The 2021 Overwatch League (OWL) MVP race has arguably been the closest to date. In recent weeks, the hype has surrounded Huang ‘Leave’ Xin of the Chengdu Hunters. However, due to recent events, some fans have forgotten about the presence of another MVP frontrunner. Making a case for DPS player, Jae-won ‘Lip’ Lee as the 2021 OWL MVP is a must given his absurd productivity.
In order to truly comprehend why Lip is in the running, it’s crucial to understand his story and the factors behind his nomination. Here is how Lip quietly became one of the most dominant players in the Overwatch League’s fourth season.
A Chip on His Shoulder
It’s no secret that Lip believes he was underappreciated last year. In a recent featured video on the Overwatch League’s YouTube channel, Lip stated he should have been in the running for the 2020 MVP award. Clearly, the superstar DPS used this as motivation to take his game to the next level.
In all likelihood, this was not the only factor which lit a fire under him. Lip’s critics often downplayed his value in 2020. Fans viewed him as nothing more than a Sombra and Ashe specialist. Even though he received a role star award back then, the second year DPS player showed no signs of satisfaction. Lip saw the lack of recognition from fans and the League as a sign of disrespect. This chip on his shoulder allowed him to elevate his play even higher.
Despite Shanghai’s stacked roster, the 2020 role star managed to be a standout player. He bailed out his team time after time this season. Lip was a major reason why the Dragons won two regular season tournaments and achieved the top seed in the Playoffs. It’s a powerful realization when considering he plays alongside multiple current and former MVP candidates.
It was a common occurrence to see Lip single handily win team fights for the Dragons. Think back to the final fight in the June Joust finals when the Dragons went down two team members at the start. In most cases, a four versus six disadvantage means a lost fight. Not for Lip though. He saw an opportunity.
In that final fight on Junkertown, Lip locked up five final blows to seal a June Joust victory for the Dragons. He pulled off these exact types of moments throughout the entire season. Many of said moments demonstrate him outplaying fellow MVP nominees as well. He bested every non-Dragons player on the list.
The old narrative about Lip was he possessed a limited hero pool. This year, he put an end to those assumptions. Season Four saw Lip utilize eight different heroes for at least 20 minutes. Along with his usual comfort picks, he put in a noticeable amount of time on Tracer, Reaper and Widowmaker.
Lip dominated throughout every single meta. Hero pools and inter-regional competition made no difference. He always kept pace with the elite damage dealers of the League on some of their signature heroes. Some of these characters were once not considered to be within his comfort zone.
Whether it would be against Yeong-han ‘Sparkle’ Kim in a Tracer battle or a Soldier 76 showdown with Leave, Lip gave them everything they could handle.
Statistically, Lip can be found at the top of the leaderboards on most characters he has significant time on. While he unsurprisingly boasted top stats on his signature heroes, he put up strong numbers on his lesser known ones as well. This includes the best final blow and damage average on Tracer.
Lip’s Tracer Stats
Evidently, Lip’s comfort zone knows no limit. He led all active players in the damage per 10 minutes category. On top of that, he is one of only three players to record a total of least 1000 final blows, 2500 eliminations and 1.3-million player damage.
Lip for 2021 OWL MVP
Lip checks off all of the boxes that make a great MVP candidate. He is clutch, flexible, well accomplished and has strong stats. He may not be as popular as other nominees, but he makes up for it with his high impact.
Due to recent events, Lip’s performances have been casted aside. While it never hurts to look towards the future, it is important to recognize season-long achievements. When this is done, Lip showcases one of the strongest campaigns of all MVP candidates. Whether he wins the award or not, Lip deserves recognition for a historically dominant season which fans may never see again.
“From Our Haus to Yours”