Earlier today, through a joint announcement on their website, Team Liquid announced that they would be sending members of their Overwatch team to Quakecon 2017, and that support player rapha would be retiring from Overwatch to focus on his beloved Quake where he still stands amongst the all-time greats.
Team Liquid will be sending a slew of former Quake pros back into the limelight of Quake under their banner. DaHanG, id_, and rapha will be sent from the Liquid Overwatch roster, as well as winz on loan from Rogue will be competing in the inaugural Quake Champions tournament at Quakecon.
winz was excited to step away from healing duties and get a chance to frag, saying on the Team Liquid website:
"Finally, an opportunity outside the payload duty. I'm thankful rapha, id_, and DaHanG didn't forget I used to be something other than a Lucio and value my fragging ability. We're all former QuakeCon champions and we will be top contenders again this year."
Additionally, rapha will be stepping down from the Overwatch roster to recommit himself to Quake. While two of his teammates, id_ and DaHanG, also have a long history in Quake, they gave no indication they were leaving Overwatch to pursue a full-time career in Quake. Head coach INTERNETHULK will now be tasked with finding a Lucio shotcaller to replace him, something rapha kept in mind when he made his decision:
"I gave this a lot of thought and it's something I lost sleep over but when it comes to making big decisions that tends to happen and the outcome I came to did not come lightly. About a week before my gig at E3 and the whole Contenders groupstage that was going to be going underway I came to the decision that it would be in my best interest to step down from the team and pursue Quake Champions for the foreseeable future. But I didn't feel like it would be right to leave the team hanging and drop out right as Contenders Season 0 was about to take place. So I told Internethulk that I'd stay until Season 0 was over and do everything I could to help the team qualify and get into Season 1. And hopefully that would give them the time to find a suitable replacement at shotcaller and support going forward for Season 1.
I'm extremely proud of my team and what they were able to accomplish and come together and improve and start playing more like a team. Especially with the addition with Fury even though there were at times a definite language barrier. And I could tell it was difficult for him but it was good to see him keep pushing himself and not get down because he made some mistakes solely do to communication. Kid has a lot off talent just like shadder and I think Liquid is going in the right direction with them at the helm. I am really gonna miss the team atmosphere and all because they're a really good group of guys.
In no sense have I come to hate or not like playing Overwatch at all. I hope that some day down the road assuming OWL gains some ground and has success that even though at that point it's not extremely likely to come back as a player, but something along the lines of a coach or possibly even get into casting. That's something I could see myself doing because I do like the game and hope I can do something with it again someday. For now though to put it bluntly I just enjoy playing Quake Champions more and feel I have more of an impact on what I can do in the game. That's pretty obvious in regards to Duel since it's 1v1 but also the Sacrifice mode as well. And given with my history in Quake and what I've done I just want to jump at the chance to try and continue that legacy and see where it goes.
I want to thank Liquid and the team for giving me the opportunity to join last year and it's been a lot of fun but also helped me learn and grow a lot in and outside of the game."
After recently qualifying for Contenders Season One, the Lucio position of Liquid will be highly coveted among the many North American and European free agent Lucios. The team has also solved this problem in the past by shuffling the roles of its many seasoned FPS veterans; rapha only moved over to Lucio a few months ago. Additionally, Liquid has not been afraid to recruit Koreans in the past, although the language barrier may get more in the way for a role traditionally reserved for the shotcallers of teams.
The roster of Team Liquid is now:
- Kevin "AZK" Larivière (DPS)
- Robert "shadder2k" Mocanu (Flex)
- Kim "Fury" Jun-ho (김준호) (Flex)
- Adam "MESR" De La Torre (Tank)
- Tim "DaHanG" Fogarty (Support)
- Andrew "id_" Trulli (DPS Substitute)
- Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka (Head Coach)