Professional Overwatch players Jang “Luna” Gyeong-ho and Park “Who” Jae-hyeong seem to have been released from LuxuryWatch Blue and Red, respectively, on Tuesday, the day rosters for OGN APEX Season 4 were due.
Heo “Gambler” Jin-woo, a former player for LW Blue until his release last month, first mentioned the roster moves during a stream early Tuesday morning. Luna later posted on his Facebook to acknowledge he was released from LW Blue. Who has not yet made any sort of statement, and the organization has made no mention of any moves.
“I’m so mad that I’m about to burst into tears,” Luna wrote. “I hope everyone practices like crazy during scrims while keeping an eye on their stat lines, since you can be gone in a blink of an eye like this. Your future path can change depending on one scrim. Just as I’m trying to find my motivation back and try hard (for Season 4), I lost my job. I don’t know what I was trying to accomplish in the past year based on passion pay.”
In a follow-up Facebook post, Luna clarified that he was notified of his release Tuesday morning, right at the roster deadline for APEX Season 4.
“I don’t mind being kicked, since esports is the kind of industry where you get cut when you don’t perform well, and that’s just natural,” he continued. “But I don’t think it’s quite right that someone should be notified about getting cut on the day of.”
The term “passion pay” is the Korean equivalent of “paid with exposure” or “paid with experience,” such as an internship agreed by both the employee and the employer. Luna’s use of that term implies he didn’t receive financial compensation for his time with LW Blue.
The possible release of Who from LW Red is also complex, as he was part of the team that played for APEX Challengers. As the team was added to APEX for Season 4, Who represented the team at the group drawing ceremony but was suddenly released, it appears. Who and Luna likely won’t be able to play in APEX Season 4, as all of the rosters are finalized because of the deadline date, which only raises more questions about the timing of their departures.