The Overwatch League is nearly three quarters of the way done in its inaugural season and teams are bringing their best to qualify for the playoffs. Teams have not only refined their strategies but also their roster, so that they can get the most out of their large talent pool. Stage 3 was the pinnacle of this as many new faces were seen for the very first time. Teams have crafted new strategies around these players, taking advantage of their talent and catching teams off guard. Large rosters have helped some teams exceed and others struggle.
The Value of a Large Roster
Large rosters are a huge help to teams who understand how to balance play time. With teams having so much talent it is crucial that players understand why they are needed and what significance they have on the team. If there is no balance between talent and purpose, teams can have an identity crisis and create a negative environment, which is happening currently to the Dallas Fuel. On the flip side, teams who find that healthy balance have improved and succeeded more often. Two examples of this are the New York Excelsior and San Francisco Shock. The NYXL have found much success after subbing Pine in on maps where he is favored, leading them to many game five wins and reverse sweeps. Similarly, the Shock have been constantly improving after finding a good balance between their four DPS players: Architect, Babybay, Danteh and Sinatraa. Teams who can balance talent and purpose are more successful in the Overwatch League.
Unique Hero Pools
Not only does a large roster provide more talent, it also promotes more strategies due to the unique hero pools that players have. On almost every Overwatch League team there is a player who specializes one character. For the NYXL that player is Pine on Widowmaker, the San Francisco Shock have Danteh on Sombra, and for the Outlaws Jake on Junkrat. These players drastically impact how the game is played. They dictate how aggressive teams can be, how teams should approach eliminating these players, and how they are going to sequence their Ultimates in fights. Teams that have a “one-trick” player can bring a lot of value, if used in the right situations. The clip below is of Pine from the NYXL and showcases how he can impact a single fight.
Chef @tf2pine is cooking
— NY Excelsior (@NYExcelsior) April 21, 2018
Player Burnout and Injuries
Lastly, teams with larger rosters can help prevent player burnout and can overcome injury obstacles if anything were to happen. Even though Overwatch League players are professional athletes, they are also regular people too. They are subject to the ups and downs of a long season. They deal with physical and emotional issues just like anyone else. Large rosters can help teams compensate when a starting player may be going through something, is injured, or must leave for some family emergency. Ideally, team organizations should try their best to help players live a healthy balanced lifestyle so that they don’t get burned out; but bad situations do happen and teams need to be prepared when they do.
Like any professional league, there are many demands that must be met, by both the team and players. The Overwatch League has a long grueling season. It is only going to become more difficult in the future as teams look to push towards playoffs and the league expands, if they aren’t adequately prepared. Large rosters, when used in the right situations, help teams improve and succeed. Large rosters provide teams with a greater amount of talent, unique hero pools, and help compensate for player burnout as well as injuries. If teams can find the right balance between talent and purpose, they will succeed more often. To see how teams use their large rosters effectively and set themselves up for long term success, tune into the Overwatch League.
Featured Images Credit: NYXL
Videos Clips: NYXL