Fan favourite Seagull is stepping down from the active NRG roster to be replaced by Mendokusaii, over.gg has learned. Seagull plans to return to professional play for the Overwatch League's first season, but in the interim he will be focusing on his streaming career while remaining on the roster as a substitute.
Seagull has been an original member of the core roster since the Overwatch beta, quickly becoming one of the most beloved personalities within the game. He has had to balance an enormous, explosive streaming career with professional play in Overwatch's growing esports scene, previously speaking in interviews about his desire to prioritise competition.
Brandon Seagull Larned spoke on his decision today, saying:
This will be a surprise to most of you, but today I'm announcing that I'm stepping down from NRG's main Overwatch roster to a sub position.
For the past year, it's become obvious that I struggle with maintaining a balance between professional play and streaming. When I originally blew up on twitch, I decided that I was still dedicated to being a pro player. This hasn't changed.
However, 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.
So for now, I'll be stepping back from the competitive scene. In the meantime, I'll be streaming under NRG as their biggest cheerleader for their OW team.
Expect to see me back in pro play for Overwatch League's first season.
Replacing him on the roster is former Cloud9 player Mendokusaii, who recently stepped down along with teammate ryb from the starting C9 roster earlier this week. It was previously reported that he would be playing with Red Reserve, his brother's team, at the Copenhagen Games tournament this weekend but he has now confirmed that he will no longer be attending, required instead in the Overwatch Monthly Melee for NRG.
Mendokusaii seems a fitting replacement for NRG; he is both a popular and entertaining player in his own right, as well as having a deep hero pool that will allow for a large amount of flexibility within the team. Many of the players on NRG have particular heroes for which they are well known, but Mendo is truly a jack of all trades whose addition may come to be a benefit for the team in the long run.
This news follows shortly after over.gg reported that Rogue and NRG would be the invited teams to Korea for APEX Season 3. NRG have not played a series with their new roster since signing iddqd, Ajax, and harbleu; their first scheduled tournament since MLG Vegas in late 2016 is the upcoming Overwatch Monthly Melee: April this weekend.
NRG's President Brett Lautenbach said about the move:
Seagull has been an incredible member of NRG Overwatch, and while we're sad to see him step down from the active roster we are thrilled that he is staying in the NRG Family. We are excited to announce that Mendo will be stepping in to fill Seagull's role. Mendo is an incredible competitor and an excellent addition to the roster.
The new NRG roster is now:
- Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson (DPS)
- André "iddqd" Dahlström (DPS)
- Anthony "harbleu" Ballo (Flex)
- Seb "numlocked" Barton (Tank)
- Tim "dummy" Olson (Support)
- Alex "Ajax" Jackson (Support)