After an April Fool’s Day filled with mild pranks from a few Overwatch League teams, the OWL airwaves took a turn for the serious on Tuesday, as teams announced a slew of trades and personnel changes in advance of Stage 2 of the 2019 season.
The avalanche of news started on a heartfelt note as the Dallas Fuel announced that assistant coach Christian “cocco” Jonsson would be leaving the team. Cocco played on the roster of Team EnVyUs that won APEX Season 1 in 2016 and Contenders North America Season 1 in 2017 before moving to OWL to become the Fuel. He played as a main tank in the 2018 OWL season, though with little stage time, and moved to a coaching position for the 2019 season.
The Boston Uprising then announced their signing of flex support Zi-on “Persia” Yang, most recently of Talon Esports. Persia played for Talon in both the Contenders Pacific division and Contenders Trials in Korea.
Then the real fun started.
Moves and Departures
The Fuel and Uprising announced that they had completed a trade sending flex tank Richard “rCk” Kanerva from Dallas to Boston, in exchange for flex tank Lucas “NotE” Meissner. With the departure of NotE, main support Kristian “Kellex” Keller and Min-seok “AimGod” Kwon are now the only remaining Uprising players from the 2018 season.
Mere moments later, the Atlanta Reign announced that they had acquired Andrej “babybay” Francisty from the San Francisco Shock, filling the hole in their roster left by the retirement of Daniel “dafran” Francesca.
Following the big trade news, several teams then announced changes in their coaching staffs. First, the Washington Justice parted ways with coach Mark “Obasill” Regush. Then, the Toronto Defiant made a similar announcement for strategic coach Dong-wook “Don” Kim; and in the second major leadership change after Stage 1, the Paris Eternal announced that head coach Julien “daemoN” Ducros, formerly of the Los Angeles Valiant, was “stepping down” from his position. As of press time, Paris has not announced an interim head coach.
Of all the teams making major announcements today, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, Toronto and Paris all play during the opening week of Stage 2 starting this Thursday, April 4. Dallas will make their Stage 2 debut during week 2 on Saturday, April 13.