zappis retires from Overwatch League to pursue streaming, school

By Olivia Richman


Jan 6, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

After four years in the professional Overwatch scene, Florida Mayhem flex tank Joonas “zappis” Alakurtti is retiring from competitive play. 

In a TwitLonger post, zappis opened up about his decision. He cited a lack of motivation as his main reason for leaving the competitive Overwatch scene, stating that he feels he can not give the game 100% anymore. 

“Some of you may know that I finished my Bachelor’s degree in law last year and I’m looking to finish my Master’s degree this year,” zappis said. “I’m also doing an internship early 2020 so I’m having less time for gaming in general. So taking a bit of a break from the industry for the time being and we’ll see what happens in the future.” 

The Finnish Zarya main noted that he would like to stream more in the future once he figures out his schedule. This is a route many Overwatch pros have taken over the last two years when they no longer want to deal with the pressure of competing in the OWL, with the most notable example being Daniel “dafran” Francesca

Since zappis has been playing Overwatch since the first closed beta, it’s no surprise that he doesn’t want to leave the game and its community entirely. 

“I must say I have many fond memories and I’ve met many wonderful people on this journey. It would be impossible to list all the people here so I’m not even going to try it, there’s so many from my teammates, national teams,players, team staff, blizzard employees, event organizers, fans and so on…” he wrote. 

zappis went on to thank his fans and supporters, stating that he would have never had the opportunity to play Overwatch competitively without them. 

After playing for the Florida Mayhem in the inagural season of the Overwatch League, zappis played for Finnish esports organization Team Gigantti. The Contenders team came in second at the Overwatch Contenders 2019 Season 2: Europe tournament in August. 

Known for his D.Va and Zarya play during the triple tank meta, zappis was originally a hitscan DPS specialist, focused on Tracer. Before Overwatch, zappis played Team Fortress 2 competitively.

Though one can never be completely certain about the permanence of esports player retirements, odds are that zappis is indeed done for good.