Dallas Fuel Roster Moves Ignite Hope for a Brighter Season 2

2018-03-07 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

What may shock Dallas Fuel followers the most about their roster announcement is not who they ended up letting go, but who they kept on the team. In the early afternoon of Sept. 4, Dallas Fuel took to Twitter to give their fans an update: 

 

 

No Dallas Fuel fan wanted to see Sebastian “chipshajen” Widlund go, but it was no surprise to anyone who watched the Fuel during the League’s first season. The support main barely saw any game time throughout Season 1 when the meta kept shifting out of his favor. Likewise, Cocco lost his starting spot after signing OGE, which meant his move to the coaching staff is a no-brainer. 

 

 

Cause and EFFECT

While anxious fans across the world relaxed after seeing that their favorite players were still on the roster, some heads tilted in confusion. Despite being one of their best DPS players, many people felt EFFECT wouldn’t return to Dallas after his personal struggles through Season 1.

During his absence in Stage 3, EFFECT shared on his Twitch that he wouldn’t be back in LA for Stage 4 because he was “hurt.” Instead, the South Korean player returned home, while his teammates plugged on ahead without him, placing 10th in the regular season.

“Our staff has worked very hard this season to assist our players during distress and we have provided outside professional help to assist the team,” said owner Mike “hastr0” Rufail, on Twitter, May 11. “In this specific case, we have allowed EFFECT to rest for many of the games this season, and will continue to let him rest until he is ready to compete again. […] We are doing whatever we can to make sure he is happy.”

A rough patch for the team and an intense training and tournament schedule may have taken a toll on EFFECT, who apologized for his absence on Twitter: “After a break,” he tweeted, “I’ll show good skill and solid mental condition.” It’s never been made public what caused EFFECT to take a break from competing, but EFFECT had tweeted a very passive aggressive tweet just a week before, warning the team that he might leave. 

 

 

 

Turning Things Around

Fans begged him not to leave the Fuel, but knew that the team’s communication issues may have started to bother EFFECT. Taimou has expressed frustration with his team in the past as well, after being hospitalized for “extreme stress,. He later joked that his “brain was fine.” While it was never confirmed why the team had such a communication struggle, it’s clear that it needs to be fixed going into Season 2 if they want to have a real shot at the post-season.

Maybe EFFECT’s loyalty to Dallas Fuel during this time of change proves that Dallas has a plan of attack going into Season 2.

The diverse Dallas Fuel roster has players and coaches from all around the world, and while they are all talented competitors who spent the off-season competing in the Overwatch World Cup and Overwatch League All-Star Game, hopefully when they come back together they’ll be stronger and more in-sync than ever before. 

 

Dallas Fuel 2019 Roster and Coaching Staff – as of September 4, 2018

  • Dylan “aKm” Bignet, DPS (@DF_aKm)
  • Hyeong “EFFECT” Hwang, DPS (@EFFECT)
  • Jonathan “HarryHook” Tejedor Rua, Support (@HarryHook)
  • Ponghop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod, Flex (@MickiePP)
  • Min-seok “OGE” Son, Tank (@OGE_ow)
  • Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, DPS (@DF_Taimou)
  • Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson, Support (@uNKOE)
  • Mat “Tazmo” Taylor, General Manager (@TazMo)
  • Aaron “Aero” Atkins, Head Coach (@Aero_OW)
  • Justin “Jayne” Conroy, Assistant Coach (@AskJayne)
  • Louis “Tikatee” Lebel-Wong, Assistant Coach (@TikateeOW)
  • Kang “Vol’Jin” Min-Gyu, Assistant Coach (@Dallas_VolJin)
  • Christian “Cocco” Jonsson, Assistant Coach (@Cocco)
  • Dong-hwan “Violet” Kim, Player Manager (@nV_Violet)
Olivia Richman
Olivia is a professional journalist and editor who loves playing video games and watching esports, especially the OWL. When she isn’t writing or gaming, Olivia enjoys hanging out with her ugly cat, eating sushi and traveling across the country to compete in Pokemon TCG tournaments.
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