This past season was a watershed moment for the London Spitfire, who defied all expectations to reach the Overwatch League playoffs. The successful team, however, is not immune to the offseason blues.
London announced today that it is parting ways with tank Gael “Poko” Gouzerch, support Emir “Kaan” Okumus, and damage dealer Johannes “Shax” Nielsen. Earlier in the week, DPS William “SparkR” Andersson also posted that he was seeking offers after his contract expired.
Shax is the longest-serving member of the Spitfire to head into the free agent pool, having spent two seasons dealing damage for the team. The former Los Angeles Valiant player helped the Spitfire make strides during the team’s extremely difficult 2021 season and was able to see the fruits of his labor over the course of 2022.
After the Paris Eternal dissolved its roster midseason, flex support Kaan headed to the friendly skies of the Spitfire. Though the team’s established backline was often seen in the starting position, Kaan made a few appearances and likely had a veteran presence behind the scenes.
Veteran tank Poko didn’t win the meta roulette in 2022—most of his core heroes weren’t played this season—and didn’t have a chance to show his skills this year. Despite that, his veteran leadership clearly had a positive effect on the Spitfire.
London had the most impressive Overwatch League glow-up in 2022. After clocking an abysmal 1-15 regular season record in 2021, few analysts and fans had any faith in the Spitfire to do well this season. With the leadership of coach Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham, who took home the Coach of the Year award, and a team of dedicated upstarts, London made it well through the postseason and ended 2022 with a 14-10 record.
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