The worst-kept secret of the first Overwatch League offseason has finally been revealed.
The Vancouver Titans were unveiled as the seventh of the eight new OWL teams during Saturday’s Vancouver Canucks hockey game. The team is owned by Canucks Sports & Entertainment, and is co-managed in partnership with Canadian esports veterans Luminosity Gaming. The team’s blue and green color scheme echoes that of their sister NHL team and its AHL counterpart.
In the most anticipated signing news of season 2, Vancouver also confirmed the pickup of the former roster of Overwatch Contenders Korea champions RunAway, along with one other Korean Contenders player:
- Park “Bumper” Sang-beom (Tank)
- Choi “JJANU” Hyeon-woo (Flex Tank)
- Lee “Twilight” Ju-seok (Support)
- Kim “SLIME” Sung-jun (Support)
- Seo “SeoMinSoo” Min-soo (Flex DPS)
- Kim “Haksal” Hyo-jong (DPS)
- Lee “Stitch” Choong-hui (DPS)
- Lee “Hooreg” Dong-eun (DPS)
The Titans also signed support player Kim “Rapel” Jung-geun, who most recently played for Korean Contenders team Element Mystic. Hooreg previously played in OWL with the London Spitfire; the remaining players will be making their OWL debuts.
New Heroes Ascend
The underdog story of RunAway made them one of the most beloved teams in Contenders, and perhaps all of Overwatch esports. Founded by support player Yoon “Runner” Dae-hoon, the team in the distinctive baby-pink sweaters placed second in seasons 2 and 4 of APEX. Runner considered disbanding the team when he was called to mandatory military service.
But rather than letting their legacy rest at second-place finishes, his partner Lee “Flowervin” Hyun-Ah stepped up to manage the team in Contenders Korea. After a semifinal loss to X6-Gaming in Contenders Season 1, RunAway captured the Season 2 championship in a dramatic eight-map match against KongDoo Panthera.
Two months later, the team announced that all the members of its Season 2 roster had signed Overwatch League contracts, although Flowervin declined at the time to say whether they had all been signed to a single team. As expansion teams announced their rosters, all notably absent of RunAway alumni, rumors that Vancouver had signed the entire squad became persistent.
With the Titans’ official reveal, only Washington, D.C. remains unrevealed of the 2019 expansion teams. As teams were required to have at least 8 players signed by December 1st, an announcement is expected soon. The Titans and D.C. join the Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, and Toronto Defiant to complete the 2019 OWL expansion. They will debut along with the existing 12 teams when Season 2 begins on February 14th.