Erster Announced Retirement From Competitive Overwatch
Jeong “Erster” Joon has announced his retirement from the professional Overwatch scene. The 20-year-old has announced his decision on Friday, May 21, stating he might return to competition in the future.
A Four-Year-Long Career Comes to an End
Erster began his Overwatch esports career in November 2016, when he made his professional debut with Mighty AOD. In his debut year, the Korean DPS finished third at Overwatch APEX Challengers Season 2 and made it to the semi-finals of the Nexus Cup 2016 – Grand Finals.
Erster was last seen competing with Mighty AOD at Overwatch APEX Season 3 in June 2017. The team failed to make it out of the group stage and shortly after disbanded their roster.
Most of the old Mighty AOD roster left for Ardeont, where Erster remained for only three months before moving to Lucky Future Zenith. With his new team, Erster won LanStory Cup 2018 – Chengdu and both seasons of the Overwatch Contenders 2018: China.
His success in Contenders landed him a contract with Atlanta Reign in the inaugural season of Overwatch League (OWL). Unfortunately, success was hard to come by for Reign, who ended the season in fifth-sixth.
Erster remained with the team through the 2020 OWL season, which ended in another disappointing finish. Atlanta Reign repeated their placement from 2019, ending the season in fifth-sixth.
Atlanta Reign’s lack of success ushered a complete roster rebuild, forcing Erster to find a new home. He, however, didn’t need long to do so and got picked up by the Shanghai Dragons in November 2020.
With the Chinese side, Erster won Esports Shanghai Masters – Overwatch Shanghai Masters Invitational – 2020 and most recently made it to the grand finals of Overwatch League 2021 – May Melee. He played a pivotal role in Dragon’s strong start of the season, which places them atop the OWL Eastern Division.
A Huge Loss for the Shanghai Dragons
In Shanghai Dragon’s official statement, the team mentions how much of an asset the Erster was to the team. From his clutch plays to his attitude outside of the game, which made him one of the most recognizable names in the scene.
“After giving a lot of thought to his own development, Erster has decided to say goodbye to professional Overwatch. We have arranged for everything, including his return to Korea in the near future,” read the announcement.
“We wish we had more time to spend with Erster. His professional attitude and unrelenting optimism makes it incredibly tough for us to part ways.”
Erster has made a name for himself for his signature picks in Widowmaker and McCree. Losing such a player will be a massive blow to the Dragons and their ambitions to compete for the OWL title.
Regardless, the Chinese squad still have plenty of talent at their disposal to replace Erster. They currently field three DPS players, including Byungsun “Fleta” Kim, Lee “LIP” Jae-won, and Minseong “diem” Bae.
Despite deciding to end his Overwatch career, Erster had noted that he could return to professional play in the future. Unfortunately, he has not given any potential timeline when that might happen.
Shanghai Dragons Continue Their Journey through OWL on Saturday, May 22
Shanghai Dragons’ first game without Erster is scheduled for Saturday, May 22. Then they’ll face off against Chengdu Hunters in the second round of OWL June Joust.
Odds for Shanghai Dragons vs. Chengdu Hunters Match
Odds courtesy of BetOnline Sportsbook:
- Dragons -385
- Hunters +263
- Dragons -1.5 -145
- Hunters +1.5 +110
- Over 3.50 Maps -263
- Under 3.50 Maps +191
Despite cementing themselves as the top team in the Eastern Division, the Shanghai Dragons haven’t impressed the first time they met with the Hunters. The match ended in a shock 3-0 victory for the underdogs.
Regardless of that humiliating loss, Dragons enter the rematch priced as heavy betting favorites. That makes sense since they’re the reigning May Melee finalists; however, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee them success against their regional rivals.