Overwatch

Overwatch League pro JAKE explains decision behind sudden retirement

by Scott Robertson

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Following two seasons of play for the OWL team Houston Outlaws, DPS player Jacob ‘JAKE’ Lyon has announced his retirement from competitive play.

In just a matter of a couple of days, two massive stars from the first two seasons of the Overwatch League have stepped back from professional play. First, NYXL’s ‘big boss’ in Do-hyeon ‘Pine’ Kim retired after sitting out for most of season two.

Now, another prominent DPS star joins him in retirement, as JAKE announced on December 7 that his time was up. 

Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment
Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment
JAKE celebrates with the Outlaws

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In announcing his retirement, JAKE assured fans that despite the way the story ended, he doesn’t regret the journey that’s led to this moment.

“I’ve sacrificed relationships, sleep, and SO much time to become a professional player,” he wrote on TwitLonger. “Despite the sacrifices, though, I do not regret chasing down my childhood dream. The chance to compete at the highest level among the best players on the planet was worth it all.”

JAKE hinted that perhaps he had lost just a bit of his competitive fire, and declared that he would “rather retire and pursue new dreams/goals than give less than 100% effort and collect an OWL player salary for another 12 months.” 

TwitLonger: @jakeow
TwitLonger: @jakeow
JAKE's full twitlonger announcing his retirement.

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He acknowledged some of the setbacks that led to this decision as well, including trying to keep up with the rapidly shifting competitive meta that many members of the community have taken issue with.

“In giving everything to grind the game, I have forcibly stagnated my process of learning, growth, and exploration that I feel allowed me to reach this competitive level in the first place," he said. "As a pro player, I felt that I was just treading water trying to keep pace with the rapid pace of improvement/adaptation that is a constant in the OWL.”

Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment
Robert Paul / Blizzard Entertainment
Farwell, JAKE. Thank you for everything.

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Global travel was also cited as a reason for JAKE to hang up the mouse and keyboard, as travel for all OWL players is expected to skyrocket next season with the shift to the homestand format.

JAKE’s story began with former Team Fortress 2 team bird noises, before moving on to Luminosity Gaming Evil, and eventually the Houston Outlaws. He competed with the United States national team at the 2017 Overwatch World Cup.