5 Best Overwatch players who have switched to Valorant - Dexerto
Valorant

5 Best Overwatch players who have switched to Valorant

Published: 8/Jan/2021 12:28 Updated: 8/Jan/2021 16:38

by Lauren Bergin

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As Valorant’s esports scene continues to snowball in 2021, players from all different FPS titles are flocking to score some Valorant glory. Here’s are just some of the best Overwatch League players who have already jumped ship to Riot’s FPS.

Right from the get-go, Valorant has been constantly been compared to FPS titans Overwatch and CS:GO. With the abilities and character design reminiscent of Blizzard’s champion title and the weaponry and gunplay tactics more like CS:GO, Valorant is the perfect blend of the two.

It’s hardly a surprise that the Future Earth shooter has a blossoming esports scene, whose first global event kicks off this year in the form of the Valorant Champions Tour.

We’ve seen a whole host of CS:GO pros up and leave the scene and resettle in Valorant, but the Overwatch League has seen a similar exodus. Here are all the notable players who have made the switch.

Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Sinatraa was one of OWL’s most iconic players.

One of the biggest blows to the Overwatch League was the loss of Jay ‘Sintraa’ Won. The San Francisco Shock flex player helped to carry the team to victory, and has even appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show.”

November 2019, however, marked the end of Sinatraa’s Overwatch career. The MVP chose to take up the Future Earth fight instead, noting in a Tweet that he “straight up just lost passion” for Overwatch. Joining Sentinels only days later, the squad have marked themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the NA Valorant scene, so it’s safe to say Sinatraa’s Overwatch brilliance has transferred to Valorant.

Shane ‘Rawkus’ Flaherty

rawkus outlaws overwatch valorant
Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Better watch out Valorant, Rawkus is here to make some noise.

Formerly of the Houston Outlaws, the flex support player certainly made an impact. A part of the World Cup-winning squad of 2019, Houston have become one of OWL fans’ favorite organizations.

Clearly, though, FaZe Clan went shopping for OWL pros for their Valorant roster. Rawkus made the switch to Riot’s FPS last year, and has joined two other OWL superstars on the FaZe roster. A legendary Sova and Jett player, Rawkus is dominating on Future Earth one game at a time.

Andrej ‘babybay’ Francisty

Overwatch League/Robert Paul
The King is back and is domination on FaZe Clan’s Valorant Squad.

Known by many as ‘The King’, former Atlanta Reign Hitscan DPS Babybay had a pretty decent career with the OWL icons. Finishing in the upper half of the results tables consistently, Atlanta certainly developed a pretty scary reputation.

Middle of the pack though, wasn’t good enough for the Overwatch pro, who admitted that “my heart is just not in it anymore” when it came to Blizzard’s title. Instead, he’s joined Rawkus on FaZe’s dominant Valorant roster, where his fragging skills have made him one of the many contenders for the Valorant NA throne.

Damien ‘HyP’ Souville

Hyp Valorant
Blizzard Entertainment
Hyp has certainly brought some spark to Valorant’s European scene.

Hailing from the iconic Paris Eternal, HyP was one of Overwatch’s most impressive flex supports. The team’s pretty disappointing record, however, is likely the reason that the French FPS star decided to jump onto the Valorant ship.

Since leaving OWL behind the player has successfully remodeled himself in the Valorant image. Having played for Swedish FPS goliaths Ninjas In Pyjamas during the Blast Invitational, the player’s ability to flex between Duelist and Initiator Agents make him one to watch.

Corey ‘Corey’ Nigra

FaZe Clan Corey Valorant
Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment
FaZe are back yet again with another iconic Overwatch pro, Corey!

Last but not least is Corey, the current captain of FaZe’s Valorant roster. The former OWL captain, who guided Washington Justice to an Overwatch World Cup win hung up his OWL jersey last year to pursue a career in Valorant.

Now in charge of FaZe Clan’s star-studded Valorant roster, he’s taken his team to the North American leg of First Strike and earned a silver medal at the JBL Quantum Cup. We can’t wait to see where the iconic organization end up in the Valorant Champions Tour this year with Corey at the helm.


So that’s it for our list of OWL players who have made the transfer over to Valorant. Of course we couldn’t compile a list like this without shouting out FaZe’s Zachary ‘ZachaREEE’ Lombardo, or Cloud9 Korea’s Byeon ‘Munchkin Sang-beom.

As the game’s esports scene continues to develop we can’t wait to see if any other players are added to this list, and if they’ll be wearing a jersey that isn’t a FaZe one!

League of Legends

Ablazeolive on his LCS call-up: “You have to take risks on younger talent”

Published: 19/Jan/2021 12:39

by Andrew Amos

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Golden Guardians’ new Mid Laner Nicholas ‘Ablazeolive’ Abbott isn’t a LCS household name yet. While LCS 2021 expectations are low for the rookie squad, he has high hopes of proving pundits wrong.

Worlds 2020 ended on a sour note for North America, more so than any year previously. The region’s failures were being exposed on a platform like never before, and changed was needed.

As it was all going down in Shanghai, Ablazeolive was sitting back home, patiently waiting for a potential call-up to the LCS. Five years after he made his competitive debut in NACS with Zenith Esports, it finally came.

Abbott is one of three rookies Golden Guardians put faith in for LCS 2021. They didn’t take long to impress, beating CLG in their first game at Lock In. Despite the experience gap between the two squads, the youngsters looked like the veterans.

“I actually wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I was a lot more nervous in my Academy debut. I’m not sure why, I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I felt really comfortable,” he told Dexerto.

Ablazeolive playing for Golden Guardians Academy in LCS 2020
Paul de Leon for Riot Games
It took five years and hundreds of Academy games to get his LCS call-up, but Ablazeolive is hungry to make up lost time.

The 22-year-old has been on the cusp of LCS stardom since 2016, but never actually got the go-ahead. It was taxing at times, but Ablazeolive never lost sight of that dream.

“I had a very positive outlook after 2019. I thought from when I was talking to people and their opinions of me, and my own interpretations of my own strength, I thought I was pretty likely to get into the LCS in 2020, and when that didn’t happen, I was pretty disappointed.

“Golden Guardians as an organization showed faith in me and saw the potential and took a chance on me — and I’m very glad that I’m able to show them they were right in choosing me as their Mid Laner.”

Shaped by Bjergsen

Although he never was on stage against the best, behind closed doors, he had the best mentor you could ask for ⁠— Soren ‘Bjergsen’ Bjerg. Two years on TSM Academy with the star Dane taught Ablazeolive not just invaluable lessons in-game, but off the Rift too.

“Naturally, he was really good in-game, and nobody would be surprised to know I learned a lot from him. However, the most important thing he taught me was to not be as nervous on stage. He showed me how to get over it, talked to me, and helped me work it out. I was very grateful for that,” he explained.

While he won’t get the chance to play against Bjerg on stage after his retirement, Abbott isn’t concerned about not giving his tutor a send-off. Instead, he’s trying to build the same reputation himself.

“I like to think he retired because of me. He started out as this unreachable goal and I didn’t know how I could improve and get better than him. While it’s sad I won’t be able to play him, I’m not upset. I’d still feel confident against him, like I’d be confident against any other Mid Laner.”

Ablazeolive playing for TSM Academy in LCS 2019
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Ablazeolive won LCS Academy Spring 2019 on TSM Academy while under Bjergsen’s wing.

LCS 2021: Year of the rookies?

Ablazeolive is trying to turn around the perception of NA Mid Laners as a whole too. There’s been a distinct shift in the NA mindset this off-season — away from importing every half-decent European player. Instead, the focus has become on local, homegrown talent.

Golden Guardians is the epitome of that, but they’re far from the exception. Immortals, Dignitas, and FlyQuest have all done the same. This is especially true in the Mid Lane, with six North Americans finally outnumbering their European counterparts for the first time in years. This investment in Academy players, in Ablazeolive’s eyes, is the only way NA can redeem themselves internationally.

“That’s the only way NA can rebuild itself. Relying on imports and other regions to supply our good players isn’t going to be a realistic strategy to become dominant or even competitive at Worlds. You have to be able to take these risks on these younger talent, and I think this year, a lot of teams have done that which is very surprising,” he said.

“It’s great that we have so many [Academy Mids] coming up, because it’s always been a meme that NA Mids are really bad, but it’s also because no one tries to play them. Maybe if we play and get the exposure and practice, then we can show our improvement.”

Ablazeolive playing for Golden Guardians Academy in LCS 2020
Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games
Worlds isn’t on the horizon yet for Ablazeolive. However, LCS playoffs are.

All eyes on LCS 2021 Playoffs

It’s a long-term plan, but it’s one that ultimately could shift where NA ends up in the global power rankings. Worlds might seem like a distant dream for Ablazeolive for now, but he’s at least confident Golden Guardians can defy expectations and really show what homegrown talent can do.

“A lot of people aren’t expecting us to make Playoffs, but personally from scrims and how we’ve been playing, I’d actually be quite surprised if we didn’t make Playoffs. A lot of the teams, at least starting off, don’t look like they’re fully together yet.

“This isn’t going to be the same Golden Guardians in five months, or three months. We’re going to get better ⁠— the difference between us at the beginning of scrims and now is mind-blowing, and that’s very directly attributed to our coaching staff helping us out individually and as a team.”

Golden Guardians next play against the top-of-the-table 100 Thieves on Friday, January 22 at 4PM PT.