Overwatch League Season 1 star DPS player Hyeon “EFFECT” Hwang of the Dallas Fuel has retired from the league, according to a post on the player’s official Facebook page.
The announcement is long and emotional, detailing EFFECT’s multiple struggles with mental health and suicidal ideation.
“I returned to the league full of energy, but it’s so regretful that I’m leaving without showing anything,” EFFECT said. “However, I really don’t want to practice while being so stressed because Overwatch is really not fun.”
Contrary to EFFECT’s writings, his time with the Fuel frequently showcased heroic individual efforts and some particularly impressive Tracer gameplay. The Fuel came into Season 1 of OWL with tremendous expectations around them based on the core of the team’s results prior to the league’s inception. Dallas Fuel struggled to meet those expectations as a group, but EFFECT was consistently exceptional in his role even as his team lagged in the league standings.
In a time when an acclaimed and accomplished roster seemed to be on the verge of falling apart every week, EFFECT gave Fuel and old Team Envy fans hope and something to cheer for.
During EFFECT’s time with the Fuel and Envy, the roster placed first in Overwatch Contenders 2017 Season 1 and fourth in APEX Season 3. Before EFFECT came to Team Envy, the roster had previously won APEX Season 1.
Overwatch League Season 2 was the first time the Fuel took to the Blizzard Arena without a single member of the old and beloved Team Envy roster.
The pressure of the Fuel’s tumultuous inaugural Overwatch League season forced EFFECT to take a break from the game.
In December 2018, EFFECT announced that he was bisexual, and that hiding his sexuality had exacerbated his mental struggles. EFFECT coming out was significant, as his home country of South Korea’s culture is often seen as oppressive towards the LGBT community and lags behind in some areas of gay rights.
Dallas Fuel and Team Envy owner and CEO Mike “hastr0” Rufail expressed a continued commitment to supporting EFFECT.
“We would love to continue to support Effect as a streamer. He knows that already. Whatever he desires is what we want for him,” hastr0 said.