With a little under a month to go, the OWL offseason is finally coming to an end. Rosters are essentially set and players have started to fly to their new team houses to get that much-needed practice before the season. Fans can finally get excited for one of the most pivotal seasons of OWL.
Many teams have made significant roster changes in hopes to find that championship squad. Before Blizzcon, The Game Haus gave teams a grade based on their moves. The time has come to change some of those marks. Here are the offseason roster grades for the Atlantic North teams heading into the 2020 season.
New York Excelsior: A-
+ Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi – Yeon-oh “Fl0w3R” Hwang
+ Dong-wook “BiaNcA” Kim – Tae-hong “MekO” Kim
+ Chan-hee “Mandu” Kim – Do-Hyeon “Pine” Kim
+ Seung-jun “WhoRU” Lee – Hyeon-sang “Pavane” Yu, Coach
+ Ju-hyeop “WhyNot” Lee, Coach – Se-chul “zet” Son, Coach
One of the biggest question marks the NYXL had throughout this offseason was how they planned on replacing all-star off-tank MekO. In classic New York fashion, the team opted to cover their bases by picking up two differing off tanks. Following the release of Fl0w3R and the retirement of Pine, New York made one of their most interesting moves in acquiring WhoRU – a young talent that has had some behavioral issues in the past.
Overall the additions seem to be solid, and each player adds a little flexibility to the roster. If New York wants to lean towards a more aggressive play-style, they can swap in WhoRU and HOTBA to provide a sudden change of pace. With the core roster pretty much intact, the NYXL look to move past their playoff woes and catch that elusive championship.
London Spitfire: D
+ Se-won “BERNAR” Shin – Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim
+ Tae-hoon “Fuze” Kim – Jong-seok “NUS” Kim
+ Dong-jae “Schwi” Lee – Hee-dong “Guard” Lee
+ Dae-han “JMAC” Choi – Jun-young “Profit” Park
+ Sun-hyeok “Highly” Lee – Jae-hui “Gesture” Hong
+ Kyu-min “SanGuiNar” Lim – Jun-ho “Fury” Kim
+ Sang-jun “Babel” Park – Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi
+ Hyun-wook “ALTHOUGH” Jung – Ji-hoon “Quartermain” Song
+ Ji-hun “Jihun” Kim
+ Gun-hee “Clestyn” Cho
+ Gil-seong “Glister” Lim
Who could really expect the absolute enigma that is the 2020 London Spitfire roster? London started the offseason by losing all of their star power from their championship run. The only surviving member from last year’s team is Yung-hoon “Krillin” Jung, who hasn’t seen much play at all this past season. Other than Highly who was on the Seoul Dynasty bench, the rest of the London team is entering the league for the first time.
The one hope for the Spitfire is the signing of Gen.G standout Glister. As an extremely hyped up talent from Korean Contenders, the Spitfire are extremely reliant on his ability to hard carry matches. Alongside Glister is former Runaway DPS Schwi, who can be a reliable player, but may struggle with the jump from Contenders to OWL. Despite all the unknowns, there is a chance this team could mimic Season 1 Boston and surprise the league.
Paris Eternal: C+
+ Ki-hyo “Xzi” Jung – Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen
+ Da-un “NoSmite” Jeong – Finnbjörn “Finnsi” Jónasson
+ Eoghan “Smex” O’Neill – Karol “Danye” Szcześniak
+ Brice “FDGoD” Monsçavoir – George “ShaDowBurn” Guscha
+ Yeong-han “Sp9rkl1e” Kim – Felix “Fefe” Munch, Coach
+ Han-been “Hanbin” Choi – Kyle “KyKy” Souder, Coach
+ Hee-won “Rush” Yun, Coach – Joni “Seita” Paavola, Coach
+ Jae-yoon “Aid” Go, Coach
+ Chung-hyeok “Levi” Jeong, Coach
What a promising start to the offseason for Paris, to only end with a whimper. The signing of Sp9rk1e and Hanbin alongside Element Mystic coach Rush proved to the rest of the league that Paris were not settling with a sub-par roster. Then the addition of Runaway hit-scan Xzi generated even more excitement for an evolving Paris roster.
However, the signing of NoSmite and Smex left fans with plenty of questions. With Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait already serving as main-tank and Hanbin ready to play in late February, the additions only complicate the front line situation for Paris. Then there’s the issue with the DPS line, as Paris failed to sign a flex-DPS to fill in while the team waits for Sp9rk1e to turn 18 in May. Until that time, the spot will most likely be filled by Nicolas “NiCOgdh” Moret as Xzi shares the same hero pool as Terence “SoOn” Tarlier. While on paper the team seems to be in a good spot going forward, the final moves of the offseason left fans and analysts alike scratching their heads.
Toronto Defiant: A-
+ Young-seo “KariV” Park – Se-Hyeon “Neko” Park
+ Brady “Agilities” Girardi – Seung-hyun “Ivy” Lee
+ Adam “Beast” Denton – Gyeong-mu “Yakpung” Jo
+ Lane “Surefour” Roberts – Jin-ui “im37” Hong
+ Kristian “Kellex” Keller – Jae-yoong “Aid” Go
+ Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson – Normund “sharyk” Faterins
+ Felix “Féfé” Munch, Coach – Daniel “Gods” Graeser
+ David “Lilbow” Moschetto, Coach – Seung-bo “Mobydik” Sim
Plat Chat’s discussion on Toronto may have really nailed what this team is about. Although the team isn’t the strongest, its easily the most likable. Most notably, the addition of the all-star bench player Nevix brought a huge boost to the Toronto image. As a popular player that never really saw the stage, it’ll be a “prove it” year for Nevix. Filling out the tank line will be Beast, who brings a little doubt along with him as he transitions from Contenders to OWL.
The real strength of this roster will be its veteran support and DPS players. Toronto made the correct decision by grabbing hometown heroes Agilities and Surefour, as they bring a bit of life to a previously bland roster. KariV and Kellex are a solid support line that has a relatively high skill floor, but a pretty low skill ceiling. Even though there is a small amount of carry potential from the support line, their reliability will be one of the strongest aspects of this Defiant team. If the team can gel and find their groove, this team can certainly make a push for the playoffs.
Boston Uprising: B
+ Sang-min “Myunbong” Seo – Kristian “Kellex” Keller
+ Tae-hee “Jerry” Min – Min-seok “AimGod” Kwon
+ Walid “Mouffin” Bassal – Renan “alemao” Moretto
+ Gabriel “Swimmer” Levy – Richard “rCk” Kinerva
+ Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byun – Zion “Persia” Yang
+ Thomas “brussen” Brussen – Do-hyung “Stellar” Lee
+ Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis, Coach – Jeffery “blasé” Tsang
+ Ilias “iLka” Kaskanetas – Jackson “Shake” Kaplan, Coach
+ Valentin “Ascoft” Wulfman – Jordan “Gunba” Graham, Coach
Third times the charm for the Boston Uprising.
After 2 seasons of building teams out of unknown players and potential standouts, Chris “HuK’ Loranger and company are looking to perfect their craft. Surprisingly, Boston wasn’t the team with the most ambitious signings this offseason. The Uprising picked up only two true unknowns this time around with Jerry and Mouffin. While Mouffin is quite the avid streamer, he has no on-stage experience at the Contenders level. Knowing that, the addition of brussen should give the team a more “veteran” presence alongside team captain Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth.
Much like Toronto, the Uprising are going to look towards their DPS and support duo to try and make things happen. Swimmer and Myunbong are easily one of the most interesting back lines in the leagues to keep an eye on. Many analysts see Myunbong as one of the premier flex-supports coming out of Contenders, and expect him to be the highlight of this team. If veterans Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse and Munchkin can’t step up to make the plays, then it will be all about Myunbong to pick up the slack. Despite the new look, it will be quite a shock if Boston sneaks into the playoffs with this roster.
Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
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