Vancouver Titans Sign Sugarfree

Vancouver Titans Sign Sugarfree

Overwatch League franchise, Vancouver Titans, announced the signing of a longtime Contenders star player, Kamden “Sugarfree” Hijada, who joined the team on Tuesday, December 27. With Sugarfree’s signing, the Titans now field a complete five-man roster ahead of the 2023 season.

A Promising Talent

Sugarfree is an 18-year-old Overwatch player who started his career in 2017 with NO ANIME ALLOWED, but has never had a chance to compete on the big stage before. After a short stint with NO AMIME ALLOWED; Sugarfree spent some time with No Clout and Last Night’s Leftovers before he signed his first contract with Bye Week in March 2018.

Throughout 2018, Sugarfree proved his worth by competing in various lesser Overwatch esports events, leading his team to a gold medal at Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 2 Trials: North America, fifth-eighth at Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 2: North America, and ending the year with a runner-up finish at BEAT Invitational – Season 5.

Ahead of the 2019 season, Sugarfree got scouted by Atlanta Reign, who signed him to its academy lineup, giving the young Overwatch pro player a chance to show what he’s capable of and earn a spot in the big leagues. And he took the opportunity with both hands.

With ATL Academy, Sugarfree achieved a lot throughout the 2019 season, placing second or first in seven of the eight events the team attended. The only exception was Overwatch Contenders 2019: Atlantic Showdown, where ATL Academy placed fourth.

Sugarfree remained with ATL Academy for the firth three months of 2020, but then left to play for American Tornado, with who he won Overwatch Contenders 2020: The Gauntlet: North America and placed second in Contenders 2021 NA Season 1 – March. Then he left to compete for Fusion University, again showing his talent by leading his team to an Overwatch Contenders 2021 Season 2 Trials: Europe title and a fourth-place finish at Contenders 2021 EU Season 2 – June.

Sugarfree Makes OWL Debut

After fighting his way through Contenders and various lesser Overwatch leagues, Sugarfree was now given a chance to prove his worth on the biggest stage. Picked up by Vancouver Titans, Sugarfree will team up with Luka “Aspire” Rolovic and four new signings in Kim “Faith” Hong-gyu, William “Crimzo” Hernandez, and Leyton “Punk” Gilchrist.

Vancouver Titans made drastic roster changes ahead of the 2023 season following a highly disappointing run through OWL 2022, in which the team finished in 18th place. Granted, that wasn’t the first shaky season from the squad.

Vancouver Titans were one of the best Overwatch teams in their debut season in 2019, when the Titans won the regular season and reached the finals of the OWL 2019 Playoffs. Since then, the team has failed to come even close to replicating that success.

In 2020, the Titans ended the year with a 12th-13th place finish in the NA Playoffs, and then added a 19th-place finish in the 2021 season, with just one win and 15 losses. In 2022, Vancouver Titans found some more success but still failed to produce much.

Besides qualifying for the Summer Showdown, in which the Titans finished in seventh-eighth place, the team did not attend a single event throughout the year and finished the season in 18th place.

Known as one of the weakest teams in the league, the Titans had to make some drastic changes ahead of the 2023 season to turn things around, and it seems like the Titans decided to count on young OWL Contenders talent along with established OWL players to reach new heights.

But the Titans aren’t the only team to acquire Contenders players.

Another notable squad that took the same approach is the San Fransisco Shock, who signed Choi “Max” Su-min and Chae “HeeSang” Hee-sang, giving the OWL fans plenty to look forward to, as they look to see how the younger players will do in the top league.