The San Francisco Shock announced November 30 that they signed Charlie “Nero” Zwarg. This comes as he was allegedly in the final stages of talks with the Houston Outlaws, according to Arran “Halo” Brown. It is a surprising move with much for Overwatch League fans to think about.
Goodbye 200 ping, the California kid is coming back to the west 🌉
Welcome @ow_nero to the Shock Family 🧡
Pending League Approval pic.twitter.com/m6eWumX7kv
— San Francisco Shock (@SFShock) November 30, 2020
Rascal Isn’t Coming Back
Since the departure of Dong-Jun “Rascal” Kim, the Shock have had a sizeable hole in their DPS line. Rascal was one of the most flexible players in the league and covered most of the projectile DPS characters the Shock needed. After his release, he then posted a LFT announcement on Twitter, leading fans to wonder where he could end up.
There seemed to be a chance of him returning to the Shock, as other teams have done similar moves in the past. But with Nero coming in as a projectile specialist, Rascal will need to find a home elsewhere. Several teams are still lacking in the role Rascal fills, and he seems comfortable on both Korean or mixed rosters. Many would be surprised if he isn’t given a chance for the 2021 season, and Reinforce would mald even harder.
No ‘DPS May Cry’ or Happy Reunion
With Halo’s reports that Nero was nearly finalized in contract talks with the Outlaws, fans had several reasons to be excited. First of all, Nero is simply a great player that would be a solid upgrade for a team with such an inconsistent roster. The Outlaws re-signed Dante “Danteh” Cruz and acquired Jung-Woo “Happy” Lee from the Guangzhou Charge. Happy and Nero were teammates on the Charge and allegedly wished to stay together. These two cover hitscan and projectile DPS roles quite well, and Houston would have greatly benefitted from this rather than having several specialists. But alas, San Francisco swooped in to bust up this happy reunion.
The DPS duo of Danteh and Nero also garnered one of the best names in the league. The ‘Devil May Cry’ series sported protagonists named Dante and Nero. This led to the “DPS May Cry” duo when this duo’s best characters are in the meta.
Other projectile DPS players Houston may look to target could be Rascal, Hae-song “Libero” Kim, or Contenders talent such as Byeong-ju “Valentine” Kim. Or they may shake things up once more and shift João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles back to DPS and look to sign a true main tank player. There are plenty of routes for the Outlaws to go, yet fans are still anxious hoping they make a good choice.
San Francisco Doesn’t Need Their Bag… They Have Crusty
Swooping in and prying Nero away from his buddy Happy is no easy feat. But the Shock have managed to do so. One would think that a major factor for this would be money. They may have the ability to cut fat checks, but apparently have not had to do so. In response to Avast, NRG’s founder Andy Miller tweeted that they were not the highest bidder for any of their acquisitions. So if players could get much more money signing elsewhere, why chose the Shock?
Quite simply, the team has a championship pedigree, and one of the top, if not the best, coaches in the league in Dae-hee “Crusty” Park. This is appealing to many free agents. Being on a championship team is always desired, and playing in the environment the Shock provide has the ability to develop players to their ultimate potential. Head Coach Crusty nowadays has an aura of grandeur about him, which Nero himself credited as a large part of his excitement. He has the prowess and pedigree to not only bring the best out of his players but the knowledge of how to properly utilize each player through his rotations.
Houston’s Signing Woes Continue
The Outlaws have seemingly struggled in this offseason’s free agent bidding war. The first of which was against the LA Gladiators. Both teams were interested in William “Crimzo” Hernandez and Jin-Seo “Shu” Kim. Shu was apparently the first choice and ended up going to LA, allowing Houston to acquire Crimzo. The Outlaws were also apparently in the bidding war for Grant “Moth” Espe. But he ended up going to the Gladiators as well, alongside Shu.
Houston’s past seems to be haunting their future prospects. More than just their lackluster results, players may be scared of their management. In past seasons players have been mismanaged and even their old GM apparently had little say in team affairs. Hopefully, with Matthew “Coolmatt” Lorio as the new GM, the team can turn their image around.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).