Fissure's retirement leaves hole in Seoul roster and Overwatch League

Seoul Dynasty main tank Baek "Fissure" Chan-hyung announced his retirement from the Overwatch League last week. The decision sent ripples throughout the league and pressed Hwang "Marve1" Min-seo into action as the full-time starter for Seoul. Photo by Robert Paul/Provided by Blizzard Entertainment

BURBANK, California -- There's much to be said in choosing an in-game battletag.

Like any name, certain associations and meanings can be drawn and traced. Baek "Fissure" Chan-hyung's choice suited him, from his time on KongDoo Panthera in OGN's APEX tournaments to his Overwatch League debut and now to his retirement from the game last Thursday.

Fissure was a charismatic and polarizing figure as a popular main tank in the Overwatch League, and his departure from not only the Seoul Dynasty but the league itself has had a similar effect, especially since it came relatively without warning.

The 20-year-old described himself as a facilitator back in August 2018, immediately after the announcement that he would be going to the Seoul Dynasty. It was a move he'd jockeyed for throughout the offseason after finishing the season as the league MVP runner-up with the Los Angeles Gladiators.

After starting the inaugural OWL season with the London Spitfire, Fissure led the Gladiators from a mid-tier team to season playoff contender. However, he wound up sitting out his team's first playoff match, a 2-1 loss to his former squad.

Seoul was supposed to be a fresh start for Fissure. Instead, it turned into the capping-off point of his career.

"As a main tank, I feel like I can describe myself as a supervisor," Fissure said when the signing was announced. "So for example, they're like different machines, and I'm the one to kind of control them."

On a Twitch stream following Seoul Dynasty's announcement of his June 26 departure on Twitter, Fissure cited burnout and motivation issues as his reasons for retiring. His retirement has re-energized an ongoing discussion of the length of the league seasons and inherent pressures to playing professional Overwatch.

The league's first offseason and second regular season has seen many high-profile retirement announcements like those of former Dallas Fuel DPS player Brandon "Seagull" Larned, to the more recent departures of former Dallas Fuel DPS player Hwang "EFFECT" Hyeong and former Atlanta Reign DPS player Daniel "dafran" Francesca.

On multiple rosters, Fissure was occasionally pocketed or given multiple resources by teammates to support a proactive playstyle that has been taken to greater heights by current players like Vancouver Titans main tank Park "Bumper" Sang-beom, who is the first point of attack in the Titans' formidable triple-triple compositions that dominated the league for nearly three stages this year. Most famously, after the APEX Season 3 finals, members of the victorious Lunatic-Hai cited Fissure as the most difficult player to deal with on KongDoo Panthera rather than the team's dominant DPS duo of Kim "Birdring" Ji-hyeok and Kim "Rascal" Dong-jun.

Former KongDoo Panthera teammate and flex player Kang "Void" Jun-woo, who joined the Gladiators this season, described Fissure as an aggressive player who could take team resources and transform them into opportunities.

"I think the thing that I'm going to remember him most for is his Winston play," Houston Outlaws main tank Austin "Muma" Wilmot said. "His Primals are -- I'm a huge [Gong "Miro" Jin-hyeok] fanboy, so I remember I used to watch Miro all the time and was a huge fan of his Primals. I hadn't really seen a Winston that was on the same level as that since him. Then Fissure came along, and I watched him Primal and was like, 'Wow.'"

The Seoul Dynasty have built a strong pedigree at the main tank position over the last two years, beginning with the team's original main tank from the former Lunatic-Hai roster, Miro. Nicknamed "The Godfather" of main tanks, Miro inspired a myriad of players with his Winston. When Fissure joined the Seoul Dynasty, he took up this mantle along with former Lucky Future Zenith main tank Hwang "Marve1" Min-seo.

As the Seoul Dynasty began to experiment with various roster permutations, Fissure started less and split time with Marve1.

Now, as the team's sole main tank, it's up to Marve1 to continue this legacy. Marve1 also credited Fissure for helping him with positioning and in-game adjustments between maps this season and said that he learned from Fissure's aggressive style of play.

"Seoul Dynasty has had really good main tanks before; not anymore," Marve1 said. "So I want to be like them, a good and famous main tank player."