Mano Takes Leave from the Overwatch League

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Mano Takes Leave from the Overwatch League

Mano says goodbye for now to the OWL.

Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim opened the very first season of the Overwatch League four years ago. Playing for the New York Excelsior, sharing his Main Tank role with Jun-hwa “Janus” Song until the 2019 season. Between his three year stint in New York and the last year he spent with the Philadelphia Fusion, he’s had an illustrious career in the league.

Not only that, but he's also a two time World Cup player for team South Korea; which includes a World Cup win in 2017. This makes it very hard to even think of the Overwatch League without him. Yet here we are.

Mano will be taking a leave from Overwatch League for at least 18 months to fulfill his military service in South Korea, which he explains in a Twitlonger: “it’s up to a point where I cannot postpone my mandatory military service.”

National duties are important, and we wish Mano the best of luck in his future endeavors.

When Will We See You Again?

Mano expresses clearly in his Twitlonger that not only is he not retiring, only “taking a break”. But he also has desire to still play in the Overwatch League, stating “I still want to play next year”. It seems that Overwatch 2 is an exciting new venture to him.

But he’ll need to wait to jump into at the professional level. Which leaves some questions about what will happen when Mano’s military service ends and he returns to the Overwatch League. How will he be reintroduced to the scene after such a long break? How will teams know what level of play he is at when he returns? He may be treated like a rookie again in the way that he’ll need to attend tryouts for all teams interested in him rather than being traded like a current professional player.

As tedious as it may become for him, the eventual return of Mano will be a historical day in the Overwatch League and we can’t wait to see him again.

Mano Takes Leave from the Overwatch League
Joseph Shay
Joseph is Production Director and Writer with experience in the esports field. He has coached Overwatch teams in North American and Pacific Contenders, and has been an avid esports fan for years now. Outside of esports and media, he is a Creative Writing major based out of Virginia, USA.