Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
In a shock move, the reigning MVP and 2019 champion, Jay “sinatraa” Won, retired from Overwatch to join a Valorant team. The announcement makes him the first truly high profile esports athlete to commit full time to Riot’s new game. Sinatraa’s departure leaves a black eye on the Overwatch League, which saw its homestand format upended by the coronavirus.
First reported by Jacob Wolf of ESPN, the San Francisco Shock star cited that he simply lost passion for the game. The Overwatch League went through a series of drastic changes over the past season. The addition of the 2-2-2 role lock and hero bans polarized both the pros and the fan base. Won and the Shock were some of the best in the league at the triple tank/triple support meta in 2019. So with an ever-shifting meta, frustration clearly mounted for the player. And with coronavirus still spreading throughout the world, the OWL schedule hasn’t been the most consistent.
Sinatraa isn’t going to the Valorant scene as a free agent though. The MVP’s new home is the Sentinels esports team, which also happens to be home of Fortnite World Cup Champion Kyle “Bugha” Geirsdorf. The Sentinels are owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment who own the OWL’s LA Gladiators as well. So there is some form of familiarity, at least as an organization, between Won and his new team. The transition still comes as a shock as Riot Games explicitly said they would not form an esports league around Valorant at this time. So any professional play in the game would come through third-party organizers. While this is the format other esports like Fighting Games and CS:GO have followed for years, its unknown if Valorant has the staying power of other games.
For news on the OWL’s new tournament format for the month of May get more info here!