Toronto is in a fierce battle for the last spot for the play-in tournament this stage. Though they went 0-7 in Stage 3, their 5-2 record in Stage 1 have saved them from being eliminated. This is on top of an easier schedule as well as the team having more time to have their newest members become comfortable with each other. However, with the rumored 2-2-2 lock becoming likely for Stage 4, one has to wonder how the Defiant will fare in a new meta.
Arguably Toronto’s strongest role, the DPS core of Andreas “Logix” Berghmans, Liam “Mangachu” Campbell, Hong “Im37” Jin-ui and Lee “Ivy” Seung-hyun provide the team with healthy depth and insane pop-off potential. Even though they haven’t won on Toronto yet, both Logix and Mangachu have shown great potential. Logix’s Widowmaker and Tracer were known and feared since Season 1. Now that he is back in the league, he’s out to show the world that he deserves his spot.
Mangachu is the undisputed king of the Torb, but he also has a mean Pharah. And it just so happens that Pharah has reentered the meta in a big way. It will be crucial for Mangachu to match the other spectacular Pharahs in the league like Yang “Dding” Jin-hyeok, João “Hydration” Pedro Goes Telles and Yi “Jinmu” Hu. Other than Pharah, Junkrat will also be a potential Hero that Mangachu may have to play in accordance with the map.
Ivy and Im37 have not seen much playtime after entirety of the new Defiant roster was put together. However, they should not be slept on. Both players were stuck on Heroes like Brigette and Zarya that did not allow them to showcase their abilities as DPS players. Make no mistake. If double snipers or some composition in which two hitscan Heroes are needed, Im37 is a strong partner to Logix.
Toronto’s tank line is the team’s biggest question mark going into 2-2-2. Jo “Yakpung” Gyeong-mu has been between serviceable and too aggressive to the point of feeding. With Orisa and Hammond looking like the most likely tanks to run the meta in Stage 4, Yakpung will have to play around his DPS and secure kills with crowd control.
Daniel “Gods” Graeser is one of the most seasoned players in the competitive Overwatch, but has not had a stellar performance since joining the Defiant. He is by no means bad, but it is clear that he is having issues syncing up with his team. Often times he will be taking on targets by himself while the rest of his team is focused elsewhere.
Perhaps it would be better for him if Normunds “sharyk” Faterins was starting so that there wouldn’t be a language issue. Regardless, Gods has a lot to prove going into the final stage of Season 2. Luckily, a 2-2-2 meta means that the micro intensive GOATs composition will no longer be available to play. Gods will have more of an opportunity to showcase his individual talents.
Park “Neko” Se-hyeon has been one of the most underrated players in Overwatch League. Back when Toronto’s roster was first announced, he was the player to be most excited about. Being from the Boston squad that was able to go undefeated in Stage 3 last year adds to his stock. While his numbers are not as high as the likes of Lee “Twilight” Joo Seok or Bang “Jjonak” Seong-hyun, he is still a phenomenal Zenyatta player and will be a key factor in Toronto’s Stage 4.
Joining Neko on the support line is Go “Aid” Jae-yoon. Aid has not been a standout player since he took the starting position from Park “Roky” Joo-seong. However, recently due to the rise of Pharah, Mercy has also come back into play. Whenever he is on Mercy and paired with Mangachu’s Pharah, Aid has looked much better. Mangachu has a difficult task of matching some of the best Pharahs in the world and Aid will have to make that task easier for him.
Toronto have a real shot at making the play in tournament. They will need to adapt quicker than the teams they play against this stage and continue to build synergy between the western and Korean players. A 0-7 stage is a tough burden to carry, but it is not impossible to recover from. Both the L.A. Valiant and the Houston Outlaws made the Stage 3 playoffs after going 0-7. Especially in the Valiant’s case, they rebuilt their roster and are having major success. If Toronto find their game plan and stick to it, they will make the play ins.
Follow Brad on Twitter @BradKillion for the latest opinions and musing in the world of esports.
Featured image courtesy of Overwatch League
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