- Poko steps down from the professional scene
- He was one of the OG Overwatch league players
- He made his name with his signature Poko Bombs by maining D. Va
With five successful seasons behind his back, veteran tank Gael “Poko” Gouzerch announced he is retiring from professional Overwatch.
The Overwatch franchise has been through a lot of changes recently with the updated second version of the game. The game has had a resurgence in popularity since OW2 was released, with the devs promising many more changes to come in future seasons. But as the new tank Ramattra is coming in Season 2 of the game, a veteran tank main is stepping down from the professional scene.
After six years of playing in the Overwatch League, Gael “Poko” Gouzerch announced he is retiring from competitive Overwatch. “Thank you everybody that I’ve met during this long journey, teammates, coaches, staff, fans,” wrote the player alongside the announcement video he put up on Twitter.
Poko’s retirement marks the end of a career that spans back to the beginning of the competitive Overwatch scene. The 26-year-old player was one of the OG players, which contributed to his popularity and general presence within the Overwatch community.
Playing the majority of the time for Philadelphia Fusion, Poko always showed his sharp skills, helping his team finish at the top spots at many tournaments. Perhaps his proudest achievement was when he helped France’s national team win first place at the Overwatch World Cup 2018 – Paris Qualifier.
The player became popular for his unique plays when maining D.Va. As Overwatch fans know, the hero has the ability to self-destruct her mech, causing massive damage all around, and Poko made good use of this. He excelled during the 6-vs.-6 era, performing many self-destruct multikills, with this becoming his signature move, which the OW community dubbed Poko Bombs.
Unfortunately, the tides would start turning around in 2020, when the Overwatch pro scene was generally starting to look a bit dull. Fusion picked up another elite off-tank player Kim “Fury” Junho, calling into question how Poko would fit into the team.
But this concern was eventually pointless, as the team not only kept Poko but relied on his veteran status and experience to lead his fellow teammates. His long list of achievements equipped the player with the tools and skills to guide the newer players. Because of this, and many other of his virtues, Poko remained one of the most beloved and popular players throughout his five years of competition.
However, his long career was not enough to lead his team during 2021 and 2022, as Philadelphia Fusion did not manage to go past the playoff stage of the Overwatch league. Perhaps this was the signal for the player that it was time to retire.