Hey wait, we’ve seen this one before! In a surprise move, Shane Flaherty joins the likes of many others in retiring from the competitive league of Overwatch, Overwatch League, to go take his shot at Riot’s new shooter Valorant.
This is yet another large figure leaving the Overwatch League for a title that doesn’t even have an official competitive scene; it’s piecemeal tourneys that have been organized by interested parties ranging from Twitch to gaming clans, and everything in between.
In the defacto TwitLonger that esport personalities now push out for announcements, Shane takes a few moments to thank everyone on the Outlaws team and staff, along with fans for their support, and the generally standardized boilerplate that tends to come with TwitLonger’s when a personality isn’t attempting to downplay or apologize for conduct.
Thank You, Overwatch
— Shane Flaherty (@Rawkus) August 1, 2020
Yet another player leaves the Overwatch League in lieu of a title that doesn’t have a professional scene set in place, and some are noting that this simply isn’t the greatest look for Overwatch League in terms of player retention and league stability: both crucial elements to have a long and solid competitive scene.
Not that Blizzard nor the teams within Overwatch League don’t have thousands of users that would throw themselves in front of a bus for the opportunity to join the league in whatever form it may currently hold, but we have veterans of the League bowing out for an as-of-yet unknown entity.
Hey Outlaws fans, it’s a sad day in H-Town—as we bid farewell to our #1. Please #AnteUp and wish Rawkus a thank you worthy of his 3-year run with the Houston Outlaws!
Once an Outlaw. Always an Outlaw. pic.twitter.com/XuczkYACS1
— Houston Outlaws (@Outlaws) August 1, 2020
The statement continues to be, regardless of Tweets and sentiment, ‘I’d rather compete in the unknown than here’.
Whether this continues to be a blowback of Blizzard struggling to maintain its identity as a leading PC developer, or for their ties with China in the anti-Hong Kong stance that was taken last year, is all relative speculation.
Shane Flaherty mentions that he fell in love with gaming with Counter-Strike, and he’s interested in the ability to once again be a part of the grassroots foundation of standing up a new competitive scene surrounding the hyped title.
Multiple users that have left the Overwatch League scene, such as Corey and Babybay, showed up in Rawkus’ farewell tweet to encourage him to join their teams and listen to the offers on the table; it’s feasible that the support player would be keen to find shared-blood within the Valorant scene.