After a long 2020 year, it is now everyone’s favorite day for shopping – Amazon Prime Day. While the fans are looking for small things for the new home office or grabbing very early holiday gifts, Overwatch League teams are out shopping as well. Some teams have longer shopping lists than others, but each team needs something this offseason to make 2021 a better year.
What They Need: A Bigger Birdcage
The Atlanta Reign are always poised for success, but there’s just something that keeps them from breaking through. The Reign keep hitting their head on the ceiling when they are looking for a way to get through to the next tier. One of the biggest problems they face is simply not letting their players take flight. All season, the Reign kept Joon “Erster” Jeong solely on Mei duty, despite having a monstrous season in 2019.
Then, of course, they clogged their DPS lineup by adding three new players before the season. In fact, each role had an abundance of talent, but not enough room to play them all. Atlanta needs to make room for these birds to fly, and stop pigeon-holing some players into roles they can’t excel in. Give these players a chance, and they will surely take flight.
What They Need: “The Education of a Coach” by David Halberstam
If Chris “HuK” Loranger wants to become a Bill Belichick in the Overwatch League, he’s going to need to read the book first. Though, HuK hasn’t done much coaching since Season 1, he should definitely be buying this book as a gift to his new staff. Coaching has been a pain point for Boston the moment Dae-hee “Crusty” Park left the organization in 2018.
In 2019 the coaching staff didn’t have much of a direction, and 2020 just didn’t have the chops to keep up with the ever-changing meta. If Boston wants to succeed in the future, the team needs to invest all of its resources in recently signed Seung-hyun “Lori” Kim. Get him this book, a whiteboard, and a short-sleeve hoodie to get the latest hire introduced to the “Patriot Way”.
What They Need: Dependable Hunting Gear
The Hunters are a unique team with creative strategies. Most teams are caught off-guard when Chendgu rolls out Zarya and Wrecking Ball, but that usually only works once. The moment the opposition figures out their strategy, Chengdu flounders and fails. The gear the Hunters use is good, but it looks like their prey can sniff it out real quick. They need something a bit more reliable and consistent. Maybe a new tank line could go a long way of bringing a bit more normalcy in matches against more stable opponents?
What They Need: A Smaller Bench
The Dallas Fuel have the opposite problem of the Atlanta Reign – they have too many people just hanging out on the bench doing nothing. They have done this for three years now and have expected different results each time. They have kept on players that wouldn’t even play Overwatch, but still collected the sweet Envy checks.
Dallas should use some of that money to buy one luxurious, yet smaller, bench for the 2021 season. The Fuel need to trim the fat and dedicate more time and resources to the players who actually are trying to play. Dallas should still have bench players, but quality over quantity is important for an organization that has disappointed for three seasons in a row.
What They Need: Paper Towels and Tums
Remember when paper towels were incredibly hard to grab in the pandemic? Feels so long ago. Remember when Florida was ranked outside of the top ten in the preseason? That feels even more historic, but things can change in an instant. The Florida Mayhem had an incredible bounce-back season, and there is a reason to celebrate. Everyone can enjoy some quality Zaxby’s as a treat, but don’t overdo it. There is still much that Florida needs to clean up in order to make that push for the top spot in the league. The Tums should help the team deal with that heartburn caused by missing the final four in the North American bracket.
What They Need: A Spotlight and Some Sparklers
Speaking of celebration, the Guangzhou Charge need to hold a party for themselves since no one else will. The Charge are one of two expansion teams to finish in the top-ten in back to back years. This year they finished fifth in the standings and even won the Summer Showdown over the Shanghai Dragons. There hasn’t been much fanfare around the quitely excellent Charge, so they just have to do it themselves. A spotlight should at least bring some attention to them, and the sparklers are there to add a bit of pizzazz. The spotlight also should be solely on steller-rookie Ki-cheol “Cr0ng” Nam, as he narrowly missed a Rookie of the Year thanks to an absolute monster of a rookie class.
What They Need: Plenty of Pens, Paper, and Markers
The team with the best match-day posters are certainly going to need some new supplies. A brand new set of art supplies should also go a long way to making that OWL anime a reality. Sadly it’s not just drawing tools the Spark needs for 2021, as they definitely were missing something towards the end of 2020. The Spark had plenty of tools to succeed, but couldn’t quite find the right color to put together a strong playoff run. It looked as though the team turned a corner adding both Sung-jun “QoQ” Yu and Minho “Architect” Park in the second half of the season, but they couldn’t complete the picture. This offseason should be focused on grabbing the right last pieces for the Spark to find success.
What They Need: A Fancy Case for Jake’s Retired Jersey
To be honest, there wasn’t a lot going for Houston this year. The team struggled from the get-go and never really found their footing. Overall it was a forgettable season for the green and black, except they did retire Jake “Jake” Lyon’s jersey early on in the year at their first homestand. In a year that has been an utter whirlwind, it could be easy to forget that the pro-turned-caster was one of the first players to have their jerseys celebrated by a home crowd. Really, the Outlaws should just focus on highlighting that exciting moment rather than dwell on the poor showing in the win/loss column.
What They Need: New Set of Tools and a Miniature Model Plane
The London Spitfire tried something new for 2020, and it didn’t quite hit the mark. The team tried to build something from scratch but didn’t have any luck finding what worked for them. They tried different DPS lineups, swapping tank lines, and rotating supports. Nothing brought consistent positive results, so it may be the tools that need swapping out for 2021. The good news is, the Spitfire may not need to look very far for a strong replacement. The British Hurricane are sitting in Contenders ready for the call up at any moment. The Spitfire might not even need to order anything for next season, as they have a model example already in the basement.
Los Angeles Gladiators
What They Need: Tissues and a copy of “The Notebook”
What a brutal start to the offseason for the Gladiators. Releasing five members of the team is certainly tough, but it gets worse as fan favorites are dropped as well. It’ll be a little bit before Los Angeles can sign players to fill the void, so fans are going to have plenty of time to get a good cry on. At the same time, now is a good time to be sad about another “so-close” season, as the Glads finished in the top ten for the third season in a row. Let Ryan Gosling be the guide to a good cry, and LA fans should feel better.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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