After a rebuilding process in the 2019 offseason, the Los Angeles Valiant looks to do the same for their Overwatch League run in 2021. The team announced that they would not continue signing three players. For Valiant fans, be sure to grab some water and tissues.
The players who will need to find their new homes in the upcoming season are main tank Rick “GiG” Salazar, DPS Damon “Apply” Conti, and off-tank Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey. The well-known charismatic trio joins the free agent pool that includes Danteh, LiNkzr, and Dogman. “Thank you to @Apply, @GiG_OW, and @McGravy for being an incredible part of our team this year. Everyone at Valiant is wishing you the best of luck and more,” the Valiant wrote.
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) October 17, 2020
Apply joined the team in October 2019, while GiG was one of January’s late additions of this year. The two were signed after the management decided to go the almost all-rookie roster and build it from the ground up. The 22-year old GiG played for the Contenders team XL2 Academy being picked up for the Tier 1 competition.
Apply, on the other hand, has found success playing for numerous Tier 2 teams such as Kungarna and Mayhem Academy. Alongside McGravy, He was signed to the Mayhem’s main team in 2018 but was dropped in less than a year when the team wanted to build an all-Korean lineup. The 20-year old DPS went back to Contenders and played for names such as Revival and Third Impact.
For most Valiant fans, the management’s move to release McGravy will come as a shocker. He has been a fan-favorite on and off the OWL stage. With his personality and positivity during interviews and streams, he has attracted a ton of attention and followers. The Valiant has also utilized McGravy in numerous YouTube videos.
On stage, the pro did not perform terribly either. He has played almost his entire stay with the team as he is the only off-tank pro in the lineup. The 23-year old is also the recipient of the 2020 Dennis Hawelka award, a recognition for positivity in difficult situation and commitment to charity works.
Though the management did not explain this move’s reason, this will shock their fans and perhaps stir some controversy. While Apply and GiG saw very little playing time, McGravy has been a crucial part of the Valiant’s younger players’ success. The team finished 8th in the regular season before bowing to Mayhem in the playoffs, 3-2.