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Esports Overwatch

Biggest 2019 OWL MVP Snubs

2019 OWL MVP

The five finalists for the 2019 OWL MVP award have officially been confirmed. After polling league GM’s, the media and broadcast crew, the five players below received the most votes and are on the final ballot.

  • Jay “sinatraa” Won
  • Matthew “super” DeLisi
  • Jooseok “Twilight” Lee
  • Hyeon-Woo “JJANU” Choi
  • Xu “guxue” Qiulin

What Makes an MVP?

But, are these five players truly the most valuable across the league? On what metrics were they decided? These are questions that are up for debate and could go in a variety of different directions. But, at the center of them all is the question: What makes an MVP? Team success? Individual skill? Final Blows per 10 minutes?

[Related: The Game Haus Staff’s Official Mock OWL MVP Final Ballot]

One, perhaps more reliable and proven answer could be to use CaptainPlanet’s new PIR system. It ranks the impact players have in team fights which, at least as a starting point, ought to be something to consider for an MVP, right? Not to mention, last year’s MVP Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang had the highest PIR the season that he won. So, if last year’s MVP had the highest PIR, shouldn’t this year’s be towards the top?

It appears not. For reference, here are the top PIR ratings from the current 2019 season.

2019 OWL MVP
Image Courtesy of

The Biggest Snubs

Hyojong “Haksal” Kim

Using the PIR and looking at which teams have had the most success overall, it’s a shock not to see Haksal in the final five. The DPS player turned Brigitte master has had an incredibly impactful season for the Titans and has been an instrumental part of the Titans historic run. Twilight is absolutely a deserving player as well, as his PIR indicates, but should Haksal have been the other Titan considered over JJANU? It looks like, at least in the voter’s minds, those Stage 1 bomb’s from JJANU were enough to give him the edge. For most though, it seems obvious that Haksal was seriously snubbed.

Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang

It seems like people forget about JJoNak in this conversation because he was last year’s winner and there’s already been a skin released in his honor. But, all season long, JJoNak has been dominant for the NYXL who currently sit at 19-2 on the season. For those voters who consider team success to be paramount when voting, it’s a wonder that no NYXL player received enough votes to be a finalist, yet two from both the Shock and the Titans did.

2019 OWL MVP
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Sung-jun “SLIME” Kim, Taesung “Anamo” Jung, Grant “moth” Espe

All three of these players get bids as some of the larger snubs because of the similarities of the case for each. All are main support players on the top teams in the league and all were key throughout the GOATS meta. For Anamo and SLIME, they are even towards the top of the PIR rating scale for 2019. It would have been nice to see the main support players be given more of a chance in this year’s MVP race, as it will likely never be a role that has a player in contention in 2-2-2. For this reason, the players high PIR ratings and their overall impact, these three supports were collectively snubbed from the final board.

Other Players Who Could Be Considered Snubs

Below is a shortlist of players that could also have their cases made as snubs. They either have a very high PIR rating and/or have been key cogs in their team’s continued success through the first three stages.

  • Min-seong “diem” Bae
  • Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim
  • Min-soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo
  • Jun-woo “Void” Kang
  • Dante “Danteh” Cruz
  • Minki “Viol2t” Park
  • Jun-ho “Fury” Kim

Selecting any number of these players could have helped to diversify the number of teams represented and could have broadened the positions represented, even if just slightly. While some of these are on less-successful teams which might disqualify them in some people’s minds, there is a case to be made that players like diem and Danteh greatly changed the trajectory of their team’s season. That, at least to a degree, ought to be worth something in the MVP talks.

While certain players may have been snubbed, it seems there is not much that can be done from a fan’s perspective. Now, it’s time to vote. For more on how to vote and how long fans have to cast their votes, check out the announcement of the finalists and keep an eye out for weekly MVP updates.




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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

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