Saying the Overwatch community is currently going through one of it's most troubling periods, one which could spell the end of the game as we know it.
From OWL Season 2 MVP Jay "Sinatraa" Won retiring, to the implosion of the Vancouver titans and the discussion revolving around Colin "Higan" Arai's turbulent past, there was no shortage of controversies.
In amongst the troublesome headlines, a retirement announcement went rather overlooked, especially taking into account the quality of the player saying goodbye to Overwatch League, with Corey Nigra stating he is stepping away from the game.
Corey with former teammate, Stratus, during an Overwatch League match (Picture: Overwatch League)
Corey, like many Overwatch pros (especially DPS players), said that one of the big reasons he's stepping away from OWL is to pursue a career in Valorant, Riot's new tactical short that's taken the gaming community by storm.
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"When I was younger, I had the ambition to go pro in Counter-Strike. Seeing Valorant as a hybrid between CS and OW, this looks like the game that was made for me," the 20-year-old stated in a post shared via social media.
Soon after the announcement, Corey fired up his Twitch stream, and immediately showed his prowess in Valorant, with a spectacular Ace to cap off his first broadcast post-retirement.
Naturally, people outside the Overwatch community are unaware of Corey's talent and may be wondering whatâs his background after spending years honing his craft as a premier hitscan player in Blizzard's title. Here's a rundown of his career as a pro-player.
Who is Corey Nigra?
Corey Nigra, born on May 11th, was a former professional Overwatch player who specialized in hitscan heroes like Tracer, Soldier:76, Widowmaker, McCree, and Ashe.
He started playing at a high level in January 2017 for a team called Late Bloomers alongside current Los Angeles Gladiators flex tank and Team USA World Cup teammate, Indy "Space" Halpern, and Toronto Defiant's main tank, Adam "Beast" Denton.
In February of that year, Late Bloomers participated in Academy Gaming's Weekly #37 in a losing effort against doot doot (which included eventual Team USA World Cup winner Grant "Moth" Espe).
Corey's talent continued to impress and by Week #40 of Academy Gaming's tournaments, he joined Kangaroo Jacks and made it to the finals, facing off against the legendary squad of Selfless Gaming, that boasted talents like Daniel "Dafran" Francesca, Jeff "Emongg" Anderson, and of course, Sinatraa.
After losing in the finals of the COW Open Weekly: Season 1, Kangaroo Jacks and Nigra parted ways. With him landing on East Wind, they went on a tear by dominating most of the early Athena Cup Open League events and winning a Rivalcade Weekly.
While South Korea had OGN'S Apex as the most prestigious competition in Overwatch, North America was the land of the Alienware Monthly Melee series of tournaments.
East Wind qualified for the April monthly. In a who's who of Overwatch talent and squads, Corey and his teammates surprised by beating Selfless and NRG in the group stages, advancing to the winners' side of the bracket.
Although they didn't win that tournament, Evil Geniuses took notice of the potential talent of an unsigned team and picked them up just days after their performance.
Under the EG banner, however, results weren't the one fans expected. Sure, they continued to be a force to be reckoned with during Athena Open Cup League weeklies, but they failed to qualify for May's Melee monthly for instance.
Things got even worse when competitions like the May Rumble and Contenders Season Zero rolled around later in 2017 with a 9th finish in Contenders being their best outing. It all led to Corey and the org parting ways by July of that same year.
While he didn't secure an OWL spot right away, Kungarna was the core utilized in the formation of the Los Angeles Gladiators, with head coach David "Dpei" Pei, main tank Luis "iRemiix" Galarza, and flex tank Aaron "Bischu" Kim. During his spell as an emergency sub, he impressed the org and decided to pick him for the Gladiators Legion, the Academy team that would compete in a new Contenders season for 2018.
Playing two out of the three seasons of Contenders in 2018, Corey continued to improve his aim, slowly cementing himself as one of NA's most promising talents in Overwatch.
After almost two years of dedicating himself to the scene, Washington Justice revealed Corey as one of their DPS players in December 2018
The Widowmaker master didn't have the most stellar of performances in OWL Season 2. GOATs meta (which centres around playing three tanks and three supports) left little room for Corey's skills to shine. Being stuck in Zarya duty, the Justice proceeded to amass a woeful 2-19 record throughout the first three stages of play.
Things changed for Stage 4, with the new 2-2-2 rule in motion, Corey finally was able to silence those that claimed he was overhyped. Not only did Justice manage an almost perfect 6-1 record, but they also pummeled the Vancouver Titans, a team that by that point had only lost one regular-season match. Corey, naturally, was at the centre of that magnificent showcase, confirming that he wasn't only a hitscan specialist anymore, as he dominated the competition with a Hanzo performance for the ages.
It all came full circle for Corey at the Blizzcon stage. Together with long time teammates and rivals from his entire career, he managed to clinch the World title for USA stopping the three-year reign of South Korea.
After receiving the MVP award, Sinatraa stated what was on everyone's mind the day USA toppled China in the grand finals: "I think Corey should've gotten the MVP, personally."
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It's unsure if he'll be a star in Valorant as well but it's safe to say that out of any of the pro players adopting the tactical shooter as their new life, Corey is definitely the one with the most potential to make it to the top.