The LA Gladiators will not field Baek ‘Fissure’ Chan-hyung as a starter for their first series in the Overwatch League playoffs.
The team is set to play the first best-of-five of their quarterfinal match against the London Spitfire, but their usual starting main tank will not be in the starting line-up.
The Gladiators will apparently make a statement at some point explaining Fissure’s absence. He will presumably be replaced in the starting roster by Luis ‘iRemiix’ Garlaza Figuera, who was the team’s starting main tank prior to Fissure’s addition after Stage 1.
Overwatch League commentators were stunned by the Gladiators’ decision:
Fissure must have literally killed someone to get benched for the Gladiators in playoffs.
Gladiators hamstringing their own playoffs hopes and simultaneously tanking Fissure’s trade value.
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) July 11, 2018
Having started the season with the Spitfire themselves, Fissure was traded to the LA Gladiators ahead of Stage 2, and has been credited as a major part of their success since. The impact Fissure has had on the Gladiator’s has placed him in the conversation for the regular season MVP award.
With Fissure in the line-up, the Gladiators have a 3-0 record against London Spitfire over the regular season. They will need to win two more best-of-five matches to secure a spot in the semi-finals, the first of which they will be starting without who many would consider their most valuable player.