In an unexpected announcement, Overwatch League team, L.A. Valiant, will be releasing their entire roster of players and staff citing visa troubles.
The L.A. Valiant along with the Philadelphia Fusion and New York Excelsior are moving to what Blizzard and the Overwatch League call the “East group.” All players will be relocated to either Seoul or China. In their move to China, the L.A. Valiant has released their entire roster of players calling it “impossible” to secure Chinese visas for non-citizen players.
The L.A. Valiant’s website has changed their “active roster” to just one player, Johannes ‘Shax’ Nielsen, who is unlikely to stay with the team.
Owner of Immortals Gaming Club, which owns the L.A. Valiant, Ari Segal said in a Washington Post interview that, “This isn’t really a choice. Obviously, it’s a challenging situation. Obviously, people’s livelihoods are involved.”
A subsequent statement from the Overwatch League was sent to PC Gamer saying, “We recognize that our teams have had to make tough decisions as they prepare to compete amidst a global pandemic. We will continue to stay in close coordination with franchises as they finalize their plans.”
Several Overwatch League players have voiced their anger over the sudden release of the Valiant’s players. OWL veteran player Scott Kennedy who now works as an OWL desk analyst voiced his concerns on Twitter.
Moving your entire LA based team to make a Chinese team and then using COVID-related visa issues as the reason you’re dropping the team
pls pick up these players they don’t deserve this https://t.co/aQpYJ7o83f
— Scott Kennedy (@Custa) January 29, 2021
Stay tuned for more updates.