UPDATE 11/10: Dallas Fuel has signed another former Element Mystic member in Seung-soo "Jecse" Lee, bringing the team near the completion of its roster for the 2021 Overwatch League season. The South Korean support previously played for Houston Outlaws in OWL 2020 and Seoul Dynasty in the playoffs of Overwatch League 2019.
UPDATE 11/08: Dallas Fuel adds another connection to Element Mystic, Eui-Seok "Fearless" Lee. Fearless played for Element Mystic in 2017-2018 with now teammate, Jung-keun "Rapel" Kim.
Fearless joins the Fuel from the Shanghai Dragons, where the team was victorious in both the May Melee and Countdown Cup tournaments, earned the #1 seed in the 2020 Overwatch League regular season, and secured first place in the Asia Playoffs as well as third place overall.
Fearless was known for playing with the Shanghai Dragons through his time in the Overwatch League. He experienced the lowest of lows with the Dragons to championship glory in the 2020 season. Undoubtedly, Fearless' previous experience is a major factor that with perseverance and hardship, he can help carry the Fuel through any mental struggles.
Dallas Fuel adds Fearless with another solid tank pickup during the offseason, Han-been "Hanbin" Choi. Together, they can be solid players who can help enable players like Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim to greater heights.
“Having a main tank player like Fearless on our roster is a huge opportunity for us,” said Dallas Fuel Owner Mike Rufail. “Bringing on players who have this kind of top-tier experience is a key part of elevating our roster and creating a truly championship-caliber team.”
UPDATE 10/28: Dallas Fuel bolstered their coaching staff by signing a former OWL player for the Toronto Defiant, Jaeyoon “Aid” Go. Additionally, the Fuel also re-signed coach Kim "Yong" Yong-jin.
Yong acted as the Fuel’s interim Head Coach for the latter part of the 2020 OWL season. His re-signing cements a long-awaited reunion of his former players from Overwatch Contenders team Element Mystic.
Aid joins the Fuel following a transition from support player to coach for the Paris Eternal, where the team had a strong 2020 season including a championship finish in the Summer Showdown tournament.
“Re-signing Yong was a no-brainer for us,” said Mike Rufail, Owner of the Fuel. “He performed fantastically as interim Head Coach this year and we’re looking forward to seeing him continue to make our players better working with Rush and Aid. Aid’s expertise and experience with some of our other new players from Paris will round out our coaching staff perfectly.”
The Dallas Fuel continues to make notable free-agent signings this offseason. Last week, they signed Coach Hee-won "RUSH" Yun, Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim, and Han-been "Hanbin" ChoiHan-been "Hanbin" Choi, formerly from the Paris Eternal. The Fuel continues their shift in team philosophy with signing Korean players that now includes Joon "Fielder" Kwon and Jung-keun "Rapel" Kim.
Fielder is a veteran on the Overwatch esports scene, competing since 2017 – most recently on the Paris Eternal. The Eternal took first place in the 2020 Summer Showdown tournament and made it to the third round of the season playoffs.
Rapel joins the Fuel from the Houston Outlaws. He previously competed with the Vancouver Titans, the runners up for the Overwatch League 2019 Grand Finals. He is also a former member of the Contenders team Element Mystic along with Fuel players Dong-ha “Doha” Kim, Yeong-han "SP9RK1E" Kim, and Han-been "Hanbin" Choi.
“Signing Fielder and Rapel brings together two crucial pieces of our 2021 lineup,” said Dallas Fuel Owner Mike Rufail. “Bringing on two reliable flex support players who have top-tier experience allows us to be more creative with our team compositions and overall roster decisions. We’re ready to win, and these two are going to be crucial pieces of that puzzle.”
Fans of the Dallas Fuel had their share of disappointments since the Overwatch League started. High expectations and notable non-Korean players like Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod, Brandon "Seagull" Larned, and Félix "xQc" Lengyel made the Fuel a fan-favorite in OWL. Since then, their results have been subpar with no championships.
Since results did not change much for the past two seasons, the Fuel decided it was time for a shakeup. The decision to go to a Korean roster found success for OWL teams like the 2019 Vancouver Titans, 2020 Florida Mayhem, and 2020 Washington Justice. For the Fuel, they're looking for similar success picking up these players.
In addition to picking up RUSH, SP9RK1E, Hanbin, Fielder, and Rapel, there are talks that the Fuel is aiming to sign players from Element Mystic, a South Korean Overwatch Contenders team, who won numerous championships in 2019. Those players include Paris Eternal's Ki-hyo "Xzi" Jung and current player for Element Mysic, Jeong-ho "MCD" Lee.
The Fuel is looking to buy high, in hopes of becoming an elite team in the 2021 season. Dallas Fuel has nothing more to lose compared to what they been through. If talks are true about converting to an all-Korean team, the Fuel fans should be optimistic about the team's future.
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Writer @InvenGlobal | Freelanced at @overwatchscore @vpesports @GinxTV @Upcomer | Former CLICKON Media and Echo Fox.