The Los Angeles Valiant went through arguably the worst Overwatch League season of all-time in 2021. With zero wins and the worst map win-rate ever, even the 2018 Shanghai Dragons look better by comparison. Now the Valiant are looking to move forward though. And the question on the minds of most fans now is if the Valiant will bounce back in season 5 or not.
Eastern Roster Year 2
We’re continuing our partnership for 2022 with LGE, who will be operating LA Valiant in the East Division of the Overwatch League.
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) December 2, 2021
On December 1 2021, the Valiant announced on social media that their partnership with Chinese org, LGE will continue in 2022. They will once again manage the roster over in the Eastern/APAC region. The Eastern region is home to some of the most dangerous teams. If the Valiant wish to turn their franchise in 2022, it will require major improvements.
New Roster on the Horizon
Let’s welcome Fuxing “Nohill” Wang as our coach and Seunghyun “Woohyal” Seong as our assistant coach for 2022 season!
We are looking forward to a better season with them on the team. Happy to have you here, @NorthOW1 and @WOOHYAL !#WingsOut pic.twitter.com/gTdbeYpcqU
— Los Angeles Valiant (@LAValiant) December 6, 2021
With this announcement comes a brand new team which has not been fully revealed yet. The Valiant announced their new coaches and general manager to start. Their new head coach is Wang “NoHill” Fuxing. NoHill is the Former coach of the once-dominant Contenders franchise, Team CC. Team CC won the 2020 Asian Gauntlet as well as Season 1 of 2020 Chinese Contenders under his guidance.
Seung-hyun “WooHyal” Sung will be an assistant player coach on this staff as well. Woohyal has immense experience. He played for GC Busan, the London Spitfire, Runaway and Team CC. Him and NoHill’s combined experience makes for a staff that immediately sets the team up for greater success.
Team CC Takeover
While it is still unofficial, the Valiant bounce back campaign is likely to see even more good news. According to known leaker Arran “Halo” Spake, the Valiant wish to create a Team CC reunion squad. Weida “Diya” Lu and Seok-hyun “Innovation” Oh have already been leaked to be joining the team.
Diya and Innovation were a powerful DPS duo on Team CC back in the day. They dominated the competition for the better part of a year and already have experience working with NoHill. Diya in particular is a signing the entire community is excited about.
The last time Diya got to start in the Overwatch League, he was a member of the 0-40 Dragons. Since then, he worked extremely hard to make it back to the league. Despite an excellent year on Team CC in 2020, Diya did not find a home last year. This comeback is multiple years in the making.
Regardless of how he performs, Diya making his Overwatch League return is exciting for long-time Overwatch League fans. If him and Innovation can rekindle that dominant 2020 form, the Valiant will have a solid foundation of playmakers to build their roster around.
The Valiant are off to a good start with their new roster. To make the situation even more advantageous for the Valiant, they don’t have to rush this season. In 2021, LGE had little to no resources to construct a roster. They lacked time and money.
This year, the Valiant have the entire offseason to construct a roster and likely can offer more money as well. The fact that multiple well-known figures from Chinese and Korean Contenders accepted a contract is a sign that the Valiant have a far more promising pitch to offer this year. If they show care for their team and build something likable, some fans may be willing to come back. Or at the very least, they can gain some new fans from the East.
Winning Back Fan Trust
On paper, the Valiant are already on track to have an improved year. However, this is far from the only task on their plate. Since the drama from last year, many Western Overwatch League fans stopped supporting the franchise thanks to the poor decision-making of ownership.
Unfortunately, until the Immortals are out of the picture, this team will likely continue to receive hate. However, that doesn’t mean the Valiant can’t turn a new page. With success comes newly generated interest and supporters. Regardless of who owns the team, every known and leaked member of the team so far is well-respected
Woohyal and Diya in particular have relatively large fan bases which means the Valiant should be in a good position to have more support in 2022. If the team manages to make a well-rounded and successful roster, fans are more likely to show.
It won’t be easy for the Valiant to earn back their lost support and they likely never fully will. However, any improvement at all is better than what they went through in 2021. A decent campaign with better PR control could result in a Valiant bounce back year.
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