As first reported by Liz Richardson of Dot Esports, ATL Reign's star DPS player and 2021 MVP candidate Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun will be competing in the Overwatch League playoffs after all, despite his collapsed lung recovery preventing him from flying.
Pelican suffered a collapsed lung in August that left him unable to fly for health reasons. After the Overwatch League finals were moved online from Hawaii, it became clear that Pelican wouldn't be able to travel with the team for playoffs, since they will obviously be flying. As a result, there was significant doubt about whether he would be playing, with ATL Reign Main Tank Blake "Gator" Scott telling Inven Global last week that the team was still uncertain about whether the player would be able to compete.
But on Thursday, Dot Esports reported ATL head coach Brad "Sephy" Rejani's confirmed Reign will be taking a road trip out West with Pelican, allowing the player to compete on a better ping than when he attempted to play from Atlanta during the Countdown Cup, which went rather poorly since his playstyle relies on precision. From the west coast, he should experience an improved ping that will be at least playable, according to Sephy's comments.
Sephy suggested that Pelican will most likely be playing from the FaZe offices in L.A., which makes sense since the Atlanta Reign's parent company Atlanta Esports Ventures operates the ATL FaZe in the Call of Duty League.
Atlanta Reign had their best season yet in 2021, qualifying to two mid-season international tournaments in Hawaii over the course of the season. In comments made to Inven Global, Gator credited the team's perseverance and their chemistry for the new levels of success.
Pelican, a rookie in 2021, was also a key aspect of their success this year, consistently putting up amazing numbers throughout the season and being a huge difference-maker for his team. In recognition of his amazing year, he is both an MVP candidate and a Rookie of the Year front runner this year, so Atlanta will be more than happy to have him available for playoffs.
The Overwatch League playoffs kick off this week on Tuesday, September 21st.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.