Contemplating the Overwatch League will likely be swapping over to Overwatch 2’s 5 vs. 5 aggressive setup when it resumes in April, most followers had been mentally ready for a harmful, chaotic offseason. Many players have retired, and dozens have entered the free company pool, hoping to discover a new residence in 2022.
Each drop or signing is thrilling, however some roster adjustments had been way more sudden than others. Sure acquisitions have an opportunity to utterly upend a workforce’s trajectory for the following season. Listed here are a number of the largest roster adjustments to hit the 2021 offseason and why they matter a lot.
San Francisco Shock cleans home
After a disappointing season, it’s regular for underperforming groups to drop a majority of their gamers—the Vancouver Titans and Toronto Defiant are good examples this 12 months—however it’s extraordinarily uncommon for profitable groups to take action.
The San Francisco Shock ended the 2021 season with an admirable 12-4 file, however change was inevitable for a workforce not used to something however championship titles. On Oct. 9, the Shock dropped seven players in a single day, a transfer sudden by even the workforce’s most vocal critics.
After off-tank Choi “ChoiHyoBin” Hyo-bin retired the following week, San Francisco was left with solely steadfast principal tank Matthew “tremendous” DeLisi and flex help Park “Viol2t” Min-ki on the roster. Although the workforce has since added rookie talent within the type of O2 Blast’s finest, the whole destruction of a veteran-heavy, beloved roster was a wild approach to start the Overwatch League offseason.
JJoNak joins Seoul
For 4 years, the New York Excelsior and flex help Bang “JJoNak” Sung-hyeon had been inseparable within the minds of followers. In some methods, JJoNak represented the legacy of success the NYXL as soon as had and all the time chased. After a brutal season, the 2018 MVP parted ways with the Excelsior and introduced an finish to probably the most iconic eras within the league.
Fortunately for JJoNak, the Seoul Dynasty is seeking to assemble the Avengers of veteran expertise in 2022. The workforce picked him up to play alongside legends of the sport like longtime DPS Park “Revenue” Joon-yeong and former San Francisco Shock tank Yoo “smurf” Myeong-hwan.
Whereas it’ll be extremely unusual to see JJoNak sporting something however blue stripes, followers are trying ahead to the chaos he’ll be capable to trigger on behalf of the Dynasty.
Pelican heads to Houston
DPS Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun had a outstanding 12 months, giving his all to the Atlanta Reign even by way of medical points and troublesome metas. He was later named 2021’s Rookie of the Year, and his star continued shining as he fought hard from across the ocean throughout Grand Finals matches.
Although he was an integral a part of the Reign’s success final season, Pelican stunned everybody by heading to the Houston Outlaws after the workforce made a money commerce with Atlanta. Houston made spectacular strides after choosing up lesser-known skills final 12 months, like off-tank Shin “PIGGY” Min-jun, however Pelican’s acquisition is the primary time the workforce has paid high greenback for confirmed outcomes.
Houston later picked up former Atlanta Reign flex help Kim “Ir1s” Seung-hyun, solidifying the workforce’s aspect quest in buying a number of the finest elements of the Reign’s second-place roster.
American Twister’s backline hits Atlanta
Whereas Houston was busy choosing up the scattered elements of the 2021 Atlanta Reign, the latter workforce’s administration was trying towards the Overwatch Contenders scene. Gamers from American Twister, one in every of North America’s most profitable Contenders groups, would lastly be eligible to play within the league in 2022 and had grow to be the most well liked commodities of the offseason.
Atlanta went for the workforce’s backline, signing principal help Christian “Ojee” Han and flex help Benjamin “UltraViolet” David. Contenders followers have been trying ahead to the duo’s entry into the Overwatch League for years, and the Atlanta Reign was pleased to facilitate it.
After choosing up one other Contenders standout in Lee “Venom” Dong-keun, previously often known as Sigma, the Reign bolstered its roster of veterans with San Francisco Shock’s Charlie “nero” Zwarg. If Atlanta’s coaches can deal with the expertise they’ve acquired, the workforce’s wholesome combine of recent and skilled gamers could possibly be spectacular.
London Spitfire picks up Poko
Whereas this isn’t probably the most monumental pickup when it comes to gameplay, it was definitely one of many extra stunning signings of the offseason. Gael “Poko” Gouzerch had been a Philadelphia Fusion staple for 4 years, identified for his epic D.Va bombs, however the workforce let him go on the finish of the 2021 season.
Most followers anticipated the Frenchman to move to his residence workforce of the Paris Everlasting, however the London Spitfire swooped in to provide Poko a brand new journey. Not solely is that this an fascinating signing due to the continuing feud between English and French followers, however Poko was part of the Philadelphia Fusion roster that performed in opposition to—and misplaced to—the London Spitfire within the inaugural season Grand Finals. How the tables have turned.