When the fan-favorite Grant “Moth” Espe declared last month his desires to look at his other options for the 2021 season of the Overwatch League, the San Francisco Shock fans were freaking out. Today, these fans’ horror has come true as the main support announces his departure from the SF team. He is now signed with the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Moth has been with the Shock since the inaugural season of the OWL and has become a pillar for the team – a composure of the main healer and a veteran in clutch situations. In an announcement tweet, the NRG-owned team writes, “Sadly, today we announce that @moth_ow will not be joining us next season… Thank you for supporting us, and we will ALWAYS support you, Grant.”
— moth (@moth_ow) November 12, 2020
The back-to-back Overwatch League championship was unimaginable without the aid of Espe on San Francisco Shock. He is the only main support on the roster. Throughout the two highly competitive tournaments, Moth has provided the team with confidence in flexing to multiple metas. He has also played for Team USA during BlizzCons 2018 and 2019, where the latter made their historic championship to stop South Korea’s domination.
As an acknowledgment, the beloved Mercy main thanked the NRG staff for signing him when he was still relatively unknown to the Overwatch eSports. “Cannot thank you enough for giving me a chance and changing my life,” he emotionally writes. Before being a stalwart in the OWL, Espe has not played for household teams. He only started the scene in 2017 before briefly joining the Toronto Esports.
For the Los Angeles Gladiators, this acquisition can only propel them to higher ranks in the league. During this offseason, the team has been teasing their fans of a major roster revamp. This month, the Kroenke-owned team signed main tank Kim “MuZe” Young-hun and support player Jinseo “Shu” Kim. Notably, Shu and Moth briefly played together during their stint at Toronto Esports.
The trio will be joining the remaining Gladiators players Indy “SPACE” Halpern, Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok, Chris “MirroR” Trịnh, and Kevin “kevster” Persson. With this lineup, analysts are assuming that management is aiming for a mixed roster.
The Gladiators found themselves in the middle of the ranking of the 2020 Overwatch League season with an 11-10 win-loss record. With a 9th place regular-season finish, the team advanced to round 2 of the playoffs, defeating the Toronto Defiant, 3-0. They were sent to the losers bracket by the Philadelphia Fusion and bidding farewell to their run after losing to the Florida Mayhem.