Haksal Overwatch OWL
2019-09-05 - Overwatch League 2019 Season / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Hyojong “Haksal” Kim announced today in a video that he is taking a break from Overwatch. The 19-year-old flex DPS player for the New York Excelsior of the Overwatch League (OWL) is experiencing burnout and wants some time off the game. He did state, however, that he is not retiring from the game.

Who is Haksal?

Haksal has played Overwatch competitively since 2017 when he first made a name for himself in Overwatch APEX Season 2. He joined the Vancouver Titans in 2019 when he turned 18 and went on to win the OWL Rookie of the Year award.

After the Titans disbanded their roster due to internal issues, Haksal signed with the New York Excelsior. The Excelsior, along with Haksal, were knocked out of the 2020 playoffs by the Seoul Dynasty. Now, after his team is out of the playoffs, he is taking a break due to burnout.

The announcement

Haksal’s announcement video came earlier today. In it, he states multiple times that he isn’t retiring from the OWL, but taking a break from playing the game. He still plans to update his Instagram and make YouTube videos, but not about Overwatch. He also states that he may stream League of Legends from time to time.

Haksal claims that the break will be for an indefinite time period, meaning he doesn’t know when he will come back. He states that he has been playing for four years straight with no breaks and wants some time off because he hasn’t felt motivated. He plans to continue playing for New York when the OWL resumes next season.

Burnout is something that has been prevalent among OWL players in recent years, with big names like Jay “Sinatraa” Won and Corey “Corey” Nigra retiring permanently. Haksal’s announcement surely won’t be the last we hear about players experiencing burnout. Hopefully for OWL fans, exciting changes will come to Overwatch soon to spice things up.

Nate Searl
Nate enjoys playing video games and watching esports. His favorites are Valorant and Pokémon, which he plays and watches regularly. He also loves Sports, Chess, and playing guitar.