In what come as a major shock to many who have followed the professional Overwatch scene, Seagull, real name Brandon Larned, has announced that he will be stepping down from the main NRG competitive roster. Many pro teams have been taking time off from competition lately, as the venues for competition have been few and far between. However, with Seagull effectively being the “face” of NRG, and Team USA’s captain during the 2016 World Cup, this step back comes as a major blow to the world of competitive Overwatch.
Citing a lack of major tournaments to inspire motivation to keep up with competition, Seagull told Twitter followers that he would be stepping down from competition to maintain a regular streaming schedule. Larned said, “In the current Overwatch pro scene, we’re in limbo while we wait for the Overwatch League to start up later in the year. I’ve been struggling to justify giving up streaming hours to play in the competitive scene during this downtime. As any competitive FPS player knows, it’s tough maintaining motivation for small online tournaments – particularly when I knew I was letting down my fanbase by not having a regular stream.”
Fans of NRG, and Seagull in particular, will definitely miss seeing him taking part in regular tournaments, especially with recent additions Harbleu and Ajax to the main NRG roster. However, some observers of the professional scene may agree with my initial thought that this may be great for NRG. Despite their popularity as a team, NRG has thus far been unable to win any major Overwatch tournaments. Questions have persisted for months about whether Seagull was the captain that NRG needed in order to come out on top, and this gives the sponsors at NRG the chance to try out new leadership and see whether anything changes.
If you’re going to miss watching Seagull compete in professional tournaments, as I sure will, please let us know in the comments! And never fear, you will still get your regular helping of everyone’s favorite Overwatch-playing bird at twitch.tv/A_Seagull!