Former Atlanta Reign Overwatch League player Ilya “NLaaeR” Koppalov has officially retired. The DPS player puts some of this decision on his former coaches at Atlanta. Citing communication problems and general disagreements, NLaaeR will no longer participate in the Overwatch League. Of course, some things could change in the future but for now, his retirement is final.
Reign organization played a big part in NLaeeR’s decision
Earlier this month, the Reign and NLaeeR parted ways for a flurry of reasons. The major reason was that NLaeeR didn’t feel motivated anymore due to a disagreement in philosophy with his head coach, Brad “Sephy” Rajani.
Among other reasons, NLaaeR also had some issues with his contract. Sephy originally told NLaaeR the team would renew his contract, but once that was said, NLaaeR heard nothing from the organization.
The Reign informed the DPS player of their intention to release him on November 6. This gave NLaeeR no time to find another OWL team before the end of the tryout period. Head coach Sephy had this to say about the matter:
“It was 100% our intention to resign Nlaaer until we were able to secure [DPS Hugo “SharP” Sahlberg] at the very last minute.”
While NLaaeR did get some tryouts with other teams courtesy of the Reign, it didn’t amount to anything. NLaaeR was in Russia when the tryouts took place so his ping was much higher than usual, leading to some frustrations.
After failing to land on an OWL team, his mind was made up about retiring. He didn’t want to play on an Academy or Contenders team at this point in his career. NLaaeR has said he will take a vacation to think things over.
The Reign complete their offseason transactions
As for the Atlanta Reign, they maintained most of their season 2 roster. The team only released NLaaeR, Seo “Daco” Dong-hyeong, and Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway. To fill these spots, Atlanta signed DPS players SharP, in replacement for NLaaeR, and Kim “Edison” Tae-hoon. Also, they promoted tanks Blake “Gator” Scott and Xander “Hawk” Domecq from the ATL Academy team.
Losing some of their starting roster will hurt a little, but the hope is the tanks of Gator and Hawk will be enough to pull through it. Time will tell if the ATL Academy helped the duo in preparing for the Overwatch League.
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