It looks like one of Overwatch Contenders’ most talented DPS players may be searching for a new home. New York Excelsior’s Academy team, the XL2 Academy, is parting ways with three of their players including Liam “Mangachu” Campbell.
Given that XL2 is looking to have New York representation on their roster, I am now currently LFT OWL/Academy/Contenders. Please reach out to me via twitter, discord, or email.
— Mangachu (@Mangachu_) January 12, 2019
Alongside Mangachu, James “Cloneman16” D’Arcangelo and Anthony “Goliath” Pietro are being let go as well. Apparently, the three players are being released due to XL2 Academy recruiting new members for the roster. However, one of the big requirements that the team wants is that the new members must be from New York or the tri-state area. As a result, they may also be dropping the rest of the roster in the coming week. It was a confusing move that has many fans scratching their head.
📣 CALLING NYC 📣
Do you have what it takes?
We're looking for NYers to represent XL2 next season. We'll provide opportunity and mentorship so we can make it big together! 🙌
Candidates will be invited to an online tournament.
— XL2 Academy (@XL2) January 11, 2019
Former Overwatch pro, Connor “Avast” Prince, spoke on the topic via Twitter. He didn’t hold back his criticisms concerning the moves, stating that he has “no doubt this is also in part to cut cost by kicking three talented NA players to pick up some random joe from the streets and pay them with a paltry salary to help circumnavigate the import limits starting next season”. He basically says that this was simply a cost-cutting move that has now put three talented Overwatch players out of a team.
It does seem unfair, although life rarely is. XL2 Academy has been one of the best Overwatch Contenders teams for some time now. Therefore, it doesn’t make much sense to replace any of this roster except to save money. Like Avast says in his tweet, it is also very insulting to Mangachu, as he was just as good as Yeon-oh “Fl0w3R” Hwang. Flower was brought up to the main roster for this coming season of the Overwatch League. However, the New York Excelsior are running a full Korean speaking roster, so it would have been near-impossible for Mangachu to join the team.
To kick your best players for local talent seems a bit backward, but it is clearly a move to save money for the team. Like Avast tweeted, “No semi-pro/professional team in any other sport (including OWL) limits itself to local talent. [A] larger talent pool means better options”. If they are picking up random New Yorker Overwatch players, we may see a drastic decline from XL2 Academy.
Even though it is sad, the world isn’t completely ending for these three players. They are all pretty talented and should find a team to join fairly quickly. Mangachu has always been considered an Overwatch League ready talent. It just wasn’t in the cards for him to move up to the New York Excelsior lineup. However, if he can find himself on a different roster, maybe he can work his way into a possible starting position sometime soon. He definitely has the talent, as does Clone and Goliath.
Wherever their path leads, we wish the best of luck to Mangachu, Clone, Goliath, and whoever else leaves the XL2 lineup.
What are your thoughts on Mangachu leaving XL2 Academy? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more Overwatch coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.