The Overwatch League off season has possibly been one of the more erratic signing periods a sport has seen. Many teams have gone through drastic changes in the past few weeks. Up and comers are promoted into the big leagues, while old time veterans have either seen themselves dropped or traded to different teams. Cores have been broken up, friends separated (or reunited), all in search for much coveted success. This turmoil, however, seems to have left some key players behind, as the pool of qualified, eligible players appears to overtake the limits in League roster spots.
There are enough players to create one (or more) additional full team for the 2020 Season. The following all have potential in the Overwatch League, but are not on an OWL team or rumored to join one.
This team consists of eight players skilled enough to perform in the OWL, to showcase some of the better players missing from T1 competition. Most of the players chosen will either not have had their big break, or spent their time in OWL without much opportunity to display their skill.
Jeong “Heesu” Hee-Su:
Probably the biggest absentee of the offseason, Heesu is without a doubt one of the best DPS players that has yet to go to an OWL team. The young Runaway prodigy has been one of the best hitscan players in Contenders over the past year. Unfortunately, his biggest issue currently is his age, as he would have to sit out for nearly 2 months.
Hwang “Fl0w3r” Yeon-Oh:
Though he had abnormally high expectations that nearly no player could meet, Fl0w3r eventually joined the New York Excelsior in Season 2. Unfortunately, he did not get much game time, being behind star players such as Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-Ryeol, Kim “Libero” Hae-Seong, and Jeong “Nenne” Yeon-Kwan. When he did get an opportunity, however, he displayed great mechanics, despite incredible pressure to perform in specialized maps at the end of matches. After his showing, he is definitely deserving of a second opportunity in the top tier, and his hero pool makes him a perfect fit for nearly any team.
Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-Beom:
The ex-Seoul Dynasty player rounds out the damage trio in this hypothetical team. He is a perfect compliment to Heesu’s hero pool, and can fill in for him until he turns 18. In any other team, however, Munchkin is much more than a fill or a sub and has starting potential on most hitscan heroes, as well as a lot of experience in top competition. It would be a waste to see a player of his caliber demoted to Contenders.
Seo “Daco” Dong-Hyeong
Daco surprised many by cementing himself in the top echelons of D.Va players back in the GOATs meta. He displayed impressive mechanics, however a meta shift and alleged reluctance to work in a more mixed environment lead to him being benched, and later released from the Atlanta Reign. With a more familiar environment, however, he will be an incredible asset to whichever team decides to pick him up.
Ham “Oberon” Eun-Sang
There is nothing more painful than having to narrow down the list of main tank free agents this offseason. Though every role has a plethora of overlooked or underrated players, none is as head-scratching as the current situation of main tanks. Most teams need a backup or an upgrade, so the lack of news, and what has been heard in terms of releases, is questionable. Currently, however, for a team with a single player in the role, Oberon would have to be the selection. He is one of the better, and more well rounded, tank players, and his wide hero pool gives him the edge over other tank players. Oberon has assisted the Seoul Dynasty academy team, Gen.G Esports, in their path to success for a few seasons, including modest finishes in Contenders and the Gauntlet.
Park “Neko” Se-Hyeon
Since Season 1 Neko has been one of the best off-support players in the League, however, it appears that he has struggled with mixed teams. This led to his departure from the Toronto Defiant despite his contributions to their 2019 Season. In the hypothetical 21st team, this would not be a factor, and Neko would be a perfect addition to any team that could use an upgrade in the role.
An “Revenge” Hyeong-Geun
Revenge is a player that was recently playing in the Hangzhou Spark. If you don’t recognize him, he was in the team that had two excellent support players, Yoon “BeBe” Hui-Chang, and Park “iDK” Ho-Jin. He is a perfectly capable player, however, that can play nearly every support hero to a good level. In such a saturated role such as the off support role, it could prove difficult for him to land a spot, but without a doubt would take advantage of whichever opportunity he receives.
Park “Oparochi” Hyun-Joon
Oparochi has been a consistent player in Contenders (and APEX) for nearly two years. His impressive performance in Contenders should have definitely earned him a spot in the League. Oparochi’s skill will be a perfect complement to the team and he can without a doubt hold a spot amongst top competition.
Jin “O2Boss” Suk-Hoon
Many consider the ominously-named coach to be one of the better hires for any team in need of structure. O2Boss has led O2 Team in all its iterations to local and international success in the Contenders system. Although most teams cemented their coaching staff to some extent, his moderately successful resumé is something that no team should overlook.
We “BlueHaS” Seong-Hwan
One of the most unexpected announcements after the playoffs was the release of the Shanghai Dragons 2019 coaching staff, including head coach BlueHaS. He led them to a redemption arc that culminated in the Season 2, Stage 3 championship. Besides that, he has had success on popular teams Kongdoo Panthera and wNv.KR. Like O2Boss, he would be a great hire for any team in need of a boost in the strategic department.
So, how would this team fare in the Overwatch League’s third Season? For the purposes of this thought exercise, the team has been made with the League minimum of eight players, and two coaches. This could hinder the team as speculation points towards larger teams, especially in terms of staff. Team 21 focuses on mechanics but also includes dropped or benched players returning to the League.
The current state of OWL in its transfer period makes any sort of prediction near impossible if accuracy is wanted. The tank and support line are definitely solid, and Heesu is an incredible performer in the hitscan role. The big plus definitely is in the coaches, who can lead the team to a successful run through the 28 matches.
Depending on the meta, the team possibly misses out on the midseason tournament. Losing Heesu does not affect them much, but he is the best flick hitscan on the team. If a deep bench and coaching staff is not necessary, a top 12 finish is a possibility for them. The biggest question marks are versatility and how the new players will fare in the Overwatch League. The experience of BlueHaS, Neko, and Munchkin in the League should help counteract those issues. Should the team find additional pickups necessary, the eye for talent that O2Boss brings will be an invaluable asset to the future of the team.
Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Esports
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