Hype for the start of the 2020 OWL season is in full swing, with the start of the season just one day away. Several teams will be flying out to Dallas and New York with the hopes of starting their season off on the right foot. For players, the pressure is the same, only they’ll also be striving towards another goal in 2020: End-of-season awards.
Based on the narratives of the offseason and player’s individual performance up until this point, The Game Haus has decided to take a stab at predicting who will take home each of the coveted awards at the end of the 2020 season. This is assuming the league sticks with the same five awards from 2019: The Dennis Hawelka Award, Role Stars, Rookie of the Year, Regular Season MVP and Grand Finals MVP.
The Dennis Hawelka Award
Predicted Winner: Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park
There are few players in the league that embody leadership and comradery quite like Saebyeolbe does. The NYXL veteran was utilized last season during a meta in which he may have been less mechanically useful than others in large part due to his character and leadership. In 2020 with the wear and tear of travel and changing metas, players like SBB will stand out even more amongst the crowd.
Other Potential Candidates: Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh, Matthew “super” DeLisi, Jehong “ryujehong” Ryu, Ethan “Stratus” Yankel
Predicted Tanks: Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi, Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim, Indy “SPACE” Halpern, Jun-ho “Fury” Kim
Predicted Supports: Lee “Twilight” Ju-seok, Grant “moth” Espe, Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang, Daniel “FunnyAstro” Hathaway
Predicted DPS: Joon “Erster” Jeong, Joon-yeong “Profit” Park, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee, Jay “sinatraa” Won
Narrowing down four players in each role is not an easy task considering how many are truly elite at their position. However, taking the respective player’s team into consideration helped narrow some of these down. It’s inevitable that good players on bad teams will fail to be highlighted and I don’t anticipate any of these players struggling with that issue in 2020.
Rookie of the Year
Predicted Winner: Kyungbo “Alarm” Kim
It’s really tough not to go with Alarm for RotY. He’s got potential to be one of the top flex supports in the league in 2020 and he’s got a seriously solid team to back him up while doing so. With his years of experience at Fusion University, Alarm should come into the league and make an instant impact and see a great deal of playing time. As Kim “Haksal” Hyo-jong showed fans in 2019, this is a solid recipe for RotY.
Other Potential Candidates: Jun-ki “Yaki” Kim, Tae-Hoon “Edison” Kim, Sang-min “Myunbong” Seo, Gil-seong “Glister” Lim, Se-won “BERNAR” Shin
Regular Season MVP
Predicted Winner: Jun-ho “Fury” Kim
The shackles have been lifted and Fury has been freed from the malaise of the London Spitfire. In 2020, it’s finally time to unlock his true potential. While players from teams like the Shock, Reign and NYXL are primed to have solid seasons of their own, this author predicts it will be Fury that stands higher above the rest. Credit this, in part, to a high probability of D.Va making a re-entrance into the meta and Fury getting near 100% playtime with the Fusion.
Other Potential Candidates: Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee, Jay “sinatraa” Won, Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi, Joon “Erster” Jeong, Joon-yeong “Profit” Park, Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang
Grand Finals MVP
Predicted Winner: Jay “sinatraa” Won
This is perhaps the toughest award to predict due to the risk of the Shock not even making the Grand Finals, however, if any team is a shoo-in to make it, it’s them. And, if any player is likely to have a clutch performance, it has to be the reigning MVP. Much like Regular Season MVP, there’s a high probability that a player from the NYXL, Reign, Shock or Fusion could be in contention for this award, however, it’s just too hard to bet against the Shock here.
Other Potential Candidates: Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi, Joon “Erster” Jeong, Dong-gyu “Mano” Kim, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee
As with power rankings or any other sort of predictions made without current data, there’s always a chance these could prove to be totally off-base. So, to better adapt these predictions to the season’s start and make some more informed predictions down the line, stay tuned in the coming months for updates once there is some data available. In the meantime, be sure to watch the opening weekend of the Overwatch League starting tomorrow, February 8, in Dallas and NYC.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
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