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 the final installment of the Gauntlet Scout Report, two of TGH’s Contenders experts – Kate Shepard and Sam O’Dwyer – take a look at and discuss standout tanks from Gauntlet that will be eligible for the 2020 season.
Kate Pick: Gogora
Most eyes were on Talon Esports’ Patiphan throughout the Gauntlet, but Ji-Yoon “Gogora” Lee had an impressive tournament run. DPS players tend to get the most attention during games. However, if one were paying attention to the kill feed, more often than not, Gogora would be the one getting the final blows. Gogora shined while playing Sigma. His ability to set up fights for his teammates got Talon a lot further than most fans were expecting.
A major landing spot for Gogora would be with the Shanghai Dragons. The Shanghai Dragons’ flex tank situation is complicated. Although they have Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim on the team, the Dragons refuse to play her. After acquiring Kang-jae “envy” Lee from the Toronto Defiant midway through the season, the Dragons did not utilize him for quite some time. They much preferred to have Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh as the solo tank for their triple DPS compositions. The Dragons won stage three with this strategy, but the implementation of role lock severely limited them.
Sam Pick: Alpha
Rounding out the tank line of the tournament is a name that any Overwatch esports old-timer will remember from his time on Meta Athena, Jaehyeon “Alpha” Sin. Alpha showed true class during the Gauntlet. Between playing for the historic Meta Athena and playing for the newly crowned Gauntlet champions, Element Mystic; Alpha also led teams like Bon’s Spirit Gaming to success in the Open Division and RunAway to a top-three spot in season one of Contenders in 2018. In 2019, Alpha has nabbed a Contenders title, was crowned champion of the Pacific Showdown and now the Gauntlet.
The evolution of the meta, especially for the main tank player, has been quite turbulent this year. However, this only highlights the adaptability of a player like Alpha. He has found success on Orisa, Reinhardt and dive tanks. Also at the age of 21, he may bring a level of maturity to a team that an 18-year-old may not. He would easily slot onto a team like Seoul, however, it may be worthwhile for a mixed roster to see how well a mature and experienced player could lead a young team à la Yeong-jin “Gamsu” Noh and the Shanghai Dragons. For this reason, it could be a team like the Philadelphia Fusion that would want to pick him up. They struggled behind their main tank last season Su-min “SADO” Kim because of his inability to play every main tank to a sufficiently high standard and should be looking for a more versatile frontman. At the very least, with the departure of Joona “Fragi” Laine from the team recently, the Fusion will want either some solid competition for SADO or a competent back-up.
Henningsen – Although HSL Esports did not perform well at Gauntlet, Anders “Henningsen” has proven to be a great main tank. Two possible landing spots for Henningsen could be with the Los Angeles Valiant or the Paris Eternal, as both teams look to strengthen their rosters for next season.
Hanbin – There isn’t a single player on Element Mystic that should be without an Overwatch League tryout and Choi “Hanbin” Han-bin is no exception. Hanbin was exceptional on Sigma all tournament long and will make a great off-tank player for a team like the New York Excelsior, who have recently parted ways with long-time flex player Tae-hong “MekO” Kim.
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