The Overwatch League's free agency period has officially begun, and with it, Florida Mayhem has released five players and their head coach. These players include Jae-ho “RaiN” Park, Yong-joon “DPI” Choi, Seong-won “Swon” Yoon, Jae-mo “xepheR” Koo and Hyeon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo. The team also released assistant coach Kim “KH1” Hyung-Il from their coaching staff.
Yong-joon “DPI” Choi
Both DPI and KH1 have been together since their days in Seasons 2 and 3 of Contenders Korea. Both of them then signed with Armament, formerly known as WGS Armament, before their partnership with World Game Star dissolved earlier this year. Sadly, the whole team disbanded soon after their partnership dissolved after 2019 Contenders Korea Season 1. After it was announced that Armament had disbanded, the Mayhem revealed that Hyung-Il, along with Choi and some other players, had joined the team.
Jae-ho “RaiN” Park
RaiN has been in the competitive Overwatch scene for some time. He started off in 2017 on a small team called EHOME Shield but was then signed to an Open Division known as Revenant. After playing with the team for Season 1 of the 2017 Korea Open Division, he was picked up to play for O2 Blast. The team came second in 2019 Contenders Korea Season 1, and soon after this second-place achievement, Park joined the Florida Mayhem in the middle of June.
Seong-won “Swon” Yoon
Swon is also no stranger to the professional Overwatch scene. He started his career under the name ‘Butcher’ with Team KongDoo Panthera, where the team took home the gold at the Nexus Cup Halloween Season. After a disappointing first season in APEX, and producing little results during IEM Season XI Gyeonggi, he left the roster to join its sister team, KongDoo Uncia. Two disappointing seasons of APEX later, Park left the KongDoo organization entirely and changed his name to Swon.
Some months after his split with KongDoo Uncia, Yoon was signed to NRG Esports, where the team made it to the playoffs of North American Contenders 2018 Season 1, took 2nd place at BEAT Invitational – Season 4 and then placed first at the 3rd season of the Overwatch PIT Championship in North America. NRG then went on to reach the semi-finals of Contenders North America Season 2 in 2018, only to be defeated by XL2. This was the last tournament that Swon played with NRG, as once the season was over, he was announced to have joined the Mayhem.
Jae-mo “xepheR” Koo
A veteran to the game, XepheR began playing in tournaments under the team OPPA.DANAWA, with his first tournament being the 20th edition of the GosuGamers Overwatch Weekly in North America. Placing 6th in APEX Challengers Season 2, Koo was picked up to play for Cloud9, producing relatively successful results whilst signed with the team. A few months after Contenders Season Zero ended in North America, and Cloud9 missed out on the playoffs, Koo joined Lunatic-Hai as a temporary stand-in for Gido, earning the team a first-place victory in the Seoul Cup.
Lunatic-Hai soon disbanded, but it was announced that Koo, along with most members from Lunatic-Hai, would join the Seoul Dynasty in the Overwatch League. Going into the inaugural season, it seemed as if Seoul were the team to beat. But each time a stage playoff rolled around, they narrowly missed out, and these losses eventually cost the team a spot in the season playoffs. Once the inaugural season of the Overwatch League was over, Seoul traded XepheR to Florida.
Hyeon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo
Finally, we have HaGoPeun, who has come so far in a relatively short amount of time. Beginning his career on the short-lived but triumphant GC Busan, Jo helped lead his team to victory after victory, taking first in the Road to APEX, the APAC Premier 2017 and royal roading their way to the top of APEX Season 4. Due to their overwhelming success, they were on everybody’s radar with the Overwatch League beginning soon after APEX Season 4 ended, and the London Spitfire announced that they were signing both GC Busan and C9 KongDoo to their roster.
HaGoPeun rarely saw a spot on the stage however and was placed on the inactive roster in June of 2018, only to be released from the team entirely a month later. Not long after his release, Jo was signed to Mayhem Academy, Florida Mayhem’s Contenders team, and was promoted to the main roster for the second Overwatch League season.
HaGoPeun has already announced that he is taking a break before considering what to do next, but the others still have their options wide open, since teams are now available to sign free agents to their rosters.
Image VIA: Stewart Volland for Blizzard Entertainment