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Overwatch League 2020: Where Do The LA Valiant Go From Here?

valiant roster changes 2020

This past weekend, rumors leaked concerning the current LA Valiant roster. In the video, Scott “Custa” Kennedy, the main support for the team, discussed where his fellow teammates are ending up for the 2020 season. Superstar DPS Brady “Agilities” Giardi has been traded to the Toronto Defiant, he says. Joining Agilities is close friend and teammate Young-seo “KariV” Park. For revered offtank Indy “SPACE” Halpern, Custa implies that he’s been traded to rival team, the LA Gladiators.

If these moves are legitimate, that leaves few players left on the starting Valiant roster. Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa and Johannes “Shax” Nielsen lead the DPS division, while Custa remains as the only support player. On top of these player moves, it was discussed that the Valiant are choosing to go low budget next season. By offering players smaller salaries, it’s a wonder who they’ll get to fill in the places of these fan favorite superstars.

The Front Line: Main and Offtank

valiant roster changes 2020
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

With a previously written list of possible main tanks to fill in for recent player Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell, it’s hard to know which ones are actual possibilities. It’s safe to say that, with a smaller budget, it’ll be harder to obtain some of the bigger, well known names in the League community.

A pick from Contenders still seems to be the front runner, with names like Blake “Gator” Scott in the mix. Additionally, if the Gladiators and the Valiant are trading with each other, perhaps a member of the Gladiators Legion could turn to the green side. Maybe fans could see Byung-ho “Panker” Lee step into the spotlight.

Previously, fans didn’t need to worry about the offtank position. However, with releasing SPACE and Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey, the Valiant are in need of someone to start. There’s plenty of offtanks on the market, however, with the Valiant dropping their budget, it’s hard to say who they’ll scoop up. There’s plenty of talent in Contenders to choose from, notably Hafþór “Hafficool” Hákonarson. Being picked up alongside his current tank partner, and former Valiant member, Seb “numlocked” Barton could bring back some fan loyalty. Other options could include Montreal Rebellion offtank Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill, considering how many players the Valiant are sending to Toronto Defiant.

The Back Line: Flex Supports to Spare

Now that KariV has been rumored to leave, this creates a hole on the roster. KariV and Custa cultivated an important in-game chemistry. Therefore, the person to replace him should be able to handle Custa’s playstyle, and work alongside him effortlessly. KariV is Korean, though his English was very, very good. This means that someone who can communicate in English is important, so Custa can understand and communicate back with ease.

A player who recently announced they are no longer looking for team status is former Boston Uprising flex support Zion “Persia” Yang. He played alongside Kellex, who speaks English, on a mostly Western team. He has the proven chops to get the job done. Other possible contenders include Steven “Kodak” Rosenberger, currently playing for the Atlanta Academy. After performing extremely well in the Contenders Gauntlet, Kodak will be hotly contested among the Overwatch League. The Valiant would have to act fast if they want a chance. Additionally, the Valiant could consider offers from Uprising Academy player Victor “Scaler” Godsk, as well as Randal “Roolf” Stark from Gladiators Legion.

The Aggressors: DPS to Fill Out the Roster

valiant roster changes 2020
2018-06-13 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

With Shax and KSF staying with the team, fans have to wonder who could take the place of Agilities. KSF and Agilities share a hero pool, so characters like Widowmaker and Pharah won’t be a huge concern. Shax covers the hitscan players, so Tracer and his famed Sombra are in good hands as well. Additionally, fans got to see Shax pull out some insane Reaper plays in Stage 3. The question then remains: do they bring on more players to fill the bench? Do they make sure that all possible meta shifts are accounted for?

Shax and KSF work well together, and it’s assumed they’ll start. While it would be ideal to have someone like Liam “Mangachu” Campbell come over to the Valiant, it seems unlikely due to their budget restrictions. The Valiant could find success in bringing on players who could keep competition for the starting roster healthy. Additionally, it’s good to have depth to the roster, in case of emergencies. Players like Hugo “SharP” Sahlberg from Team Envy could improve the depth of the Valiant’s roster immensely.

The Valiant’s New Roster: An Uphill Climb

It’s hard to think about this team without some signature players. However, with the League going towards geolocation next year, moving people like Agilities closer to home makes sense in the long run. For now, the Valiant remain hush about any possible roster moves. Look to The Game Haus for more developments as these stories progress. For now, the Valiant need to start thinking about how to progress towards 2020.

Featured Image Courtesy of the Washington Justice twitter.

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