The OWL Season 2 Pacific Division Preview ( Part 2 )

February 17, 2019 | 0 | 876| |

This is the final piece of the four-part series for the Overwatch League 2019 teams. We have seen a rough overview of fifteen teams so far. The Overwatch league Season 2 features a total of twenty teams. Each team in the new season has a realistic chance of making it into the Playoffs.

The twenty teams are divided into two parts: The Atlantic Division and the Pacific Division. Each division consists of ten teams each. Through the next few months, we will see these teams compete against each other. Most of the LAN matches will take place in Los Angeles. However, there are a few matches which will take place in different cities. It is a preparation for Season 3 when we will bear witness to real Home and Away format for the League.

Let’s take a look at the following five teams for Season 2.

  • Los Angeles Valiant
  • San Francisco Shock
  • Seoul Dynasty
  • Shanghai Dragons
  • Vancouver Titans

Los Angeles Valiant

2018-06-17 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Los Angeles Valiant is one of the two teams based from the city. They were the dominant team early in Season 1, however, they later faced tumultuous times as their counterparts, the Gladiators became stronger.

The Los Angeles Valiant’s roster for 2019 presents a mixture of English speaking as well as Korean players. The team has an abundance of talent and they are looking to stabilise their results for Season 2.

Los Angeles Valiant Roster:

  • Brady “Agilities” Girardi
  • Indy “SPACE” Halpern
  • Pan-seung “Fate” Koo
  • Young-seo “KariV” Park
  • Joon-hyuk “Bunny” Chae
  • Scott “Custa” Kennedy
  • Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa.
  • Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim
  • Dae-kuk “KuKi” Kim

Coaching Staff:

  • Byung-chul “Moon” Moon ( Head Coach)
  • Warsi Faraaz “Stoop” Waris ( Assistant Coach)
  • Dong-soo “Dongsu” Shin  ( Assistant Coach)
  • Mike “Packing10” Szklanny  ( Assistant Coach)

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The DPS Lineup ( Agilities, Bunny and Kariv)

The Valiant DPS lineup consists of Agilities, Bunny and Kariv. Coming into Season 1 as a support player, Kariv slowly transitioned into the DPS category later in the season. We would often see him being picked as a DPS player on the team and it would surprise their opponents. The player has excellent tracking capabilities and is able to challenge the best players in the DPS category. We mostly see him on heroes such as Soldier 76.

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Agilities plays projectile heroes such as the Genji and Pharah. He is equally capable of both the heroes and has proved to be a wonderful addition to the team. The young player was usually seen alongside the like of Soon in Season 1. However, Soon is no longer a part of the Valiant roster. Agilities still remains the focal point for all projectile hero pool for the Los Angeles team. However, one of the strengths for the Valiant in Season was their synergy and coordination, especially at the forefront of the lineup. Agilities will need to strike a similar synergy with the new additions to the team in Season 2.

The third DPS player for the Los Angeles Valiant is Bunny. The player moved from Seoul Dynasty to Valiant last year in March. Over time, he has had ample time with the players and is now an integral part of the roster. Bunny was not given amply opportunities during his time on the Seoul Dynasty. While he did not receive much attention in Valiant for Season 1, he will receive more regular playtime in the Valiant for Season 2. Valiant also has added KSF who has been a part of multiple North American Contenders teams.

The Tanks & Supports

Coach Moon has helped the Valiant rise up to one of the top teams in OWL

Fate and Space were extremely consistent in Season 1. They were the unspoken heroes on the Los Angeles Valiant roster and we hope to see them continue with their splendid performance in Season 2. The duo has formed an excellent understanding of each others movement. It is rare to see one of them out of position without backing and the help from the other tank player.

Custa spoke very early in an interview to ESPN where he mentions that Valiant will not rely on the GOATS meta. They have planned multiple tactics and will focus on enabling themselves to surprise their opponents. The stability on the roster and their experience of playing together will definitely make them a strong contender for Season 2. They reached the Playoffs in Season 1 and we will see them make a strong run in Season 2 too.

The Los Angeles Valiant might as well be one of the favourites for Season 2. Their performance in Season 1 was impeccable. The new additions to the team only make them stronger for the upcoming Season.

San Francisco Shock

The San Francisco Shock was a middling team in Overwatch League Season 1. They have some standout performances, but consistency was something lacking from the team vocabulary. They also had some really weird calls which would surprise analysts and casters alike. They would often throw themselves one by one into the enemy and give away any advantage they have. However, over time, the team improved and we saw more systemic movement through the map.

The San Francisco Shock have kept most of their roster intact for Season 2. However, they have made a few additions to the team. They added Strike and rascal as the DPS players on the team. In addition to this, they also have added a tank player ( Myeong-hwan “smurf” Yoo )  and a support player ( Min-ki “Viol2t” Park).

The San Francisco Shock roster:

  • Andrej “babybay” Francisty
  • Matthew “super” DeLisi
  • Nikola “sleepy” Andrews
  • Jay “sinatraa” Won
  • Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson
  • Min-ho “Architect” Park
  • Grant “moth” Espe
  • Hyo-bin “ChoiHyoBin” Choi
  • Myeong-hwan “smurf” Yoo
  • Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim
  • Min-ki “Viol2t” Park
  • Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon

Coaching Staff:

  • Da-hee “Crusty” Park
  • Jae “Junkbuck” Choi
  • Bumhoon “NineK” Kim

The San Francisco Shock also have a small team of analysts who will help the coaches and the captain develop new strategies. Their analysts include Alined, Mercy and Shu.

The Shock has a plethora of DPS Players in this Season. They already had BabyBay and Sinaatra in Season 1. Babybay plays heroes such as Widowmaker, but he has also moved on to other hitscan heroes. The player’s Widowmaker has the biggest impact on the team’s fortunes and he can single-handedly change the outcome of a round. However, the current meta is not really a meta favourable to Widowmakers. We might not see Babybay playing in the active lineup for some time. In fact, if he does play on the team, we might be witnessing him play the hitscan heroes. The first day of the Overwatch league Season 2 showed us that the meta is very flexible. We can see teams using multiple tactics going into the new season.

Sinaatra joins San francisco Shock in one of the biggest signings for Season 2.

However, San Francisco Shock also has new players such as Rascal and Striker joining the team. The sheer skill ceiling of the DPS players shows that the team can be extremely strong when it comes to their DPS lineup. Strike as one of the key reasons for the success of Boston Uprising in Season 1. His movement on the Tracer was extremely fluid and he made intelligent plays. He was not always after the kills, rather he went for the objective in order to grant his team the advantage in the round. Striker’s intelligent play definitely provides for the pathway leading to his team’s success. With the San Francisco Shock, we hope that they can coordinate well with the Korean star in order to fully utilise his positioning and movement to their advantage.

Rascal is one of the most versatile players on San Francisco Shock.


Rascal has moved through a lot of teams in Season 1. He was originally a part of the London Spitfire roster. However, their phenomenal performance in the early part of the tournament, including their Stage 1 victory meant that there was not much in terms of rotation within the roster. Rascal did not get enough playtime, requested a transfer. However, on the Dallas Fuel,the player was the subject of a lot of problems. There was direct tension between him and the Dallas fuel coach, KyKy. ultimately, rascal was let go from the team and he remained without an organisation till the end of the Season. Rascal is a player who is extremely versatile and can make off-meta heroes work for the team. He is adept at heroes such as Junkrat, Sombra etc. However, he is also very skilled on characters like the Genji, Pharah and has made a name for himself with displays of high skill.

With Architect on the team, we will mostly see the two players [ Architect and rascal ] fight for the same spot on the team. This competition can only prove beneficiary to the team as they will get an opportunity to enhance their skill level on the roster. Architect has experience playing with many of the Valiant teammates. His experience from Season 1 might be the determining factor when it comes to the starting lineup and his position on the team.

Matthew “super” DeLisi of San Francisco Shock.


As we take a look at the tank and the support lineup, there is not much to choose for. This will be a problem for the team as the lack of depth on their tank and support lineup will come to haunt them. For tanks, they have Super, Nevix and Smurf. Smurf joins the team from GGEA and he has been a revelation of sorts. However, with Super and Nevix already on the roster, Smurf will probably be pushed to the role of a substitute on the team.

The support lineup for San Francisco Shock will see Sleepy and Moth as the primary players. Sleepy has been extremely strong for the Shock in Season 1, however it does feel like the support players could do with more experience on the team.

The San Francisco Shock has one of the best DPS lineups in the game. However, as we see them progressing in the League, one does wonder if they are capable of reaching the playoffs. Right now, it does not seem so on paper; maybe things will change in the near future.

The San Francisco Shock play against Dallas Fuel in their opening match on Day 2.

Seoul Dynasty

Coming into Season 1 of the Overwatch league, the Seoul Dynasty were the favourites to win the League. After all, they had the core of the former Lunatic Hai team, one of the most successful Overwatch teams in Korea.

The Seoul Dynasty did not do too well in Season 1. The team is owned by is owned by Kevin Chou, Chairman and CEO of Gen.G Esports.

Seoul Dynasty Roster:

  • Joon-hyuk “zunba” Kim
  • Je-hong “ryujehong” Ryu
  • Jin-mo “Tobi” Yang
  • Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim
  • Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byeon
  • Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek
  • Min-hyuk “Michelle” Choi
  • Min-Seo “Marve1” Hwang
  • Seung-soo “Jecse” Lee
  • Dong-eon “FITS” Kim

Coaching Staff:

  • Dong Gun “KDG” Kim ( Head Coach )
  • Chang-Geun “changgoon” Park ( Assistant Coach)
  • Ju-hyeop “WhyNot” Lee ( Assistant Coach)

Seoul Dynasty has added several new members to their team for Season 2. While the core of the roster remains the same; they have made significant changes which bolster their skill ceiling. Leading the team from the front will still be Ryujehong. The Support player is one of the most talented individuals in the game as a support. Ryujehong usually plays the Ana, but we have seen him flex onto other support heroes depending on the meta. However, his impact is the highest when he is playing the Ana, a hero he is extremely comfortable on.

However, his importance in the team is much more than his skill in the server. The player is like a big brother to most of the other players on the team. His presence is what makes the Korean roster extremely comfortable and they can focus on their own gameplay. Ryujehong helps in calming the nerves on the team as they attempt to make a huge impact in the Overwatch league. The team is like a family where their off-the-server synergy is as important as their coordination within the game.

The biggest addition to the team comes in the form of Fissure who joins his Korean brethren in their attempt to secure the championship for themselves. Earlier, he was a part of London Spitfire and later a part of the Los Angeles Gladiators. The player is one of the best tank players in the Overwatch League. His presence on the field is so high that it is impossible to ignore him, even if he is just a Winston. His ability and instantaneous decisions to position himself correctly means that he maximises his impact in the game. He plays the Main tank role and is well-known for his Winston Play. His Shield bubbles are some of the best in the game and can protect his teammates easily.

He will have to coordinate his play with his co-tank player Marve1 and Michelle. These are players who are relatively new to the Seoul Dynasty. So it will be an exciting prospect to basically have a new set of tank players, especially after Miro came under a lot of criticism for his performance in Season 1. Fissure as a mentor will be a huge boost to these players and hopefully, we will see them put up a very strong performance in the upcoming weeks.

The Supports on Seoul Dynasty have always been two of the best players on their role in the overwatch League. There is no doubt of Tobi and Ryujehong as two players who can truly turn the outcome of their game. They peel for each other and regularly ensure the proper positioning as players. With mixed her combinations being prevalent, we might see Ryujehong on the Ana as well. His Sleep Darts are some of the best in the game and can single-handedly turn the outcome of a team fight.


Seoul Dynasty looks very exciting with the new additions to the team. We expect them to perform much better than their Season 1 results.

Shanghai Dragons

The Shanghai Dragons were notorious in Season 1 due to their 0-40 scoreline. It was a record of sorts as they were unable to win a single match against any opponent. While they did show glimpses of excellence and improvement in their performance, the team’s confidence was all but gone by the time they reached the latter stages of the game. The management made significant changes for Season 2, in order to ensure that they break their losing streak coming into Season 2.

Shanghai Dragons roster:

  • Weida “Diya” Lu
  • Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim
  • Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee
  • Min-seong “diem” Bae
  • Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang.
  • Yong-Jin “YOUNGJIN” Jin
  • Joon-hwan “GuardiaN” Cho
  • Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh
  • Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang
  • Son “CoMa” Kyung Woo

Coaching Staff:

 

  • Seong-hwan “BlueHaS” We. (Head Coach)
  • Yan “creed” Xiao. ( Assistant Coach )
  • Chung-Hyeok “Levi” Jeong. ( Assistant Coach )

As we can see the Shanghai Dragons roster is no longer a fully Chinese team. The management’s lack of faith in Chinese players comes after an embarrassing Season 1. They have kept a few players from Season 1, but Diya is the only player from China still in the Dragon’s team. He was impressive in Season 1 but the team lacked structure and could not provide any aspect of stability to their performance.

Geguri is the first female Overwatch League player

Diya seemed out of sync with the rest of the squad for Season 1. It will be interesting to see how the player is able to integrate himself with the supports and tank lineup on the team. The team will also see the return of Geguri and Fearless on the team. Geguri is the first female Professional Overwatch Player in the Overwatch League. She has been exceptional and was actually the leader on the Korean server for tanks before joining the OWL. Her addition to the team comes solely on the basis of merit and that is why no one should doubt her integrity or the reasons for her joining the team. In fact, the player has received widespread appreciation from some of the other players in the Overwatch League. She has quick reflexes, sometimes saving her allies from opposing projectiles.

Gamsu joined the SHD just one day before start of OWL Season 2

The Shanghai Dragons announced the addition of Gamsu very late into the off-season. Gamsu’s addition to Shanghai comes at a time when it was all but confirmed that Gamsu would continue on Boston Uprising. However, without some of his former teammates including DPS player Striker, we expect Gamsu to be a dominating force in the Shanghai Dragons. However, since his addition to the team comes so late in the off-season, there are doubts of how well he will be able to integrate himself on the new team. After all, building team chemistry requires confidence in your teammates as well as an ability to enable them to sync with your movements. Gamsu will require his teammates to help him adjust to the new environment and team in order for Shanghai to win.

The Shanghai Dragons did not win a single game in Season 1. They will be itching to win their first match very soon. Unfortunately for them, they will face two of the best expansion teams coming into Season 2. It will be interesting to see how the Shanghai Dragons manage to turn their fortunes around.

Vancouver Titans

Vancouver Titans Roster:

  • Hyo-jong “Haksal” Kim
  • Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee
  • Min-soo “SeoMinSoo” Seo
  • Chung-hee “Stitch” Lee
  • Hyeon-Woo “JJANU” Choi
  • Sang-beom “Bumper” Park
  • Jung-geun “Rapel” Kim
  • Sung-jun “SLIME” Kim
  • Lee “Twilight” Joo Seok

Coaching Staff:

  • Ji-Sub “paJion” Hwang [ Head Coach ]
  • Yang-won “Yang1” Kwon [ Assistant Coach]
  • Harsha “Harsha” Bandi [ Assistant Coach]

The Vancouver Titans is one of the most exciting teams in Season 2. They have picked up the entire Runaway roster from Korea. This decision so early in Season 2 definitely puts them up as one of the better teams in the Overwatch League. Picking up an entire roster has worked wonders for some of the founding members of the Overwatch League. We saw how successful London Spitfire and New York Excelsior were in Season 1.

Runaway has always been a dominant force in the Korean Overwatch scene. They have the backing of FlowerVin and Runner, two pioneers in the Korean Overwatch scene. They have supported their players, even allowing their entire savings into the team’s benefit at one point in time.

The Vancouver Titans DPS players include Haksal and Stitch. This DPS duo dates back several years starting from Apex Season 2. They have great chemistry with each other and an understanding of each others movement. This allows them to optimise their movement in coordination with each other. Haksal is one of the most exciting new players to join the Overwatch League. Known for his Genji, the player is one of the superstars coming into Overwatch League Season 2. He is very quick with the projectile hero and has excellent accuracy with his primary fire. Haksal is also very efficient with the Pharah, choosing angles necessary to ensure his safety as well as dealing maximum damage to the opponents. 

On the other hand, Stitch plays a mean Widowmaker. The player also plays other hitscan heroes such as Mccree, Tracer and the occasional Soldier 76. We have seen him flex onto off tank roles such as D’va and Zarya, but his primary selling point remains his DPS performance.

Hooreg, formerly of London Spitfire is also a part of the Vancouver Titans. He did not get much playtime on London Spitfire, the primary cause of the effectiveness of Profit and Birdring. However, that does not mean that he is subpar to the OWL DPS players by any means. If anything, his experience in preparing for Season 2 will come in handy as he becomes one of the few experienced players at such a level.

The Tank lineup: Definition of Flexibility.

 

The tank lineup is a definition of flexibility as the players can cover almost everything in the tank lineup. Over the years, we have seen Bumper play multiple roles in Runaway. His tank performance sees him play both the main tank as well as off-tank roles. He is the X-factor on the team as his presence could mean a myriad of team compositions to help the roster move ahead.

JJANU plays the off-tank role mostly on the D’va. He has very quick reflexes and alternates between a DPS D’va as well as peeling for his supports and backline. He has a great sense of how to position himself to help both the DPS lineup as well as supports. The team having experience playing together as Runaway will only help them achieve greater success in this roster.

Overall, the Vancouver Titans look very strong on paper. They are definitely one of the strongest expansion teams coming into Season 2.

This concludes our review of the ten teams in the Overwatch League Pacific Division Division. Which of these teams do you support for the league? Let us know in comments below.

Check out the Overwatch league team Previews here:

 

 

The author

Esports journalist. An esports fan, former wannabe pro and occasional angry young man. You can find him trying to climb the Dota 2 MMR or just chilling in Rocket League. Or maybe building an entire city in Cities: Skylines. The current mood is always a surprise.

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