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Youngjin: Possible landing spots in 2020

Thank you, Youngjin

Young-Jin “Youngjin” Jin entered the free agency pool on Wednesday, after an impressive rookie season with the Shanghai Dragons. While he may be best known for not always staying on the payload, his spectacular Doomfist played a huge role in Shanghai’s victory over the Shock in Stage 3 Finals. A number of teams are looking to pickup a talented DPS player like Youngjin before 2020.

London Spitfire

The future for the inaugural season champions is unclear at the moment. Having dropped or traded most of their roster and all of their DPS talent, the Spitfire enter 2020 ready to rebuild. Strong Korean language DPS talent isn’t hard to find, but Youngjin’s particular talents may stand above the rest.

Part of London’s struggle in 2019 was Profit’s inability to really succeed on heroes outside of his relatively restricted pool. His Zarya play was especially infamous for being far below what was expected of the Grand Finals MVP. Doomfist, Youngjin’s specialty, has been a very powerful hero ever since the “double shields” meta took hold.

It’s impossible to predict, but his Doomfist could be integral to London’s rebuilding this season. While no meta will last forever, a team like London who is looking to stay competitive as an all Korean squad should be taking a look at Youngjin.

Hangzhou Spark

The Spark’s roster does not have much room for improvement. Kyeong-bo “GodsB” Kim and Jaehwan “Adora” Kang have played very well even amidst some internal trouble. Most of the Spark’s upward trajectory will come from tweaks in coaching and management. This has already begun with the release of former assistant coach, Seung-jun “Sup7eme” Han.

Youngjin and his former team after winning the Stage 3 title
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Hangzhou’s greatest asset was an incredible support duo and a cohesive tankline. The only roster move that could help the Spark improve is simply having more depth in the DPS lineup. After the Shock performed exceptionally well with a cycling DPS lineup, it might make sense to increase depth in that role.

Youngjin could serve as a backup, playing specific heroes on specific maps à la San Francisco’s Minho “Architect” Park. Alternatively, Youngjin could be a starter for the Spark, taking GodsB’s place as the meta shifts away from hitscan heroes.

Los Angeles Gladiators

The Gladiators DPS lineup is all but gone, only Gui-un “Decay” Jang remains. With João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles’ world-famous Doomfist gone, the SoCal squad is likely looking for another player to fill his shoes. Youngjin can definitely be that player.

Youngjin has a plethora of stage experience and an even more potent Doomfist than Hydration. He fills a lot of the gaps in Decay’s hero pool, which is part of what made them such a lethal team on Kongdoo Panthera. With Lane “Surefour” Roberts likely leaving for Toronto, Youngjin can be just one new piece in a rebuilt Gladiators.

Reuniting the Kongdoo Panthera DPS duo ignites synergy that was lost when Decay split off to the Gladiators. One of the Gladiators’ strong suits has always been their famous Finnish support line. The cohesion between Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni and Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara often edged out teamfights in the Gladiators favor. With so much of their team in flux this off-season, reclaiming any team cohesion would be a great step towards being competitive in 2020.

Paris Eternal

Enter the Gauntlet: Element Mysic
Image courtesy of Liquipedia

Having recently acquired star DPS Yeong-han “Sp9rk1e” Kim, as well as new Korean coaching staff, the Eternal have shed their old title as the only all European team and are primed to bring in strong Korean talent, like Youngjin.

There’s a good amount of redundancy between Youngjin and Sp9rk1e’s hero pools. It’s very likely that Sp9rk1e will start for Paris. Youngjin’s definitely talented enough to fill in if Sp9rk1e couldn’t play or needed rest. One of Paris’ new coaches, Chung-Hyeok “Levi” Jeong, had Youngjin under his tutelage on the Dragons. Levi, as well as the strong coaching staff that Paris has acquired, can smooth over any issues integrating Youngjin to the new Eternal.

With the homestand model, having redundancy in roles can give players much needed rest to prevent burnout as they travel internationally.  Paris especially will have a lot of travel. They are the only team from mainland Europe and they travel to three out of the four Chinese cities in the league. Four out of the five teams in the North Division of the Atlantic Conference are going through major rebuilds. The Eternal need to use this opportunity to build intelligently and sustainably.

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