The OWL Season 2 Atlantic Division Preview ( Part 1)
The Second Season of the Overwatch League is all set to start in the next few days. With this new season; there are eight new teams added to the founding members of the Overwatch League. There are changes to the format and the schedule for the new season. It is going to be a whole new look with changes to multiple rosters and talent.
Are you still confused as to which team to support for the new season? Is it difficult to track down your favourite player and follow his team? We will give you a quick rundown of each of the twenty teams, their roster, the coaching staff and potential. It should help you get started going into the new Season. Each article in this series will cover two teams each. In this article, we check out the Atlanta Reign and the Boston Uprising.
The Atlanta Reign represents Atlanta, Georgia in the Overwatch league. Cox Enterprises, a leading Communications, Media and Automotive Services company is the owner of this OWL franchise. Atlanta Esports Ventures, a partnership between Cox and Province, Inc., operates the team.
The team has an eight-man roster for Season 2, however, we do expect them to make more signings mid-season. They have a good mixture of talent and experience on their roster. With player synergies being at the forefront of their roster announcement, we expect this team to focus more on the intra-team synergy. At the same time, the organisation has spared no effort in their hiring of the support staff. With so much help from the support staff, it allows the players to focus on their gameplay and develop strategies for OWL Season 2.
- Daniel “dafran” Francesca
- Joon “Erster” Jeong
- Ilya “NLaaeR” Koppalov
- Dong-hyeong “DACO” Seo
- Blake “Gator” Scott
- Hyun-jun “Pokpo” Park
- Steven “Kodak” Rosenberger
- Petja “Masaa” Kantanen
- Brad “Sephy” Rajani [ Head Coach ]
- Dimitri “Silence” Couturet [ Assistant Coach]
- Cas “Casores” van Andel [ Player Development Coach]
The Atlanta Reign roster has players from six different nationalities. The mixture of players from different nationalities does call into question their communications for the upcoming season. Most of the teams in Season 1 had to struggle to ensure a smooth flow of communication in their roster. Coming into Season 2, we expect these teams to have a much better understanding of managing communication issues. Atlanta Reign will have to be at the forefront of ensuring good communications for the team.
Probably the biggest signing of Season 2 was Atlanta Reign’s announcement of Dafran joining their team. Dafran is a former competitive player who played in Selfless Gaming. The team was one of the most successful rosters in the pre-OWL era. However as the organisation shut down, we saw several members move to live-streaming as their career choice. Dafran was one of the players who moved to stream, however, it was more of a necessity than a choice. Dafran has made questionable decisions in the past; there is a clear indication of his affinity to his stream viewers. However, Dafran remains one of the most talented individuals in the Overwatch League. He is famous for his accuracy and movement with hitscan heroes. With a very high skill ceiling, Dafran is always a bane for any opponent DPS player.
Joon “Erster” Jeong is a player of Korean Origin who has played in several top tier Chinese Contenders team. He was last seen on Lucky Future Zenith, a top team from the Chinese Contenders. The player is well-known for his performance on Projectile heroes such as Pharah, Genji as well as hitscan heroes such as Soldier 76. However, with Dafran on the team, we don’t expect Erster to be taking up the role of the DPS player on the team.
Great Synergy between the tank players
Having synergy amongst your tank players is of utmost importance. Atlanta Reign’s tank players come from the same team, Element Mystic. We have all heard about this team as one of the top teams from Korea. They are always able to put forth great performances based on excellent synergy and coordination. Pokpo usually plays the main tank with Daco playing the off-tank role on the team. Their synergy will be crucial to the entire team’s gameplay in Season 2.
Pokpo was the In-Game Leader for Element Mystic and a crucial part of their success. The tank player. He has very aggressive gameplay, helped immensely by his teammates. Check out this clip of two earthshatters in six seconds.
Massa is one of the star players on the Atlanta Reign. He joins the Overwatch League from Team Gigantti. He usually plays support characters such as the Lucio and Mercy. His importance in getting the entire team together and controlling the pace of the round is an important role. Team Gigantti is one of the most successful Contenders team and Massa’s experience of playing at the top level of Contenders will be extremely useful. Massa is excellent at keep track of the enemy ultimate counters. This will be crucial at the top league, since knowing your opponents’ ultimate meter can be the difference between a winning team fight or a lost one.
Overall, the Atlanta Reign has a good mixture of players with experience and talent. We have players such as Dafran, Massa, Erster. The built-in synergy for the tank duo of Pokpo and Daco will be a great starting point for the team. In addition to their roster, Atlanta Reign also has an excellent coach in Brad “Sephy” Rajani. He was the coach for Selfless Gaming in 2017. He was responsible for his influence on the unique playstyle of Selfless Gaming. He was also able to control Dafran for the most part. His experience of coaching Dafran is definitely a plus point. Dafran has a very unique attitude and it can sometimes get in the way of Blizzard’s regulations. As we head into Season 2, there is little doubt of the team’s talent.However, the different languages will definitely pose a problem to the team going forward. The organisation has hired Dongmin Jeong as their translator and his job on the team is probably as important as their coach. Atlanta Reign has an excellent set of players for each role. However, there is an obvious problem when it comes to their communications due to the different nationalities on the team. If they can get past their communication hiccup; this team does have a lot of potential success in the future.
The Boston Uprising
The Boston Uprising is one of the original twelve teams for Season 1. The team tasted success in Season 1, despite having players with little to no proven track record. With Season 2 roster being drastically different, it will be essential to notice how the team alters its playstyle and approach to the game.
The Boston Uprising is owned by Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group of companies. They have experience in Physical sports as they own the New England Patriots in NFL as well as the New England Revolution in MLS.
- Lucas “NotE” Meissner
- Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh
- Kristian “Kellex” Keller
- Min-seok “AimGod” “Jeff” Kwon
- Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang
- Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse
- Park “Axxiom” Min-seob
- Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth
- Renan “alemao” Moretto
- Chris “HuK” Loranger [ President of Gaming]
- MyungJ “Seowulf” Seo [ Team Manager]
- Jordan “Gunba” Graham [Assistant Coach]
- Jackson “Shake” Kaplan [Assistant Coach]
- Rollon “Mini” Hamelin [Assistant Coach]
The Boston Uprising roster has relatively inexperienced players for their DPS lineup. However, as in the past, we have seen the tanks and supports take precedence on the roster. Any Overwatch League team depends heavily on its tank and support lineup to be successful, and Boston believes that they can make a strong competitor with an increasing focus on these sections.
Jeffrey “blasé” Tsang
Blase moved up from the Gladiators Legion to the Overwatch League with this move to Boston Uprising. He played multiple seasons on the Contenders roster and is well-known for his performance on Projectile heroes. He is exceptionally skilled on heroes such as Pharah and Genji. However, he does not transition well into the hitscan role and this lack of flexibility could be a problem for the Boston Uprising in Season 2.
Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse
The only player from New Zealand, Colourhex is no stranger to playing on a winning team as he has dominated the Contenders scene down under. The player played on Sydney Drop Bears and on Masterminds GC before that. He helped both the teams reach the top of the scene with impressive flex performance. He can play heroes such as Widowmaker, Genji as well as Pharah. However, his lack of experience on hitscan heroes [ in addition to Blase] does point to a lacklustre hitscan performance from the Boston Uprising.
In the past, we have seen Boston make maximum usage of the talent at their disposal. They were one of the best Dive composition teams in OWL season 1. However, as we head into Season 2, it will be instrumental for the team to diversify its playstyle and have more meta-focussed gameplay.
The tank lineup of Boston Uprising is one of the more impressive ones in Overwatch League Season 2. Leading at the forefront will be Gamsu, who return from OWL Season 1. His experience in playing on a top tier esports team [ previously in League of Legends ] will be crucial in him maintaining his position on the team. He is most well known for his Reinhardt play, although he did not really get a chance to prove himself in Season 1. Boston Uprising was known for its Dive composition and together with Striker, Gamsu had very effective movement on the maps.
Gamsu requires excellent synergy with the frontline DPS on the team. With two new players joining the team, it will be interesting to see how Gamsu adapts to the new players. There is also the language barrier when it comes to these players. Striker and Gamsu shared a common language in Korean and it was obviously a big factor for their excellent timing in Season 1.
The team has several more Tank players such as Note, Axxiom and Fusions. With such a long line of tank players, every player will have to step up on an individual level. There will be a lot of competition for the role fo the tank player within the team. This is great since it can only lead to better gameplay and a higher skill ceiling for each player.
The Supports on the Boston Uprising
There are three support players for the Boston Uprising roster. Leading the way is Kellex, who returns from Season 1. He was mostly known for his Lucio gameplays, however, the Mercy meta in Season 1 forced him to play the character on the team. He was very skilled on the hero and his positioning meant that it was nearly impossible to catch him off-guard. As we head into Season 2, we expect Kellex to be one of the important members to bring together the entire roster. His experience in taking a backseat, providing a consistently stable performance as the support is crucial for the team.
The Boston Uprising management has always favoured in developing a team rather than buying a successful roster. They did prove their worth in Season 1 and Season 2 seems to be no different. Alemao is the only player from South America and despite winning multiple Contender titles, playing in the Overwatch League is going to be a tough task. The young player will play heroes such as Mercy and Lucio and his role does overlap with that of Kellex. He has played for Team Brazil in OWWC 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, they did not make it to Blizzcon; however, it just cements his place as one of the top talents from South America.
Final Thoughts on the Boston Uprising
The Boston Uprising team is made up of several unproven players. With an excellent Tank & Support lineup, they will improvise their gameplay to suit their available talent. However, they do not lack firepower in the DPS department. As we head into Overwatch League Season 2, Boston Uprising will look to surprise analysts and other teams once more. They have proven their ability to scout new talent and bring out the best in new players. Can they do the same for Season 2? We have to wait for the start of the Overwatch League to find out.
The Florida Mayhem is one of the ten teams in the Atlantic Division of the Overwatch League. The team represents the state of Florida and the cities of Miami and Orlando. The League spot is owned by Ben Spoont, CEO and co-founder of the Misfits. It was no surprise to see the Florida Mayhem announce the Misfits roster for Season 1. However, due to changes in the meta as well as lack of performance, Florida Mayhem did not have a big impact during the first season. As we head into the second season, the Mayhem have made significant changes to their team. This includes the formation of a Korean Majority team. Tviq is the only Non-Korean player for Florida Mayhem. Considering his flexibility and versatility, he remains an important aspect for the Florida Mayhem team.
- Seong-won “Swon” Yoon
- Kevyn “TviQ” Lindström
- Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha
- Sung-hoon “SNT” Kim
- Jae-mo “xepheR” Koo
- Hyeon-woo “HaGoPeun” Jo
- Damon “Apply” Conti
- Jun-soo “Kris” Choi
- Sang-bum “BQB” Lee
- Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis
- Marvin “Promise” Schröder
- Young-su “yeah” Jung
- Sung-hoon “SNT” Kim
- Robert Yip
The Florida Mayhem made many changes to their roster for 2019. After a very poor start to the first season, it was no surprise to see the management change things up. The new 2019 roster has a very Korean flavour as they will attempt to produce better results overall. The Florida Mayhem is a team that currently houses many young talented individuals. They stand a legitimate chance at making it deep into the Playoffs. Ofcourse, it is still too early to judge the team’s potential for the new season.
The new team has several top tier players on their roster. Players like HagoPeun, Sayaplayer are two of the best Korean players in the Overwatch League. In addition to these players, Florida Mayhem also has Xepher formerly of Seoul Dynasty. The fact that the 2019 lineup is mostly made up of Korean players means that they will have little to no communication issues. Communication issues are one of the bigger problems for most of the Overwatch League teams. They need to invest in translators as well as provide the right coaching for all players. There is a huge cultural difference in many of the other teams. Koreans have a very different work ethic and are known to practice long hours. Their practice hours and coupled with their high skill means that they are always near the top tier of players.
Sayaplayer proved himself during Season 1 despite a very lacklustre performance by the Florida Mayhem. The player has stood up to the best DPS players and teams in the Overwatch League. With a lineup full of Korean players, we should expect his individual performance to peak during Season 2. With Sayaplayer at the helm of the attack, the team is a top tier contender. However, unfortunately for the Florida mayhem, Sayaplayer is facing health issues and might well be out of the initial part of the League. If this is the situation, Florida Mayhem will require their individual players and synergy to help them tide over their opponents.
The Florida Mayhem roster has a decent mixture of new talent. They are looking to amend their results for Season 2. With this new roster and especially with the addition of Mineral as their coach, we can expect a lot from this team. Mineral has experience coaching the Houston Outlaws in the first season. With the Korean-dominant lineup for Season 2, Florida Mayhem definitely has a much better roster for Season 2.
The Houston Outlaws is a middling team in Season 1. They have had their ups and downs during the first season; however, they were not really a contender to win the entire season at any point in time. For the new season, Houston Outlaws has added only one new player for the Season 2. The addition of Danteh definitely adds a lot of firepower to the roster’s capacity.
Houston Outlaws Roster:
- Dante “Danteh” Cruz
- Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin
- Jacob “JAKE” Lyon
- Matt “coolmatt” Iorio
- Alexandre “SPREE” Vanhomwegen
- Austin “Muma” Wilmot
- Daniel “Boink” Pence
- Chris “Bani” Benell
- Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty
- Won-hyeop “ArHaN” Jeong
- Tae-yeong “TaiRong” Kim
- Adam “MESR” De La Torre
- Hyun-woo “HyunWoo” Kim
- Matthew “Clockwork” Dias
The fact that Houston Outlaws retains the majority of their roster speaks volumes of their confidence in their team. They had a decent run during Season 1 although their peak was not as good as that of teams like London, Philadelphia and NYXL. The Outlaws have a great lineup of DPS players, something that will help them going into Season 2. The GOATS Meta can see multiple variations and Houston Outlaws can bring forth several iterations of the meta in order to surprise their opponents.
Linkzr and Jake return to the roster in Season 2. Linkzr definitely had some of the most memorable performances in Season 1. The player was able to match up to the best players in the league on their best heroes. He was mostly seen on the Widowmaker, however, it was not something that he limited himself to. His individual skill ceiling remains extremely high. However, it is his coordination with Jake which brings about most of the success for Houston Outlaws. Jake is the joker pick on the team and he has donned multiple off-meta picks for the team. He was extremely effective on heroes such as Junkrat early in Season 1. As the meta shifted, we saw him move to other characters with varying levels of efficiency.
Jake’s performance in Season 2 will depend on how much space the rest of the team can create for him. As we see the teams move forth into the first stage of Season 2, Jake will need to ensure better coordination with the support lineup, If he is able to get the space required to lay focus on the opponent supports, we can see Houston Outlaws come out ahead. Their first match for Season 2 is against Toronto Defiant.
Arhan and Dante.
Arhan was a mid-sesaon signing for the Houston frachise in Season 1. He forms the second tier of DPS Players on the team along with Danteh. Houston’s signing of Danteh was a huge step forward for the team. Danteh is known for his Genji play and he brings the necessary variety to the Houston Outlaws roster. With Danteh on the Genji, Houston can possibly run any combination of heroes in order to surprise opponents. This was one of their weaker points in Season 1. They were limited to hitscan heroes and characters such as Genji saw limited playtime on the hero.
Danteh was in San Francisco Shock for Season 1 and he was crucial to their success in the latter half of the Season. The 19-year-old player has dabbled in multiple heroes such as Tracer, Sombra as well as the myriad of tank characters. He has experience of playing at the highest level and is crucial to how well the team can perform together. Just having a look at his hero pool, we can see that Danteh will be a regular on the Houston Outlaws roster. His importance on the team is manifold, especially since there are a few characters that only he can play at a top level on the team.
The Tank Lineup
The Houston Outlaws have specialised tank players on the team. They have Muma, Spree, Coolmatt as their tank players. Each of these players is exceptional on individual tank heroes. Characters such as Zarya, D’va. However, their ability to adapt to the change in characters is somewhat limited. So when Spree comes on the roster, we can assume we know their lineup for the upcoming map. It will include Zarya as he is one of the strongest Zarya players in Overwatch. However, the same cannot be said for other heroes and player combinations.
However, the current meta involves multiple tank players. This will prove beneficial to the Outlaws as they have the diversity to ensure a proper composition based on the meta. With multiple specialised tank players, Outlaws can ensure that they have an amazing performance coupled with high individual skill on the roster.
The Houston Outlaws hope to build on the synergy and coordination from Season 1. Whether it will work in the new season, especially with changes in meta is still up for debate. However, we expect this team to start Season 2 with a strong performance in Stage 1.
The London Spitfire team is the Champion of Season 1 in the Overwatch League. The team managed a phenomenal performance in the Season 1 and peaked at the right moment to ensure victory. Throughout the season, they were the second best team in the Overwatch League. However, understanding the meta and allowing themselves to put forth a strong composition in the grand finals is what made the team successful in the final stretch.
For Season 2, London Spitfire has kept most of their roster intact. We see several of the big names for Season 1 still on the team for Season 2. This is obviously a reward for their excellent performance during Season 1. The team has developed top tier synergy and coordination in their movement and playstyle.
London Spitfire Roster:
- Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim
- Joon-yeong “Profit” Park
- Jun-ho “Fury” Kim
- Jae-hee “Gesture” Hong
- Seung-tae “Bdosin” Choi
- Jong-seok “NUS” Kim
- Hee-dong “Guard” Lee
- Yung-hoon “Krillin” Jung
- Kwang-bok “Coach815” Kim
- Jeong-min “Jfeel” Kim
- Cheol-yong “Agape” Hong
The London Spitfire team’s success will depend on how well the players can adapt to the GOATS Meta. Since Season 2 will start off with the GOATS meta, the players already have an idea of what to expect from the matches. Fortunately for London Spitfire, this means that they can fall back on their coordination from Season 1 to ensure more efficient performance.
However, London Spitfire is not all about just their accolades from Season 1. They have a new coach in Coach815. While he is the head coach and will account for the majority of decisions on the team, he does have the backup of assistant coaches Jfeel and agape. They continue in the team from Season 1 and it is always welcoming to see familiar faces in the mix.
A problem for London Spitfire will be their hero composition for Season 2. They have Fury and Gesture as the tank players in the team. Without a dedicated third tank player to help the team in the GOATS meta, we assume it will be Profit moving on to the Brigitte. He has already shown us his potential with the hero during the latter stages of Season 1. It will not be a surprise to see him on the character at the start of Season 2.
London Spitfire will be playing the inaugural match of Season 2 against the Philadelphia Fusion on February 14th. You can catch the action live on Twitch here.
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