Tanks are a team’s heavy hitters. Their presence and available firepower often can be the turning point for many team-fights in Overwatch. Thousands of viewers were lucky enough to see world class tank gameplay at the Overwatch World Cup in Anaheim, California this past weekend. Throughout the bracket, teams were filled with top tier tank talent who represented well through their huge Gravs and phat Shatters.
Overwatch League veterans and unsigned talent alike put on a show as the tank-centric meta of Europe proved to be what every opponent feared and worked to overcome. Veterans like LA Valiant’s Pan-seung “Fate“ Koo and London Spitfire’s Jun-ho “Fury“ Kim showed up big for Team South Korea, helping pave the way for a third straight World Cup victory for the incredibly experienced squad.
Many unsigned players had opportunities to prove themselves against the top tier Overwatch League talent this weekend as well. The highly favored Team USA seemed scattered and confused as the relentless tank play of Team United Kingdom’s Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth and Finley “Kyb” Adisi’s Brigette helped propel the underdog squad past Team USA and into the semifinals against the inevitable winners, Team South Korea.
Video Courtesy of eSports Replays.
As a player brought in fairly last minute, Fusions showed poise and compsure in an intimidating environment. The UK main tank took control. His communication and leadership enhanced the devastating usage of the 3-3 GOATs composition that Team UK utilized so well. With a roster made up of young talent and a single OWL Player, Philadelphia Fusion support, Isaac “Boombox“ Charles, Team UK dismantled two of the strongest rosters in the Overwatch Community.
Although the Lions came up short versus South Korea, their strong performance has put those players and the EU Overwatch community in the spotlight as many OWL rosters look for key players to represent their cities in Season Two.
Breakout: Gesture & Fury (Spitfire)
Having already broken out in season one, London Spitfire’s Jae-hee “Gesture“ Hong and Fury form quite possibly the most formidable tank duo in the entire Overwatch League. Having a plethora of talent after combining players from the likes of both GC Busan and KongDoo Panthera, the Spitfire found themselves overwhelmed with potential. Chan-hyung “Fissure“ Baek”s move to the Gladiators solidified the tank lineup, locking in Gesture as London’s main tank. The consistency an already talented roster receives from powerful tank gameplay can and should not be underestimated.
Respect plays a large role here. The reigning champions managed to defeat two surging LA rosters while also stifling a seemingly unstoppable Philadelphia squad in the finals. The team works well together, and it seems much of their season one starting roster will be seen once again ready for season two.
Both Gesture and Fury ranked very highly in their preferred tank selections. According to Winston’s Lab, by season one’s conclusion, Gesture’s Winston would take up 77 percent of his OWL playtime and finish ranked ninth. Fury would find greater success with his D.Va, utilizing the Korean mech pilot in 93 percent of playtime and finishing the season ranked fourth among active OWL D.Va players. Although rather underused by Gesture and the Spitfire, his Reinhardt would end the season ranked second in the league.
The combination of the successful tank play paired with the dominance of Joon-yeong “Profit“ Park and a strong support lineup can sometimes leave an opponent scratching their heads. Gesture and Fury have clearly established themselves as fearsome players in the League. Heading into season two, look for these two to build off of their teams success in this tank heavy meta early and often.
Sleeper: Pokpo & Daco (Reign)
The first of the newest wave of Overwatch League talent to be featured in this series, the dynamic tank duo of Element Mystic have joined the big leagues and now represent the Atlanta Reign in the OWL Atlantic Division. The newest members stand out as potentially the most influential tank duo for any of these eight new teams preparing for season two.
Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park and Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo are coming off a successful campaign with Element Mystic in season two of Contenders Korea. After finishing only behind season two champions RunAway and runner up KongDoo Panthera, the duo now join fellow tank, Blake “Gator” Scott, German support Steven “Kodak” Rosenberger, and the highly controversial DPS, Daniel “dafran” Francesca.
Video Courtesy of Atlanta Reign
To many, Element Mystic looked to be one of the strongest teams in season two of Contenders Korea, but were felled by Kongdoo Panthera in the quarterfinals. A large aspect of the team’s strategy revolved around Pokpo’s Orisa play. Many of Mystic’s compositions on defense would revolve around the usage of an Orisa, creating a robust anchor-point for the team to work around. Commonly, Daco would follow up the Orisa selection with D.Va to help create an even more versatile center of their composition.
Many of these new teams come surrounded with questions regarding roster makeup, meta requirements, and team synergy. With both tanks entering season two at only 18 years old. Their age and lack of OWL experience seem to be the only barricades standing between Atlanta’s upstart tank core, and season two success. They will be fun to watch come February.
Sleeper: rOar & Bischu (Gladiators)
Following Fissure’s departure from LA, the Gladiators knew they needed to respond in a big way. Fissure’s impact on the team’s season one success was obvious. His work ethic, determination, and drive were contagious. The team fought and rallied behind their star tank for much of season one. When you look at the team as a whole, they improved drastically since their debut. Both team, and individual play had went from sloppy and average, to precise and impressive. With everyone’s improved skills staying put, new main tank Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye now joins a strong team with an already strong off tank, Hyung-seok “Bischu“ Kim
Although Fissure’s presence on the Seoul Dynasty will surely work wonders for their roster, the pressure doesn’t seem to be on the Gladiators. With a roster that has drastically improved since their debut, LA found their identity. During Fissure’s tenure with the Gladiators, Lane “Surefour“ Roberts broke out as one of the league’s premier Widowmakers, João Pedro “Hydration“ Goes Telles displayed his prowess with projectile DPS heroes and both Benjamin “BigGoose“ Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz“ Suovaara both found major success in LA’s support roles. The addition of rOar really seems like the missing piece for a team looking to finish the puzzle.
With rOar stepping in as the Gladiator’s main tank, fans need to understand that Fissure is widely regarded as one of the strongest tank players in the world. The expectations for rOar will be sky high, but these expectations should be placed on the team as a whole instead of one young player. The Gladiators have improved remarkably since stage one. The acquired talent in rOar will be an excellent compliment to their bilingual off-tank Bischu.
Featured Image Courtesy of Kotaku
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