The Overwatch League offseason kicked off in earnest last Friday when the league released a list of player contract statuses. Few teams enter the free-agent signing period with a more uncertain future than the Philadelphia Fusion. Currently, just Gael “Poko” Gouzerch and Isaac “Boombox” Charles remain under contract for the 2020 season. Nearly all of the lineup that made the 2018 Grand Finals is hitting the open market.
Perhaps the most surprising new free agents are the DPS duo of Jaehyeok “Carpe” Lee and Josue “Eqo” Corona. Superstars during the league’s inaugural season, 2019 did them no favors, and now they may be in need of new teams. Carpe is among the league’s top free agents, but Eqo should be a hot commodity in his own right. His flexible hero pool and championship experience make him a great option for any team in need of a new DPS. Here are some teams that should be in the running to pick up Eqo.
Despite having nine players under contract for the 2020 season – including three DPS players – Dallas is in dire need of upgrades. Back to back lackluster seasons leave the Fuel searching for answers up and down the roster. They have more pressing concerns – namely at flex-tank unless they can re-sign Lucas “NotE” Meissner – but an upgrade at flex DPS is a must.
Eqo could be that upgrade. This Fuel team has never managed to settle on a stable and effective DPS pair. Neither Dylan “aKm” Bignet nor Timo “Taimou” Kettuten has lived up to his pre-OWL expectations. Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo also never fully adjusted to the OWL stage. For a team looking for both star potential and stability, Eqo would seem like the perfect option. The only question is whether he wants to step into a team that hasn’t been competitive during its first two seasons.
After failing to find their footing during a tough opening season, Paris enters the offseason with decisions to make across the roster. It’s unclear at the moment just how many of their six team options they will pick up. The key here is what the Eternal decide to do about Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha. If Paris exercises their team option, an Eqo pickup doesn’t look very likely. If they opt to let ShaDowBurn hit the market, they could find themselves picking up a Fusion DPS for the second year in a row.
For Eqo Paris should be a pretty natural fit. He’d have a seasoned DPS partner in Terrence “SoOn” Tarlier. It would probably require Eqo to become a bigger playmaker than he was in Philadelphia, but that’s certainly something he’s capable of. Paris is also the closest franchise to his home country of Isreal, and that could hold some sway. This pairing makes sense for all parties. Paris would get a proven DPS talent for a team full of young players. Eqo would get another chance to remind the league that he can be an elite DPS player, this time out from under the shadow of an MVP candidate.
Los Angeles Gladiators
The Gladiators are another team with a wildly uncertain future. Alongside three free agents, they also have six team options to make calls on. That’s not even mentioning the front office and coaching turnover they’re facing as the Gladiators split from Sentinels, the org providing much of their personnel. Of the three players testing free agency immediately, two play Eqo’s position.
Lane “Surefour” Roberts and João “Hydration” Telles have been effective, flexible and popular during their time with the Gladiators. Together with Gui-un “Decay” Jang, they formed one of the strongest DPS rotations in the league. So why would the Gladiators move on from the team that earned them fourth and fifth place in the standings through two seasons? Perhaps there were higher expectations for this season. After shelling out to pick up Decay, maybe the solid but unremarkable 2019 season didn’t pass muster.
Eqo would be a top candidate to fill the hole left by Surefour and Hydration, should they or the Gladiators decide to move on. He can cover most of the hero pool that they provided and slotting in next to Decay should be second nature after playing with Carpe for two years. Of course, this all hinges on Los Angeles sticking with an international roster rather than going full Korean.
No Place Like Home?
All of this speculation ignores what may just be the most likely outcome when the ink dries. Eqo could very easily find himself right back in Philly. The Fusion have so many different paths in front of them at the moment. They could bring everyone back and lean on pickups from their Academy team to rejuvenate this squad. They could just as easily dump almost the whole team and start from scratch.
Eqo is definitely one of the easier players for the Fusion to justify re-signing for 2020. The meta during the 2019 season never suited eqo. He spent much of the season playing Brigitte – a hero that scarcely resembles those that made eqo a phenom during 2018. Now that 2-2-2 role lock has returned him to his favored picks, it wouldn’t be hard for the Fusion to convince themselves that eqo will return to form in 2020, especially if Carpe is back beside him.
Featured image courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment.
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