The Korean shuffle continues within the region, and LuxuryWatch's teams are the next to make changes as OGN APEX Season 4 approaches. Support player Gambler has stepped down from LW Blue and his competitive Overwatch career due to laryngitis, a medical condition which causes inflammation in the vocal box. Flex player FR3E from LW Red was also released, with a lack of performance being cited as the reason behind his departure. LW have also announced the addition of WizardHyeong as their analysis coach for both sister teams.

LW's Blue team has been one of the top squads within Korea and the global scene, solidifying their place among the elite with a championship at IEM Gyeonggi last December, where they defeated Kongdoo Panthera, Rogue, and Lunatic-Hai to grab the title.

APEX Season 3 was a chance for redemption for the team after coming incredibly close to making the APEX Season 2 grand finals, where a heartbreaking loss to Runaway in the semifinals shattered their chances. The additions of Pine as DPS from sister team LW Red and Sylph as their support sub from MVP Space during the preseason was met with much excitement, especially given the talent of the former.

In the group stage, LW Blue cruised through Group C with a 3-0 record against CONBOX, MVP Space, and Flash Lux. Their luck however began to go south in the first stage of the playoffs, starting with a group of death that featured Lunatic-Hai, Kongdoo Panthera, and CONBOX.

They were able to take down CONBOX in the upper bracket semifinals, but their situation took a turn for the worse when their tank player janus was hospitalized for pneumothorax before their upper bracket finals match against Kongdoo Panthera. With Sylph benched due to an eye condition, LW Blue moved Pine to support, while Luna took up main tank duties. The team was unable to beat Panthera, and were sent to the lower bracket finals. While janus was able to return for the rest of the playoffs, Lunatic-Hai crushed them in the lower bracket finals, sending the team home in 5th-6th place.

LW Red recently qualified for APEX Season 4 after getting through APEX Challengers Season 4. The team had a history of coming incredibly close to making APEX in previous seasons, only to miss out by a thin margin. They lost to Afreeca Freecs Red in APEX Season 2 Super Week in the lower bracket finals of their group for a spot in APEX Season 2, and in APEX Challengers Season 3 they were unable to qualify for APEX Season 3 Super Week.

Gambler was a part of LW Blue’s roster since last fall, and stood as the team’s Lucio alongside support player Luna. His retirement marks another series of unfortunate events for a team that is filled with star talent but hindered by events outside their control. DPS star Fl0w3R sat out for most of the group stage due to a hand injury, Sylph had an eye condition that benched him from play, and janus was hospitalized during the playoffs due to pneumothorax.

FR3E joined LW Red during the team's major reshuffling after APEX Challengers Season 3, where four of their players left the team. After reforming their roster, they made their way through APEX Challengers Season 4, placing 2nd in the first group stage and completing a flawless round robin in the second group stage to grab an automatic spot at APEX Season 4.

WizardHyeong will come in as LW's new coach, joining strategic coach Pavane after coaching a number of North American teams, including Splyce, TSM, and most recently, Gale Force Esports. Gale Force were unable to get any good results, dropping out of groups in the Overwatch PIT Championship and the Rivalcade Rumble, which eventually led to the org dropping the roster last May. He was present with LW Blue during the first stage of the APEX Season 3 playoffs, and he'll be preparing with the sister teams for the next season.

With Gambler's exit, Sylph could possibly be brought up from the bench; according to WizardHyeong, the support sub has recovered from his eye condition and is the most likely candidate to join the main LW Blue roster. He also noted that it's likely that the team will make more roster changes, and possibly recruit new players for both teams.

LuxuryWatch Blue’s roster is now:

  • Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-ryeol (DPS)
  • Hwang "Fl0w3r" Yeon-oh (DPS)
  • Kim "Pine" Do-hyun (DPS)
  • Kim "Mek0" Tae-hong (Flex)
  • Song "janus" Jun-hwa (Tank)
  • Jang "Luna" Gyeong-ho (Support)
  • Choi "Sylph" Seong-sik (Support)
  • Hyeongseok "WizardHyeong" Kim (Analysis coach)
  • Yu "Pavane" Hyeon-sang (Strategic coach)

LuxuryWatch Red's roster is now:

  • Jeong "Nenne" Yeon-Kwan (DPS)
  • Choi "Wekeed" Seok-Woo (DPS)
  • Choi "HOTBA" Hong-Joon (Flex)
  • Gye "r0ar" Chang Hoon (Tank)
  • Lee "Think" Ho-Jeong (Tank)
  • Hong "ArK" Yeon Joon (Support)
  • Park "Who" Jae Hyeong (Support)
  • Hyeongseok "WizardHyeong" Kim (Analysis coach)
  • Yu "Pavane" Hyeon-sang (Strategic coach)

A special thank you to Frus for his help with the article.