After time away in the competitive VALORANT scene, star rookie Lee “ANS” Seonchang is returning to the San Francisco Shock.
With the surprise retirement of Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo on June 23, the Shock revealed their replacement on the same day. After announcing his retirement and move to competitive VALORANT at the start of 2021, Ans is giving the Overwatch League another shot.
The return of the king 👑
Welcome back to the Shock fam, @ansansniper__
(pending league approval) pic.twitter.com/DGVDEO3HfZ
— San Francisco Shock (@SFShock) June 23, 2021
Ans’ short but successful past
Ans primarily played for the Korean Contenders team BlossoM, in which his results weren’t particularly great. His talent was undeniable, being a hitscan prodigy, but his team’s results weren’t all that positive. After a short break and competing in the Korean competitive scene again, he primarily stayed with ladder play. So, when the Shock picked him up in late 2019, it was unclear how he would be integrated into the Shock’s championship-winning roster.
Ans exploded on the scene, playing well on every hitscan hero needed. His play helped the Shock win three out of four tournaments and, eventually, the grand finals in 2020. Before the Shock won their second championship, Ans was considered amongst the best rookies.
He lost the rookie of the year award to Philadelphia Fusion support Kim “Alarm” Kyeong-Bo, but he won a championship, which later made his retirement all the more saddening. For his retirement from Overwatch, Ans had mentioned that his mental health was in a bad state and that he wanted a change of scenery. When he moved onto VALORANT, the Shock wished him the best.
The Shock’s future
Now, with Ans coming back and Striker having retired, the Shock roster is quite different. They lost one of their Widowmaker specialists but got their old one back. The team is close to being the top team in the league and this may just be the change they need. Fortunately, Ans has championship experience, and most of the team that played alongside him in 2020 still remains in 2021.
The only question that remains is whether Ans can play to the same level that he did in 2020. After switching games, there is a chance that he could need some time to get his skill level back to where it had been. Either way, this signing gives Shock fans hope after the surprise Striker retirement. Ultimately, an even bigger surprise followed that announcement as Ans returns to the San Francisco Shock to hunt another championship.