What just happened in Vancouver?

The Vancouver Titans finished runner up in Overwatch League in 2019
Photo of Nick Bledsoe

Nick Bledsoe

Esports · 2 years ago

Show Bio

I am a news and prediction writer contributing to multiple different sports. Sports have been a huge part of my life ever since I can remember. For me, the best part about writing for a site like this is that I get to use my passion for sports and analytics to help people. My free time is usually consumed by watching sports or doing university work. I love all things Chicago sports, except the Cubs. I joined the Pickswise team in 2020.

Seemingly overnight the Vancouver Titans went from being league runners-up to scrambling to figure out how they were going to play their matches this weekend. So what happened that led to an entire roster of top tier Overwatch League pros and coaches to be released? Well, on the surface the answer seems pretty simple, but in reality there was far more that led to this unfortunate event. This article will break down everything you need to know from the controversy in the Great White North.

Communication Issues

It is fairly clear what region has the best Overwatch talent, South Korea. So in order to amass a roster that is competitive immediately most teams just sign the entire roster of a talented tier 2 Korean team. The Titans first roster was comprised entirely of a fan favorite Korean tier 2 named, Runaway. While the talent is great, it can only be properly turned into an organization if proactive steps are taken to ensure language doesn’t get in the way. The director of esports for the company that is in charge, Tim Holloway, has stated if he could go and redo things he would ensure that the players and coaches had English lessons and the staff and trainers had Korean lessons. Language barrier meant that communication between the players and the organization was bad to begin with. Players have also stated that the organization had bad communication with messages or email often taking weeks to be responded to.

Corona Virus Response

At the heart of this issue is how the players and organization handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Vancouver’s original plan was to have the players return home and be with their families during this difficult time. Since all the players were Korean they were to play out matches for the foreseeable future in the Asia Division. This presented the organization and players with a brand new set of challenges that was the nail in the coffin. Time difference made the poor communication even worse. It also presented a challenge to the fan-base as matches were at such a different time that it made it difficult to watch. The organization also cited that it was unable to meet the expectations of players during this time due to complications. In the end the decision was made to move the team back to the North American Division and release their roster.

Fallout

Not only did the Titans lose a top 3 roster in the entire league, but now the players must struggle to find homes. Vancouver has already moved on absorbing the Contenders team, Second Wind. This has come with little success as in their first 3 matches they have won a meager 1 map and are 0-3. It is clear that this new roster is not Overwatch League ready. Only a few former Titans players have found new homes. SLIME is going to the Seoul Dynasty and Stitch and JJANU have joined the Washington Justice under temporary 14-day contracts. With the leagues new roster construction rule changes players can now sign two week contracts. This could lead to many other Titans players getting signed, but only time will tell.

This entire controversy has become a model for how not to incorporate a Korean roster into a North American organization. The big picture is that this controversy has brought to light the ever growing list of issues the Overwatch League is facing. At this point the phrase, “Overwatch League is dying”, has sort of become a meme. However, any league can’t last forever if they keep seeing teams fall apart and top talent exiting the scene.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5+ On Any NFL Pre-Game ML, Get $200 If Your Bet Wins

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any NFL pre-game ML

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$500

Get Your First Bet Risk-Free Up To $500

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

DraftKings

$100

Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets With PointsBet's Second Chance

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.