Back in June, the Dallas Fuel’s Gui-un ‘Decay’ Jang was accused of ‘benching himself’ before being released by the team in August. Now, after eliminating the Fuel from the playoffs, a former teammate has confirmed those rumors in a jab at the star DPS.
In 2019, Decay was an Overwatch League All-Star for the Los Angeles Gladiators before being acquired by Dallas ahead of the 2020 season and then surprisingly removed from the starting lineup in June.
This prompted the Atlanta Reign’s head coach, Brad Rajani, to explain that rumors indicated Decay had “benched himself and plays mostly Valorant in his free time.”
While Rajani was accused of baseless “baiting” by the Overwatch community, something was most certainly afoot in Dallas as the team ended up releasing the star DPS in August. Now, although it’s unclear what happened specifically, it appears that there was some truth to those rumors.
After being released by Dallas, Decay was acquired by the Washington Justice. In a fitting anime-like storyline, his new team met his former team in the second round of the OWL playoffs, quickly swept them, and ended their season.
Following the match, the Fuel’s flex support, William ‘Crimzo’ Hernandez, took to Twitter to express his discontent — seemingly confirming some of the rumors from months back.
As Crimzo puts it, a loss is especially painful when it’s against “the person that held your team hostage for months in scrims because he was unhappy.” This ties directly into the former allegations that Decay had benched himself, as that reluctance to play with his team would inherently hurt the value of their scrims.
Losing to the person that held your team hostage for months in scrims because he was unhappy really hits different.
— Crimzo (@Crimzo) September 5, 2020
In response to Crimzo’s Tweet, there has been little to confirm or deny his accusation, as other pros around the league have simply expressed excitement over controversial comments instead.
The Los Angeles Valiant’s Caleb ‘McGravy’ McGarvey responded “HOLY F**K,” the Atlanta Reign’s Dustin ‘Dogman’ Bowerman, “GODAMN HE SAID IT,” and the Los Angeles Gladiators’ Indy ‘SPACE’ Halpern succinctly replied in a way that much of the community has: “Oh, it’s like that.”
That reluctance to pick a side speaks to the nuance of the situation, as few are comfortable assigning full blame to either Decay or the Fuel. Many fans have criticized the Dallas coaching staff for the unfortunate turn in their season, which also seems reasonable given the release of their head coach, Aaron ‘Aero’ Atkins, just a day after Decay.
OWL contracts basically allow players to hold entire teams hostage or quit practicing with no consequences.
Fans should realize that probably half the time they don’t see a player it’s because they have benched themselves.
Orgs need to be able to have actual leverage over pros. https://t.co/1gVdk7xVnR
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) September 5, 2020
Interestingly, Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles tacked on a different reaction to the drama, aimed directly at the contract situations that would permit a disgruntled player to hinder team practice. As a former Overwatch League caster and current esports insider, MonteCristo asserts that “OWL contracts basically allow players to hold entire teams hostage or quit practicing with no consequences.”
Without looking directly into Decay’s contract or knowing the Fuel’s specific locker-room circumstances, it’s obvious that the split was not entirely amicable. This continues a history of highly touted Korean players, like Hyeon ‘EFFECT’ Hwang, Min-seok ‘OGE’ Son, and Dong-jun ‘Rascal’ Kim, experiencing frustration with the organization.
OGE and Rascal both experienced greater success upon leaving to other teams, and it appears Decay has as well, given the results of their second-round drubbing against his old side. Now, he’ll look to prove that was no fluke as the Justice face the seemingly indomitable San Francisco Shock in the third round.