Jack Etienne, the owner and founder of Cloud9, discussed future plans for the organization’s Overwatch League team, the London Spitfire, on The 9s podcast today.
Although he didn’t share any detailed plans, Etienne hinted that some “significant” changes are coming for the team.
“Between the health situation, moving, and more difficult opponents, it was a difficult 2020 season for London Spitfire,” Entienne said. “There were a lot of challenges. We are going to make a lot of changes. I am not ready to announce everything just yet, but there are going to be significant changes in this team for next year and I think people are going to get really excited about it… Expect huge changes for the Spitfire team.”
The Spitfire struggled throughout the 2020 season. They relocated their players and organization from New Jersey to South Korea in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Etienne revealed that some of the players and staff got sick earlier in 2020. They debuted very poorly in APAC and never seemed to build any momentum all season long.
They ended the regular season with a 6-15 record, which was the worst in the APAC division and 17th in the league. Last week, they were eliminated from the Overwatch League playoffs by the Chengdu Hunters in the first round. After such a disappointing season, it makes sense for the Spitfire to look at some serious organizational changes.
Ettienne also said in the interview that he believes the Overwatch League will remain online for the foreseeable future.
“I think we are going to see a lot of what we saw this year, it’s going to continue on next year, it’s going to be online play,” Etienne said. “The London Spitfire have some difficulty there, since we are one of two European teams. Both Paris and London are in Europe, so we would only have one scrim partner on an acceptable ping and all the games we play online will be at 80+ ping. Obviously they will find a way to equalize that ping between the teams. There will be some issues we need to figure out.”
Based on the Overwatch League 2021 roster rules, the Spitfire will have to wait until Oct. 12 to submit any trade offers and Oct. 24 before they can start signing free agents for their 2021 roster.