Pulling off eliminations and winning the team fight often falls at the execution of a team’s DPS. With so many variables at stake in a single match, a team’s damage dealers can make or break an engagement with a single shot. Players filling the DPS role have one main objective, eliminations.
This concept may sound simple, but It’s much more than simply clicking heads. To reach the ranks of the Overwatch League, these elite players have had to acquire and hone these skills through thousands of hours of training. The incredible mechanical skill required to pull off consistent clutch plays at a moment’s notice to some may seem unbelievable, but it is a requirement for any professional DPS player.
DPS Heroes focus around two main style types. Hitscan heroes include any hero whose shots require no travel time. These heroes essentially must click on a target to register a hit. Aim and mechanical proficiency are paramount when utilizing a hitscan’s kit. Perfect examples of these heroes would be Soldier 76, Tracer, Widowmaker and McCree. Projectile heroes, however, must account for the travel time of their fired projectiles. In some cases, these projectiles may pack more of a punch, but obviously sacrifice pinpoint accuracy with the increased amount of damage. Genji’s shuriken, Junkrat’s grenades, Pharah’s rockets and Hanzo’s arrows are all examples of a projectile hero’s primary fire.
Prominent Hitscan players in the Overwatch League include New York Excelcior’s Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe“ Park, Philadelphia Fusion’s Jae-hyeok “Carpe“ Lee and Los Angeles Gladiators Lane “Surefour“ Roberts.
Towards the opposite end of the spectrum, Philadelphia Fusion’s Josh “Eqo“ Corona, Houston Outlaws’ Jacob “JAKE“ Lyon and Los Angeles Valient Brady “Agilities“ Girardi regularly showed off their projectile skills in season one.
Heading into season two, there should be plenty of new faces in new places. What impact can we expect following SoOn’s departure from the Valient? How will Dante “Danteh“ Cruz’s arrival in Houston influence their starting roster? Who will Boston choose to join Nam-joo “Striker“ Kwonand, filling the void left by the departure of Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov?
With much more news on the way this offseason, we can be sure plenty of excitement is to come. But for now, who seems ready to step up or stand down?
Breakout: Carpe & Eqo (Fusion)
The team’s breakout was set in motion the moment Eqo debuted alongside Carpe in the Fusion’s stage two opener of season one. Eqo emerged as the projectile specialist Philadelphia had been searching for. His use of projectile heroes proved invaluable for the team’s success. Combined with Carpe’s legendary usage of Hitscan Heroes such as Widowmaker and Tracer, the duo played a key role in the Fusion’s climb to the Grand Finals.
On their way to the Grand Finals, the young unknown Eqo dazzled fans in every match. His addition created a DPS duo feared throughout the entire league. Although their record through the final two stages may not properly display the team’s success, Carpe and Eqo’s impact had been seen and felt throughout the league.
Their victory over the heavily favored New York Excelsior in the season one semifinals established Carpe and Eqo as one of the top DPS duos in the league. Facing off against the highly talented Saebyeolbe, Do-hyeon “Pine“ Kim and Hae-seong “Libero“ Kim is no small feat for any player. To come away with a victory is something truly special.
With Carpe heading into season two ranked as the league’s top Widowmaker, and Eqo highly ranked among his versatile hero pool, the Fusion are easily ready to make immediate impact going forward.
Sleeper: Surefour & Hydration (Gladiators)
With an early exit derailing the Gladiator’s quest towards the grand finals in season one, many worried the loss of their star tank Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek could pose problems for the once potent LA squad. The team managed to retain their core support and DPS players, creating a solid foundation to push for a second successful season. With the team’s only holes surrounding their tank line, the Gladiators have shown that with a strong enough tank core, their DPS can run rampant.
The Duo of Surefour and João Pedro “Hydration“ Goes Telles have left their previous early criticisms behind. Following a slow start to season one, the Gladiators needed to find a way to eliminate individual and team mistakes while also providing more space for their team to work with against the top tear OWL talent. The signing of Fissure proved to be the answer they were looking for. The DPS duo helped quickly show that despite a language barrier with their tank line, the Gladiators were a team to fear.
One aspect that sets the duo of Surefour and Hydration apart from many other OWL squads would be the heroes at their disposal. Following the Galdiator’s signing of Fissure, Surefour’s drive for improvement resulted in Widowmaker play, now feared and respected throughout the league. Hydration’s available hero pool seemed endless, and complimented Surefour’s talents superbly. With both having immense skill and depth at the DPS position, Surefour was commonly found on Widowmaker due to the meta and map requirements. With the hitscan role locked down, Hydration would then flex on high damage heroes causing many opponents to fall to the mighty duo.
Surefour proved to live up to his name. Without a doubt, many view Surefour as a top tier DPS heading into season two. His invitation to both the OWL All Star Weekend, and Team Canada’s World Cup Roster show that Surefour can dance with the best of them. The duo’s sleeper title focuses mainly on the perceived production of his counterpart Hydration.
Through season one, Hydration emerged as one of the few players willing to play Doomfist in a meta not yet built for the hero’s success. The available Doomfist flex would baffle opponents, leaving them confused and scattered following Hydration’s dive towards their back line. While his Doomfist was incredible to watch, his Pharah play was also to be feared. According to Winston’s lab, Hydration would finish the season ranked top ten in the league with his used heroes Pharah, Doomfist, Mei, Junkrat and Sombra. As the only two DPS currently on the Gladiator’s roster, additional players are expected to join the fray, but Hydration and Surefour are entrenched as the team’s starting DPS heading into season two. Backlines, beware.
Bust: Agilities & Bunny (Valiant)
The very recent departure of Terence “SoOn” Tarlier puts the Valient on red alert. With the team’s top hitscan moving on, presumably with a chance at a starting position with the new Paris roster, the LA Valiant are stuck with a hole at what was once their strongest position.
SoOn’s impact or lack thereof will be felt in Los Angeles, but the show must go on. Carrying on in his place will be their projectile and Genji specialist, Agilities and a combination of usage between Joon-hyuk “Bunny” Chae and season one addition Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa.
Questions swirl around the Valiant’s roster heading into season two. Although the team possesses a stronger than average support lineup featuring team captain Scott “Custa“ Kennedy, and flex support Young-seo “KariV“ Park, team balance may suffer with the lack of an elite hitscan of SoOn’s caliber available. With plenty of offseason ahead, the Valiant have time to gain the balance needed before the season premiere. Once the hitscan position has been clearly addressed, the team should have a chance at contention. SoOn will be missed in Los Angeles, and welcomed with open arms in his home country.
Featured photo from Blizzard Entertainment
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