Recently, ten teams traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to compete in The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet took place in the historic Giga Arena, and OGN produced the tournament. A major throwback to the APEX days, fans watched as new talent took the stage where most of today’s Overwatch League legends once stood.
This tournament was important for many reasons. Not only did it prove which region was the best, but it also provided a chance for eligible players to show the world what they’ve got. Invitations were extended to every Overwatch League team to send representatives to scout for players to potentially add to their 2020 rosters.
Contenders players are often quite young. Some, like Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong, will not be eligible to play in the Overwatch League until 2022. In this article, two of TGH’s Contenders experts – Kate Shepard and Sam O’Dwyer – take a look at and discuss standouts from Gauntlet that will be eligible for the 2020 season.
Sam’s Pick: SP9RK1E
This next player is as much of a sure bet as one could make on a player for the 2020 OWL season. Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim was an absolute terror on Doomfist and Pharah throughout the Gauntlet. At moments, he was able to carry his team through important team fights single-handedly.
Although very young, this Korean prodigy is no stranger to the big time. He made his debut in late 2017 and proceeded to win the first three tournaments he participated in. After just one season in the higher competition, his team, Element Mystic, had become a serious contender. SP9RK1E has placed no lower than second in his first three seasons of Korean Contenders. Of course, similarly to Alpha, he has now been apart of a historic run of form in 2019. Winning a Contenders season, the Pacific Showdown, and The Gauntlet.
SP9RK1E seems to be very hard on himself, as his concerned teammates have previously pointed out. He must be extremely driven to make a name for himself as a veteran player in the scene despite being so young. He is in the same vein as a player like Jeong “Erster” Joon. They are both explosive on their comfort picks, but hard-working enough to be flexed onto other heroes. The Seoul Dynasty would be a great team for him to land on. He would blossom beside the current DPS duo of Dong-eon “FITS” Kim and Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim, who are known to be more reliable and versatile players rather than dynamic and impactful like SP9RK1E.
Kate’s Pick: Doha
Without a doubt, Element Mystic has the best DPS duo in the entirety of Contenders. While SP9RK1E would be an excellent pick for any team, one would be remiss to forget about his partner in crime, Dong-ha “Doha” Kim. Doha is an extremely flexible, and deadly, DPS player who is excellent at reading situations and adapting accordingly to ensure a victory for his team.
One team that could use Doha’s skill set would be the Los Angeles Gladiators. Currently, the entire team is either a free agent or under team option. Now that João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles has gone to Houston. Hydration is one of the most flexible players in the league. Not only is he an incredible DPS player, but he’s also able to swap onto the role of tank or healer should the team need him to. Losing Hydration is a tremendous loss for the team, and the Gladiators will need someone who would be able to fill Hydration’s shoes. The Gladiators are known for their wacky and riskier team compositions. Doha would be able to provide that much-needed flexibility for the team to continue doing what they do best.
Another potential landing spot could be with the Seoul Dynasty. With geolocation starting next season and a lot of traveling on the horizon, more Korean players might be looking to play closer to home. If this is a priority for Doha, Seoul Dynasty has become a fairly consistent, but stagnant team. They’re neither incredible nor terrible; they usually coast just above the middle of the pack. Doha’s aggressive playstyle and vast hero pool could add some much-needed spice to the roster for next season.
Water – Out of everyone on Gladiators Legion, Min-sung “Water” Lee made the best impression. An incredible DPS player, Water could easily find a home on several teams. However, his best bet would be with the main Gladiators roster considering his familiarity with the organization.
Glister – Gil-seong “Glister” Lim may not have had the most impressive of tournaments but remains as one of the highest potential players in Korea. Given the proper coaching, he will thrive on almost any team.
It is nigh impossible to condense the talent of each region’s Contenders scene into one scouting list such as this. It should be fully expected that we will see more players from the tier two scene join OWL in 2020 than just the ones listed here. After the performances at Gauntlet, one can expect many more players to be signed.
Keep an eye out for part two of this list in which Sam and Kate discuss their support picks!
Follow The Game Haus for the latest on all things sports and esports:
Twitter: TGH Esports
Facebook: The Game Haus Esports
Want to show off how much you like TGH? Check out our merch shop here!