Today, we learned of an unfortunate retirement for one of the most explosive players in the league. Do-hyeon “Pine” Kim has retired from professional Overwatch. According to the announcement, he shall now serve as a streamer for the New York Excelsior organization.
The Big Boss is retiring. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank @tf2pine for everything he's done for NYXL.
— NYXL (@NYXL) December 6, 2019
The Big Boss
Few players in the Overwatch League get nicknames. Yes, their in-game names usually are their nicknames, but few get a marker for how they played. Pine was one of the first, receiving the name ‘Big Boss’ due to his performance against the Houston Outlaws. His insane aim and aggressive style made him one of the most fun to watch in the league. Plus, his capability to take over a match and turn the tide led to many map five wins. However, as the end of seasons one and two came along, he rode the bench. His hero pool of McCree and Widowmaker wasn’t in the meta, leaving him alone.
Controversially, even when they entered the meta, the Excelsior chose to play other teammates, like Yeon-kwan “Nenne” Jeong and team captain Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park. Fans were dying to see the skilled Pine play, but he never got the chance to. He didn’t fit the team’s defensive playing style, and that was more obvious in their second season. Still, after riding the bench for so long, people hoped that he would play in season three. Especially with the team’s recent changes, it seemed he had the opportunity to crack their roster once again.
With this announcement, Pine will not play on the Excelsior roster for 2020. This is a big shame, as everyone knows that he has the talent for the Overwatch League. This announcement didn’t come without its own controversy, either. Many fans immediately reacted with spite towards the team. They thought that Excelsior effectively made him lose interest in playing competitively, forcing him to watch from the sidelines despite his abilities. While we will never truly know why Pine made this choice, the fact he is staying with the organization means he still wants to be part of it all. Especially if the team reforms themselves and wins the next season, he will be there to support his friends, as he has been all along.
With Pine leaving, this lowers the team’s DPS pool a little, but it also lowers the risk of players getting mad over playing time. Plus, with the current players on the roster, Pine did overlap with other players, specifically Saebyeolbe. There was a chance that he would’ve been benched once again in this upcoming season, something he clearly didn’t want. In the end, the move to streaming for the same team makes sense. It was the same move previous players made, such as popular streamer Daniel “dafran” Francesca.
While for different reasons, this must be a move Pine put more thought into than all of us. With his previous issues of mental health and depression, it might truly be the best move for him. While it’s sad to see such a legend retire in the league, this moves a spot over for another player to fill in the shoes of the ‘Big Boss’.