The Overwatch League 2019 off-season has officially reached its most critical point. In terms of the official schedule for the off-season, all Overwatch Teams need to have eight members officially signed by Friday, November 15th. The league also just passed another important deadline early this week; as of November 11th all currently unsigned players have become free agents.
As of the time of writing, there are still several teams that are either below the 8 player minimum or in need of improvements for the 2020 season. Even teams that have eight players may still be lacking in a crucial position at the moment; fans may instead see those pickups happening after the deadline. But with so many former OWL players officially up for grabs, and tons of tier two and world cup talent, teams shouldn’t have difficulty in filling these positions if they plan well. Continue on below to learn which positions each of the Atlantic Division Overwatch League teams will be looking to fill as soon as they can based on their current rosters.
The Reign are currently sitting well with their roster. Assuming they retain all the players still on the payroll, they sit with two DPS, two supports, and four tank players. Atlanta may pick up another hitscan DPS to match Joon “Erster” Jeong, or potentially other supports to ease pressure on Petja “Masaa” Kantanen and Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman. However, with a squad that made it to the top six last year, the Atlanta org has seen the value of keeping most of their players so far. Expect few additions at most for the Reign.
The Boston Uprising have once again changed nearly their entire roster between seasons. So far, the Uprising have announced four new players, with three more predicted to return. They have two DPS, two supports, and three tanks on their current lineup. They only need one more player to make the quota, but Boston may not want to stop with that. Both of the years they’ve been in the Overwatch League so far, Boston has run with a 10-player lineup.
Given Tae-hee “Jerry” Min is a former off-tank player, picking up another flex DPS would be wise for Boston. On top of this, expect a support pickup or two, and possibly another off-tank since Walid “Mouffin” Bassal is on a two-way contract. Since Boston usually does not invest in proven OWL talent, they will likely want backups of every role just in case.
There is a lot of mystery occurring with the future of the Mayhem roster. Based on their current roster however, they have seven players, which are two DPS, two supports and three tanks. Like Boston, Florida technically is only one player shy of the bare minimum, but if they want to be a top competitor in 2020, they’ll need more improvements than that.
— Florida Mayhem (@FLMayhem) August 18, 2019
Their tank line is currently their strongest factor, with Pan-seung “Fate” Koo and Beom-jun “Gargoyle” Lee performing very well last season. Their DPS are also decent performers, specifically hitscan Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha. However, they could afford to pick up another flex DPS to pair with him for any hero Sang-bum “BQB” Lee can’t play. Ultimately their support line is what needs the most work; both their current supports are lackluster or unproven, and Florida should consider investing in big names to fill both of these support positions. The Mayhem have made many changes over the last year, but their work is by no means over by now.
Houston currently sits confidently above the eight-player cap with ten players under contract. However, this by no means they have a balanced roster. Houston currently has two supports, three tanks and five DPS players on their team. It’s very unlikely that this is the exact lineup that moves into 2020, especially since main support Chris “Bani” Benell was only just released only a few days ago.
The Outlaws may be set on star-studded DPS, however, their other positions could use work. A backup main support to replace Bani might be wise, and as any Outlaws fan will tell you, a stronger off-tank would also be wise for Houston. Both Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen and Matt “coolmatt” Iorio are decent but lack the flexibility needed moving forwards. If the Outlaws fill those gaps they could truly excel in 2020.
London currently have the smallest confirmed roster of all the Atlantic Division teams. The Spitfire have one off-tank, Se-won “BERNAR” Shin and two supports, Yung-hoon “Krillin” Jung and Tae-hoon “Fuze” Kim. The good news is that this makes it a breeze to figure out which positions need filling. London need some DPS, any DPS at this point, and a main tank player. They could even pick up a backup support or two as well. The Spitfire have been making a few teases for new players on their Twitter, including main tank Dae-Han “JeungMac” Choi, flex DPS Gil-seong “Glister” Lim and more. These new players will likely all be announced at once. However, London certainly need several new players and they need them soon.
New York Excelsior
The NYXL have always maintained a solid roster since the beginning of the Overwatch League itself. They picked up a few members before the 2019 season, but mostly stuck with the core players they were used to. Currently, New York has seven players, which are four DPS, two supports and a single tank. Obviously, the NYXL only need one more player to hit the quota, and they have a glaring opening in the form of an off-tank since Tae-hong “MekO” Kim became a free agent. Yet based on recent tweets, it appears that the Excelsior plan on having a 10-man final roster. The team has had such consistent regular season play that it’s difficult to imagine what other players they’ll pick up, so fans should be excited to see what the New York Excel does next.
— NYXL (@NYXL) November 11, 2019
Paris may be the most interesting case on this half of the list due to the ages of their players. The Eternal have nine players signed, so they’ll pass the minimum signing requirement on the 15th for sure. However, two of their players are underage; Han-been “Hanbin” Choi is an off-tank who can play after two games, and Yeong-han “Sp9rk1e” Kim is a DPS who won’t turn 18 until three months into the season. Not including those inactive players, the Eternal have three DPS, three supports and a single main tank.
The DPS line will eventually be very strong, though waiting for Sp9rk1e to turn 18 may cost them. And while they may want an additional healer, their support line should also be passable. However, Paris needs to make additions to their tank-line. Not only do they have no current off-tank, but the main tank they kept, Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait, was not able to live up to expectations in the 2019 season. In order to rise in the rankings, Paris definitely needs to add both a main and off-tank to their Season 3 roster to avoid a repeat of last year’s results.
Told you we had big things coming for next year.
— Philadelphia Fusion (@Fusion) October 30, 2019
The Fusion have essentially already announced their 2020 roster, and have nine players who they are either bringing back or have added to the team. They have three players in each role, and once again appear to be fielding a mixed roster. Most of these roles seem to be stacked with proven talent from Overwatch League or Contenders rosters. However, Philadelphia still has kept their main tank, Su-min “SADO” Kim, which many fans have had complaints about given his Season 2 performance. If the Fusion did pick up another main tank to fill this one weakness, it would be hard to argue against their future dominance.
Like the Fusion, the Defiant are another team whose 10-man roster has been largely confirmed as of this point. They’ve completely revamped since entering with a full Korean lineup, and have poached top players from some of the best teams in the League. Currently, they have four DPS, two tanks and three support players (one on a two-way contract). The Defiant are already looking dominant with individual skill at every level, and it’s difficult to see any glaring weaknesses this early on. Any new additions would be icing on this Canadian cake.
The final Atlantic team on this list, the Washington Justice have exactly eight players signed so far, meaning that they can breathe easy about Friday’s deadline at least. Their current lineup is made of two support players, three tanks and three DPS mains. It is hard to predict the success of Washington’s current roster, made up of several proven contenders players, other OWL faces, and a few returning star players. However, the Justice can benefit from some backups in certain roles, such as flex support or off-tank just to gain some extra depth. After a stunning Stage 4, Washington will want to start the next year out on a similar bang.
Stay tuned for the second part of this list, which will cover the Pacific Division teams, coming very soon!
“From Our Haus to Yours”