The Los Angeles Gladiators have signed DPS player Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim, formerly of the London Spitfire.
An up-and-down career
Birdring has one of the more interesting careers so far in the Overwatch League. He has been at times one of the best and also worst DPS players in the league, depending on luck and injury. He started by playing for the London Spitfire alongside players like Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi and Joon-yeong “Profit” Park. Staying by Profit’s side, their team reached the first ever stage finals in the inaugural season, winning it with Birdring’s great play. He was known for being the yin to Profit’s yang, being able to play hitscan heroes as well as other needed heroes.
A wrist injury derailed Birdring, but he eventually returned to form, helping them reach the grand finals and win the first season. Unfortunately, his level of play deteriorated significantly in his second season despite his potential, and he was dropped not too long ago.
Becoming a Gladiator
If the Gladiators can get Birdring to work well with his new Korean teammate, Min-seok “OGE” Son, it might be an underrated get. Ultimately, how good this signing is depends upon two key things: who Birdring plays with and “which” Birdring plays.
⏰ RING RING RING ⏰
— Los Angeles Gladiators (@LAGladiators) November 6, 2019
Regarding the former, Birdring is the only DPS player on the Gladiators roster for 2020. They haven’t announced who he is playing alongside yet, and that isn’t just for DPS. Other players on the current roster still haven’t been resigned yet. And regarding the latter, if Gladiators get inaugural season uninjured Birdring, this signing could be amazing. If they get season 2 Birdring, then it might not work out longer than part of the season.
What does this mean for Birdring?
This means something that he needed a couple months ago: a reality check. He was given a starting position in London in both seasons and only fell out of it due to injury. However, his play last season didn’t warrant a starting position. He got dropped because of it, and that surely made him realize how hard he had fallen, from season one champion and stage one playoff MVP to being released. He clearly didn’t want to give up playing or retire, and this signing will give him a purpose: to prove that he hasn’t peaked yet. This is a player focused to prove people wrong, and he will be a player to watch rise or fall in 2020.