The Vancouver Titans team has announced a parting of ways with its entire roster of players.
The Overwatch League eSports franchise is owned and operated by Aquilini Entertainment. In a statement, the company's eSports director, Tim Holloway, revealed that the current COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disruption to the OWL season, creating a "very complicated situation".
When COVID-19 began to sweep across North America, Titans players were allowed to return home to South Korea, where most of them are from. They had been living and practising in Vancouver at the beginning of the year. Anticipation for the season had been high, with major steps forward for the franchise including two scheduled homestands at Rogers Arena.
Originally, Aquilini Entertainment was looking to move the Titans to Overwatch League's Asian division. But that created a new set of problems.
In a press release, Holloway said: "The time difference made it difficult for management and the home fanbase to connect with the team and technical challenges for the players playing from home further exacerbated the situation.
"With the organization unable to meet the players' expectations in Korea, and after much deliberation and conversation with the players, the difficult decision was made to move the team back to the North American division and both the players and management agreed that finding a new home for the players would be in everyone’s best interest."
Gone from the roster are players HyoJong “HakSal” Kim, Minsoo “Seominsoo” Seo, Seongjun “Slime” Kim, Chunghee “Stitch” Lee, Juseok “Twilight” Lee, and JeHong “RyuJeHong” Ryu. Also released are coaches Yangwon “Yang1” Kweon and Jae Hong “Andante” Hwang.
The team noted that it will releasing a new roster of Vancouver Titans players in the coming days.