After a borderline disaster start to the season, things needed to change for the Washington Justice. This change came swiftly as the team which has been much maligned online for being “cheap” made two splashy moves to bolster their roster. The additions of Yeonjoon “ArK” Hong formerly of the New York Excelsior and Nikola “Sleepy” Andrews give Washington a potentially formidable support line.
ArK was a contributing member of the dominate NYXL team during the Inaugural season in 2018. While he was used sparingly his average healing per 10 minutes of 10,907.06 was good for 4th in the league. He balanced that out with an average death count of only 3.21 per 10 minutes ranking 3rd. With his hero set filling the same role as one of the league’s best in Tae-Sung “Anamo” Jung there was little chance for ArK to show his full potential in New York.
Since joining the team in March ArK has taken over main support duties for Riley “Fahzix” Taylor. Fahzix is a talented player but ArK’s familiarity with fellow former NYXL player Junhwa “Janus” Song presented too great of a possibility for Washington to pass up. The greatest boost ArK has provided the Justice with in his short time with the team is his average deaths per 10 minutes, being ranked 8th overall compared to Fahzix’s 23rd ranking.
Sleepy was an all-star for the San Franciso Shock during the inaugural season of the Overwatch League but lost his starting spot when they acquired Minki “Viol2t” Park. Viol2t has been impressive boasting a 11,209.78 average healing done line and ranking 28th in average damage while playing primarily Zenyatta. These numbers far out pace Sleepy’s 2018 stat of 6,895.67 healing and his league rank of 90th in damage. With the Shock having an incredible season, which included challenging the Vancouver Titans for the Stage 1 championship it was virtually impossible for Sleepy to break back into the starting rotation.
Sleepy has only played in one match thus far for the Justice, a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Valiant, but he’s already managed to make an impact. For the entirety of Stage 1 and most of Stage 2 Gido “Gido” Moon had started in the off support role. His average healing of 9,110.47 was good for 22nd but the Justice were looking for more out of the position. In short playing time which came only hours after being traded Sleepy has already made an impact. His ridiculous 11,271.60 average healing is good for second in the league. With more playing and practice time with his new team he should remain a top tier healer.
The Justice have taken an interesting approach in acquiring talent, favoring big names over scouting new undiscovered players. It is a safe approach for Washington as not every team has the scouting talent of Boston which can seemingly find diamonds in the rough anywhere. In addition to it being safe it’s also desperately needed. With the halfway point of their first season fast approaching the Justice are in danger of squandering the chance to build a fanbase. Hardly anyone wants to root for the worst team in the league and at 1-11 they are dangerously close to being just that. Perhaps a team like the Dragons who went 0-40 carried a certain charm about them when everything about the Overwatch League was new and shiny, but in year two when so many people have already chosen teams and players to root for adding familiar faces was necessary. The fact that they both happen to be very talented doesn’t hurt either. Only time will tell if the Justice can become a cohesive unit and improve on their poor record, but with ArK and Sleepy they seem to be on the right track.
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