Toronto Defiant release four players and re-sign RoKy
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Late last week, the Overwatch League saw one team, the Florida Mayhem, release five of their members. Now, the Toronto Defiant have pulled a similar move, releasing Normunds “sharyk” Faterins, Daniel “Gods” Graeser, Jaeyoon “Aid” Go, and Jin-ui “im37” Hong. That means their current tank duo, one of their off healers, and a player who primarily rode the bench are all out. Even though they all tried their best and had their moments, they won’t be on the Defiant in 2020.

But if all the recent news of releases has you down, there is some more positive news to be found here. The team also kept one player – a fan favorite – on. Joo-seong “RoKy” Park has now signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Defiant’s contenders team, the Montreal Rebellion.

A fresh start for 2020

The Toronto Defiant had a very weird first season in the league. Nobody expected them to be good. But in the first stage, they caught a lot of teams off guard and got a stage playoff spot with a 5-2 record. Their team had good coordination, though only one superstar: Se-hyeon “Neko” Park.

Then stage two came along, and with two players leaving, suddenly the Defiant had holes in their team. They tried to fill them quickly, but that didn’t work. One of those quick acquisitions was im37. He played well, but his role didn’t fit well soon enough, leading to a 1-6 second stage. After being benched for the rest of the season, it made sense that he didn’t want to continue on the Defiant, and the release was (presumably) mutually accepted.

Aid, on the other hand, was on the roster from the start of the season to the end. His positive attitude and consistent play all season was nice, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. The Defiant are clearly looking to be a top team in 2020, and unfortunately, he wasn’t good enough. Even with his good play and communication, it wasn’t a surprise to see him released.

A short, but fun time

In the quick acquisition time of stages 2 and 3, the Defiant decided to sign a new tank duo to complement their new Canadian DPS player. These tank players were Sharyk and Gods, promoted straight from their contenders team. They brought a new edge to the Toronto Defiant team via more consistent play.

However, it also took them a while to fully coordinate with their Korean teammates. And while they were just starting to improve, the rest of the league knew their best roster and the meta better. The Defiant lagged behind in most matches, finishing the season without a 4-0 sweep win. While Gods and Sharyk weren’t the reason why they did so, it seems the Defiant have better candidates for the two tank positions on the team.

RoKy returns

However, in the midst of all these individual releases on the Defiant, one signing occurred. The fan-favorite RoKy was re-signed to a two-way contract. He played during the start of the season but was benched due to many changes on the Toronto roster. Throughout his time on the roster, however, his bright attitude and good play led him to quickly become loved by the Defiant fans. Most fans noticed in all the releases that RoKy wasn’t released and were hoping the team would keep him. And, even with so many of their players being released, the Toronto Defiant did just that.

This was an unexpected but nice surprise for the fans. Still, it did have its caveat: he was given a two-way contract to play for the Defiant’s contenders squad. The Montreal Rebellion just acquired a great support player, and hopefully he can make it back to the Defiant roster and prove his skill.

What is the future for the Defiant?

This question seems to revolve around every team releasing players this off-season. What these releases do is show what the teams think their core roster is – who their best players are and who they need to build around. In Toronto’s case, they seem to have struck gold with their new DPS duo of Andreas “Logix” Berghmans and Liam “Mangachu” Campbell. With this pair’s previous time playing together on XL2 Academy, their teamwork and versatility look to be amazing. Not to mention, Neko was still a consistently good main support and played Baptiste very well.

So far, they are still holding onto Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo, who I would be surprised to see start next season. His style of play was too aggressive for the team, and while he did improve for stage four, they still finished that stage with only one map win. Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee, meanwhile, is still a very good player who simply needs to work on decision making and positioning.

The main question for this roster is: who will be their new tank player(s) and off-support? There have been a lot of rumors, as there are a lot of free agents right now in the Overwatch League. Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.

Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.