In high school, usually at the end of the year, students get a chance to nominate which of their fellow classmates are deserving of any one of several superlatives. Usually things like, “Most likely to run for president” or “Most likely to be a millionaire” are examples of these superlatives. While everyone knows Billy won’t actually become president one day, these are fun ways of pointing out characteristics in people that point to a certain trajectory in their lives.
As you may have seen, the Overwatch off-season has been flooded with wave after wave of preseason power rankings. While these are great for analyzing power, they fail to illustrate team’s possible trajectory or allow teams with more colorful personalities a chance to shine.
To facilitate this need, The Game Haus has developed its very own Overwatch League Preseason Superlatives. Categories may include players, coaches, or entire teams depending on the superlative.
Most Likely to be Overrated (Team)
Last year, the Shangai Dragons made history as being the worst team in the history of professional sports, going an unbelievable 0-40 in the regular season. In the off-season, this team vaulted the majority of its roster and staff and picked up several players from KongDoo Panthera. With the notable exception of arguably KDP’s two best players, Gui-un “Decay” Jang and Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye, the Dragons made a huge haul in the off-season.
This massive change has led to the Dragons being placed in the top 10 to top 15 on most power rankings. Regardless of the number of changes this team makes, the fact of the matter still stands that they went 0-40 last season. While there is almost no chance they do that poorly again this season, having them in the playoff hunt may be a bit too ambitious.
Most Likely to be Underrated (Team)
Boston is a team that is so incredibly tempting to rank low going into season 2. The off-season rumors of scandal and notable players leaving all provoke uncertainty, and we can’t help but think they will do poorly – just like we did in season 1.
Despite their off-season, the fact remains that this team still has a great core of players, with the only significant question mark at the DPS position. With that in mind, Boston has a very high percentage of doing better than most think they will, which is exactly the sort of overlooked position they’d like to find themselves in going into season 2.
Most Likely to go Undefeated in a Stage (Team)
NYXL – Stage 1
The New York Excelsior start off season 2 with matches against Boston, Washington, LA Valiant, Houston, Toronto, Seoul, and San Francisco. While the last two matches may be close, NYXL has a real chance of going undefeated to start off the season. Their minimal off-season changes will allow them to click right away, while their opponents have minimal time to scout them. The first stage is often the most unpredictable and volatile, which plays into the hands of the calm and composed NYXL all the more.
Most Likely to Discover a New Meta (Coach)
Dennis “Barroi” Matz
Former Winston’s Lab Founder, Dennis “Barroi” Matz is listed as an Analyst for the Toronto Defiant. His understanding of how different nuances in the gameplay out statistically is exactly the sort of knowledge that can lead to different hero picks and, eventually, a new meta. If his fellow coaches can encourage some bold moves and actually implement some of the things that Barroi notices in his analysis, the Defiant have a real chance at bringing a new style of play into OW.
Most Likely to win MVP (Player)
Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee
Last year, Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee so nearly lost the MVP race to Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang. This year, the former MVP will have a bigger target on his back than ever and will be the focus of every team’s strategy who faces NYXL. While Carpe may be focused in a similar way, he has proven in the past that he can evade and adapt to enemy teams and come out on top. With Philly looking better than ever this year, Carpe is primed and ready to lead them all the way.
Most Likely to be Traded (Player)
Min-ho “Architect” Park
Last year, while it was not their full intention to win, the Shock did poorly overall as a team. In building for season 2, the Shock decided, among other things, to bring in DPS players Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon and Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim. This sends a message to the other three DPS players, including Architect, that their jobs may be in jeopardy.
Out of the Shock DPS players, Andrej “babybay” Francisty and Architect have the least job security. It would be sensible for the Shock to move babybay to a streamer or coach for the team and/or trade both him and Architect to another team. In whatever scenario, Architect seems like the odd man out.
Most Likely to Retire Mid-Season (Player)
Jake “JAKE” Lyon
JAKE has become one of the most recognizable faces in esports and certainly in the OWL. Despite his only above average performance in season 1, JAKE has made himself marketable in his ability to cast and analyze games and be an overall ambassador for the league. All of this, mixed with the fact that Houston now has four comparable DPS players, lends to the possibility that JAKE retires mid-season. This would be a positive thing, as JAKE would likely go on to either join the OWL Talent team or work PR for the league. His rip-tires may be limited but we haven’t seen the last of JAKE, not for a long time.
There could have been many players, teams, and coaches chosen for each of these awards. If there are any that you would pick differently, be sure and give your feedback in the comment section, on Twitter, or on Reddit. To see if any of these superlatives come to fruition, tune in to season 2 of the Overwatch League, beginning on Feb. 14 at 6:00 P.M. CST.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
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