Rookie im37 to Toronto, is now quickest path to pro player to join OWL

Rebekah D. April 4, 2019

With just one day to go before the start of Stage 2, Toronto Defiant has announced a new addition to the team’s roster.

DPS player Jin “im37” Hong joined the team having completed the path to pro program from the Open Division to the Overwatch League in under one month’s time.

As a DPS player, Jin specialises in heroes such as McCree, Widowmaker, and Genji. He has also shown proficiency playing off-tank heroes including Zarya, which he showcased during his short time playing in the contenders series. He is also fluent in both English and Korean, having moved from Korea to Canada for university. It makes him a perfect fit for the Canadian team and its predominantly Korean roster.

The rising star first joined an open division team on March 14, joining a team called Wave Madness. Teams in the open division are often not sponsored and sometimes don’t even have names, as this step of the path to pro journey focuses on showcasing personal talent against other highly ranked players. It is often from the more structured open division matches that players are picked for contenders teams, which is exactly what happened for im37.

After just a few practices and one official match played, im37 was picked up by the North American contenders team Second Wind on March 25. Under his new team, im37 played one match against the successful Mayhem Academy team, beating the Mayhem squad 3-1. The DPS player did not get a chance to play another match with this team, as he left them on April 1.

On April 3, im37 announced that he would be moving to Los Angeles, the home of the Overwatch League. This led many fans to speculate that he might be joining an OWL team. When Toronto posted a teaser promising to announce a new roster update soon, fans of im37 put the pieces of the puzzle together.

By joining Toronto Defiant at the start of April, Jin Hong set a record for joining the Overwatch League via the path to pro route, doing so in a little over three weeks. It is unclear when he will make his debut in the league, but Toronto’s first match in Stage 2 is against the Washington Justice on April 5.