The San Francisco Shock had a fantastic season that ended with a dominant victory in Grand Finals. Considering those results, it’s not too surprising that they’d opt to keep their roster intact. The Overwatch League released a full list of contract statuses shortly before free agency began. This list revealed that the Shock chose to keep nearly all of their 2019 players under contract, except for Swedish off-tank Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson.
Though Nevix spent most of the 2019 season on the bench, his brief moments on stage showed that his teammates can still rely on him when they need to. Several teams could use an experienced off-tank in their lineups for 2020, and Nevix has demonstrated that he could fill that need. Now that the Shock have officially announced his departure, a few teams, in particular, should keep an eye on him as they look to round out their roster.
The Uprising fell off hard by the end of the season. Adding to their many problems, off-tank Richard “rCk” Kanerva suffered an eye injury that limited his playtime through Stage 4. As Boston’s only off-tank specialist, rCk’s loss hit the team especially hard when role lock came into play and DPS player Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang moved into the off-tank role. Boston will likely shake things up pretty significantly during the offseason, and their focus should be on giving their roster some more depth.
The Uprising’s management have developed a reputation for picking up lesser-known talent and giving them the on-stage experience to make their contracts more valuable. As a veteran of the professional scene, Nevix isn’t quite the unknown player that would fit into that cycle. However, his stint on San Francisco’s bench means that he runs the risk of being overlooked during free agency season. Joining Boston’s roster puts him in a good position to play more often, even if he doesn’t necessarily start. In return, the Uprising gain a solid off-tank and more options in their roster rotation, giving them a much-needed buffer against the same difficulties they experienced in Stage 4.
After failing to replicate their Stage 1 success for the rest of the season, the Defiant quickly started cleaning house. At the time of writing, they have released four players from their 2019 roster, including off-tank Daniel “Gods” Graeser. With Gods’ departure, the Defiant both lose their off-tank specialist and raise questions regarding the future of the mixed-language roster they had worked towards. Though they will likely build around fan favorites Andreas “Logix” Berghmans and Liam “Mangachu” Campbell, their core also includes Se-hyeon “Neko” Park and Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo, who have proven integral to the team in their own right.
Regardless of which path Toronto follows, Nevix would be an invaluable pickup to help them move forward. His experience in the scene would provide him with a chance to become a leader of sorts for a younger team that’s looking to find its identity. His time on the Shock gives him plenty of experience with a mixed-language roster as well, which primes him to join a team like Toronto if they opt to keep things how they are. Moving into the offseason, the Defiant need to find a strong replacement for Gods, and if they happen to find one that can also help them adjust to their own changes, it would be all the better.
Though the Eternal showed glimmers of promise throughout the season, they never quite put all the pieces together. After a disappointing debut season, they’ll likely determine a solid core to build around. With geolocation on the horizon, the Eternal could become an exciting prospect to the league’s European players, who could take the opportunity to play closer to home. As for their 2019 roster, Paris has opted to only keep their French players under contract, while they can exercise the team option with the others. They’ll undoubtedly look to rejuvenate their lineup in the months to come.
Though it’s difficult to tell if the Eternal will try to field an entirely French roster for 2020, they could definitely make use of Nevix if they don’t. Like Toronto, Paris could potentially go through some serious upheaval in the months to come. Though they have an experienced Overwatch League player, Terence “SoOn” Tarlier, under contract, they could benefit from more veterans as they try to regroup for season three. Bringing Nevix into the fold adds some much-needed league experience, as well as more options in the off-tank role. During the season, the position was filled by Finnbjörn “Finnsi” Jónasson, with DPS specialist Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret playing in the role as needed. In addition to a potential leadership role, Nevix would also help Paris build a more flexible and adaptive roster, assuming that Finnsi remains on the team.
Another Shot at the Spotlight
Time on the bench may have caused Nevix to fly under the radar for the 2019 season, but it seems that plenty of his colleagues recognize his talent. The three teams listed above aren’t the only ones who could desperately use an off-tank, especially one that has proven his worth and has knowledge of the scene. Nevix could very well become a hot commodity as the offseason progresses, but either way it’s unlikely that the Overwatch League has seen the last of him.
Follow Darby on Twitter @soundchecck! She is happy to talk about anything she’s written! You can also get in touch with her on Discord (soundchecck#7242).
Featured image courtesy of Darby Joyce.
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