Kruise leaves Part Eternals to join Toronto Defiant
Overwatch League support Harrison “Kruise” Pond has parted ways with Paris Eternals and joined Toronto Defiant OWL roster, the team announced today.
"Please join us in welcoming Kruise to the team as main support, coming over from Paris Eternal," read the announcement on Toronto Defiant's official Twitter page.
"Very excited to start a new chapter and I couldn't ask for a better team to do it with, everyone is really friendly and I can't wait to start playing alongside them. Thanks for all the love and support it means a lot," said Kruise on Twitter.
The 23-year-old British support begun his career as an Overwatch pro in October 2015, when he joined a European team WatchOutGaming, which got acquired by Arcane eSports in February 2016. The newly-formed Overwatch squad, however, did not last for long and disbanded its roster in March 2016. Kruise later played for REUINTED, which was an Overwatch team formed by ex-Fnatic roster members.
During his 10-month stay at REUNITED, Kruise saw immense success in the Overwatch competitive scene, winning several minor tournaments, as well as placing second at The Battle 2016, 2016 ESL Overwatch Atlantic Showdown - Gamescom, Lenovo Cup and GosuGamers Overwatch Weekly EU #18. Kruise's potential and skill did not go unnoticed, however, and in February 2017, the Brit got picked up by eUnited, who he helped place second at Overwatch TaKeOver 2 and secure gold at Overwatch Contenders 2017 Season Zero: Europe.
Despite the team's success, eUnited decided to disband its Overwatch roster in October 2017, leaving Kruise without a team once more. In November, the same year, Kruise made another appearance for his national team at the Overwatch 2017 World Cup, where the British team reached quarter-finals.
Shortly after his World Cup appearance, Kruise joined Orgless and Hungry, where he remained up until March 2018, when the British support got signed by Toronto Defiant's Academy team - Toronto Esports. With his new team, Kruise finished second at Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 1: North America and top-eight at Overwatch Contenders 2018 Season 2: North America. Although both solid achievements, his best results of 2018 came with his national team, with whom he finished second at Overwatch World Cup 2018 - Paris Qualifier and later secured a fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Cup after UK narrowly losing to Canada (2.3) in the third-place match.
Since joining Paris Eternal in October 2018, Kruise failed to see much success in the Overwatch League. The French squad struggled to leave much of an impact in OWL 2019, where they finished the regular season at 14th place with a humiliating 11-17 record. Nonetheless, Kruise's contribution to the team and his talent did not go undetected by Toronto Defiant, who decided to pick up the talented Brit to join their roster for the ongoing season.
Kruise is, however, not the first support to leave Paris Eternal this month. At the start of April, Eternal already said goodbye to Flex support Damien “HyP” Souville, who retired from the Overwatch scene, citing "well-being and health" as the reasons for his decision. Similarly, Jung “Xzi” Ki-hyo, ex-Eternal DPS decided to return to Korea on April 12, where he is to receive medical treatment for severe neck pain, however, it was said that Xzi will rejoin the team at a later date.
Kruise will join Toronto Defiant as their main support and will serve as a replacement for Kristian "Kellex" Keller who announced his retirement from Overwatch competitive play on Friday.
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.