With most of the Overwatch League teams finally settling on their rosters for Season 2, its time to take a brief, but comprehensive look at the assembled squads. As much as everyone wants teams to play compositions other than the triple tank/triple support that dominated the World Cup and the current season of Contenders, this article will look at the 20 teams based on the assembled rosters.
In Atlanta, all eyes will be on Dafran. That’s not to disrespect the rest of the team, talented in their regards. But like Dallas Fuel in Season 1 signing streaming stars XQC and Seagull, Atlanta is banking on Dafran’s hitscan skills and fanbase to carry this squad. If Dafran falters, the rest of the team will collapse with him.
Boston has had a rather eventful offseason, with allegations of player segregation and a lineup shakeup that brought in the League’s first Brazilian and New Zealander players. But this assembled roster, while interesting on paper, could theoretically be a downgrade since Striker and Mistakes are no longer with Boston. Gamsu, Note, and Aimgod provide some stability, but there are too many new components to make a definitive judgment. The Uprising can still make the playoffs, but not in the top six.
The all-Chinese experiment continues as Chengdu tries their luck at it. The Hunters have a season’s worth of misfortune in Shanghai to look at and try to avoid. Baconjack and YangXiaoLong will take a while to get acclimated back to Overwatch while LateYoung and Yveltal have their World Cup work cut out for them. Chengdu will not have as bad a run Shanghai did, but I think there are other teams with much more proven talent that will keep Chengdu from rising high.
If one returning team should be happy about the return tank-heavy metas, it should be Dallas. In the early stages of the league, the Fuel was not afraid to roll out a triple-tank, and Mickie was the first to make effective use of Brigitte in helping Dallas get to the Stage 4 finals. Nearly every member of the Fuel roster has experience in making Goats work. With help coming in the form of ZacharEEE, Closer and rCk, and hopefully the ability to avoid scandals, Dallas can carry what late Season 1 momentum they had into Season 2.
Florida will not have any of their memorable walkouts anymore, but that will be worth it if the team’s mostly Korean makeover is successful. Now lead by Sayaplayer and SNT (the former Awesomeguy), it is hard to judge how the new components can mesh at the moment. Or how Tviq and Apply factor into this team as DPS players. Overall, Florida still has a mountain to climb to be considered playoff worthy.
Guangzhou has the most question marks going into Season 2. No one can doubt the star power collected, with Eileen, Hotba, Kyb, OnlyWish, and players from Meta Bellum. But given the language divide between the players, this intriguing scenario can turn sour pretty quick. Like Chengdu, Guangzhou has the potential to be great, but breaking through to the league’s top-tier will be difficult.
While people have expectations based on how well the rosters of X6 Gaming and Seven mashes together, Hangzhou’s success will be measured by how well Guxue leads them on main tank duties. Of all the Chinese teams now, Hangzhou has the best chance of being an elite team.
Despite just missing out on the playoffs, the Outlaws only brought in Danteh to improve the squad. Houston thrived in the early portion of Season 1 by running odd compositions that attacked their opponents from long-distance. Houston should do well with tank-heavy arrangements, but if the Outlaws are running pretty much the same roster, expect the same results. Unless the team synergy significantly improved in the offseason.
London is the defending champions, and their only additions are support Krillin and DPS Guard. The settled-on core of the championship winners remains, so London will continue to be one of the top teams.
Los Angeles Valiant
This is a much different Valiant coming into Season 2, cutting out its excess fat, along with Soon, and putting more confidence in Agilities as their DPS leader. Custa will have his work cut out for him in keeping the backline in order now that Fate and Space are more in the forefront of driving the team’s success. The Valiant will still be tough to play against, but not as formidable as in Season 1.
Los Angeles Gladiators
The Gladiators were on a tear as Season 1 drew to a close, but rOar and the newly promoted Panker have a big task in replacing the departed Fissure. With the slow-build of Season 1 behind, and the remaining Gladiators establishing themselves as stars, the Gladiators should be strong right out the gate and a consistent threat all season.
New York Excelsior
Since New York was the best team for the entirety of Season 1, they had no reason to alter the lineup much. The only additions were Fl0w3r and Nenne from XL2, giving NYXL a treasure trove of DPS options. Not that New York needed any more help in being the best. They formed the core of South Korea’s 2018 world cup squad, so if New York doesn’t make a better effort for winning the league, it will be a greater disappointment than season 1.
Paris’ all-European roster is by far the most experimental of the new teams, with seven nationalities represented and a big language barrier to overcome. Some players, like BenBest, Kruise, and Danye made big impressions during the World Cup, but now they have to live up to top-tier scrutiny week after week. I want to think this European super-squad can break through and be one of the league’s best, but I need to see some games with them first.
Philadelphia’s roster changes were minimal, letting Hotba go to Guangzhou and promoting Elk to the main roster. As the runners-up to London, Philadelphia saw little need to change, as their roster options for all positions should gel together better now than ever. The Fusion had a first season that saw their quality fluctuate stage to stage, but now they need to figure out how to consistently be one of the best, not just at changing times.
San Francisco Shock
San Francisco now has a full 12-man roster with a plethora of DPS options, perhaps too many since Rascal and Striker are in the mix. The Shock seemed like they finally got a core group together in Stage 4, and throwing these new players into the mix could upset the balance the team was still getting used to. San Francisco was investing for the future in Season 1, and their waiting will pay off as the Shock should be a consistent threat to make the stage playoffs.
Seoul had arguably the most disappointing season of any team in Season 1, with the Lunatic-Hai core failing to live up to their APEX glory. Now, that core has been broken up, and unknowns from Contenders Korea have filled in. Fissure is a huge get that will bring much-needed dynamics to the role. If Seoul manages to make just one stage playoffs, it will be a marked improvement. How weird it is, thinking that way about Seoul’s Overwatch League team.
Now that the overhaul appears finished, Shanghai will be relying on an influx of Koreans to bring the team at least one victory in 2019. The team Youngjin, DDing, CoMa, and Luffy come from, Kongdoo Panthera, are used to being successful, but every team should be taking Shanghai seriously, given no one wants to be the first team to lose to them. I do not expect the Dragons to be in the top half of teams by any stretch, but I think just winning a few games this season will be a significant achievement for the Dragons.
Toronto assembled an all-Korean team, a hodgepodge of Koreans no one wanted (Asher, Envy, Neko) and players from O2 Ardeont. Maybe Toronto is assuming having an all-Korean team will bring instant success, but the other all-Koreans have impressive names to justify their philosophy. Toronto has a bunch of unknowns and second-stringers, so I see them as a weak team that will have struggles.
Runaway’s success was defined by defined by running fast dive metas and the team’s underdog status. Now that that squad is one of Overwatch’s big boys in Vancouver, Runaway’s flexibility will be put to the test. If the same team synergy Runaway had in Korea carries over to Vancouver, Vancouver can easily be an elite team in Season 2.
Wizardhyeong will have his work cut out for him; trying to bring this odd roster to the same heights he took NYXL. This mixture of Koreans and Americans has few names people would recognize or have consistent skill. I’m sure this team lineup is trying to pull an underdog story with this roster, but I see Washington falling to superior lineups at this point.
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