As was foretold (by himself), Brandon "Seagull" Larned is back. But the DPS dynamo didn't return to partially Shaq-owned team NRG Esports. In a move that surprised many, he's jumped ship to Team EnvyUs.
Earlier this year, Seagull stepped away from the highest levels of pro Overwatch play to dedicate himself to streaming. At the time, he said leading a double life — pro player by day, streamer whenever he could fit it in — had worn his attention span down to a dull nub, and Overwatch's competitive scene was in limbo due to a lack of clarity surrounding Blizzard's Overwatch League. Seagull returns to a very different competitive landscape, with many organisations having dropped their Overwatch teams entirely while a precious few have forked over upwards of $US20 ($25) million for spots in the Overwatch League. Seagull decided to make some changes, too.
While streaming on Twitch (via Dot Esports), Seagull explained that he entertained "a pretty huge variety" of offers from Overwatch League teams. "It was probably one of the hardest decisions of my lifetime," Seagull said. While he couldn't go into a lot of specifics due to the private nature of many conversations, he said he decided to go with EnvyUs because of the "cultural fit, current roster, and how good the org was".
That last part is a bit of an understatement. EnvyUs has been crushing the competition in Blizzard's official Overwatch minor league, Contenders, and is fixing to ride that momentum into the inaugural season of Overwatch League as the team representing Dallas, Texas. They're considered one of the best teams in the world and are likely the best North American team at the moment.
Seagull, known for his astounding Genji and Pharah plays, won't be taking over for anybody else on Envy's already enviable squad. Instead, the team's owner says that they "will be rotating players in and out based on our strategy all the way down to a per map basis".
Unfortunately, there's still no word on when Seagull will make his cooking show debut.