The Overwatch League had its own version of Michael Jordan’s iconic "flu game" on September 4 as Los Angeles Gladiators star Ji-hyeok ‘Birdring’ Kim pulled off the performance of a lifetime - and even collapsed as the playoff series ended.
The hitscan prodigy may have led his team to victory over the Toronto Defiant, but it wasn’t easy. As it was revealed during the broadcast, Birdring had flu-like symptoms before the match, resulting in him missing map one, which his team lost.
However, he was subbed in for map 2 and made his presence known, frequently winning sniper duels while battling through his symptoms and opponents.
In the end, Kim and the Gladiators were forced to a map five on Lijang Tower after being denied the series win on Dorado. The final map ended up going the distance, as well, with LA and Toronto winning on Night Market and Control Center, respectively.
Birdring fainted/collapsed after the game pic.twitter.com/eE3MQQzGRK
— memes_for_owl (@memes_for_owl) September 4, 2020
After the Gladiators managed to overwhelm the Defiant on Gardens, with some major help from Kevin ‘kevster’ Persson's Sombra EMPs, Birdring appeared to faint as the match came to a close.
Concerned social media users noticed that Birdring fell to the ground as his team celebrated, and were eager to hear how the Korean DPS star was doing, given his status.
Luckily, he is fine according to the organization. “Birdring is doing ok!” the Gladiators tweeted.
The Birdring Flu Game's going into the history books.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) September 4, 2020
“We were monitoring him earlier and subbed him in when he felt well enough to warm up and play. He felt dizzy standing up, but is walking around now and is going to go rest for the night,” they further revealed.
The Overwatch League was quick to respond, dubbing the match “The Birdring Flu Game” and stated it would be “going into the history books.”
The Gladiators have now qualified for the quarter-finals of the Overwatch League playoffs, where they will have some wiggle room for a defeat as the format switches to double elimination.