Uprising Academy signs Rhyno, youngest player in pro Overwatch

The 13-year-old tank is here to make us all feel really, really old.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment
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Everyone in the Overwatch League must really feel like a boomer now. Overwatch Contenders team Uprising Academy, owned by the Boston Uprising, made history today by signing Michael “RhynO” Willoughby to their 2020 roster. The 13-year-old tank becomes the youngest person signed to a professional Overwatch roster. 

RhynO has been playing in Open Division tournaments and climbing the Overwatch competitive ladder for some time. Last weekend, he participated in the NCS Overwatch LAN tournament in Huntington Beach, California. He and his team, IDK Man, came in fourth at the tournament, hosted by Nerd Street Gamers. RhynO has often partnered up with Uprising Academy players, such as Walid “Mouffin” Bassal, while grinding Overwatch’s ranked mode.  

At 13, RhynO becomes the youngest player participating in a professional Overwatch competition. He shares the title of youngest player ever signed with Kamden “Sugarfree” Hijada, who was signed to ATL Academy when he was 13. That record was previously held by Haydin “ZerG” Gordon, who was 14 when he was signed to Fusion University. Sugarfree turned 15 on Dec. 16, so RhynO remains the youngest player in Overwatch Contenders at this time. 

Uprising Academy has had to scout new talent after many of its 2019 players were brought up to the Overwatch League. Mouffin remains on a two-way contract with the Boston Uprising, while former support Gabriel “Swimmer” Levy has moved up to the Boston starting roster. Former DPS Chris “MirroR” Trịnh was signed by the Los Angeles Gladiators earlier this offseason. 

The next season of Overwatch Contenders begins January 2020 with a double-elimination seeding tournament.