Brandon "Seagull" Larned of the Dallas Fuel announced today that he's leaving the Overwatch League, effective immediately, to return to streaming on a full-time basis.
Larned's statement on Twitter is terse, to say the least:
I am no longer a professional OW player.Returning to full-time streaming starting today.August 7, 2018
The team was more verbose in its own statement, describing Larned as "a fan favorite with one of the largest followings and most decorated resumes in competitive gaming."
"The versatility, at a high level of skill, that Seagull brought to the Dallas Fuel this season is a model that all up-and-coming Overwatch players can learn from," Fuel head coach Aaro "Aero" Atkins said. "His aptitude for the game is one of the best ever seen in Overwatch and he was a key leader both in and out of game for the Fuel. I wish him the best in his future endeavors."
"Seagull joined us at a time when Team Envy had the most dominant roster in North America in Overwatch and helped contribute throughout the ups and the downs of our first Overwatch League season as the Dallas Fuel. We support Brandon in his decision and he leaves us on good terms," Mike Rufail, the owner and CEO of Fuel parent organization Team Envy, added. "We’ll always be pleased that he chose to make his final act in professional Overwatch with the Dallas Fuel."
The Fuel spent much of the Overwatch League's first season "in the toilet," as we delicately put it in June, but then turned things around in stage four, going on a 4-2 tear that included a defeat of the OWL's season one champion London Spitfire. Larned was credited for dramatically improving his D.Va performance, which enabled Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod—one of the top D.Va players in the world—to shift his focus to Brigitte.
But the team also struggled with difficulties off the field: Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang went on hiatus during the fourth stage, saying he needed to get away from the stress and pressure of playing in the league, and coach Kyle "KyKy" Souder left the team shortly before the stage began, opting to join with the Houston Outlaws.