Welcome, Liquid Overwatch

April 09 2016
We have a big announcement today as we are officially making our way into Overwatch. After having been on the look out for some time now, we have found the roster that we want to work with. We have been exploring our options over the past couple of months because, as you know, we will always look at Blizzard games with a particular interest. In Overwatch we see a fresh and entertaining approach to shooters (at the very least among the major esports) that we feel will really take off with the right support.

During our search we eventually got in touch with dummy from The Life of Hanzo. Upon talking to him we immediately felt we had found a strong leader and a team with great potential. As with any team game, so much about advancing yourself into a winning position is about having the right attitude. This roster has an abundance of that, and they combine it with an incredible amount of talent. Those of you who have followed other scenes such as Quake, TF2, and Counter-Strike will recognize some of the names on the roster as a few of the best players to have played those games. Today they will join the ONOG Overwatch Invitational to test themselves against the best out there. Welcome to the family AZK, DaHaNG, dummy, Frisco, MESR and vee.

I do want to spend a few words on the addition of AZK as well, something I assure you we have not taken lightly. What he did in CS:GO is one of the worst offenses a professional gamer can ever commit. The punishment for this needs to be taken very seriously and I am glad Valve has paved the way as a publisher by stepping in with research and judgment to ensure a healthy environment for all aspiring gamers. For a while the esports industry had been wondering when the indefinite punishment was going to turn into a definite one. Earlier this year Valve came out with a clarification that it would be a permanent ban. On a personal level I feel that this may have been too much, and that just and right punishment is not done by permanently banning offenders for a first offense. It has put us in a spot with this team where we had to seriously think about our course of action. After speaking at length about the situation with AZK as well as dummy we are ready to move forward with this team. Eighteen months later and in a different game, we feel confident it is time for a second chance and new opportunity, and we are excited to see what AZK does with it.

- Victor "Liquid`Nazgul" Goossens

I'm sure it should come as no surprise that Team Liquid was my introduction into the world of esports. It all started with TSL 2, which was my first taste of StarCraft: BroodWar. I followed the game even into StarCraft II. The website functioned as a substantial resource for learning, and it also provided a community I found myself complete absorbed in. I lurked the forums, watched Day[9] dailies and State of the Game, and learned the history of StarCraft through Liquipedia.

Team Liquid nurtured my passion for esports and it feels very natural for me to transition into representing them as a player. I really appreciate the opportunity Liquid is giving me and my team, and I'm excited to compete in future Overwatch tournaments as part of the organization.

- Tim "dummy" Olson

As many of you know, I was involved in a matchfixing scandal in CS:GO. I know that no excuse can possibly justify my actions. I fully deserve the punishment that I received from Valve, and I have learned to accept the greater consequences of what I did. Words cannot express how much I regret those decisions, and it will take more than apologies to repair my reputation.

Even though I realize that I hurt the scene that I enjoyed so much, the only way I know to prove that I've changed is through competition. I know that many of you are skeptical about me participating in esports again, but I swear to do it right. I may not deserve your trust or even your forgiveness, but I plan to earn it in Overwatch. Very few people receive second chances like this, and I am aware of how lucky I am that an organization like Liquid believes in me. I take full responsibility for my past mistakes, and part of that is showing everyone that I have reformed and matured. I do not expect anyone to believe me right now, but hopefully I can change minds with hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude.

Going into Overwatch, the game has been a lot of fun so far, and it feels like I still have a lot to learn. I'm currently practicing every single day trying to reach the level that I was at in Counter-Strike. We have a great group of guys who have all been elite players in the games that they've played and I believe we have what it takes to become one of the best teams in the world.

Lastly, I would like to ask the fans to spare my teammates from unwarranted criticism. They have been kind enough to trust me as a teammate and as a friend, and they have nothing to do with my past. I am lucky enough to be on a team with a bunch of great people, and I hope that you can support them even if you cannot support me.

- Keven "AZK" Lariviere


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