Esports Overwatch

Overwatch League: Off-Season Moves and What They Mean

Even during the off-season, Overwatch League news flows steadily in. Expansion team announcements have captivated fans, but players on season one’s teams have made plenty of their own moves. Here, we’ll explore a sample of OWL players who will appear on new teams in 2019, and what their moves mean for both their new homes and the teams they left behind.

Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek (Los Angeles Gladiators to Seoul Dynasty)
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Gladiators announced Fissure’s departure shortly after benching him during the team’s playoffs run. Fissure appears enthusiastic about the move, routinely taking to Twitter to hype up his new team and the season to come.

With their significant roster overhaul, Seoul has given him plenty to be excited about. After a distinctly average showing in season one, the Dynasty clearly wants to impress in 2019, and Fissure will likely help them do it. The Gladiators, for their part, picked up Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye to fill the main tank role left behind. rOar’s gameplay has impressed in both APEX and Contenders, but he definitely has huge shoes to fill for his Overwatch League debut.

Won-sik “Closer” Jung (London Spitfire to Dallas Fuel)
Photo: Overwatch League on YouTube

Picking up a member of the league’s first championship squad can’t hurt. Closer’s addition to the Fuel roster creates a solid support trio, allowing for more flexibility in play time and hero choice. On the flip side, the Spitfire now find themselves down to two support specialists. Despite the skill of Seung-Tae “Bdosin” Choi and Jong-Seok “NUS” Kim, London’s squad lacks the flexibility that Dallas gains by picking up Closer. It remains to be seen whether London signs another support player before the season begins. In the meantime, Dallas benefits from extra room to experiment with their roster.

Dante “Danteh” Cruz (San Francisco Shock to Houston Outlaws)
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Houston can only benefit from a deeper DPS hero pool, and adding Danteh to the roster provides just that. The former Shock player’s skill on Tracer and Sombra add diversity to the Outlaws’ Hero specialties, and his flex abilities make his new team far better suited to handle mid-season meta changes. It’s difficult to tell exactly what Danteh’s departure means for the Shock – the team maintains a lot of its DPS talent, but loses some of its Hero flexibility. Picking up Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim helps make up for some of the lost talent on San Francisco’s side, but Danteh’s move will definitely change dynamics for both teams involved.

Terence “SoOn” Tarlier (Los Angeles Valiant to Paris Eternal)
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

SoOn joins a star-studded Paris roster, but the former Valiant player still stands out among the other pick-ups. Widely regarded as one of the best Widowmaker players in the league, he joins the Eternal following solid performances both with the Valiant and in the Overwatch World Cup. SoOn also has the benefit of familiarity with many of his new teammates, as well as with head coach Julien “daemoN” Ducros. The DPS star stands a strong change of emerging as a leader for the new expansion team. The Valiant, meanwhile, find themselves missing a sniper specialist. Though the meta currently allows for a sniper-free team, the game will likely look very different by February, and it may fall to one of the remaining DPS players to take on the role that SoOn left behind.

Joon-hwa “Janus” Song (New York Excelsior to Washington)
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

We still don’t know much about Washington’s new team, but their only roster announcement so far quickly grabbed attention. Janus brings ample LAN experience and strong tank gameplay to the table, and both will prove invaluable in Washington’s debut. Former NYXL coach Hyeong-seok “WizardHyeong” Kim joins him as Washington’s head coach, and the pair’s familiarity will no doubt prove useful in their transition. Though the Excelsior still boast an excellent tank duo, the loss of both Janus and WizardHyeong marks a major change to their otherwise intact roster. As for Janus himself, his aggressive play style and experience on the OWL stage give him the chance to stand out as a leader for Washington even before they take the stage.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment. 

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