Friday, 31 August 2018

Roster Reshuffle: Laws & Legion By Profit of Amber


With the Overwatch League’s first off season well into session now is the time for current teams to begin diving into the open market of tier 2 to look for potential upgrades.‘Roster Reshuffle’ seeks to theorise what signings are on the table for any of the original twelve teams that competed in season 1. The catch is that due to the exclusive window for expansion teams the best talents from the likes of Element Mystic or Runaway are most likely heading into one of the new cities. Specifically in the North American region the best talent is assigned mostly to academy teams meaning the pool for reshaping is even smaller for some teams. The last option is to trade for want away starting talent sat on the bench for an Overwatch League team currently.

None are in more need of a reshaping and evolution than the LA Gladiators and the Houston Outlaws, who luckily both have academy teams to promote talent from firstly. Having an academy team itself allows for guaranteed transitions into the Overwatch League at the hands of the parent team. For this first edition of ‘Roster Reshuffle’ The Purple Legion and the Green Wall will be up for reconstruction.

Houston Outlaws

In: Gods Davin Adam Crimzo Vizility
Out: Coolmatt (Retirement) Jake (Casting), Clockwork, Boink, Mendo

Firstly, there are infinite possibilities with how you can shape this roster. For this build I’ve decided to keep the core intact and try to provide synergy as well as buying into the Outlaws patriotic tendencies. Perhaps controversially I have excluded Jake and Coolmatt from this final 12 man roster. I do hope to see them represent the lone star state team again however it has been rumoured that Jake is looking at things other than being a player, such as a caster or analyst on the desk and Coolmatt maybe considering retirement. The others missing in action I think are not Overwatch League quality and should be released, Clockwork, Boink and Mendokusaii. The duo from FNRGFE were sub par when they played for Houston whilst Mendo did not play a single map during their 40 game regular season, which is concerning to say the very least.

I think it would be beneficial if they kept Arhan, who would be most likely similar to the role Zappis held for the Florida Mayhem. Arhan has experience competing against the best in Apex and is serviceable as a sub for any Overwatch League team. 

Their replacements come from contenders teams in tier 2 as i feel they don’t have any valuable assets to trade besides Linkzr and Muma who they will and should keep. Joining the Outlaws would be Gods from the GLA Legion, Adam from XL2, Crimzo from Team Envy, Davin from team Gigantti and Vizility last on Toronto Esports.

In my opinion it is time that Davin joins the league along with the rest of his former teammates and specifically Linkzr on this Outlaws Roster. The Finnish hitscan player is a more flexible and simply better Clockwork. Davin’s hero pool works very well with Linkzr who now both are able to play the widow to a top level. Houston need a tracer and Davin should be that as well as being able to play other hitscan roles or Zarya to a very good level.

In addition to Davin would be Vizility recently of Toronto Esports. He is a free agent now and therefore should be a perfect target for this team on a smaller contract, He fills the holes in dps left by Linkzr which is mainly Pharah and Brigitte. The 21 year old dutch projectile DPS would not start for this team but he could be a very impactful sub when needed.

Replacing Coolmatt could be God’s from Gladiators Legion. At this current point I think LAG sign Panker one hundred percent however his tank partner may not follow him. The Gladiators off-tank situation is quite odd as Bischu is great for allowing translations however his hero pool consists of one hero and the other tank Void is most likely on his way out of the team. I have based this move on my theory craft for LAG who will also be covered in this article. Back to Houston, Gods is more than capable of thriving in an all English speaking environment as a starting off-tank. His flexibility playing D.Va, Zarya and Roadhog would allow Houston to focus on synergy or they can rotate between him and Spree if they prefer having a D.Va and Zarya specialist.

Finally to be brought in at support are Crimzo and Adam. Adam has experience with team USA and his mercy would be an upgrade over any of the other Outlaw’s support players. Houston value specialists so bringing in a mercy player would be fitting. On the other hand is Crimzo, team Envy’s off support has looked solid on Zen but has also excelled on Moira and in tank based compositions. With Houston’s new roster they would have the ability to run the 3-3 or 4-2 compositions in which Crimzo would quietly be instrumental. Any prospects of the triple tank triple support style with Davin’s Zarya, God’s D.Va, Crimzo’s Moira and either Linkzr or Vizility, perhaps even Arhan, on Brigitte would be very powerful when brought out, even without introducing the best Zarya player in the league which is Spree.


L.A Gladiators 

In: Panker, Bernar, Neptuno, Roolf
Out: BigGoose, Void, Silkthread, Fissure,

News broke before the all-star weekend that Fissure would be transferring to the Seoul Dynasty. With the only main tank being iRemix it seems like a perfect opportunity for Panker to be promoted from the academy team. His main tank play has shined in the NA region aggressively pressuring the back line of any opponent on Winston or Hammond, which he has picked up with little drop off. The Korean main tank looks like one of the best Hammond’s in the whole of tier 2 along with JJanu from Runaway.

I think the Gladiators could reform and hone in on this aggressive play style of Panker, who as I said earlier should 100% be there main tank for season 2. Currently their DPS lineup is Surefour, Asher Hydration and Silkthread the latter of whom I can see being traded or released to go elsewhere. In the dream scenario he could possibly be flipped to Philly who should cash in on Shadowburn and use the money elsewhere but would therefore need a cheaper replacement on projectile which Silkthread can 100% be. Maybe a trade could happen where Neptuno is sent the other way as well in return for Silkthread plus cash considerations. Now the only way that happens is if the fusion promote Elk from their Academy who suits the more calculated style of their team and would enable Carp/Eqo more so than Neptuno.

Taking the starting slot from BigGoose who was looked underwhelming in terms of his play on Mercy and Ana when needed. Neptuno instead allows Panker specifically to be super aggressive and make plays like fissure did but offers more sustained healing in the longer fight. For the Finnish Main support I could see him being sold to Florida who are in dire need of a new main support or he could potentially be kept as a sub.

There is no doubt BigGoose is OWL quality however when looking at this LAG roster he is the first or second name on the list who you would consider upgrading instantly. Additionally from their Academy team is Roolf. Roolf would provide a great back up option from the bench and can seemingly play mercy Ana and zen without major drop off to an acceptable level for the role of a substitute. Simply, here LAG would have more depth in the support slot as they only ever had the duo from Gigantti.

The biggest question to ask here is undoubtedly, Why would the Gladiators let Gods walk to another team whilst they might need an off-tank? Well..this team clearly values synergy, they showed that in their first roster however I see Bernar entering the free market looking for a new team as Fusion already have 2 top tier off-tanks. Trying to deal Bernar would be a great way to bank your investment and a smart move considering the other Korean talent sat in Fusion University waiting to graduate. A player of Bernar’s quality being up for sale would definitely be appealing to an org who are looking to upgrade in his position. 

Either Gods or Bernar would be a great upgrade for this team and LAG wouldn't go wrong picking either of them up to in addition to Panker. My choice to split the Legions duo up stems from my opinion I think that it would be best for all parties if Gods were to essentially be sold to Houston whilst the also Korean Bernar joins Panker in the tank role. Clean crisp communication between tanks is vital and although they would exist in an English speaking environment, calling quick targets in their native language would be beneficial during chaotic fights.

Conclusion

In summary, the core’s of LA and Houston exist and should be remained intact as much as possible. Both teams can dip into the NA contenders market to upgrades but only the purple legion should be looking to promote from within their own team. Whilst it may be risky for LAG to try and enable Panker as much as possible, there was evidence provided by his predecessor in Fissure that an aggressive play making main tank can drive this team to success in the league. For Houston upgrades are in need if they want to compete for a top playoff spot next year especially since Runaway are now all eligible to enter the biggest stage as well as many more talents migrating to the Burbank Arena also. Each team has shown glimpses of how good they can be, with the right moves and patience to integrate both teams can be reaping rewards of a rebuild which may send them straight to the playoffs. 

Finally big thanks to the guys over in the London Spitfire Discord; Sleepy, Drey, Victor, Ace and Boba for helping light the flame that sparked this article. Shout out as well U/Fyandor for his “RosterBating” posts on the R/CoW sub-Reddit which are also inspiration to write something like this in length.
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