New York Excelsior Korean flex player Lee “Ivy” Seung-hyun has retired from the Overwatch League. After playing on the NYXL roster throughout the season, his playtime had fallen in recent tournaments. This retirement marks the first player on the XL to do call it a day.
Today, we say goodbye to @owivy2 as he retires from the @overwatchleague. He has been a great teammate and we're grateful for his contributions in this new era for NYXL. We wish him all the best on his next adventure. #EverUpward pic.twitter.com/x2zvXVtowG
— NYXL (@NYXL) July 16, 2021
Ivy’s path in the Overwatch League
Ivy originally grew to popularity on Korean contenders team O2 Ardeont, along with plenty of other future Overwatch League players like Park “Viol2t” Minki and Jo “Yakpung” Gyeong-mu. Ivy was signed by the Toronto Defiant alongside Yakpung, and while the team started hot, they flamed out early. With the Toronto Defiant moving on from both players, Ivy decided to join the Philadelphia Fusion through a trade for Adam “Beast” Denton. While in Philly, he performed well on a roster in which a lot of talent was prepared to replace him on the starting six. His new team didn’t win anything, as they finished second in two straight tournaments, making the final four in the season playoffs but finishing fourth.
The Fusion clearly wanted to win, which made it all the more interesting when they released Ivy. His time on the Fusion was great, and when they eventually announced their move to the Eastern division, Ivy could have played without visa issues. Alas, he was put on the market and the New York Excelsior picked him up. His former teammate, Yakpung, ended up joining him. Ivy’s performance along with the rest of the NYXL had its moments, but they could never upset the best in the east. His play time grew more limited as the rest of the NYXL roster succeeded.
New York Excelsior’s future without Ivy
The deepest area of the NYXL roster was their damage dealers. In that case, for the team, losing Ivy isn’t the biggest blow. They have enough players to cover the heroes that Ivy was the best at. However, if heroes like Mei and Genji become popular again, Ivy was their specialist.
Now, other players on the roster have to step up. At the same time, the roster that New York has set up now has worked and led them to Hawaii for the June Joust. The long-term effects of this retirement won’t be felt until the Countdown Cup starts. Time will tell how the New York Excelsior will adapt to losing Ivy.