Retired Overwatch League player Lee “ANS” Seon-chang has announced his return to the competitive scene. He will return to San Francisco Shock, who he left in January 2021.
ANS Steps Out Of Retirement
The 21-year-old Overwatch League esports star ANS has announced his return to the Overwatch League (OWL) competitive scene on Wednesday, June 23. After retiring at the start of the year, ANS has spent three months in the Valorant competitive scene but has decided to end his short hiatus in Riot Games’ first-person shooter.
Also known as “ANSANSNIPER,” ANS has been a crucial member of San Francisco Shock since his arrival to the team in December 2019. The 21-year-old Korean has helped Shock dominate the 2020 OWL season, eventually winning the OWL title.
During his stay at the Shock, ANS became known for his signature picks in Sombra, McCree, Ashe, and Widowmaker and was widely regarded as one of the best aimers in the scene. Despite his success, however, ANS opted to change his career path, leaving the Shock without a key player that helped them achieve international glory.
For the past three months, ANS has been pursuing a Valorant career with T1’s academy roster. As a part of T1 Academy, ANS helped develop competition within the organization and eventually rise the ranks and earn a spot in the main roster.
Unfortunately, ANS wasn’t able to showcase his talent as he nor T1 Academy didn’t get to play a single Valorant event since the Korean OWL superstar joined the team in March. It’s unclear whether the lack of competition was what led ANS to return to San Francisco Shock, but it seems likely it was one of the main reasons for ANS’ return.
San Francisco Shock’s Struggles
San Francisco Shock were one of the most dominant teams of the 2020 season but were not nearly as impressive in 2021. Last season, the Shock won all but two tournaments they have attended, including the Overwatch League 2020 Grand Finals, and haven’t finished worse than third across six events.
This year, however, the Shock haven’t come even close to winning a single tournament. They kicked off the season with a third-place finish in OWL May Melee qualifiers but failed to deliver at the main event.
Shock finished OWL May Melee in the last place after suffering an early elimination from Dallas Fuel.
During the OWL June Joust qualifiers, Shock managed a perfect 4-0 record, albeit blundered their run through the main event. Once again, Shock lost their opening round of the tournament and finished in fifth-sixth place, ending yet another event without a single OWL Point.
Shock are now in a do-or-die position with only two more tournaments left to be played by the end of the season. The Shock will need to step it up for the OWL Summer Showdown and OWL Countdown Cup as they look to qualify for the 2021 OWL Playoffs.
Even though their form wasn’t promising, the team can feel confident about a potential upside heading into the penultimate OWL event of the season. With ANS back on the team, the Shock received the much-need firepower they lacked, suggesting the San Francisco side should soon start competing for the highest marks in the league.
San Francisco Shock Enter OWL June Joust Qualifiers
San Francisco Shock’s next competitive endeavor is slated for Friday, June 25, when they’ll clash with the Los Angeles Gladiators in their opening match of OWL June Joust qualifiers.
Odds for San Francisco Shock vs. Los Angeles Gladiators Match
Odds courtesy of BetOnline Sportsbook:
- San Francisco Shock -182
- Los Angeles Gladiators +133
- San Francisco Shock -1.5 Maps +127
- Los Angeles Gladiators +1.5 Maps -175
- Over 4.5 Maps +152
- Under 4.5 Maps -213
San Francisco Shock last met with the Los Angeles Gladiators in April, when they won 3-1. The Shock have since played nine games and won all but three – unfortunately, two of those losses happened during the OWL tournaments, where Shock suffered an early elimination.
Even though San Francisco Shock weren’t too successful in their tournament runs, they have done well during the qualifiers. And the expectations are higher than ever following the return of ANS to the team.