Hope everyone had a good Christmas! Today I’ll finally be getting to the DPS portion of the Watch Out! series. I hope you’ve all enjoyed them so far- there will be more to come, though this is just a brief trial run. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me cover, please let me know @thibbledork on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org! Let’s get to it.
The Hemet, California native’s past tournament results don’t exactly inspire confidence, but the Genji specialist’s preseason performance- peppered with impressive Dragonblades and dash reset multi-kills- belied any misgivings I may have had about him. He was one of a few bright spots on a Boston roster that got its share of flak coming into the preseason- helping many come out of the week with the idea that maybe, just maybe, Boston might rise to the occasion and make something out of this season’s playoff hunt. Watch for more experienced players like DreamKazper, Avast, Gamsu, and Mistakes to lead by example when the season kicks off, pushing newer additions like STRIKER, Snow and NotE to even greater heights. Boston sets against NYXL to cap off the second day of games on the 11th.
On any other team, Seagull would be THE man to talk about when looking at the DPS/Flex lineup. It’s a testament to the Fuel’s talent that I took a good amount of time deliberating just who to talk about when I made it to their roster. Should I discuss EFFECT’s impressive Tracer, or Taimou’s… good aim?
Seagull is Overwatch’s golden boy (besides, well, GoldenBoy,) with a huge social following and the charisma to back it up. His eSports career spans the better part of a decade, extending from a prominent role in TF2’s competitive scene to one of the first big names in Overwatch’s budding tournament circuit. Once a Genji savant, the Gig Harbor native has expanded his hero pool extensively to find his place in Dallas’ roster, emerging as a scary-good projectile specialist and big brain in the back room for the Fuel. His understanding of the game’s inner workings and strategic mindset make him an asset on and off the field, so be sure to watch for him to play a big role in the Fuel’s success as they enter their first matchup against the current crowd favorite Seoul Dynasty on the 10th.
A lot of people worry that the Florida Mayhem lack depth. But with a guy like TviQ on the team, it’s hard to imagine the team ever needing anyone else. The man has an Olympic sized hero pool and the talent to back it up on each and every one. With that much depth, it’s hard to predict just what sort of strategy the Mayhem might employ. Pharah/Mercy? A surprise Bastion? Projectile heroes like Mei, Junkrat, or Genji? Hitscan heroes like Soldier: 76 or McCree? Who knows, but no matter what, watch out for TviQ. He’s had a long history of excellence and a squad that can give him the space he needs to get the job done. His first matchup is against one of the only teams that can boast the depth to compete with him- and they have twice as many players. A star-studded shootout is coming to open the second day of games week 1, as TviQ and the Mayhem take on the loaded London Spitfire squad.
Jake is one of my favorite people in the League. Whether you cheered for him on Team USA, LG Evil, or the Houston Outlaws, the man oozes charisma. He’s a smart, eloquent guy, with a ton of drive and a forward thinking mindset that will serve him well as his career grows. Plus, he’s a damn good player!! In a group press conference for the Seoul Dynasty, Tobi and Ryujehong- one of the best support duos in the world- both said they wanted to take their shot against the rising star. They’re not alone, either- all eyes have followed the San Diego native through his rise to fame and glory. His Junkrat gave Team South Korea pause for the first time at Blizzcon, and his Soldier: 76, Genji, Bastion, Reaper… wait, is this the TviQ section again?
He’s great, basically. And with the bevy of talent around him in Houston, the Outlaws might just be in the running to take it all this season. They’ll have to get that started week 1 as they square off against Philly on Thursday.
I almost wrote about the entire London DPS squad. It’s really, really hard to pick just one- Profit and Hooreg made mincemeat of RunAway, Lunatic Hai and Cloud9 KongDoo in their APEX days, and Birdring is one of the best projectile players the Korean scene has ever produced. Looking at London’s preseason performance, though, one star rises above the rest. Rascal ran rampant across San Fran and the Gladiators all week, impressing with flashy multikills and slippery getaways from some of the best in the business. He’s got decent flexibility, too, playing somewhere around half a dozen heroes over the course of London’s two matches. Watch for plenty of clippable moments from the ex- KongDoo player as London takes on Florida to kick off Thursday’s week one matches.
How can you not talk about Surefour? The Gladiators have no shortage of talent, but none so storied as the pale-haired Calgarian. A founding member of Cloud9’s starting roster- including familiar faces like KyKy, Grego, Adam, reaver, and deBett- Surefour stuck with Cloud9 NA through a number of roster changes before signing with LA on November 2nd. Since then, The Gladiators’ roster has been filled with impressive talent from across the globe. Expect the grizzled veteran to be a key piece in LA’s offensive efforts as the Gladiators put their shields up against Shanghai on Wednesday.
Watch this clip. Go on, take your time. Come back in 31 seconds.
Yeah. He can do that. The Valiant are another team stacked with damage dealing talent, like London, New York or San Francisco, but Agilities has a certain flair that sets him apart from the rest. While we’re not entirely sure how any of those teams will rotate their star front lines around, I can’t imagine the Blairmore native will see too much bench time, especially with a rematch against San Francisco starting things off on Wednesday.
Libero is kinda like the Korean TviQ. His ridiculous hero pool is matched only by the creative ways in which he can employ it- with weird yet effective positioning and attack strategies made famous in his time with APEX team Meta Athena. While they never quite made the cut to finals, Libero’s time in New York may bear champion’s fruit. During the preseason he played a lot of support, which isn’t unheard of, but his brief swap to Pharah was extremely successful. We’ll see how the Excelsior uses him when they face Boston on Thursday.
Carpe has had a quietly consistent and impressive career. While his tenure with BK Stars didn’t yield much- you know him best as the guy who got shot in the face by Taimou at close range on Volskaya- his performance caught the eye of Selfless- briefly- as well as Faze Clan, where he paired well with acclaimed projectile player ShaDowBurn. Philadelphia’s management picked up on Faze Clan’s inherent synergy, and signed half the roster- Carpe, ShaDowBurn and Canadian Lucio specialist Joemeister- in early November. The Fusion have even more pairing options for the DPS out of Daejon, with Tracer star Snillo and Team Israel standout Eqo filling the ranks for Philly. The roster, as I’ve said before- seems stacked. But with nothing to analyze, it’ll be interesting to see how the Fusion perform as they take to the stage for the first time against Houston on Thursday.
Utter. Dominance. That’s what Fleta brought to the table in his preseason performance. Houston and New York- each with their own impressive Widowmakers, Soldier: 76’s, and Tracers- fell like leaves in a storm to his single-minded onslaught. His accuracy was mind boggling, his positioning was fluid, his ults were basically just longer cooldowns. Easily my preseason MVP by a country mile. With a team like Seoul backing him up and giving him space, it’s hard to imagine anything stopping the monster from Namyangju. But that was just the preseason. Maybe someone, somewhere will find a weapon that can stop him. For now, though… watch out.
During the preseason, Monte grimly intoned that Undead looked all the way dead- and it’s hard to find fault in his grisly quip about the Dragon’s thought-to-be star DPS. But fear not, Shanghai fans- the Dragon from Liaoning came to play. Diya made the best of a grim situation- a tired team with not much practice together after days of travel problems- and it was just enough to keep me rooting for Shanghai. There’s no doubt that they’ll come into the League stronger than the preseason suggested, and if there’s anyone that’s gonna bring the team up from its early slump, it’ll be Diya. Watch for his Widowmaker, McCree, or even a rare Doomfist sighting as Shanghai takes on the Gladiators on Wednesday.
The former Splyce/Kungarna player comes in with an impressive tournament pedigree and a performance to match it coming out of the preseason. BABYBAY’s Widowmaker was some of the best we saw all preseason week, putting immense pressure on teams and forcing them to completely rethink their compositions. Will teams be able to account for his impressive positioning and accuracy? Or will San Fran’s ridiculous stable of damage dealers tear the League’s best squads apart? (Note: In Sleepy’s section of Watch Out!: Supports, I predicted that he would get the first kill in the history of the League’s regular season. But if BABYBAY is in on that first game…)