Former Dallas Fuel and Paris Eternal DPS player Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung will not be a starting member for the LA Valiant for the 2022 Overwatch League, sources have told Dexerto.
Dexerto reported on February 3 that Xzi was on the brink of joining the LA Valiant for the 2022 season – a move that would mark a return to action for the Korean player after an extended period away from competition due to health reasons.
In his retirement video in April 2021, he revealed that he suffered from scoliosis and other spinal health complications. The conditions had reached the point where he could no longer compete professionally, and he returned to Korea to focus on improving his health.
With heavy hearts, we are saddened to announce @Xzi_ow’s retirement for this season. However, player health will always be our top priority. We will be rooting for him every single day and wish him the best in his treatments and future. Thank you Xzi. 💙 pic.twitter.com/TXWtZ5qVCW
— Dallas Fuel (@DallasFuel) April 13, 2021
He left the Dallas Fuel only three months after being signed to the team, before the official start of the 2021 Overwatch League. He briefly joined North American contenders team Solaris in October of 2021 but was unable to start for the roster due to significant ping problems competing on North American servers from Korea.
I've been scrimming for a while and have been testing my ping on the scrim and pro servers but my ping has been at 300 every time, and it's been impossible for me to play. (1)
— Xzi (@xzi_ow) October 5, 2021
A return to the Overwatch League seemed to be close at hand, but sources have told Dexerto that while Xzi did sign a 30-day contract with the LA Valiant, further negotiations for him to play for the team have fallen through.
What will the LA Valiant look like in 2022?
It’s a huge blow to Xzi, who is now looking for a starting spot on one of the Overwatch League’s Eastern teams to return after a year-long hiatus. He was a fan-favorite player who won the first season of the Overwatch Contenders tournament in 2019 with Element Mystic. He also won the 2020 Summer Showdown as the DPS for Paris Eternal.
It’s an equally devastating blow to the LA Valiant, who were looking at Xzi to be their star DPS for 2022. Their current DPS lineup consists of Weida “Diya” Lu, Seok-Hyeon “Innovation” Oh and Il-Ha “Becky” Kim, who were announced as members of the LA Valiant in December 2021.
They will presumably start for the team on the 5th of May in the kickoff of the 2022 season. The other players on the roster are tank Seung-hyun “WooHyaL” Sung, who is doubling as an assistant coach for the team, and support duo Tong ‘ColdEst’ Xiaodong and Chen ‘Lengsa’ Xingyi, with the OWL moving to a 5v5 format as it transitions play from Overwatch to Overwatch 2.