Just moments ago, Overwatch pro player and community darling Brandon "Seagull" Larned posted a tweet that announced his Overwatch league retirement.
Dallas Fuel then tweeted an official farewell to Seagull alongside a video highlighting some of his best moments on the team. Clearly, the decision was agreed on by both parties and both Twitter announcements coordinated.
While this is big news, it may not come as much of a surprise to those who have followed the league since it's inception. Dallas Fuel, the most popular team leading up to the start of the inaugural season was plagued with player drama, roster instability and poor performances on stage. Seagull, whom before the OWL was far and beyond the games most popular streamer, perhaps lost the most when the dream of Dallas Fuel as a tier 1 OWL team died.
For example, when xQc and Dallas Fuel separated, xQc when back to streaming Overwatch and his popularity hasn't wained. As a streamer, xQc has retained an impressive amount of influence within the Overwatch sphere and his comments on OWL drama or teams performances continue to permeate throughout the community.
On the contrary, Seagull's tremendous popularity has an Overwatch personality has waned ever since he joined the OWL -- Dallas Fuel's poor performance had the same effect on the once revered aKm.
Back to beginnings
Seagull rose to Overwatch fame when he began to stream his gameplay on Twitch extremely early on in the game's lifespan. Compared to other streamers, Seagull's skilled gameplay was miles above anything anyone else was broadcasting. The result was explosive stream growth and the rest is history.
At the time of this publication, Seagull is currently streaming for an audience of over 13,000 people. His streams chat is a sea of welcome backs, memes, and positivity in light of the return of Overwatch's original top streamer.
UPDATE: During Seagull's stream, he periodically answered chats questions and explained his reasoning behind retiring. Per his own words, the practice and dedication of competitive Overwatch leading up to OWL took a toll on his health, physically and mentally. Seagull cites weight gain, increased stress, and sleep apnea as the results of his pro Overwatch lifestyle.
Seagull also expressed loyalty to his stream audience that helped propel him to Overwatch stardom. In many ways, a return to streaming is a return to the group that first supported his pro gaming dream.
Here is a link to a time-stamp of his stream broadcast where Seagull begins to tell his story, his sacrifices and reasons for quitting. Below is the full excerpt of his story:
I got a lot of reasons chat and I don't want to jebait you forever. I'd figure I would get straight to the point. I've been pretty much a pro gamer or I guess have been trying to be a pro gamer since I've been like, I don't know 10 years old. I've jumped from game-to-game and all I've ever wanted to be was a pro player.
But chat, give it to me like this boys, I went from basement dwelling neckbeard from pro player in like 3 months with Overwatch. I rode that popularity I got in Overwatch beta from my stream blowing up and everything straight to the Overwatch League years later, right? And like... that's actually hard for me to say that.
That whole time though, I had to sacrifice a lot of things. A lot of my personal life, a lot of my mental physical health -- I literally put on like 40 pounds I developed sleep apnea I could barely sleep. And uhh...I had a lot of problems but it was all worth it because I got to compete. But, I don't know man, to sacrifice my stream and the fans that got me here in the first place for so long? I just didn't want to do that anymore.
I kept lying to my self for like two years over and over again. I would sit there and say 'oh yeah I can go pro and stream at the same time -- it will be fine'. But then, you are there and after practicing for 10 years, you think 'I should log on because I have like 10 to 20k people (back when I got 20k viewers omegalul) and like uhh, they wanted to see me. I would sit there and go' I should just click the button and go live.
Then I would go 'wait, I'm going to feel like shit' and I would rather have someone leave my stream because I wasn't online, then be online and not be my best self because I don't want to be a shitter on stream, right?
Chat, in the three years that I have been partnered as a twitch streamer, I have streamed for, at most, one of those years. Think about that. And every single... ahh I don't know...
Just think about being a professional player and you realize that every single day you are trying to go pro, someone who used to be a part of the stream that you built is leaving. And if you focus on pro play, you are letting down your stream. If you try to balance both, you are letting down your teammates who are your second family. There is no winning.
And somehow, I still managed to have 10k average viewers even though I took the stream for granted and I really fucked up...
*someone speaks in voice chat*
Shut the fuck up! Sorry... sorry. And like I...I just want to say chat: I am sorry. And, it will never happen again. And most importantly, if I ever do decide to go back into the pro scene, whether or not it's in Overwatch or any other game, because I can't predict the future chat, I will never abandon the stream like I have in the past. And I have much bigger plans than being a pro in a single game. And that has always been my dream.
That is where I am at chat and that is why I said yesterday that today is going to be a big stream, Ok? So uh... I will be here chat. And you can watch me, and it will be cool, alright? And I love you chat.
Now smash the fucking prime button, be right back."
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.