Going 0-4 against the San Francisco Shock was not how the London Spitfire wanted to end their season. After a spirited performance in the play-in tournament, London lost first to New York and then to San Francisco, eliminating them from the playoffs. It’s been a disappointing season for the Spitfire, who weren’t able to adapt to a succession of metas. However, last year showed that London’s roster can win championships. A full rebuild of a team with so much talent would do more harm than good. However, a few pieces to plug in the gaps in their roster could revitalize the Spitfire going into 2020. So which free agents and bench players should the Spitfire be looking to sign this offseason?
#5: Min-seok “AimGod” Kwon
Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi has been a lynchpin for London’s squad since the inaugural season. He’s an excellent Zenyatta player with the ability to make decisive calls. Over the last two seasons, Bdosin has earned his place on London’s roster going forward. However, if London want to shake up their play, they may want to bring in a new shotcaller. If London changes their comms structure, a flex support as skilled as Bdosin but less vocal would be a useful asset. Min-seok “AimGod” Kwon would fit the bill perfectly.
AimGod has spent much of the season benched in favor of Zion “Persia” Yang. It doesn’t seem far-fetched that the Boston Uprising would be willing to trade him away. While he might not outright replace a player as skilled as Bdosin, AimGod would give the Spitfire more options and ignite competition at the flex support spot.
#4: Tae-hoon “Edison” Kim
Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim’s skill when he’s playing at his peak is undeniable. When he’s at his best, birdring can easily compete for the title of best DPS in the Overwatch League. However, birdring is also frustratingly inconsistent, and can spend entire matches completely invisible. While birdring is perhaps too flexible and talented to drop entirely, it would be unwise for London to keep a player whose performance can swing so wildly from one week to the next as a staple of their starting roster.
There are a plethora of talented South Korean DPS who will be eligible to play in the League next year. GC Busan Waves’ Edison is one of the best, and his hero pool closely mirrors birdring’s. First making a name for himself off his Widowmaker, Edison is an explosive hitscan player with huge potential. With a team of London’s caliber to support him, Edison could put on an even more stunning performance if brought onto London’s roster.
#3: Sang-hoon “Kaiser” Ryu
When it comes to Winston and Orisa, Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong stands head and shoulders above most other main tanks. However, throughout 2019, his Wrecking Ball and especially his Reinhardt have shown themselves to be lacking. Gesture’s Reinhardt play in the GOATS meta did improve as the season went on. However, it’s safe to say that Gesture has never truly shined on the hero. With Orisa currently in the meta, Gesture’s starting spot seems secure. If the meta shifts to a Reinhardt-centric one next year, having a specialist player for the hero could pay dividends.
First on Stormquake and then on O2 Blast, Kaiser has proven himself over and over again throughout 2019. While Reinhardt remains the main and strongest tool in his arsenal, Kaiser is capable on all main tanks and would be a great addition to London’s roster. As well as a Reinhardt expert, Kaiser is a veteran who’s been playing Overwatch since APEX Season 2. Even if he’s not fielded, a veteran presence on the team who played on the notoriously resilient Runaway should do wonders for London’s team mentality and culture.
#2: Joon-hyuk “Bunny” Chae
Bunny, like Edison, is a talented and consistent DPS player. He could offer consistent play in the hitscan position when Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim isn’t performing. However, unlike the relatively unproven Edison, Bunny has a wealth of experience playing in the Overwatch League. Having spent the inaugural season of the League with the Seoul Dynasty and Los Angeles Valiant, he’s spent plenty of time on stage and will be less susceptible to nerves.
Playing on Team CC in Contenders China 2019 Season 2, Bunny has continued to put out star performances. Crucially, he’s shown signs of flexibility. Once thought of as a relatively limited player, he’s shown off a strong Doomfist, Mei, and Hanzo in Contenders China, and was a big part of his team making it to the Grand Finals. If London gives Bunny his second chance in the Overwatch League, they’re unlikely to regret it.
#1: Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee
London have had many difficulties in 2019. With players like birdring, Gesture, Jun-ho “Fury” Kim and Joon-yeung “Profit” Park on the roster, however, individual skill is clearly not one of them. It’s tempting to simply suggest the Spitfire sign minor upgrades over existing players; either in terms of consistency, mechanical skill, or hero pool. Instead, however, London should be looking for players who can change the way the team functions on a larger scale. One of the best ways to do this would be to bring on a talented new shotcaller.
Hailed as a prodigy for his performance on Element Mystic and built up coming into the League as an intelligent shotcaller, Jecse has recently not seen much play on the Dynasty in favour of Jin-mo “tobi” Yang. It might be a long shot to ask Seoul to part with such a highly valued player. However, if London are able to afford the asking price, rebuilding the team’s calling structure around Jecse could add the element of in-game strategizing and adaptation that the Spitfire have been missing throughout 2019.
After looking to the future, it’s always refreshing to look fondly on the past. Check out The Game Haus’ compilation of the best moments at the Blizzard Arena here.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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