Season two may not be right around the corner, but roster completion is currently the name of the game. With the current runner up, Philadelphia Fusion missing their season one preseason matchups due to roster issues, it’s a pretty safe bet many teams will be looking to solidify any roster discrepancies prior to season two’s preseason matchups. With eight new teams set to debut come February, many squads will be preparing their potential lineups and subs according to the meta and league requirements within the next few months.
The 2018 World Cup provided insight for many teams on potential signings. In fact, multiple World Cup standouts have already been signed to contracts. For example, Team United Kingdom’s main tank Cameron “Fusions“ Bosworth helped rally his underdog squad towards a first round, quarterfinal victory over the heavily favored United States squad. He has since been signed to a two-way contract with the Boston Uprising, joining the likes of fellow main tank Young-jin “Gamsu“ Noh and recent contenders acquisition, Park “Axxiom“ Min-seob. Many teams have not been afraid to present their future athlete’s World Cup success as a bridge to their season two success.
After touching on the Philadelphia and Los Angeles squads in part one, it’s time to take a look at some more DPS favorites, sneaky sleepers and potential busts for season two’s onslaught.
Breakout: SoOn & ShaDowBurn (Eternal)
The season two western squad is not short on talent, having acquired season one standouts Terence “SoOn” Tarlier and George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha in the league’s first offseason. With impressive performances in World Cup qualifying rounds, both SoOn and ShaDowBurn put their talents on display hoping to attract their new homes for season two.
ShaDowBurn’s departure from Philadelphia seemed a bit rushed. The emergence of young Projectile DPS Josh “Eqo“ Corona put the Fusion coaching staff and management in the hot seat. The relationship between all star DPS Jae-hyeok “Carpe“ Lee and Eqo helped propel the young squad towards their first Grand Finals appearance. With ShaDowBurn’s role filled, the talented Russian began preparing to fill a starting role for any available roster in season two. With France set as his new destination, ShaDowBurn is primed to handle the projectile role for the new Eternal squad.
Popular French DPS SoOn parted ways with the Los Angeles Valiant in mid October. His departure created its own problems for the Valiant, but opened up countless doors for SoOn himself. With only one door seeming the logical choice for the French superstar, SoOn chose to return home to fight alongside his western brothers for season two of the Overwatch League. As a member of the Paris Eternal, SoOn will join ShaDowBurn as the team’s lead hitscan and Widowmaker specialist.
These two players represent the highest tier of western talent. Paris has a strong core of players at their disposal, with SoOn and ShaDowBurn at the forefront. With a balanced attack, Paris is setting up as a possible sleeper for season two. These two damage dealers are poised to break out in a big way.
Sleeper: Sinatraa & Co. [Architect, Babybay, Rascal]
Despite the first round elimination in this year’s World Cup, Jay “Sinatraa“ Won showed his versatile hero pool, and flexibility among all types of heroes within the first round quarterfinals at BlizzCon in 2018. His usage of Zarya, Hammond, Brigette, Doomfist, Soldier:76, Tracer and Genji throughout the quarterfinals vs the United Kingdom showed that Sinatraa is a force to be reckoned with heading into Season two of the Overwatch League. It may not have been enough for Team USA, but the Shock may be a different story.
The San Francisco Roster has plenty of promising athletes heading into season two. With Sinatraa heading into next season clearly searching for World Cup and season one redemption, one can only expect a player of his caliber to occasionally put it all on their own shoulders.
Sinatraa represents the highest tier of player in OWL. He is considered one of the most talented players in the league, let alone on his own roster. With season two only several months away, and roster-after-roster finalizing and critiquing lineups, San Francisco is in a tough situation. With a plethora of talent available at multiple positions, where does a universally successful player like Sinatraa fit in?
Thinking as a General Manager within the Overwatch League, a player like Sinatraa is precisely what a team should be building their foundation around. The available hero pool eliminates the desperate need for hyper-talented flex tank and flex support players. Sinatraa may be seen under his primary DPS role in season two; however, if the Shock take any pages out of Team USA’s playbook, Sinatraa very well could be seen working as the squad’s primary Zarya or Brigitte specialist.
With this flexibility a distinct possibility for the Shock, one can now look towards Projectile DPS Min-ho “Architect“ Park, Flex DPS Dong-jun “Rascal“ Kim and Hitscan DPS Andrej “Babybay“ Francisty as San Francisco’s primary damage dealers. Each maintains a distinct advantage over the other. Architect’s Genji should be elevated higher than the level of any of his teammates, while Babybay’s hitscan expertise almost ensures his utilization in season two. Rascal seems due for production as well. With the new meta favoring Sombra utilization, the flex DPS certainly possesses a certain dexterity his other teammates cannot recreate easily.
With a plethora of talent available to the Shock in the damage department, every role seems to be filled. Sinatraa’s usage in the World Cup proved teams are willing to swap and change compositions to fit the situation and meta requirements. As long as the coaching staff is prepared to work with a diverse talent group, San Francisco may be in for a wild second season.
Bust: Striker & Blasé (Uprising)
Following Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez’s release from the Boston Uprising, Boston went on an unprecedented 10 win undefeated stage three performance to silence their critics. With a huge part of the streak falling on new star DPS Nam-joo “Striker“ Kwon’s shoulders, the Uprising had to dig deep to achieve the success they had reached in stage three.
Striker’s success had been a huge part of the team’s success as a whole in stage three. Although Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov filled in valiantly for the departed flex DPS; on paper, the team seemed to underwhelm skeptics based on their previous stats. Those skeptics have long since been silenced following Striker and Boston’s dominant stage three run in season one.
With Mistakes on his way out as season two approaches, a door is opened for new DPS acquisition Jeffrey “Blasé” Tsang. Blasé joins the Uprising from the LA Gladiator’s contenders roster, Gladiators Legion. His projectile specialties should pair well with Striker’s hitscan focus heading into season two.
Mind you, with the meta currently in the state it’s in, Striker will be expected to fill a role dominated by Widowmaker. With much of the Atlantic Division’s top talent considered the best of the best in that role, Striker may have a hard time adjusting to the current meta; just as Boston did following their dominant stage three performance.
As a Tracer prodigy, Striker made a name for himself in the Uprising’s stage three run. His determination and quick reflexes helped propel the once deflated roster into a dominant position throughout stage three. With the introduction of Brigitte, Boston’s undefeated stage quickly deflated to a miserable 4-6 result in stage four. Brigette’s usage quickly shut down Striker’s preferred hero, Tracer. Their record had fallen short of the stage four playoffs, but not the season playoffs. Redemption was available, but still out of reach as Boston was defeated by the runner up Philadelphia Fusion in the season quarterfinals.
Many anticipated Dreamkazper’s suspension and departure to have much more immediate affects on the Uprising roster. It seemed as if nobody could have anticipated Boston’s undefeated explosion that arrived in stage three. With stage four’s meta an obvious counter to Boston’s stage three strategy, how can fans expect one player’s arrival to provide enough firepower to ignite a team’s return to stardom? Although Blasé’s talents and abilities are known throughout contenders, it is presumptuous to think the young projectile DPS could jump-start the struggling team heading into season two.
This task cannot be laid upon one individual, it must be attacked from all fronts. Both Striker and Blasé must build compatibility, while the remainder of the roster prepares for the onslaught of tanks awaiting the roster in season two. The main fix for Boston lies within the team composition itself, and not individual players. With a firm grasp of the meta, Boston should be able to find a way to reach success in season two. Until that happens, expect more of stage four for the Boston Uprising.
Featured Image Courtesy of Polygon
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