With the current Overwatch League playoff structure, only four teams remain. The other sixteen teams are already in their off-season. The fans were expecting some changes on those teams before the Grand Finals. I don’t think anyone expected this, though. It looks like the London Spitfire are on the process to release their entire roster and coaching staff.
Why are they doing this?
According to this move, it is being reported that the Spitfire are looking to make a more European team. This makes sense, as their full Korean roster never really connected to the fanbase as much as other players could. The most surprising thing about this move is that this would be their second team exodus in two years. Last season, their roster got rebuilt from the ground up as their star players all left for new teams. This led to their current roster; a team of underdog Korean players with a lot to prove.
However, it seems the performance and fan interactions weren’t enough for the organization. It’s not a big surprise that they needed to make big changes, but the entire roster and coaching staff is a shock. Even with their poor season, they weren’t bottom three in the league, in 16th position. But, being last place in the Asian region and never really making any major steps in the season must’ve been the breaking point. If this release does go through, they would finally part ways from their head coach since their team inception: Cheolyong “Agape” Hong.
Who might join the new London Spitfire?
The most likely scenario for both appeal and feasibility is promoting their academy team, the British Hurricane. They currently don’t have a full roster, but they could easily pick up some other European players to even it all out. As of right now, some key players on the Hurricane include former Toronto Defiant player Kristian “Kellex” Keller and former LA Gladiator Riku “Ripa” Toivanen.
Alas, the London Spitfire themselves haven’t said anything official on the releases, but this blow up was imminent one way or another. Not to this magnitude from many fans perspective, but it is arguably necessary. It looks like the team is making a team the fans can relate to, much like the Toronto Defiant did. But, looking to make a competitive team like that from the get go will be hard. Hopefully, this big change will come to fruition, for the benefit of London.