Happy 18th birthday, Jay Won, better known to Overwatch enthusiasts as Sinatraa. Today Sinatraa becomes the most recent player eligible to play for San Francisco Shock. With his debut imminent fans are gearing up to see how the youngest player in the Overwatch League handles that debut.
Bidding War Won By Shock
First, a little history lesson. NRG eSports bought the San Francisco franchise spot in the Overwatch League before The League was formed. NRG found themselves battling to secure the services of Sinatraa against Cloud9. Eventually Sinatraa signed on the dotted line for NRG for a starting salary three times higher than the Overwatch League’s base amount. Had that bidding war went the other way Sinatraa would be starting out in powder blue as a London Spitfire player instead. Much has been made of the youngster’s salary and he’ll hope to step in and justify the hype immediately.
The Cavalry’s Here
And Tracer is the character he hopes to do that with. However, Tracer is a character that a lot of players in this League are exceptional with. From a technical standpoint Sinatraa is incredibly capable of producing the goods, but the competition from other Tracer players is extremely stiff. Ji-Hyeok “Birdring” Kim and Jun-Young “Profit” Park from the Spitfire are two of the strongest Tracers in The League. Dallas Fuel’s Hyeon “Effect” Hwang is also phenomenal as Tracer. Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park might just be the best Tracer in the world hands down. Excluding previously-mentioned company, there’s another half-dozen players that belong on that list. Learning curves don’t get any steeper than that.
Yet despite the learning curve, there’s potential for other Tracer players to learn a trick or two from Sinatraa himself. One thing Sinatraa has going with his Tracer is his “Ultimate Utility”. Pulse Bombs are considered weak compared to other Heroes’ Ultimates, but a well-placed stick devastates opposing squads. This part of a Tracer skillset is something Sinatraa has perfected and it’ll help him hang with the best.
Be Rubber Not Glue
Sinatraa has a bigger problem than hanging with the best Tracers in the world though: His image. The Internet never forgets, never forgives and never just “lives and let’s live”. Various circles on the Internet perceive Sinatraa as “Toxic” and that’s a problem. The important thing to remember however is that Sinatraa is still very young. There’s plenty of time to become a role model and an ambassador for the game but he must ignore negativity. San Francisco will do all they can to shield their young star from criticism. He must reciprocate by shielding himself.
That means staying calm when being criticized. It means not saying or doing anything that’ll result in sanctions. Sinatraa has stated that he’s working on turning his image around publicly. Time will tell how that plays out but he must be on his best behavior. This is especially true considering The League’s zero-tolerance policy regarding unprofessional conduct. All eyes will be on Sinatraa from the first moment he sits in one of the hot seats as handling the pressure will be about more than playing a good Tracer.
Bringing It Forward
Sinatraa will be fully aware of this. However, he’ll block out all the noise made about his ability, his attitude and his wages to deliver at the top level. Sinatraa has already played in the Overwatch World Cup. That previous experience will serve him well when he steps out for the first time in Shock colors. Sinatraa was expected to debut at the beginning of Stage Three, however San Francisco want their investment paying off immediately. This means that Sinatraa’s debut match will be against Boston Uprising on March 21st, the first match he’s eligible to play. By bringing his debut forward San Francisco will show Sinatraa the team he signed up for has faith in him. It’ll also slake the thirst of any of Sinatraa’s stream fans and bring in a wave of new viewers curious to see his debut.
Super Not Far Behind Sinatraa
And let’s not forget that Matthew “Super” DeLisi will be eligible too in only a handful of days. Furthermore two more players have signed on for San Francisco Shock. Min-Ho “Architect” Park and Grant “Moth” Espe are now Shock players according to the Shock’s Twitter. This wave of new signings almost fills the Shock’s roster. Warming the bench starts to become a threat for San Francisco’s veterans. Architect will hope to displace Andrej “Babybay” Francisty and slot in beside Sinatraa’s Tracer. Support Player Moth will hope to push Daniel “DhaK” Martinez Paz out of his starter slot. Fans will have to wait and see how the new signings shuffle the Shock pack.
Featured image courtesy of: intotheam.com