Overwatch League: San Francisco Shock Release Striker, Sign ANS

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Overwatch League: San Francisco Shock Release Striker, Sign ANS

San Francisco Shock is parting ways with Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon. The team is welcoming back Seonchang “ANS” Lee, who retired in January to play Valorant.

San Francisco Shock made two unexpected changes to their roster: the iconic Tracer player Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon is retiring, while Seonchang “ANS” Lee ends his Valorant career to come back in the Overwatch League with his former team.

San Francisco Shock says goodbye to Striker

Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon is a popular DPS player in the Overwatch League, excelling both with Boston Uprising and San Francisco Shock. He played the Inaugural Season with the Uprising, going undefeated for the entire OWL Season 1 Stage 3 with a 10-0 record. He then joined the San Francisco Shock and contributed to the team’s back-to-back victories in the Overwatch League Grand Finals. Striker was a prominent element of San Francisco Shock and was even awarded Playoffs MVP in the Overwatch League 2020.

The circumstances of Striker’s departure are still a bit blurry. The team and player didn’t explain the reasons behind this decision. Brett Lautenbach, president of the San Francisco Shock’s ownership organization NRG, wished Striker a “well-earned retirement” on Twitter. Striker on his end apologized to his fans, saying that he “couldn’t do [his] best until the season ends.”

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ANS is coming back to Overwatch after a Valorant break

To fill the gap left by Striker, San Francisco Shock welcomes back a former member: Seonchang “ANS” Lee. The hitscan player retired earlier this year to join the Valorant esports scene.

He signed a contract with T1 on March 19, before his transfer to the academy team on April 8. Since then, the player tried to prove his worth and join T1’s main roster and his former Overwatch League competitor: Jung-woo “Spyder” Ha, formerly known as Sayaplayer. But as T1 Academy was getting ready for their first event together, ANS took everyone by surprise by coming back to Overwatch.

The redemption of San Francisco Shock?

San Francisco Shock is having issues this season, far from their dominating performances of the past seasons. The team didn’t qualify for either of the May Melee and June Joust tournaments. They haven’t ranked this low in the Overwatch League rankings since 2018 and the Inaugural Season.

With San Francisco Shock falling from grace and ANS struggling to find his place in the Valorant esports scene, it makes sense for them both to team up again for better results. Their first game is on June 25, as San Francisco Shock faces Los Angeles Gladiators for the Summer Showdown qualifiers.

Overwatch League: San Francisco Shock Release Striker, Sign ANS
Ophelie Castelot
Ophelie is both an esport and journalism lover. She is the former head of the CS:GO section for a major esport website. Ophelie has been analyzing Overwatch ever since its release in 2016.