is going next in his career, but some have theorized he may be yet another Overwatch pro to transition to Riot’s rival FPS Valorant.
However, with Ans returning to the Shock, it should breathe new life into the team still trying to find its footing in the 2021 season.
The return of the king 👑
Welcome back to the Shock fam, @ansansniper__
(pending league approval) pic.twitter.com/DGVDEO3HfZ
— San Francisco Shock (@SFShock) June 23, 2021
Despite failing to make the final four of either the May Melee or June Joust, the Shock are second in the Western standings and third in the league overall.
The Shock play their first game in the Summer Showdown tournament on June 25 when they take on their California rivals in the LA Gladiators.