Dallas Fuel has announced the signing of Aaron ‘Aero’ Atkins as the team’s new head coach.
Aero joins from Overwatch Contenders NA team Fusion University, which he recently coached to victory in the inaugural season.
Aero replaces Kyle ‘KyKy’ Souder, who parted ways with the team during Stage 3 of the league after coming under heavy criticism from fans for the team’s poor results. KyKy has since joined the coaching staff of Texas rivals the Houston Outlaws.
Dallas Fuel owner and CEO Mike Rufail commented on the addition:
“We have a lot of respect for the success Aaron has achieved as a coach in competitive Overwatch. His work this year with Fusion University speaks for itself, putting together an undefeated run with players from across the globe who are playing together for the first time. And when we won Overwatch Contenders in 2017 as Team Envy, I remember being impressed by how focused and prepared Aaron had the FNRGFE team we faced in the playoffs. We’re excited to bring his mentality, track record of winning, and the cerebral way in which he approaches the game to the Dallas Fuel."
The new head coach will have his work cut out for him if he’s to turn the team around and end the season on a more positive note.
The Fuel came into the league as one of the most storied teams of the pre-OWL era, coming off of a Contenders NA victory and expected to lead the charge for the non-Korean teams. After three stages of competition, however, they find themselves in tenth place in the overall standings, and on recent form only spared the label of weakest in the league by the total failing of the Shanghai Dragons.
The move comes just ahead of the fourth and final stage of the Overwatch League regular season. The Fuel’s results so far put them long since out of reach of a spot in the end-of-season playoffs, but there’s still the Stage 4 playoffs to fight for if they can turn things around significantly.
Meanwhile, Dallas Fuel’s results will still have implications for the end-of-season playoffs. With several teams fighting for the available spots, Dallas could well play spoiler if they manage to find wins against squads still in the running.