Luo “Elsa” Wenjie has announced his retirement from professional Overwatch. The 21-year-old Chinese esports pro called it quits after five years in the scene, the last three of which he spent as a member of the Chengdu Hunters.
Elsa Leaves Hunters After 944 Days
The Prominent Chinese Flex DPS player has decided to hang up his mouse and keyboard and leave the Overwatch esports scene. Elsa’s retirement comes as a shock to many, as he was amidst a very successful season.
“After friendly communication and negotiation, based on respect and the willingness of the player, we hereby announce Chengdu Hunters No.3 player, Elsa, officially retires from the team,” read the announcement on Chengdu Hunter’s Twitter.
The Chinese OWL esports team have no provided any further information about why Elsa has decided to retire. He is, however, not the only OWL player to exit the scene this year.
Elsa’s departure from the team comes after the first week of OWL Summer Showdown qualifiers, where Hunters managed a 1-1 record. They lost to Seoul Dynasty and beat Guangzhou Charge.
Elsa played in both games as an off-tank and performed admirably well, so it’s unlikely that his retirement is performance-related. In the eyes of many OWL fans, Elsa’s retirement came out of nowhere.
A Successful Career
Elsa began his Overwatch esports career in September 2016, when he joined a stack named Reic. In November, he signed for a Chinese team Black Ananas, before getting picked up by LinGan e-Sports in August 2018.
Shortly after joining LinGan e-Sports, Elsa’s career took off by helping his new team finish fourth at LanStory Cup 2018 – Chengdu and runners-up at the LanStory Cup 2018 – Guangzhou. By the end of the year, Elsa also qualified for NetEase Esports X Tournament – 2018 – Summer, where his team placed in fourth.
During his stint with LinGan e-Sports, Elsa established himself as a talented player, earning him a contract with Chengdu Hunters. The Chinese team picked him up for their inaugural OWL roster on November 29, 2018.
Elsa quickly secured a spot as the starter on Hunters’ roster and acted as a mainstay of the team. Elsa terrorized the scene with his signature picks in D.Va, Sigma, Roadhog, Winston, and Zarya and had one of the deepest champion pools in the OWL.
Despite his individual skill, Elsa failed to help the Hunters achieve much in their inaugural year in the OWL. The Chinese side finished the 2019 OWL season in 11th-12th, which led to a complete roster overhaul.
While Elsa failed to achieve much in his OWL debut, he has helped his nation claim silver at the Overwatch World Cup 2019.
Things started to look up for Hunters when Elsa and co. finished second in Overwatch Shanghai Masters Invitational – 2019 ahead of the new season. They built on that success and ended the 2020 OWL season in fourth.
Hunters continued their improvement heading into 2021. Although the 2021 OWL season is still relatively young, Hunters impressed many with their fourth-place finish at 2021 OWL May Melee.
Chengdu Hunters Continue Without Elsa
After their impressive fourth-place finish at the 2021 OWL May Melee, Hunters stumbled and failed to qualify for OWL June Joust. However, the team is in an excellent position to make it into the OWL Summer Showdown.
After one week of play, the Hunters lost against the current frontrunners Seoul Dynasty (1-3) and smashed Guangzhou Charge (3-0). A 1-1 record sits them inside the top-four in the Eastern Standings.
Until the end of the OWL Summer Showdown qualifiers, the Hunters still need to face Philadelphia Fusion and Los Angeles Valiant.
Chengdu Hunter’s first match on the schedule is against the Fusion, with who they’ll clash on Friday, July 9. The esports bookmakers have yet to start offering betting odds, but it’s fair to assume Hunters will enter the match as underdogs.
These two teams met twice this season. The Fusion won the first bout in April with 3-1 but lost the rematch with 1-3.
Despite their recent success against the Fusion, the departure of Elsa makes Hunters more vulnerable as they look to cause another upset next week.