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Rookies to Keep an Eye on in 2020: Tanks

The offseason is nearly over and Overwatch League fans are ready to watch their teams get back into the fight. The 2019 offseason has been the wildest one yet, and many teams have seen big transformations. There will be a lot of fresh faces walking on stage this year. For fans who haven’t been keeping up with Contenders, a lot of these names might seem unfamiliar. One might be wondering, will this addition help or harm the team? What do they bring to the table? Is this player even good?

This series aims to answer those questions for fans who might not be in the know. Talent is abundant within Contenders, and a lot of these signings are ones that fans have been waiting for for years. The first installment of this series took a look at DPS players. Next up is a look at promising tank players coming into the 2020 season.

Ellivote & Lullsish – Washington Justice

ellivote, lullsish, washington justice
Photo courtesy of the Washington Post

Justice fans have been waiting to see this dynamic duo in action since late last season. Unfortunately, visa issues prevented Elliot “ELLIVOTE” Vaneryd and Lukas “LullSiSH” Wiklund from being able to play with their new teammates. Joining the Washington Justice after playing for Team Envy, ELLIVOTE and LullSiSH are expected to be the starting tank duo going into 2020.

ELLIVOTE and LullSISH have been best friends, and teammates, since childhood. They got into competitive gaming together after discovering their love, and talent, for Overwatch. It took some time, but they eventually found a home on Angry Titans where the duo thrived. The team was one of the more consistent in the region thanks to their tankline’s synergy. They only managed to place 4th overall in 2018, but it was clear that the talent on that roster showed a lot of promise. ELLIVOTE eventually parted ways with Angry Titans after being offered a chance to play on Team Envy. LullSiSH would follow him shortly, taking the place of Ashley “Trill” Powell who moved up to play for the Dallas Fuel.

Going into 2020

It has been quite some time since fans have seen the pair play in a competitive setting. However, the Washington Justice will be playing in just a few short weeks and fans are excited to see how these two shape up. ELLIVOTE has a guaranteed starting spot as Washington’s only off-tank player, but LullSiSH’s future is more uncertain. Main tank Gye “rOar” Chang-hoon also joined the Washington Justice’s roster during the offseason. He is joining the team after playing for the Los Angeles Gladiator’s last season. With fellow former Gladiator Seetoh “JohnGalt” Jian Qing now serving as Washington’s head coach, rOar might likely start over LullSiSH. Only time will tell what the future has in store for LullSiSH, but one thing is for certain: this duo is one to keep an eye on.

Cr0ng – Guangzhou Charge

Photo courtesy of Liquipedia

Next up is the Korean flex tank, Nam “Cr0ng” Ki-cheol. CrOng is joining the Guangzhou Charge after playing for O2 Blast. Cr0ng will be the Charge’s only off-tank going into the 2020 season.

During the offseason, fans had to say goodbye to Joona “Fragi” Laine, Aaron “Bischu” Kim, and Choi “HOTBA” Hong-joon. Bischu returned home to the Los Angeles Gladiators while HOTBA decided to move on to play for the New York Excelsior. The departure of HOTBA is where most concerns stem from. HOTBA was an integral part of the Charge’s success last year because of his flexibility as a player and veteran status.

Although Cr0ng is a newcomer, he showed a lot of promise while playing for O2 Blast. He will be playing alongside main tank Oh “Rio” Seung-pyo. Rio truly came into his own while playing for the Charge last season. Although the team had a rocky start, they managed to come together towards the middle of the season. However, a tough schedule kept them from their playoffs dreams. With Rio at his side to guide him, Cr0ng could potentially become a dark horse pick-up going into the 2020 season.

Hanbin – Paris Eternal

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

The Paris Eternal, to put it bluntly, disappointed last season. Although there was an abundance of talented players on their roster, the Eternal struggled to come together. They would start most stages strong before floundering two or three weeks in. The frustration among the team was evident, and although one could tell that they were trying, things just were not meant to be.

Many thought that Paris would continue their trend of only signing European players during the offseason, but Paris decided to go in a different direction. The Eternal signed on three Element Mystic players, along with head coach Yun “Rush” Hee-won and former San Francisco Shock assistant coach, Kim “NineK” Bumhoon. One of the three players signed is off-tank Choi “Hanbin” Han-been. Hanbin is an incredible D.VA and Sigma player. He shined while playing for Element Mystic, especially during the Gauntlet tournament last fall.

Waiting to Level Up

Hanbin will miss out on the Eternal’s first game against the Toronto Defiant due to his age. Eoghan “Smex” O’Neil is expected to start in his place, more than likely alongside main tank Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait. Once Hanbin turns 18 later this month, fans can expect to see him take the stage. Next to Kim “Sp9rk1e” Yeong-han, Hanbin is an exciting addition to this roster and one can expect great things from him this season.

Bernar – London Spitfire

Fusion University, Bernar, Philadelphia Fusion
Photo courtesy of Liquipedia

Unfortunately for the new Spitfire squad, very few people have faith in this roster. The London Spitfire did a complete rehaul of their roster during the offseason, breaking the hearts of fans who have been following the former Grand Champions since the beginning. Only Jung “Krillen” Yung-hoon remains from last year’s roster.

During the offseason, the Spitfire decided to go the Boston Uprising route in terms of their signings. They decided to prioritize focusing on picking up players from the Contenders scene rather than established veterans. One of those pickups is Shin “BERNAR” Se-won.

BERNAR is an incredible off-tank player, coming into the League after playing for Fusion University. Fusion University was a top Contenders team for two years. They went 30-0 in the regular season before eventually falling to Mayhem Academy last spring. Even after finally losing, FUNI went on to win the Atlantic Showdown before moving to compete in Contenders Korea. Although Fusion University struggled in Korea, BERNAR continued to be one of the most consistent players on the team. Many consider him to be one of the best players on FUNI next to Kim “Alarm” Kyung-bo. Although he has big shoes to fill after the departure of Kim “Fury” Jun-ho, BERNAR is an excellent pickup for the Spitfire.

Hawk – Atlanta Reign

hawk, atlanta reign
Photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

If there is one thing that the Atlanta Reign has in common with ATL Academy, it is that once that team finds their groove, they become nearly unstoppable. Much like their sister team, ATL Academy saw a lot of success in 2019. A lot of that success came from the team’s tank line. Both Blake “Gator” Scott and Xander “Hawk” Domecq are a force to be reckoned with. Gator was lucky enough to be signed onto a two-way contract with the Reign during the 2019 season. This allowed him to play for the Reign during the playoffs last season while also ensuring that ATL Academy won NA East and the Gauntlet seeding tournament.

After coming in third at The Gauntlet, the Reign decided to bring up both Gator and Hawk up permanently. Hawk is an incredible D.VA player, and his synergy with Gator will elevate the Reign to new levels going into the 2020 season. The Atlanta Reign are expected by many to be a top team this year, and Hawk will play a big part in how this team does as their only off-tank player.

Stay Connected

Follow me on Twitter: @Sybil_OW for all things Gladiators and Contenders! I also like to yell about the Fusion and Paris Eternal. Feel free to message me on Discord @ Sybil#3517 – I’m always happy to discuss anything I’ve written! 

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