Overwatch

OWL 2019 MVP Sinatraa retires from Overwatch for Valorant

by Bill Cooney

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Overwatch League MVP and San Francisco Shock star Jay 'Sinatraa' Won will officially be retiring from Overwatch to play Valorant, his now-former team has announced.

The San Francisco Shock bid a surprising farewell to their star player on April 28, but for those who had been watching Sinatraa's streams, the news didn't come as too great of a shock.

Sinatraa had been discussing a "major decision" coming his way during recent broadcasts, but he didn't reveal exactly what it was. Now, it seems he's leaving the game that made him a household name in 2019 to get a head start on Valorant.

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According to ESPN, Sinatraa will be joining the Sentinels esports organization and leaving behind NRG, the Shock's parent org. Exactly how much money he'll be making playing Valorant is currently unknown, but it was enough to make him walk away from his $150,000 a year Overwatch League contract.

His last game with the Shock was a March 29 matchup versus the Los Angeles Valiant, which San Francisco actually lost 3-1.

Sinatraa wouldn't have been able to stay on with NRG even if he wanted to, because of OWL rules that basically forbid retiring players from signing with any org that's involved with a competing Overwatch League team.

Sentinels used to be the parent organization of the Los Angeles Gladiators, until they settled a lawsuit in 2019 giving control of the team to owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

Activision-Blizzard
Activision-Blizzard
Sinatraa helped lead the Shock to the 2019 OWL Grand Finals, but now they'll have to continue without the star player.

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Currently 20 years old, Sinatraa signed his contract with the Shock when he was only 17, and was still unable to even play in the League. Once he was able to play though, he led Team USA to a Gold medal in the 2019 Overwatch World Cup and became MVP after San Francisco's storied 2019 OWL championship run.

He's certainly the biggest Overwatch name to jump ship to Valorant so far, but based on the amount of hype, and the amount of current and former players consistently streaming Riot's new FPS, he probably won't be the last.

We don't know who will be joining Sinatraa on the Sentinels Valorant team, but the organization also has Fornite World Cup champ Kyle 'Bugha' Giersdorf and another former OWL star Felix 'xQc' Lengyel signed, so there are some interesting possibilities that could potentially happen.

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Sinatraa's departure was announced before he's even had his 2019 MVP skin revealed by the Overwatch League, and it's unknown whether or not he'll return to the game temporarily to check it out once it's released.

Valorant is still in the early days of beta, and we're sure to see more announcements coming from esports players switching to the new game as we get closer to release. But, this doesn't make it any easier on the Shock fans who have to bid one of their star players an unexpected farewell.