Los Angeles Valiant removes coaches Stoop and Reprize

Even Overwatch League teams aren’t immune to the economic crisis surrounding the coronavirus. Los Angeles Valiant coaches Faraaz “Stoop” Waris and Justin “Reprize” Hand announced that they’d been let go from the organization today. Both coaches said that the release wasn’t related to performance but rather the economic impact of the coronavirus. 

Stoop was an assistant head coach for the Los Angeles Valiant. He was a former professional player on historic teams like Team Envy and Fnatic before joining the Valiant as a coach in 2018.

Reprize was a former coach for the Florida Mayhem’s now-defunct Contenders North America team, Mayhem Academy. He went on to become the owner of Revival, which remains a part of the Contenders circuit. Reprize joined the Los Angeles Valiant in 2019. 

Both coaches revealed their releases on Twitter. Stoop said that he and Reprize had been let go due to “current economic struggles.” Reprize echoed this sentiment, saying that the release “isn’t performance related.”

Los Angeles Valiant head coach Mike “Packing10” Szklanny said that the coaches weren’t fired for performance reasons and that the coronavirus affected the team “more than I could have ever imagined.”    

The Los Angeles Valiant is the first team to publicly reveal economic struggles due to the coronavirus’ effect on the Overwatch League. All homestand events were canceled through May 1, which eliminated a planned Valiant homestand on April 18 and 19. While matches will still be played online, the loss of homestand events is also a loss of massive amounts of income for Overwatch League teams.

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