Los Angeles Gladiators picks up Finnish support player Ripa after pulling a fast one on fans

The announcement comes after the organization pulled off a bait-and-switch.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

This afternoon, the Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Gladiators posted a farewell to its Finnish support duo of Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara—the pair is arguably one of the best support lines in the Overwatch League, and the announcement shocked the community. Nearly a half hour later, the organization doubled back on the farewell to announce that it’s no longer has a duo… because it’s got a trio of Finnish supports now.

Los Angeles Gladiators has added Finnish player Riku “Ripa” Toivanen to its Overwatch League team. The player established himself as part of Team Gigantti, which finished second in season one and third-fourth in season two. Both Shaz and BigGoose are also Gigantti alum. Following the bait-and-switch, the Gladiators Twitter account tweeted a message to fans: “You guys thought we wouldn’t top The Great Bamboozle?,” referring to a unique strategy the team pulled off on King’s Row against London Spitfire in July.

Related: Los Angeles Gladiators, the OWL, and an innovative King’s Row strategy

The reaction is mixed. Some, like Overwatch League caster Mitch Leslie praised the team for its “strong jebait.” Others are still getting over the shock of the initial announcement: “I feel like everyone deserves something because of that, like a hug,” one fan tweeted. Another agreed, writing that she deserves reparations for the “damage done to her heart.” The Gladiators are easing fans into the bait-and-switch, however, by handing out free Overwatch League skin codes to the particularly heartbroken.

“Ripa will provide us with more depth at the support position, which previously only had Shaz and BigGoose,” coach David Pei said in a statement. “His time on Gigantti in EU Contenders showed that he was really mechanically gifted and that he can really shine at the top-level of play.”

The Gladiators had a strong showing at the end of the Overwatch League’s first season, earning a spot in fourth place overall. The organization has also picked up two other players, main tank Gye “rOar” Chang-hoon and Jang “Decay” Gui-un.

The Overwatch League returns on Feb. 14 for its second season, welcoming eight new expansion teams to the league.

About the author

Nicole Carpenter

Nicole Carpenter is a reporter for Dot Esports. She lives in Massachusetts with her cat, Puppy, and dog, Major. She's a Zenyatta main who'd rather be playing D.Va.