Los Angeles Valiant, Immortals Overwatch League franchise, announced they were letting go of Faraaz "Stoop" Waris and Justin "reprize" Hand, two of the assistant coaches working under Michael "Packing10" Szklanny's supervision, citing economic struggles as the reason, just two days before the return of OWL.
My actual best friend in the Overwatch scene. @Stoop_OW helped me so much last year with the turnaround and trusting and believing in me. It was such an amazing experience to be able to work with him everyday and I can't wait to meet up with him and @reprizeOW in the future. https://t.co/lThbhmbT6y— Michael Szklanny Sr. (@Packing_10) March 26, 2020
Immortals were rumoured to be under intense economic pressure at the beginning of the season, with reputable sources claiming they were looking to build a roster on the cheap side of things which led to the trades of big names such as USA World Cup Champion Indy "SPACE" Halpern - signed by rivals, Los Angeles Gladiators - Brady "Agilities" Girardi, Young-seo "Kariv" Park - both signed by Toronto Defiant - and the retirement of Scott "Custa" Kennedy.
The team itself addressed the situation last October.
The reasons cited for the recession in the investment on the OWL franchise was Immortals acquisition of Infinite Esports & Entertainment, the parent company of OpTic Gaming, in what was revealed as the largest ownership transaction in the history of esports by both parties.
Assets included teams in the League of Legends Championship series (LCS), the newly formed Call of Duty League (CDL), and another OWL team, the Houston Outlaws, that was eventually sold to the Beasley Broadcast Group.
It'll be interesting to see how the Valiant performances are impacted by two sudden departures.
The LA team are set to return to action after when they face up against Seoul Dynasty and San Francisco Shock in Week 8 of OWL.
They are not the only esport organisation that has been facing the squeeze, last week Team Reciprocity dropped their Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League teams, and much of their back team staff blaming a "crash in the global capital markets".