DoA leaving OWL casting desk, ZP joining JAKE as caster for 2020
Things may be quiet on the roster front leading up to the Overwatch League 2020 season, but the broadcast itself is continuing to go through major changes.
The dust was just settling from Chris Puckett and Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles' announcements at the start of the new year, but now things are shaking up again. Caster Erik “DoA” Lonnquist is joining Puckett and MonteCristo in leaving the Overwatch League.
"We will truly miss having [Puckett, MonteCristo, and DoA] around next season. Thank you for all of your contributions and everything you've done for this community. we hope to see you back on the show soon," Overawatch League's official twitter said.
This announcement was peculiarly followed by what D.Va calls a winky face emoji.
DoA addresed the news himself in a TwitLonger post earleir today. He told his followers that he decided to move away from a full-time role at the OWL after "a lot of thought." Instead, he will be exploring other opportunities within the gaming industry.
Similarly to MonteCristo, DoA cited creative differences after OWL commissioner Nate Nanzer left Blizzard.
"It’s been a fantastic experience working with my fellow casters, big brain desk people, and the incredible staff at the Blizzard arena over the last two years, but due to some of the League’s decisions over the last year in terms of creative direction, management, and resistance to input from veteran esports personal, I felt it was time for a change," DoA explained.
Despite these frustrations, DoA noted that he still believes in the Overwatch League and what they're trying to accomplish in the esports space, wishing "nothing but the best" for his former co-workers, the teams, the players, and the"new blood" coming into the 2020 season. He is also hoping to attend some Homestand games this year.
"Special thanks to Nate Nanzer for giving me the opportunity to be part of building this thing. It’s been a wild ride, but I think we’ve all learned quite a bit," DoA continued.
He also thanked Jeff Kaplan, Scott Mercer, and Marisa Palumbo.
DoA also added that the "most difficult part" of leaving Overwatch League was ending a seven-year casting partnership with MonteCristo. This is a sentiment that MonteCristo had also brought up when he announced his own departure from the league.
"It’s hard to find the words to describe the monumental esports journey we shared. Monte’s like a brother to me and it’s tough to accept that we won’t be arguing about various facets of nerd-dom together on broadcasts every week anymore," DoA said, adding that they will still make time to see each other.
Even though leaving his friend was difficult, DoA stated that he is looking to make his 10th year as an esports caster more impactful than ever before. This includes working in as many games as he can and help out as many broadcasts as he can. Until he finds a full-time position, DoA said he will be an "esports mercenary" doing "full freelance," with a focus on League of Legends, Hearthstone, and possibly Teamfight Tactics. DoA added that he might even explore table-top gaming.
"Career-wise I still feel like I’m just getting started and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for all of us in the competitive gaming scene. What amazing things will the cyber athletes show us? What incredible sights will we witness? Time will tell. For now, though…" DoA concluded.
ZP and JAKE become new OWL casters for 2020
With three big names in the OWL leaving just before the 2020 season, many fans were left wondering who will be behind the desk next month.
Longtime Overwatch caster Andrew “ZP” Rush will be joining his partner Jake "JAKE" Lyon as casters for the 2020 season. ZP has been casting Overwatch for five years, starting out of his bedroom in the early years. He called working at the OWL a "dream come true."
"Very happy to announce that my fifth year of casting Overwatch will be done with the Overwatch League for the 2020 season! It's been a long journey to get here, but I can't wait to get started casting some of the very best Overwatch in the world alongside JAKE," ZP tweeted.
JAKE is another name Overwatch fans will recognize. He played for the Houston Outlaws last year and was known for his broad DPS hero pool. He is also known for his casting, including the latter half of the 2018 Contenders World Cup alongside ZP.
"I'm really excited to have ZP publicly announced as my casting partner for OWL 2020. ZP was my partner for my first ever casting outing for the OWWC 2018 and I couldn't be happier to bring that energy back for next season of the Overwatch League. Let's put the work in!" Jake tweeted.
ZP and JAKE will be sharing the casting desk with Scott "Custa" Kennedy, a former Los Angeles Valiant player turned analyst for 2020. Brennon “Bren” Hook and Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson will be leaving the analyst desk to become casters this season.
The Overwatch League’s third season begins on February 8. Games will be hosted by the Dallas Fuel and New York Excelsior.
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